‘The Bachelorette’ 2021 Premiere: Katie Gives Her First Impression Rose to Someone Unexpected (RECAP)

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The Bachelorette


Season 17 • Episode 1

It’s been a minute since we last saw Bachelor fan-favorite Katie Thurston on our television screens — and tonight, the 30-year-old Washington native is back. Only this time, she’s the one handing out the roses as the Season 17 Bachelorette lead. Let’s do this!

The June 7-airing premiere kicks off just like any other Bachelor franchise premiere. Katie is seen being totally relatable on her bike, awkwardly gazing out her window, and doing her makeup despite the fact that her makeup is already done. She gushes about how grateful she is for this opportunity and says that being The Bachelorette lead means she gets to fall in love and start a family. Oh, Katie. So naive.

We finally get a glimpse of the men and off the bat, I’m seeing a dude playing ukulele in the bathtub and another playing hockey on a tennis court. Sigh. I miss Tyler Cameron. Right as I was about to press mute on this shitshow, I see Mike the 31-year-old virgin. He should be a lovely match for the girl who brought a vibrator to The Bachelor mansion last season.

Viewers are quickly reminded that Chris Harrison has been replaced — at least temporarily — by former leads Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams. The two have an overly staged conversation about how they can’t wait to support Katie every step of the way throughout her Bachelorette journey and have tons of girl time. Because they’re girls. And Katie is a girl. So you know, girl power.


Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

So, Katie arrives at the mansion looking like a desert gem and she begins by opening up to Kaitlyn and Tayshia about her ideal man. She admits she needs a grown-ass man who is comfortable talking about sex. If he isn’t, he won’t get along well with her family apparently. I’d kind of like to hear what goes down at the dinner table at Katie’s house, but I digress.

The limo entrances

First out of the limo is hunky real estate broker Thomas who gets the lovey-dovey music in the background so you know this dude’s going far. “Do they all look like that?” Katie asks as Thomas heads into the mansion. “Cause I’m in trouble.” Cute, cute.

Thomas The Bachelorette

ABC/Craig Sjodin

After a few more men come out of the limo, I’m starting to realize that we’re going to get this forced Tayshia/Kaitlyn commentary approximately every 30 seconds and I’m not here for it. “Oooooh, she likes him, she likes him!” Yes, we know, ladies. Now run along and let us watch, K? Thanks, love you.


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Anyway, there are quite a few weird entrances, including the guy who shows up as a wrapped present. He tells Katie — while still wrapped in a box complete with a bow — that he wants to be present for their first meeting, but she has to find him inside for that to actually happen. Sounds like he has a lot to open up about. I’m just hoping there’s a hole poked in the box for this poor guy.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

But the guy wrapped as a present looks fairly normal compared to the dude who brought his very own blow-up doll. Cody, who Tayshia says is “so handsome for her” (???) tells Katie he’s been intimate with the doll, Sandy, and she’s kept him warm on cold nights. I’d like to meet the producer who convinced him to do this on national television.

Then there’s the guy who showed up wearing a cat costume, which oddly enough, is a total turn-on for Katie. Even the other men seem to be intimidated by the dude. Typically the people who show up on night one wearing a costume (dolphin, sloth, etc.) are kind of looked at as a joke, but in Katie’s world, it automatically makes you a frontrunner? I guess?


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Okay, forget everything I just said. “Cat Man” has some serious swag. So, Katie gets some alone time with the guy dressed as a cat (aka Connor B. — we should probably remember him), and they hit it off right away. It doesn’t take long for Connor to go in for the kiss and the two have a full-blown make-out session, complete with cat ears and fuzzy mittens. Why am I expecting to see Tayshia and Kaitlyn creepily appear from behind the couch?


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But despite the connection between the cat and Katie, Connor didn’t land the first impression rose. That went to somebody I didn’t see coming…

The first impression rose

Greg and Katie (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

So, Greg gets the first impression rose and I’m a little confused. Sure, he’s cute and nice and harmless… but he’s cute and nice and harmless. I would’ve expected Katie to choose a man with a little more sass. But hey, she said it herself, opposites attract. And maybe she just really liked the macaroni necklace he gave her.

Greg gladly accepts the rose and right after it’s pinned on his jacket, asks for what ends up being a pretty steamy kiss. It’s like this extra boost of confidence has turned him into a new man. Watch out, Cat Man.

The rose ceremony

Tonight, we say goodbye to Jeff, Marty, Brandon, Austin, Gabriel, Landon, and Marcus… and honestly, I don’t even remember much about any of them so I think we’re okay. Katie toasts to the remaining men, reminding them that if they received a rose, it’s because she feels a connection. But something tells me she’s not talking to the guy with the blow-up doll.

The Bachelorette, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC