After Britt's mega Bachelor meltdown and, later, Kaitlyn coming in, uh, third fiddle to Becca the virgin and Whitney the fertility nurse, it seemed as though fans were gunning for Kaitlyn to be the next Bachelorette.
"Since the decisions were so truly split, it seemed unfair to make that decision for the men. Instead, we thought it would be best to have them decide," explained Harrison.
This was clearly a decision made by men.
With the season starting off with Kaitlyn and Britt squaring off against each other, Harrison admits it will be "awkward and a bit painful" but ultimately "a wild ride."
Which, coincidentally, pretty much sums up my early sex life. (If one of the fantasy suites turns out to be a rusty old fishing camper, obviously my high school boyfriend had a hand in the production of this season.)
Before anyone can start seducing anyone anywhere, though, we get a little recap. Kaitlyn in a nutshell? Funny, sexy and sometimes completely inappropriate.
Britt in a nutshell? Beautiful, emotional and touchy-feely.
One shed a lot of tears, while the other shed her bikini. This should be fun, y'all.
On the way to meet the fellas, Kailtyn does what appears to be Lamaze to calm her nerves. Britt, who is apparently following in Soules' premarital footsteps, gushes about being ready to meet the person she's going to walk down the aisle with one day.
But first, dudes.
First glimpse goes to 33-year-old Jonathan from Detroit, who introduces the world to his 5-year-old son Sky by calling the little boy "the best thing that has ever happened to me." I feel an 'awww' coming on and we've barely hit our first commercial break.
Next up is 23-year-old Joe from Kentucky and, y'all, I feel a little guilty about this guy. Admittedly, I wrote him off based on his
glamour shot bio pic, but he's totally cute IRL! His gosh-darn accent is so sweet I could eat it up with a spoon.
Josh from Chicago has been looking for love in all the wrong places. And by "looking for love," I clearly mean getting it stuffed down his stripper g-string.
Nashville resident Brady has a bit of a weird affectation to his voice but, like we did with Whitney last season, we're going to let it ride and see if it grows on us. After all, the word on the street is that Britt gets the Bachelorette boot and finds love in Brady's indie music-lovin' arms.
Small-town country boy Joshua from Idaho plays with puppies, drives a sexy truck and makes welding metaphors that cause our clothes to fall off, so yep... suffice it to say, he's got our vote.
Ian, from Venice Beach, is a bit of a heartbreaker — in more ways than one. Not only is he a total fox, but he also has an insanely inspiring story. I mean, the man got hit by a car, was in a coma and had to rebuild his entire body. Uh, you done good with that, hon.
Jared, a restaurant manager from Rhode Island, calls himself "Loveman" and vows to rescue the Bachelorette. Since he is obviously adorable, we're going to ignore this blip and pretend he said something super clever instead.
There's little time to dwell on that, though, since Tony the "healer" puts my brain into some sort of tantric headlock with his bizarre intro about being highly sensitive and essentially antisocial.
Thank God for Ben, who breaks up Tony's inner reflections with some good old-fashioned machismo. Besides, this football-playing personal trainer may be a beefcake, but he also has a huge heart — he tries to live his life in a way that honors his late mother. Can we go ahead and give him a golden ticket, please?
Back at the ranch, it's time to start actually introducing these handsome fellas to the women they'll be choosing between tonight: Britt and Kaitlyn.
At first, it seems kind of brutal for Kaitlyn, who is already so nervous she's about to puke. The first limo of suitors pulls up and, one by one, Ben, Jonathan, Clint, Jared, Kupah and Brady all make beelines for Britt first.
Yeesh. At this point, my secondhand embarrassment level is high, so I can only imagine how Kaitlyn feels. Then the heavens open up and deliver Ian — the tall drink of water who was once a track star — unto Kaitlyn.
"I'm hoping it's going to be you, so I'm going to make sure it is," he leans in and whispers to her. Do the damn thing, Ian.
And thus the tides begin to turn in Kaitlyn's favor. JJ, who has played ice hockey his entire life, presents Kaitlyn with a puck, saying, "I would love to puck you." Ha! We all know Kaitlyn has never met a raunchy joke she didn't like.
Ryan, Brad and Daniel make their introductions, but law-student-turned-stripper Josh obliterates any recollection of them when he starts taking his clothes off and grinding in the direction of the ladies.
Hey, I am not above having a male revue version of The Bachelorette. Who's with me?
Southern boy Joe brings Kaitlyn a bottle of moonshine, and I think for a moment she might marry him on the spot.
Until, that is,
Ryan Gosling Calvin Harris Shawn B. shows up. Although Britt is smitten with him after their brief exchange, Shawn gives it to Kaitlyn straight — she is the reason he is here tonight.
