The Bachelor wasted no time in bringing the heat, the drama and the emotional breakdowns—including one whirlwind early exit.
The season 27 premiere episode on Jan. 23 kicked off Zach Shallcross' hopeful search for romantic bliss, but before Zach—who waltzed into Bachelor Nation on Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia's season of The Bachelorette—could get started, former Bachelor Sean Lowe arrived to give him some advice.
After a fully-clothed Sean (?) taught a half-naked Zach (??) how to wash his body in the shower (???), and imparted incredible words of wisdom like "If you're going to have a long, healthy marriage, I think you have to marry your best friend, right?," another season of The Bachelor was off and running!
Before Zach got to meet all of his potential wives, however, we took a trip to some of their hometowns to get to know them a little bit before they arrived at the mansion—including Christina from Nashville, whose mom was in the legendary country music group The Mandrell Sisters, and Greer from Houston, who had never opened a bottle of champagne before and proceeded to spill it all over herself.
Once Zach finally arrived at the mansion, host Jesse Palmer checked Zach's breath (what a friend!) and it was time for the most chaotic part of any Bachelor season: the limo entrances!
Zach was introduced to Gabi from Vermont, who made him drink maple syrup; Katherine from Tampa, who made Zach spray her with sunscreen despite it being pitch black outside; Mercedes from Iowa, who arrived with a pig named Henry; and Lekha from Miami, who made Zach bend down so she could stick her tongue in his ear, telling him, "I licked it, so now it's mine."
First impressions are fun!
Once inside, Zach raised a toast to his group of assembled suitors, telling them, "I'm just a dude who loves family, football and frozen pizzas." Somebody embroider it on a pillow!
Zach began to pair off with the women, including Kaity from Austin, who praised Zach's "very soft lips" and remarked how she could already tell he'd make a great father someday. Elsewhere, Zach and Cat, a dancer from New York, had a contest to see who could fit the most meatballs in their mouths. Everybody was having a blast!
However, the fun and games ended when Madison from Fargo, N.D., interrupted Zach's time with Olivia, a stylist from Cincinnati, in the hopes of securing a kiss.
The good news? She got her kiss! The bad news? It wasn't good!
"I wish it was more," Madison said in confessional. "The kiss was subpar. It was literally a peck."
Zach, unfortunately, shared a similar sentiment.
"Madison, I think she's very sweet," he said. "But I don't know if I was feeling that kiss. It didn't feel right. The kiss sat wrong with me."
It didn't take long for Madison to start to spiral, saying through tears, "I want to be wanted. It's so embarrassing. It's so f--king embarrassing."
After Zach gave his first impression rose to Greer, a medical sales rep from Houston, Jesse started to brief Zach prior to his first rose ceremony—but Madison came storming back!
"I don't want to force things," Madison said to Zach after interrupting his conversation with Jesse. "I want things to come natural. Whatever this might become or could have been, I just want to make sure that you want me on this journey."
You can probably already guess how this ends.
"Madison, I appreciate you coming to me right now and talking to me about this," Zach told her. "I really do thank you for being here. I really appreciated getting to know you, but as I said, I never want to lie. I always want to be open and truthful. My heart wasn't feeling it."
Zach referred back to being dumped by Rachel during his season of The Bachelorette as he sent Madison packing, saying, "I know what it feels like to be led on, and I don't want that for you. I'm sorry, I don't see a future with us."
And with that, Madison was left to wander off the mansion grounds alone.
"I cannot believe that I gave up my life for him," Madison said, crying. "I know what I deserve and it's not that. I know for a fact that he does not know what he's missing out on."
After announcing to the group that Madison had left, Zach fronted his first rose ceremony of the season. With 20 roses to hand out to the 29 remaining women, Zach had his work cut out for him.
Luckily, his final rose went to Cat, who just moments before the ceremony said, "If I don't get a rose, I'm burning this house down."
The fire department is on hold...for now.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.