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The Bachelorette Season 18 premiere: Michelle Young saves the day


The Bachelor Franchise needs a savior, and the newest lead might be the one to do the job. Monday, Oct. 18, Season 18 of “The Bachelorette” premiered starring the fan-favorite from Matt James’ season, Michelle Young. Michelle is a beloved fifth-grade teacher from Minnesota and former Division I basketball player. Her kindness and authenticity shined among the other contestants on Matt’s season who were constantly caught up in the drama. Michelle somehow managed to rise above it all and win the hearts of Bachelor Nation in the process.  

Fans have been at the edge of their seats waiting for this season to air. Bachelor Nation believes Michelle will be the one to restore the franchise into what it used to be by creating a sense of normalcy compared to the over-produced and inconsistent mess it has been recently. If anyone can single-handedly save the show, it is the one who was shown teaching fractions to little kids and challenging men to push-up competitions in the opening scene. 

The downhill slide started with Matt’s season. Matt was the first Black bachelor in the show’s history, and his season was expected to be historical. However, the mission was derailed when the winner of the season, Rachael Kirkconnell, was accused of being racist when photos surfaced of her at an antebellum-themed college party, thus tainting the season. These photos caused an uproar on social media and when former show host Chris Harrison defended Kirkconnell, he was pushed to step down after 19 years with the franchise.  

The departure of Harrison coupled with COVID-19 restrictions made the show seem unorganized and scandal-ridden. Last season starring bachelorette Katie Thurstan, was plagued with contestants who, as every fan would know, “weren’t there for the right reasons.” Everything from the format of the dates, to Katie’s wardrobe, seemed to be done on a fifth graders allowance. 

Thankfully, hope was restored when the radiant, wholesome and relatable Michelle came across our screens Monday night shooting hoops in a ballgown. Michelle’s premiere was a breath of fresh air as it gave the audience hope they might see a long awaited love story unfold this season.

“I’m looking for my soulmate. I want somebody who’s going to be playful with me,” Michelle said. “I am looking for someone who is authentic.” 

The new co-hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristow add an entertaining dynamic to the show. As former bachelorettes, they sympathize with the lead and play an active role in determining who is there for the right reasons. They went so far as to search through the contestants’ rooms for red flags, and it didn’t take long for them to find the villain of night one. 

Tayshia and Kaitlyn discovered a creepy, comprehensive document in contestant Ryan Fox’s room outlining how to get the most airtime and which former contestants to emulate. Bachelor Nation speculated the folder was planted by the producers. Regardless, whoever compiled the document could have taken an extra second to look over their spelling. The title of the folder was misspelled as “Bachlorette.”  As expected, no-nonsense Michelle gave Ryan an F on his test and promptly sent him home.   

Typical of any season premiere, the contestants got creative with their grand entrances. Many of course making references to basketball and teaching. One contestant, Rodney, dressed for the occasion as a granny-smith apple.   

“I’m so excited to be here with you, and if you couldn’t tell by now, you’re obviously my favorite teacher. I’m just trying to be the apple of your eye,” Rodney said.  

Chris S. arrived via a school bus with a backpack and in a school uniform ready to study his way to Michelle’s heart. There was the pizza guy, who showed up with a piece of dough, who said he “changes lives one slice at a time.” Another contestant, Rick, pulled off the most creative entrance when he rolled up on a dinner cart with his head on a silver platter.  

“Now I want you to enjoy your appetizers tonight, but when you’re ready for your main course, come and find me,” Rick said.  

The premiere frontrunner was undoubtedly the 27-year-old sales executive from Texas. Nayte was the first contestant out of the limo and received both the first kiss and first impression rose. He impressed Michelle from the start with a corny pickup line and again later with his vulnerability. Bachelor Nation is ready to watch this season unfold. They have full confidence in Michelle’s ability to carry the franchise on her shoulders.

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