Let the drama, er, romance begin!
Ben Flajnik told Ashley Hebert after getting rejected last season on ABC's The Bachlorette he "didn't see this one coming"—and he definitely couldn't see what was in store for his own season 16 of The Bachelor either...grandmas, bacon, horses, and all!
The Sonoma winemaker was introduced to his 25 eligible bachelorettes in true Bachelor fashion—a dramatic, unpredictable, and tear-induced cocktail party.
For a complete recap of which ladies caught Ben's eye, made a fool of themselves and got a rose, read on...
Host Chris Harrison was again along for the ride, and in case you missed the two-hour premiere, here's all you need to know:
Rachel, a 27-year-old fashion sales rep from New York City, admitted, "I'm very excited that it's you here," adding the personal touch: "My middle name is Rose."
Erika, a 23-year-old law student from Chicago, offered extra cheese with her pick-up line: "Verdict is in and you are guilty...of being sexy."
Amber B., a 23-year-old labor and delivery nurse from Canada, put it all out there when she revealed her last name and offered her hand for a lick: "My last name is Bacon...do you want a little taste?"
Elyse, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Chicago, cut straight to the chase, telling Ben: "I want to make you sweat a li'l bit." She later made him drop and give her push-ups.
Jenna, a 27-year-old blogger from New York, had—hands down—the most awkward first impression in Bachelor history when she attempted to repeat a past line of his—and screwed it up. "I shouldve just said, 'Hi.'" Jenna later proved to be this season's troublemaking tear-dropper.
Courtney, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, revealed she's ready for a "two-carat diamond ring," and immediately told Ben she's got "the biggest crush on [him]." And apparently the feeling was mutual as Ben exclaimed, "That is a pretty girl."
Emily, the 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, gave Ben hand sanitizer and breath mint spray—as well as gave him the first kiss of the evening! Ben approved exclaiming,"This is good." Emily later serenaded Ben with her attempt of a rap.
Samantha, a 26-year-old advertising account manager from Los Angeles, wore her Miss Pacific Palisades sash yet admitted she's "more than just a pageant girl."
Casey, a 26-year-old trading clerk from Kansas, didn't have much to say aside from, "I'll see you inside."
Amber T., a 29-year-old critical-care nurse from Nebraska, who at first appeared not to have much to say reappeared with a witty stunt: "Just in case you don't believe in love at first sight, here is your second chance."
Up next was Holly, a 34-year-old pharmaceutical rep from Kentucky, who rocked a big Derby-ready hat and schooled him on what her hometown is known for—"beautiful women and fast horses."
Jamie, a 25-year-old from Dryden, revealed that she had had a tough past while having to raise her siblings. She kept it simple with a classy, "So nice to meet you." She clearly caught Ben's eye, as he then remarked, "Loving the brunettes."
Shira, an actress from Los Angeles, said she knew "everything about wine" yet retracted her statement labeling it as "joking" and admitted she knew nothing about wine.
Blakely, the 34-year-old cocktail waitress from Charlotte, was surprised to find there were other Southerners in the Malibu mansion and told Ben she could be the "only Southerner."
The biggest surprise impression of the night was Sheryl, a 72-year-old from Colorado, who got out of the limo on crutches and admitted she "fell madly in love" with Ben last season.
Yet, Sheryl then revealed she wasn't in the running when she introduced her granddaughter Brittney, a 26-year-old medical sales rep from Denver. Shock aside, Ben approved adding, "That's too cute. I love grandmas."
Rounding out the last bunch were Nicki, a 26-year-old divorced dental hygienist who won Ashley Hebert's approval ironically enough as Ashley tweeted during the show: "Nicki needs to come work for me!"
Dianna, a 30-year-old non-profit director from San Gabriel, Calif. was literally speechless as she gasped: "I had something I was going to say, but I can't even talk right now…I'm so nervous."
Jennifer, the 28-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, offered Ben her number—well, kind of. Jennifer playfully admitted: "Zero is the number of times I've been arrested, 54 is the number of dresses I tried on before picking this one. One is the number of times I've been in love, and after tonight I hope to make it two."
Lyndsie, a 29-year-old from London, read Ben one of her "goofy, dorky poems" which included the line, "Won't make fun of my butt chin dimple."
Anna, the 25-year-old student from Detroit, went a different route—she said absolutely nothing and walked right by the bachelor. Ben's response? "That's a bold move. That's awesome. Gotta be some kind of first." (No, Anna did not get a rose.)
Monica, the 33-year-old dental consultant from Salt Lake City, confessed "I miss my dog more than anything." The dog lover later expressed interest in Blakely, saying, "You're beautiful. You're amazing" while snuggling up to her on the couch. Someone not so amazing to Monica? Jenna. The two spent the majority of the premiere duking it out, leaving Jenna to spend the final moments up to the rose ceremony sobbing in the bathroom.
Jacklyn, the 27-year-old advertising account manager from Massachusetts, told Ben he looked "very dapper."
Shawn, a 28-year-old financial analyst from Phoenix, has another man in her life aside from Ben—a son named Gavin. Shawn gave Ben a good old "I'll see you inside" with a nice slug on the arm.
Kacie, a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Tennessee, was straight with Ben saying: "I won't sugarcoat anything if you don't."
As Ben put it, the best was saved for last as Lindzi, a 26-year-old from Seattle made a Bachelor history entrance as she rode in on a horse, complete with a black riding helmet and a gown. Lindzi won the first impression rose due to their "conversations." Lindzi, of course, accepted the rose, and also went in for a kiss which makes us think she'll be around for awhile!
As for the other lucky ladies who received roses? Ben also granted a chance at love to Jamie, Rachel, Blakely, Emily, Kacie B., Casey S., Brittney, Erika, Shawn, Nicki, Jennifer, Elyse, Samantha, Courtney, Jacklyn, Monica...and of course, great for us viewers' entertainment, the sob-master Jenna.
We can hardly wait for next Monday...and that's saying something!