Be still my heart!
Kaitlyn, perhaps a little flustered after Shawn B.'s hug and hoping to catch another glimpse of him, excuses herself to pop inside and flirt with the boys for a minute.
Britt finds this unfair, but I can barely hear what she's saying over the flashbacks in my head of her running off with Soules during a group date to watch a Big & Rich concert.
Corey may look like a televangelist, but he sure doesn't talk like one — he immediately propositions Kaitlyn about plowing her fields.
Tony the space cadet, er, spiritual healer dude tells Britt he can't wait to get to know her better and that he's here so the universe can send him love.
She is impressed... until he repeats that spiel verbatim to Kaitlyn.
As all the guys filter in and start to mingle, Ryan M. — the "junkyard specialist" — may have dipped into Kentucky Joe's moonshine stash. Before you know it, Drunk Ryan is born. Where's Drunk Tara when you need her?!
After telling everyone in the house he is "all horned up right now," Drunk Ryan heads outside to spy on the incoming suitors. This is unfortunate for the Canadian sex coach Shawn E., who pulls up in a hot tub on wheels.
A carpool, get it? This is golden, people. Before Shawn E. can even explain his bit, though, Drunk Ryan starts yelling slurs about how the car sucks. No, sir, you suck.
Luckily, the ladies ran him off before he could ruin Chris the dentist's arrival by giant-wheeled cupcake.
I kid you not.
Once all 25 suitors have met Britt and Kaitlyn, Harrison brings the ladies inside to get to know their potential future mates.
And you know what? The votes really do seem split.
Chris loves Kaitlyn's smartass humor. Jonathan is completely enamored with Britt. Ben H. is leaning towards Britt because they both sponsor underprivileged children. Daniel the dancing fashion designer astutely points out, "There is no wrong choice." Well played, sir. Well played.
But, wait, there are some seriously noteworthy developments in the works right now, you guys. Like, for starters, Ian, who breaks the ice to pull Kaitlyn outside for some one-on-one time.
This tall drink of water's got major potential.
Then there's Clint, who I don't really know anything about other than the fact he brought Kaitlyn a sketch he made of Chris Harrison riding a Triceratops — and, really, do I really need to know more? #winning
Also a standout is Ben H., who asked Kaitlyn about her bird tattoo. Before explaining to him that they are the only birds who know how to fly home, which speaks to her love of where she comes from, she thanks him for asking the questions Chris Soules never did. Naughty farmer!
Corey the investment banker throws up a red flag when he ponders to the other suitors whether he should choose the lady he likes the most or choose the one who likes him most. The latter, he feels, will give him a better edge in the competition.
Honorable intentions these do not sound like.
Also skeeving me out is Tony the yogi who, upon placing his rose in Britt's box, says, "I felt like the energy coming from the chest with Britt's name on it was pulsating." Horror movies start like this. They end with police finding a human heart in said box. Guard your internal organs, Britt.
The most swoonworthy moment comes by way of Shawn B., who brings Kaitlyn a picture his nephew Luke drew for her. Then, to the camera, he admits, "I believe in love at first sight, and I actually think it might have happened tonight when I saw Kaitlyn step out of the limo."
About five seconds later, Kaitlyn tells the camera, "This is the closest I've felt to love at first sight."
Hold. The. Phone. I'm dyyyyyyying right now over these two. They're just about cuter than Taylor Swift and the real Calvin Harris cuddling at the BBMAs.
Yet, all of this pales in comparison to the shenanigans of Drunk Ryan. Before the Bachelorette is even finalized, he manages to make a homophobic slur, threaten to rape another suitor, call Britt and Kaitlyn hoes, nearly get into a fight with the Canadian sex coach and slap Kaitlyn's ass (for which several of the guys, namely Ben Z., take him to task).
But you know Chris Harrison does not stand for such nonsense, my friends. He gets a bodyguard to yank Drunk Ryan out of there and sends that liquored-up horndog home.
Finally, after much ado, Harrison comes back in and reveals, "All the votes are in." This is The Bachelorette, though, so naturally the premiere must end in a huge cliffhanger. They gotta have something to show us tomorrow, right?
On the plus side, they do leave us with a behind-the-scenes clip of Canadian sex coach
Ian Ziering Shawn E. explaining how to keep a butt plug from getting trapped in one's bowels.
I'd say this season is off to one hell of a start, wouldn't you?
Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe reveals how she really felt about the twist
The Bachelorette's Britt vs. Kaitlyn: Which lady each man will pick
The Bachelorette: 10 Things that happen behind the scenes that you'll never see
All images courtesy of ABC
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