Elyse Watches The Bachelor–S25 E1: MJ the Vibrator

Elyse Watches The Bachelor with Kraken Rum and CokeWith barely a moment to breathe between them, ABC has ended the fuckery that is The Bachelorette and begun the fuckery that is The Bachelor.

After 24 seasons, ABC finally brought us a man of color for the Bachelor. Matt James, our intrepid hero, is biracial. They also moved filming from the McMansion (which is now an Air BnB rental, for real) to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania,  presumably for COVID related reasons.

We get a cold open where a woman named Katie gets out of a limo. She tells Matt social distancing has been hard for her and she wants to “pass the torch” to him, and holds up a vibrator.

Jesus Christ. We aren’t even five minutes in. We aren’t even three minutes in.

Katie and Matt laugh while she holds a vibrator

Matt still has 31 women to meet.

So we go back in time before the first limo arrives. Matt asks Chris Harrison if they can chat. The last time this happened Colton asked if he had to have sex on the Fantasy Suite date and admitted he was a virgin. You can see the haunting memory of this flash across Chris Harrison’s face.

Matt tells Chris he worries that as the first Black Bachelor, people have expectations of the race of the woman he should wind up with. He also admits he’s never been in love.

Well, good thing you went on reality TV to figure it out then…

Chris tells him to “trust the process” so take a shot.

Click for shots

shot glasses clink together

Then we get back to the parade of limos.

Magi is from Ethiopia. Alicia is a professional ballerina. Khaylah rolls up in an old pickup truck. Anna and Alanna are wearing the same gown. GASP.

Khaylah and Matt hang out in her truck

Then Kaili shows up in her underwear, high heels and a robe, pulling a clothes rack behind her. She asks Matt to pick out the dress she should wear.

Kaili shows Matt her dress choices

Abigail arrives and tells Matt she’s deaf and cannot hear without her cochlear implant.  She also tells him he has really beautiful lips to read.

MJ, a hairstylist, shows up in a pizza delivery car, but then accidentally locks the pizza in the car.

Mmm. Pizza.

Then we get to relive the vibrator moment from earlier.

On the drinking couch the ladies decide to name the vibrator MJ for Matt James and it gets a place of honor on the coffee table next to the floral arrangement. If MJ the Vibrator doesn’t show up on every date from now on, I’m going to be pissed.

Victoria wears a tiara and is carried in on a sedan chair. She refers to herself as Queen Victoria, and then immediately falls down a flight of stairs.

Queen Victoria and Matt

Katie uses MJ the Vibrator to clink her glass and makes a toast to the season.

I’m calling it now. MJ the Vibrator gets into the final three.

So then Matt joins the cocktail party and says a prayer for the season. Look, I am not a religious woman, but it feels kinda weird and gross to pray for a successful season of a reality TV dating show during a worldwide pandemic and period of civil unrest.

Then Matt makes eye contact with MJ the Vibrator and loses his train of thought. I’ve changed my mind. She makes the top two.

Then I get up to go to the bathroom and get a glass of water and don’t pause the show. “Did I miss anything?” I ask my husband.

“Oh, God, no,” he replies.

Mari tries to talk to Matt about her family in Puerto Rico, but Katie and MJ the Vibrator interrupt her. Then Other MJ interrupts them.

Mari complains that she got tapped on the shoulder by a dildo. It’s not a dildo Mari, it’s a vibrator. There’s some nuance there. Also she has a name, and it’s MJ, and she’s amazing.

A-MA-ZING

George Segal says amazing

So then Kit is talking to Matt and Queen Victoria shows up and says, “Excuse me, princess, the queen is here.”

Kit is annoyed.

Matt makes a comment to Queen Victoria that he feels like he’s drinking through a fire hose and she says she’s never heard the expression before. “Is that Southern?” she asks. Then she adds, “I make the best fire hose so I’ll make the best drink for you.”

WTF

a woman in a black and white film looks confused

Things Queen Victoria can’t navigate: stairs and idioms.

Then Queen Victoria interrupts Matt with someone else to give Matt a bracelet she apparently made in sleep away camp.

Matt gives the First Impression Rose to Abigail after they make out for awhile.

Only about half the women had the chance to talk to Matt one-on-one, but there’s a fully stocked bar in the background so there’s that.

Then it’s time for The Dreaded Rose Ceremony.  Emani, Alicia, Saneh, Amber, Corrinne, Carolyn, Cassandra, and Kimberly go home.

And that’s it for an uneventful first episode. Are you watching?

Add Your Comment →

  1. 1
    a traveller says:
    +23

    I have never watched an episode of anything from the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, but read your recaps faithfully because they’re so fun. And this season I have somehow signed up for a Bachelor draft with my coworkers, so at least I’ll know whether I’m still in the running through your recaps.

  2. 2
    Rachel says:
    +5

    For the first time, I am watching. I always love your recaps and, in a fit of madness, decided I’d like to watch too. We’ll see how that goes…

  3. 3
    Joy says:
    +31

    NO,NO,NO…Do NOT watch this awful stuff. We have our designated watcher Elyse who has bravely volunteered to watch this brain-rotting horror on our behalf and mock it mercilessly. If you give them another viewer you are just enabling them to keep putting this stuff on the air.

    What is next…THE PROM DATE?

  4. 4
    The Other Kate says:
    +11

    Is “make a fire hose” a euphemism? I am following with great interest!

  5. 5
    Kelly says:
    +7

    I’m not watching, but I’ve been refreshing the website a good 24hrs waiting for your recap!

  6. 6
    Ellie says:
    +22

    The closer together these seasons get, the more worried I am for Elyse’s liver.

  7. 7
    Rhodered says:
    +23

    I think the political elephant in the room has to be mentioned. He voted Republican until the instant he began this show, at which point his affiliation changed to ‘unaffiliated’, probably for PR purposes.

    He represents a lot as the first black batchelor. Only 20% of black male voters are Republicans. To be represented at long last, and then have it be someone who, given the candidates where he lived, has probably voted for white supremacy, that’s got to be painful.

    The producers chose this knowingly. Do they think Democrats will be so happy to see diversity at last that they ignore the Republican inside the pretty packaging? Or, do they think the only way the Republican watchers can swallow blackness is if it’s comfortingly value sharing with them?

    The show used to be gross but fun. Now I’m sad.

  8. 8
    Cait says:
    +6

    Nemacolin, really? The last notable romance that came out of Nemacolin was when the then 84-year old owner married a 22-year old who worked at the salon at the resort. Spoilers, it didn’t last.

  9. 9
    chacha1 says:
    +4

    8 out of 31 go home immediately. And the idiot who showed up in her underwear and those awful shoes wasn’t one of them? Guess we know what this bachelor’s priorities really are.

    Also: it seems as though the Center Stage Vibrator really improves the show. Obviously every season should have one (I mean one out in public, that people can see).

  10. 10
    Gail says:
    +6

    I think MJ the vibrator should win the first rose. I also nominate her for next season’s bachelorette.

  11. 11
    Miss Louisa says:
    +3

    Entertainment Weekly had an article with a picture of the new Chris Harrison bobble head. The thing is holding a rose in one hand while the other hand is playing pocket pool. Maybe if you can stick pins in it, Elyse could use it to ease her frustrations while watching.

  12. 12
    Trix says:
    +2

    Am I the only one completely squicked by the ladies naming the vibrator MJ? I never believed in naming sex toys after real people anyway (I guess it’s okay if it’s molded after the namesake performer or something, but only if they get royalties, but still), but given that the honoree is ON THE PREMISES, it just adds a layer of icky nonconsensuality that’s just…perfectly on brand for the show, come to think of it.

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