The Bachelor: Episodes 1 and 2 Recap

Mallory Pace, Reporter

ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ approaches its 26th season, and as they always say, “the most dramatic season yet.” For those who think that sentence doesn’t make sense, ‘The Bachelor’ is a reality TV show where one guy must narrow down 31 women to just the perfect one in a series of dates, intimate moments, and most off all — drama. 

The Bachelor, Clayton Echard, is a 28-year-old football player from St. Louis who played for the Seattle Seahawks. He was previously on Michelle Young’s season but was sadly sent home. Fans and producers alike felt Clayton would be a good fit because of his genuineness and underdog character. Clayton is confident in his ability to find the perfect woman to propose to at the end of the show. 


 Clayton Echard, the Bachelor, Courtesy of ABC

Episode 1

In the first episode, drama arose before the women got a chance to step out of the limo. 26-year-old Salley Carson revealed she was struggling mentally with being on the show because she was previously engaged. Her wedding was planned to be the day of the girls’ arrival. She talked with Clayton to express her concerns, and Clayton surprisingly offered her the very first rose. In the end, Salley unfortunately decided her heart wasn’t in the right place at the time and respectfully left the show. Although her time was short, she definitely set the tone for how this season would turn out… dramatic.

The cocktail party continued as many of the girls tried to steal Clayton away for even a minute to try and make a good impression in hopes of getting a rose to continue their journey. As the women tried to create those special moments, one stirred the pot that would put a damper on the entire night. Claire Heilig was chatting with Clayton when Mara Agrait attempted to steal him away. Claire seemed annoyed but told them to go anyway. Claire returned to the cocktail party and started telling the other girls that Clayton just wasn’t her type. “I would eat him up and spit him out… I can’t be with America’s sweetheart,” she said. She was even shown telling the other girls she “hated him,” but when asked if she was going to tell him that, she said “no.” So instead, Serene Russell, another contestant, decided to tell Clayton about it. Clayton confronted her and, after denying that she ever said she “hated him,” Clayton walked her out and sent her home. 

Another contestant made her impression, but in a much more positive way. Teddi Wright works as a surgical nurse and caught Clayton’s eye almost immediately from when she stepped out of the limo.  After initially meeting her, Clayton said, “I don’t even have words for her. Teddi, you make me feel some type of way. Man, I’m gonna be way in over my head on this journey.” Later on, Clayton gave Teddi the first impression rose of the season.

In the end, Clayton sent home 8 girls: Daria Rose, Claire Heilig, Hailey Malles, Ivana Noble, Jane Paik, Lindsay Rae Dobbs, Samantha Jeffries, and Rianna Hockaday. For the rest, their journey continues another day. 

Episode 2

As the women settled into ‘The Bachelor’ mansion, friendships were created… and, of course, so are rivalries. The episode began with a group date card with a list of a few ladies and said, “This is what dreams are made of… Love, Clayton.” This little note hinted at the guest star Hillary Duff who guided the women on their group date: setting up a child’s birthday party. Children and family are incredibly important to Clayton, so it was definitely a vital environment for the women to thrive and feel comfortable in. Of course, it wouldn’t be ‘The Bachelor’ if it went according to plan. 

Cassidy Timbrooks made her intentions crystal clear, and throwing a child’s birthday party was not one of them. However, she did make it clear how big of a fan she is of Hillary Duff. Cassidy even confided in Duff about her relationship with Clayton saying, “I feel really good about me and Clayton’s connection.” Cassidy stole Clayton away twice during the group date. This really upset the other women by taking his time away from what could have been focused on the group date. 

The other contestants expressed their frustrations. Gabbey Windy said, “We’re on a group date, like, you’re not on a one-on-one. There’s a time and a place, and I think you have to, like, have intuition with that. So, she’s acting a fool.” 

While giving out the group date rose, Clayton explained, “Cassidy, you’ve shown that you are here for me, and also opening up tonight, that meant a whole lot to me,” and the rose was given to her. 

 Cassidy Timbrooks, Courtesy of ABC

The first one-on-one date card arrived with Susie Evans’ name on the envelope with a note saying, “Let’s take our love to new heights. Love, Clayton.” Susie and Clayton took a romantic helicopter ride and landed it on a massive yacht. Clayton expressed his feelings about Susie, “She is just bringing this energy to me that I haven’t felt in a long time.” They had a very romantic dinner and got the chance to open up to each other about what family means to them. Clayton ended the night by giving her a rose. 


 Susie Evans, Courtesy of ABC

Another group date card arrived and said, “I don’t want anything to stand in the way of our love… Love, Clayton.” Guest star and comedian, Ziwe hosted the next group date in a game of ‘Never Have I Ever.’ She asked questions like “never have I ever cheated on my boyfriend” and “never have I ever felt judged by another woman in the house,” which sparked some drama between Shanae and Elizabeth. Shanae was upset and jealous that Elizabeth was sitting next to Clayton during the game and called their flirting “forced.” 

Next up on the group date was a competition for some extra time with Clayton in a ‘Relationship Red Flag Obstacle Course.” The girls completed a series of obstacles labeled certain “red flags” like “sliding in DMs” and “thirst traps.” During which, Shanae shoved Elizabeth to the ground in order “to win.” She didn’t win the competition, but she sure did win some drama. 

During the afterparty of the group date, Shanae told Clayton there were some red flags she had seen in the house—being Elizabeth. “She’s two-faced. And I don’t know if she’s here for the right reasons,” she shared. Clayton was taken aback and confronted Elizabeth about the situation. Elizabeth gave her side of the story saying she had shown nothing but kindness to Shanae and was also confused by the accusations. Shanae and Elizabeth had a confrontation about the issues that did not seem to resolve anything. The group date rose was eventually given to Sarah as Clayton said he could feel she was there for the right reasons and really appreciated that. 

At the cocktail party, shocking accusations were revealed about Cassidy having another relationship on the side back at home. Cassidy was shown telling Sierra about their FaceTime right before the show and made plans for after it was over. So contrary to what she had been preaching, she doesn’t seem all that committed to finding a husband at the end of this. Sierra told Clayton what was said, and he was understandably very upset and shocked. 

The episode ended with Clayton asking the host and former bachelor, Jesse Palmer, one daunting question that no bachelor has asked: “Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?”

The third episode of ‘The Bachelor’ will premiere on Jan. 24.


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