"I usually would be cringed out, but I was like, 'Hey, hey, hey, hey!'"
We're not sure if it's the quarantine or the need for more Bachelor in our lives, but that's how we're feeling about The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.Whether you fantasize about being privately serenaded or can't get enough secondhand embarrassment, this is the show for you.
The music-driven spinoff premiered on Monday, featuring a group of 20 singles in search of both love and a music career. While musicians haven't fared well on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (they're somehow never there for the "right reasons" -- looking at you, Jed Wyatt), on Listen to Your Heart, there's a place for those with a passion for music and desire for fame. There's no question about who might have come on the show for reasons other than finding love -- because they all have.
Monday night's premiere kicked off true to TheBachelor format. Audiences were introduced to the new crop of contestants, which included previously engaged singer Bri from Utah, hat-wearing musician Sheridan from Austin, talented cellist and soul singer Gabe from Houston and more. The key players to remember this episode were Jamie, a 21-year-old who has been cheated on in every relationship she's ever had but is still determined to find a husband; Ryan, who opened up about his childhood seizures and having brain surgery at age 6 within the first few minutes of meeting Jamie; and Trevor, who was that guy on American Idol who Katy Perry thought was "so hot."
There were no traditional limo exits like in The Bachelor or The Bachelorette -- but that doesn't mean the group didn't make memorable first impressions on their first night in the ~new~ Bachelor mansion. Contestant Michael Todd (the only one who got to keep their last name, it seems) was the first one to sing, awkwardly volunteering to show off what he's been working on to a group of people he just met. Oh, he also tried to kiss another contestant, Savannah, before the introductory cocktail party had even concluded its first hour. It was a like a car crash we couldn't look away from, and we're grateful for every second of it.
As host Chris Harrison reminded the group that they're here for love first (aka rose ceremonies) and music second (aka performances in front of celeb judges), and the ladies would be handing out the roses this week, more people started singing. Others also decided now was the time to reveal personal details about themselves -- Julia has struggled with cystic fibrosis throughout her life, but now loves helping others through music therapy. No matter what it was, we were watching through our fingers, with a combination of horror, sympathy and admiration -- all the necessary factors of a good story.
Then, the kissing started, and there was a lot of it. Our central love triangle, between Jamie, Ryan and Trevor, heated up -- while Rudi declined a kiss from Matt, but lived to regret it. (He later took another woman, Mel, on his one-on-one date, devastating Rudi, who claimed to everyone else in the house that Matt told her he was for sure asking her on the date. His fate was uncertain, but he survived the episode.)
Back to Jamie, Ryan and Trevor (we're calling this triangle JRT) -- Jamie connected with both men, but seemingly leaned more in Ryan's direction after he took her on the show's first-ever one-on-one date to Capitol Records. They sang a duet of John Mayer's "Gravity," which we were worried was not going to go well, but despite all expectations, it was a DREAM date. We finally felt a hint of what Hannah Brown must have felt while looking into Jed's eyes during all his cringeworthy serenades on The Bachelorette. We (kind of) get it now. THIS is our Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert of Listen to Your Heart! (Except it isn't... more on that below.)
As the rose ceremony drew near, Trevor knew he was in trouble, and did what he must to convince Jamie he was her true romantic and duet partner. He sang her a song (serenades are a dime a dozen on this show -- you get used to it), and she melted. She gave her rose to Trevor -- not Ryan -- at the rose ceremony, making triangle JRT line JT. "On paper, Ryan is perfect, but at the end of the day, I can't help how I feel, and I just like -- I like, love being around Trevor," Jamie said. After all, Harrison's one piece of advice to the ladies pre-rose ceremony was "Listen to your heart." (No, we're not kidding.)
Ryan was hurt after putting all his eggs in one basket, but he also ended up surviving the rose ceremony, thanks to Rudi. (Remember her? For a minute it looked like she might be into Michael Todd -- it was she who delivered this article's intro line, and found herself twerking to his cocktail party serenade -- but she and Ryan both needed to stick around.)
"I was like, 'OK, who do I see myself falling for?'" she explained of her decision, which left the cast shocked. "I can see myself falling for him for sure."
The remaining four men awkwardly followed Harrison's instructions to "take a moment and say your goodbyes," we got a fire promo for the weeks to come on Listen to Your Heart. Looks like Jamie's bubble is about to be burst as a new woman, Natascha, joins the show, and claims that Trevor is the one thing Jamie doesn't want him to be: a CHEATER!
And if you didn't get enough awkwardness in that two hour premiere, the episode's end credit scene showed Savannah and Michael Todd both recalling his attempt at a kiss. The name of the game truly is secondhand embarrassment, but we're 100 percent here for it.
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below.