Arie Luyendyk Races to Find Love in Bachelor Premiere

Apologies for this very long post and also for the delay in posting it. There’s a lot to discuss. Also a quick reminder that this is a NO SPOILERS BLOG – so please if you’ve read a spoiler and even if you think everyone has heard it, PLEASE NO SPOILERS here.

First off, happy new year to my Bachelor Besties & Community. And thank you for everyone who contacted me to ask if I will be blogging this season of The Bachelor with Arie Luyendyk (let’s just call him Arie, ok?). It hadn’t even been 24 hours from the show when I received emails and texts and calls for concern on whether I’m blogging this season. It really warmed my heart (very hard to do in this freezing NYC weather!!) and made me happy that anyone is actually reading this thing besides my family :)  I love you all!

It also helps to know that there are still readers out there as attached and devoted to this insane show as I am. I’m happy to report that I will in fact be blogging the season – let’s be honest – what else is there to do when it feels like 5 degrees outside in January? Besides, my blog has always been a happy outlet for all stressful related happenings around me. How could I not follow the bandwagon to this season of Arie? Also, I’m more than willing to podcast with The Husband if he’s up for it. Would you guys be interested in that?

I was feeling pretty mehhh about Arie when he was announced. All I can remember from Emily Maynard’s season besides what was played as the recap from last night was the following:

  1. Arie seemed a bit effeminate to me and less warm and fuzzy. He is lacking the lovable, guy next door vibe like my favorite, Ben Higgins or even the controversial, yet chatty and talkative Nick Viall. While the show is selling us on his big blue eyes (and in one case, the chance to have babies with blue eyes – was that Bibiana?), those baby blues always seemed vacant to me. But I will withhold judgment. For now.
  2. Arie’s mother. I remember his blonde, Dutch mom as being semi terrifying from Emily’s season. I can’t exactly remember why – perhaps it was a certain sharpness or coldness that I’m recalling, but my aversion to her sticks in my memory. We’ll have to see if my memory serves me well.
  3. Why on earth Emily chose Jef with one “f” who seemed like a free spirited hippy kid from Utah with a strange haircut, over the racecar family lifestyle that she was familiar with, I have no idea. But the Jef thing didn’t work out and now Emily has not one, not two but THREE additional sons with her husband in addition to her daughter Ricki. She’s happy, so I’m happy and who knows (or cares, franly) if Jef is happy, but I wish them all well.

And with that…first, let me wish you all a very happy new year and Bachelor 2018 season.

Before we dive into what promises to be a far more compelling and dramatic season than Nick Viall’s Bach season, let’s catch up a bit. Not on Bachelor land – but in the main competing crazy things going on in my life at the moment. And please, if any of you can relate to any of this or have any advice, I’m all ears:

  1. Potty Pooper. I’m living with a 3.5 year old girl who is terrified of pooping in the potty. I hate the words “pooping” and “potty” with a passion and hate even more that it is taking up space in my brain and on this blog. I’ve spent way too much time coaching, convincing and even cheer-leading this miniature force of nature into placing her little tush into that little space with very little success. We’ve tried sticker charts, potty songs, rewards, punishment, ear plugs, candy, threats, eliminating pull-ups, hand holding, nakedness, ignoring, waiting several months, peer pressure at school. Nothing works. For peeing in the potty it took FOREVER. We tried and failed the 3 day method THREE separate times with several months in between each attempt. Then when we stopped pushing her, she agreed to do it within seconds in exchange for getting an H&M hair accessory blonde braid like Frozen’s Elsa. But poop is a whole other sh-tshow, pardon the pun. She will hold it forever if given the chance. She is fully capable of going if you just hand her a pull up. She’s even done the deed before in the actual toilet. You’d think we could declare victory and all the articles and experts say – once they do it, they’ll realize it’s not scary and life is PERFECT. Bullsh-t to that. Somewhere along the line she’s gotten scared and there doesn’t seem to be thing in the world that can change the course. So we’ve pulled out the big guns and bought her a Kid Kraft Frozen dollhouse, waved it in front of her face and demanded action of 5 consecutive potty poops (I hate myself for even using that phrase right now) if she ever wants to play with it.
  2. Frustration. I realize this is a phase and she will likely not go to college still demanding a pull up to go #2, but it doesn’t stop the aggravation of going anywhere and having to cut that outing short because the child is scream crying for a bathroom but won’t do her business when we bring her to a toilet. SERENITY NOW.
  3. Stress & Blogging. Since Rachel chose Bryan (why didn’t she choose Peter again? How has she dealt with Bryan’s overbearing mother?) I was confronted with a threatening letter from a law firm demanding an absurd amount of money by a photographer for a photo I used on this blog in a post from 7 years ago. I’ll share more later if/when this gets resolved – but let’s just say, the stress and aggravation of having to defend myself from someone who threatens photo copyright infringement claims is definitely not what I had in mind when I started this blog critiquing and commenting on my favorite show.
  4. I am taking a leap of faith in switching jobs over the next month. This has been another major decision requiring a bunch of soul searching, worrying and “what if” complaining to The Husband and “pro / con” lists, but in the end, I’ve decided to take a full time position where I can work remotely 100% of the time. This enables me to have more flexibility in terms of being home with Ellie, will eventually open up options. If anyone has any creative ideas for inserting work spaces into an approximate 17 x 11 bedroom space, we’re all ears! Also tips for not killing each other are appreciated when The Husband is taking his daily nap and snores while I’m taking a conference call. We need to reorganize the space. I’m Pinterest dysfunctional and have no interior decorating patience or vision. HELP. More posts on that coming up too separately if you’re interested in the progress.
  5. Mixed Feelings. As I unwind myself from my current job, I’ve got mixed feelings about leaving the comfort of the known madness. Will I go crazy working remotely? Will I find the kind of friendships / camaraderie that I’ve built up at my current job? I’m trying to take things one step at a time and see how it all unfolds. I’ll have to keep reminding myself that I needed this change and if I’m doing it for the right reasons, the rest will just have to fall in line. That’s what the Bachelor contestants say, so it has to be true, right?

