Zach Shallcross captured the hearts of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” fans everywhere during his appearance on season 19 of “The Bachelorette” last year as he competed for the love of one of the bachelorettes, Rachel Recchia.
The 26-year-old tech executive made it all the way to hometowns and introduced Recchia to his family at their home in Anaheim Hills. Viewers also discovered that Shallcross is the nephew of actor Patrick Warburton, the guy who played Puddy on “Seinfeld” and numerous other characters in film and television shows. Uncle Patrick was also there to meet Recchia during the visit to the family home.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be and Recchia broke Shallcross’ heart. But during the taping of the “After The Final Rose” episode last year, Shallcross was announced as the 27th bachelor. His season began airing on ABC on Monday night, Jan. 23, and he was looking slick in his fitted blue suit, but he had a total of 30 women show up to the Agoura Hills Bachelor Mansion to try to get his final rose.
“I still feel like this is a dream,” he said during the opening moments of the show. “I’m just really a that point in my life to settle down and find my wife.”
At numerous points he delivers all the soundbites in the introduction that “Bachelor/Bachelorette” fans have come to expect including “This is working, I know my wife is here” and brought in the drama by saying “This is my worst fear …falling in love with two people … it’s terrifying.”
These are love stories filled with sweet and tender moments and some drama-filled outbursts that leave viewers wide-eyed and wondering why they keep tuning in season after season. Have we not had enough? No! We want more and this season is already delivering.
So grab a glass of champagne and let’s dive into what happened here with our hometown bachelor and break down this premiere episode into delicious little nuggets.
Awkward Equals Adorable
First of all, every single woman on this show is stunning. There will be no shaming here. They agreed to put themselves out there for whatever reason — hopefully to actually find love? — on national television. A lot of the women walked in with confidence and fierce attitudes, but there were two that were a bit awkward. Not in an annoying way, but in a cute and endearing way.
First off, there’s Jessica, 23, an e-commerce coordinator from Florida. She was the first woman out of the limo and she was visibly shaking. Shallcross, having been in that position before himself, comforted her. “That’s how I felt,” he said. “I was nervous, too.” Later, inside the mansion, she got some one-on-one time and the two seemed to compliment each other well. As the nerves melted away for the pair, they both went in for the first kiss. She got a rose.
Then there was Greer. She’s 24 and a medical sales representative from Houston, Texas. The producers gave her a fun little intro ahead of entering the mansion, but she was so awkward and kooky. She talked about herself in the third person and said “I love my life, but dating is terrible.” Agreed.
But Greer and Shallcross have something in common: He also talked about himself in third person during the episode. They’re both so adorkable together. As they had some one-on-one time in the mansion, they seemed to really connect and he went in for the kiss. It wasn’t just a kiss, they full on made out so hard the other girls’ necks snapped as they whipped around and tried to spy on the pair in passionate liplock. He gave Greer the first impression rose, which is a huge deal.
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Here for the entertainment
Cat was someone the viewers met during the “After The Final Rose” episode since five contestants were brought out to meet Shallcross that evening. Cat, a 26-year-old dancer from New York, doesn’t immediately seem like the perfect match for the bachelor, but she’s great entertainment. She’s a bizarre, wide-eyed and bubbly blonde woman who at some point during the first episode challenged Shallcross to see how many meatballs they could each fit in their mouths.
Strange? Yes. Messy? Absolutely. Memorable. Oh heck yeah. She got a little scared during the final rose ceremony and as the roses dwindled she had the ultimate soundbite: “If I don’t get a rose, I’m burning this house down.” I have no doubts about that and neither did the producers, so, she got a rose. She’ll be around for another few weeks because we need that kind of character on a show like this.
While the rest of us are glad cameras don’t follow us around on our first dates, these ladies just lay it all out there. The good, the bad, the ugly and OMG the most embarrassing!
We’ll start with Christina, 26, from Nashville, Tenn. She’s a content curator but also her mother is country singer Irlene Mandrell. She’s all in on Shallcross and was one of the women that got her own video intro early in the episode during which she said “I think Zach seems so sweet. Of course he’s good looking and his voice is sexy and he’s really tall and like he’s charming … but beyond that he is genuine. I could definitely, very much see myself falling for him.”
She was cute, but during their one-on-one, they tried to play a game during which they each shouted out things they liked at the same time and nothing matched. She chose the mountains while he chose the beach. She chose dinosaurs and he chose dragons. This game is dumb, but it was revealing. He made out with her anyway.
The next cringe moment was poor Madison, 26, a business owner from North Dakota who really, really wanted to make a connection. She tried several times and Shallcross seemed to politely oblige, but she wasn’t reading his body language. It just wasn’t there. She went in once for the kiss and got the cheek. She tried to have more one-on-one time with him, which didn’t sit well with the other women. Though he laughed and danced along with her and he gave her a peck on the lips after she basically thrust her face into his, she realized he just wasn’t that into her and she cried all over the house. She eventually saw herself out after Shallcross all but told her “It’s not you, it’s me.” To be fair, he was nice about it and that is a tough situation.
Crossing the finish line
It’s really too early to tell who will go the distance this season. Shallcross seems interested in several women. The aforementioned Jessica and Greer, plus a few others that seemed to catch his eye.
Bailey, 27, an executive recruiter from Nashville, Tenn. who now lives in Venice Beach, seems like a good contender. But so does Kaity, 27, an ER nurse from Austin, Texas. She’s already planning to take Shallcross home with her. She seems pretty sweet and he’s definitely into her. She did say in the episode “I will get jealous very quickly,” which doesn’t bode well for someone on this type of show. They also made out and she said it felt like “fireworks.”
Brianna, 24, a model and beauty company owner from New Jersey, received America’s first impression rose during the “After The Final Rose” episode which saved her from being eliminated night one. But she made the effort to pull Shallcross aside and during her walk-up intro at the mansion, she made it clear, “I’m not here from the roses, I’m here for your heart.”
He also really liked Kathrine, 26, a registered nurse from Florida. She immediately pulled him aside for a one-on-one following his toast and he said he could feel that there was something between the two of them. In all, six women didn’t get roses on night one, bringing the total to 24 women Shallcross still has to sift through during this season.
He did tell host, former NFL player, sports commentator and “The Bachelor” star Jesse Palmer after he asked if he thought he might have met his future wife, “My gut instinct is actually telling me that I might have.”