Reality Roundup: #Squadgoals of ‘The Bachelorette’

The Bachelorette is back, and so are the wacky costumes, exploding testosterone levels, and (fingers crossed) heaping piles of deli meat.  The premiere episode, featuring thirty-one men (or thirty-two, if you count the creepy doll that one contestant insisted on dragging around all night), showed incredible promise for the season ahead.  And I’m so excited for the season to come that I’ve pulled together a full Bachelorette squad.  Selected from the contestants competing for Rachel Lindsay’s heart, each of the special snowflakes below has been hand-picked based on characteristics that blend into a perfectly balanced harmony of men.  They may not all be long for the world of The Bachelorette – but as newly-appointed squad members, they’ll be preserved forever on Bachelor in Paradise in our hearts.

The One Who Might Be a Serial Killer: Jack Stone

 With a smile so blinding my eyes have not yet recovered, Jack kicked off the season like any shined-up Bachelor Nation member would. But as the episode progressed, things took a sharp turn towards the super-creepy.  Although Jack didn’t say much during his spin through the season premiere, the soulless depths of his eyes shattered each scene.

I’m not sure if it’s better or worse to assume that this is just the natural resting state of Jack’s face – but if men start going missing at Bachelor mansion, at least we know who to ask.

The Wise Old Sage: Bryan

At age 37, Bryan is – as Chris Harrison put it – “like, ancient in bachelor speak.”  But his Yoda-like status didn’t stop him from sealing the deal with Rachel.  In fact, Bryan received the first (and possibly only) kiss of the first night in the mansion. In the process, audiences across America were treated to every contour and cavity of Bryan’s impossibly loud and overly enthusiastic tongue, earning him Rachel’s first impression rose (the highest honor of the night).

But, as his (relatively) infinite years of experience have taught him, Bryan took his win in stride.  Rather than gloating, he thoughtfully acknowledged that the competition was only beginning.  And while first impression rose winners are often cut before the end of the competition (Rachel herself was the recipient on her season), Bryan’s ancient wisdom may help to guide him past the pitfalls of those before him.

The Reality Redux: Lucas and Blake

When the cameras last saw Lucas, he was on WE tv’s Ex Isle with a chyron that said ‘Brittney’s Ex’ instead of ‘Whaboom’ (his current title, a misspelling of the catchphrase he’s been trying to make happen since 2013).  Lucas made a sport of sleeping his way through the show, largely ignoring Brittney (his ex of a whopping nine months).  But then she demonstrated an ever-so-slight interest in Blake, magically causing Lucas to reconsider.  The ex-couple decided to give it another shot, prompting a dry-eyed Blake to conclude that  “other people have crazier s**t going on in their lives than me.”

Shockingly, the Brittney re-do didn’t pan out, leaving Lucas free to compete for Rachel’s heart on The Bachelorette…alongside Blake.

Neither man had a very flattering first impression on the premiere episode (Lucas was a cracked-out Sylvester the Cat in his intro package; Blake just talked about sex a lot).  But while Blake later redeemed himself by greeting Rachel at the mansion door with a full-on marching band, he was also (perhaps in part because of their shared past) quick to question Lucas’ true intentions.

And he has a point.  Even setting aside every obnoxious, self-serving moment of Lucas’ premiere appearance (of which there were many) – nobody uses ‘#celebrity’ unless they mean business.  If the lessons of Bachelor Nation history are any indication, I’m expecting Lucas will stick around for as long as The Bachelorette producers can help it – but I’m hoping that his Reality Redux partner will get swept along for the ride.

The One to Save Us All After the Zombie Apocalypse: Lee

A man who knows that he could always “learn how to make booze” is a man I want on my side when the end comes.

And Lee is just that man.

Don’t let his self-proclaimed ‘Belieber’ status fool you – he’s far more than the lyrics to his walk-and-strum introductory song to Rachel would suggest.  But even if the moonshine thing doesn’t work out, the height of his hair alone could offer a life-saving refuge in a zombie-ridden world.

The One with Layers: Kenny

 Professional wrestler Kenny was nothing short of a revelation.  Between the outlandish costumes, exaggerating posturing, and carefully choreographed brawls, the parallels between the wrestling world and Bachelor Nation have never been so obvious.  It’s a small wonder that ‘wrestler’ isn’t as ubiquitous a job title for contestants on The Bachelorette as ‘personal trainer’.

But Kenny’s resume isn’t his only qualification for this squad (and Rachel’s heart).  The Chippendale alum (like I said…layers) greeted Rachel with a small taste of his dancing skills. And he only grew sweeter from there.  If you were to know him by his demeanor during the last hour of the (two-hour) Bachelorette premiere, you’d know him as the man with the heart-meltingly goofy grin plastered on his face.  But, self-described as a man who spends his Saturday nights “either wrestling in my underwear in front of thousands of people or at home with my daughter,” Kenny’s no stranger to mixing it up.  As the layers of Kenny peel back this season, I can only guess what surprises will be store.

Other than, of course, a punch in the face.  Because the season preview suggests that poor Kenny gets punched in the face.

The Dynamic Duo: Diggy and Iggy

With a name like “Diggy,” you’d have to go through life assuming you’d never meet anyone with name quite like yours.

And you’d be wrong.

But Diggy and Iggy are more than just two names that sound like they should be Saturday morning cartoon stars.  Diggy (according to his self-narrated into package) owns 575 pairs of shoes – and Iggy didn’t wear socks on the premiere episode.   With wacky companions like these in the game, we should all expect to be kept on our toes…

The Indestructible One: Jedidiah

If there’s one thing you should know about Jedidiah, it’s that all of his prior pet dogs were over ½ wolf.  This raises so many questions (where do they sleep?  What do they eat?  How do you stop them from ripping your throat out?), and leads to only one possible conclusion – Jedidiah is indestructible.  Clearly, there’s no other explanation as to why he’s still alive.

Sadly, for all his superhuman strength, Jedidiah wasn’t able to make it out of the premiere episode with a rose (so much for using Biblical references as an introduction).  But given his powers of perseverance, I’m sure he’s going to be just fine.

The One Who’s a Dog: Copper

Of all the members of the squad, Rachel’s dog Copper (with his little doggy cast!), later caught lounging in the background of her getting-ready scenes, is by far the cutest.  Consider the gauntlet dropped!

New episodes of The Bachelorette air 9:00pm ET Monday on ABC and are available the next day on-demand.

WATCH SLING TV NOW