Free Spirits And Fake Baby Bumps: The Bachelor Contestants By The Numbers

ABC’s The Bachelor kicked off its 18th season last night with the spiciest piece of man candy yet. Juan Pablo Galavis, a former soccer player and father to adorable four-year-old daughter Camila, has an honest face, a hot body and an accent that will somehow make the devastating heartbreak he plans to inflict on 26 of the 27 women vying for his heart a little easier to bear.

That’s right, there are 27 contestants this season–two more than the typical allotment–because Señor Galavais is muy sexy. After seeing him get shot down by Desiree on The Bachelorette, an abundance of eligible women frantically started filing applications to ABC and ranting about “how much they have in common” with the single dad. The first episode of each Bachelor season allows us to judge each contestant based on the most basic of information: name, occupation, age and hometown, as well as how they choose to introduce themselves to their potential destiny and whether or not they’re aggressive when it comes to securing “one-on-one” time. So who’s full of promise and who’s just full of it? Read on for our initial take on the Season 18 contenders. We’re not here to make friends, folks, so leave your feelings at the door.

“Occupations” That Are Really Just Code Words For Being Unemployed: 3

Between Cassandra, a 21-year-old “former NBA dancer,” Kelly, a “dog lover” and a Lucy the (barefoot!) “free spirit,” Juan Pablo has at least three contestants who wouldn’t mind if he picked up the check on their first date, and… for as long as they both shall live. We have nothing against basketball, canines or flower children, but these choice IDs will inevitably lead to ridicule for the remainder of the season. We guess they can’t all be Mineral Coordinators, but did we mention Kelly brought her dog Molly (to the introduction, cocktail party AND the rose ceremony) and Lucy stuck her dirty shoeless feet on JP’s lap? Patience is obviously his virtue.

Floridians Vying For the Heart of a Sexy Miami Resident: 4

Juan Pablo was born in the States and raised in Venezuela, but now resides and works in Miami, Florida. At least four of these women will use geographic proximity to their advantage (“This is so great! I don’t have to move!” or “It’s so funny we haven’t bumped in to each other at that Starbucks before!”) while pursuing the man of their dreams. Because why move across the country for someone you met on a reality show, when you can just as easily sleep in your own bed?

Women Who List The Notebook As Their Favorite Movie: 5

We suppose Nicholas Sparks and the idea that you can find everlasting love on television go hand in hand.

Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, we shouldn’t make assumptions on these women based on their pre-show surveys on on-screen chyrons. Let’s see how they acted in front of El Bachelor, shall we?

Contestants Who Managed To Time Travel Nine Months Into the Future: 1

[Photo Credit: ABC]

In 32-year-old hairstylist Clare’s audition tape, we learn she lost her father to brain cancer. He made a DVD for her future husband that she’s refrained from watching to this day. We assumed she’d use this tidbit as an icebreaker–hoping that JP is too curious for his own good–but instead she decided to show him what life could be like should two become one. How many viewers’ stomachs dropped when a pregnant belly exited the limo first? We understand that he’s a single father, but why not make the conversation about him and his life with his daughter rather than look like an obsessive stalker who already has middle names, first birthday parties and matching gravestones picked out? Somehow, this stunt failed to faze Juan Pablo, and Clare received a coveted rose. Sigh. Until next week…

Contestants Who Expressed Their Love Through Song: 1

[Photo Credit: ABC]

Little Lauren S. somehow managed to roll that big ’ol piano up to Juan Pablo’s feet, accepting and refusing help from her potential life partner. The effort was undeniably sweet, and far less crazy by comparison. In a world where women have brought their dogs, grandmothers and fake fetuses, we appreciate a contestant who wants to show him what she’s all about right off the bat.

Contestants Who Got A Little Too Close: 1

Something felt off about Amy J. from the start. Maybe it was the way her massages verged on performance art, or the way she pretended to faint in her audition video? Like Lauren S., she wanted to show JP what she does for a living, and somehow arranged for there to be a massage table and oils just steps away from the Night One cocktail party. JP was game; what athlete doesn’t like to get rubbed down? But Amy’s unbridled enthusiasm and insisting that he on take off items of clothing inevitably led the gentlemen to describe the whole thing as “awkward.” Wait until Night Two to ease the pressure points, girl.

Number of Criers Before the First Rose Ceremony: 1

Poor Lauren H. The “Mineral Coordinator” from Oregon is freshly dumped and considerably insecure. Getting over her failed engagement (and a fiance who didn’t have the guts to break up with her to her face, but rather decided to CALL HER AT WORK) has proven difficult. Yet throwing herself into a televised circus is what she feels she needs to do to right her terribly flawed love life. She had a fine initial meeting with Juan Pablo, but couldn’t summon the courage to grab him for a few minutes of alone time. This caused more anxiety to creep up within, until she was in a tiny room with a nice and understanding stranger, crying about how she’d never meet a husband. She eventually got her one-on-one time with Juan Pablo but decided to use it to explain that she’s fragile and insecure. Maybe he didn’t want to risk inheriting all that baggage, or maybe he’s just not a big fan of minerals. If only Hank Schrader was still with us.

Number of Contestants Who Aren’t Really Feeling Juan Pablo or the Bachelor Institution: 1

Opera singer Sharleen is classy, mysterious and worldly. She proved herself captivating enough to hook Juan Pablo relatively quickly, without the use of gimmicks or depressing puns. With his background, he’s interested in her Canadian upbringing and German lifestyle, and made multiple comments about her dress and overall appearance, suggesting that extra skin and the blondest dye job aren’t necessarily the ways to his heart. She made pleasant conversation, but appeared genuinely freaked when he excitedly left to grab the First Impression Rose, thus advancing her in the competition right then and there. While all the other women insist they’re absolutely sure of their life-changing connection with a man they’re only just meeting, Sharleen sheepishly explained that she doesn’t really feel a connection yet. Maybe he likes when women play hard to get?

What are your first impressions of the Season 18 contestants? Who deserved a rose and who are the frontrunners in contention for Juan Pablo’s heart? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.