Life after Ben: JoJo begins Bachelorette journey

Posted at 11:25 AM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 11:32:09-04

Bring on the men. That’s what all the commercials and social media promos of JoJo Fletcher, the new Bachelorette, so boldly requested.

JoJo had her heart broken by Ben Higgins in the most recent Bachelor season. He told her he loved her, but ultimately loved someone more, and would propose to that woman. JoJo was blindsided and crushed.

Monday’s premiere began with segments from Ben’s break up, and then we saw JoJo moving forward on her new journey to find love – and we hope, not say “I love you” to too many guys in the final weeks.

From arrival to rose ceremony, the men try to swoon her all evening.

Christian drives in on a motorcycle and offers to teach her to drive it. Luke rides in on a white “unicorn.” Both made a favorable impression.

Upon meeting her, Robby hands her a bottle to drink from (some will recall her mother drinking from a wine bottle during hometown dates with Ben!) and then he takes a sip. They have a laugh.

Saint Nick (Nick B.), dressed in red and holding a sack of presents, gets out and merrily walks over to her. She is happy to see Santa and receive a gift. Later in the show, she sits on his lap and says she really wants to find love. Santa receives a rose and doesn’t have to return to the North Pole. I hope Nick B. puts away the Santa suit for a while and we get to meet the real him.

Just as Ben had a few blonde Laurens in his dating pool, JoJo has three dark-haired James. Why can’t ABC just cast one person per name? As if dating 25 people isn’t complicated enough!

One of the James played the guitar and serenaded her. That was impressive, until Wells and members of All-4-One got out of a limo. They sang acapella. She seemed wooed. They went inside. The other men, of course, had issues with Wells’ tactic. They also had issue with Santa, Jonathan in his kilt, and former NFL quarterback Jordan.

The man claws really came out when Jordan received the first impression rose and had the first real kiss with JoJo. She had weakly kissed a dude on the lips when prompted by his folded paper game. She was not impressed, and viewers probably recalled a lackluster kiss of their own dating saga.

While JoJo was trying to have one-on-one time with each guy, the others were left to their own devices – namely alcohol. A few became belligerent drunks. It seemed like a frat party. I was expecting someone to drag out togas and start chanting.

JoJo is horrified by what she is seeing and is distracted. An almost naked guy just jumped into the pool. The other guys scorn the one in the pool and hopes he gets sent home. She wants to cry and scream in anger. She regains her composure.

Had this been my cocktail party/pursuit for love, I would have halted the party for the night. Send them all home to sleep off the booze and resume the next morning. Not exciting TV, but more opportunity for rational decisions!

Eventually, there is a rose ceremony. Oops, it gets interrupted by the arrival of Jake Pavelka, who is from previous seasons of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette.

The other guys think he might be a new competitor. JoJo is very confused when he begins talking. He is simply here to have a heart-to-heart with his friend. JoJo is noticeably relieved and states a few of her concerns.

To me, Jake’s participation would have better fit early on, when JoJo was chatting with three former Bachelorettes. Oh wait, he’s a dude and his arrival before the first rose makes for more dramatic TV. My bad.

The rose ceremony finally begins. For viewers, it lasts a few minutes. For the guys, it must have lasted hours. The looks on their faces are priceless. What? She had the audacity to call out another guy’s name before their own. Shame, shame.

Twenty stayed for week two. Six didn’t receive roses: Coley, Jake, Jonathan, Nick S., Peter, and Sal.

The season’s previews show splendid moments of falling in love – such as lots of kissing, fireworks, candle lit dinners and plane rides. That all spirals of out of control. There are rumors of one having a girlfriend, concerns that one is an alpha male with anger issues, and a fight resulting in one guy with bloody knuckles and another with a beat up face.

Will she or will she not find love? Tune in Mondays for what to do and not do when seeking a rose!

Staci Gower is a PA-based writer and Bachelor/Bachelorette fan since their inceptions. She is guest blogging while her good friend Allison Bourg, the one who usually writes this blog, is on her honeymoon. She met husband Micah at their local gym – not on reality TV!