‘The Bachelorette’ season 18 premiere playbook


Photo courtesy of ABC

Michelle Young (pictured here) is hoping to find love as the season 18 lead on “The Bachelorette.”

One of television’s most popular shows, “The Bachelorette,” premiered its first episode of a new season on Oct. 19. This season, the bachelorette is Michelle Young, a fan favorite on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor.”

Michelle is a fifth grade teacher from Minnesota. She loves basketball and is very close with her parents. The show is taking place in Indiana Wells, a resort that is a part of the Marriott franchise. Just like Katie Thurston’s season, this season will be hosted by two previous Bachelorette’s — Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe — with the departure of Chris Harrison from “The Bachelor” franchise. 

Thirty men are supposed to be entering the mansion. The beginning opens up with several introductions, including Clayton Echard — someone who’s been rumored to be the next bachelor for several weeks now. 

We met many men who were also athletes, as well as got to know their family lives. Before the guys get to meet Michelle, we follow Tayshia and Kaitlyn as they visit each guy and inspect their rooms. One thing that is discovered is a contestant showing up with a playbook. Literally. Someone arrived with a book containing a detailed, written out strategy for getting more screen time on the show. 

The first guy to come out of the limo was Nayte Olukoya. Usually, the first guy out of the limo ends up going far throughout the season. Another guy out of the limo is Jack Russell, like the dog. Echard — the guy rumored to be the next bachelor — brings out a yard stick for Michelle to hit him with. She instantly feels something, calling him cute. 

Then, we cut to the guys bonding and gushing over Michelle. The guys are clearly nervous by Michelle’s confident demeanor, and she is excited. 

The first of the gimmicks is Chris S., who arrives in a school bus, immediately making a D joke. Another guy shows up wearing a speedo, making everyone extremely uncomfortable. A candlelit table arrives in front of Michelle, with contestant Rick’s head underneath the plate — cue the food puns and two minutes of dad humor. Speaking of food, another is dressed up as an apple. Who could forget that Michelle’s a teacher? 

The episode comes to a head when Michelle meets a guy — but not for the first time. This contestant, named Joe, is a guy she recognized because she had direct messaged (DM’d) him several times. There’s this dramatic tension from the fact that she DM’d him, but never heard back from him. 

The topic switches to last summer and how being so close to the George Floyd situation in Minnesota affected them both in terms of anxiety and talking to each other. The conversation shifts to an uncomfortable topic for them as people of color, especially on television: therapy. Rick finally gets out of the table to enjoy a conversation with Michelle. 

We finally get to the center of the drama. Halfway through the episode, it’s revealed to Michelle by Kaitlyn and Tayshia that a guy showed up with a strategy book. Michelle confronts the guy, named Ryan, and asks to see the book herself. Her face during the ordeal says it all. After claims that the notes were written to get to know her, Michelle goes through them, and immediately kicks him out. 

The episode concludes with the typical rose ceremony. When Michelle gets to her final rose, she sets it down and excuses herself, exiting the room, but eventually comes back to give it out as the episode rounds out.