So that’s enough to chew on for now. Let’s dig in where it really counts. Arie land…

Overall first impression: this is a very attractive, surprisingly intelligent mix of Laurens, social media managers and real estate industry experts. I’d say overall, there were only 3-5 duds, while the overwhelming majority of the 29 ladies had something unique in addition to being beautiful to offer Arie. The Husband was feeling lukewarm about this season but I’d say he’s more interested in the season now after meeting the Ladies.

A few points worth noting at the top:

  1. Were these women picked for Peter or for Arie. As soon as I saw that there was a 23 year old photographer (the platinum blonde Barbie blue eyed (“exotic” as The Husband called her) looking girl named Maquel, I just rolled my eyes. She’s going to end up with a 36 year old slightly grayed Arie? He does like blondes, but my guess is Maquel is looking for an career promoting things on Instagram, not a love story. Arie himself says that the decision to choose him as Bachelor over Peter came so late in the game that he didn’t even have time to “prepare” (meaning, get a personal trainer, diet and jog on the beach half naked for promotional shots). So it’s safe to say that most of these women thought they’d be getting Peter, but ended up with Arie. They actually should be happy as it sounds like Arie is worth a lot of $$$ and his father is worth even more $$$$.  As for the handsome Peter Kraus who was the favorite to be the next Bachelor after he wouldn’t propose to Rachel – there has been much speculation for why he wasn’t chosen. Ultimately they claim he wasn’t in the right “head space” to become Bachelor. I’d think the producers were concerned we’d sit through a whole season and Peter would once again not want to propose. He is way too rationale for this show.
  2. Blondes and Boobs seem to play a larger than life theme this season. We know Arie likes blondes because 1) his mother and 2) Emily Maynard. But as many of these women were showcased, I noticed a disproportionate amount of top heavy ladies with inexplicable tiny waists. The Husband did not agree that these were all boob jobs. I’m not so sure. There’s going to be a lot of busty hot tub scenes if the editors / producers plan this season right. At least they’ll know how to draw in the male viewers this season. I was more focused on how these women could defy gravity so well and walk without toppling over.
  3. Arie has a lot more of a compelling story / set up to be a successful Bachelor. He’s 36. The show worked for him the first time around – he did fall in love Emily Maynard and was ready to propose. He claims this affected him so much that he hasn’t been in love since. He’s more “settled down now” with a side career in real estate. The Twitter universe revealed that he does have some beef with Jef with one f, but Emily Maynard and Sean Lowe support Arie, so Arie’s reputation is saved for now. I wonder what other dirt will be uncovered before this season is done.

As for the girls…general observations in no particular order:

  • As soon as Tia (Weiner, Arkansas) was shown, I said, “I bet Raven recommended her.” Two seconds later, there was Raven and Tia together in Raven’s store, getting free publicity. Tia seems completely cool and down to earth. I liked her instantly, even despite her awkward “little weiner” joke.
  • Kendall may be this season’s Ashley Salter (from Chris Soules’ season). Ashley was the spacey blonde, known for blurting out random phrases like “Mesa Verde” and taking paintball to another level. Kendall’s taxidermist enthusiasm and her ability to blurt out songs about anything may make her the most brilliant creative genius of all time or a complete lunatic. TBD.
  • Krystal, the online fitness and nutritionist guru, seemed very sweet and smiley. I was super impressed that she managed to keep that smile plastered to her face even when Arie got stolen from right under nose while blurting out her astronomical sign. She may be too far out there for Arie, but maybe that’s what he needs.
  • The rock climbing nanny Bekah (not to be confused with brunette, intelligent, girl next door Becca K) doesn’t reveal her age at this point. Hopefully she’s over 18 but even so, she’s definitely intense and competitive. I felt bad for the little girl she ditched to come on the show. She kind of looks like an elf but Arie thinks she’s cute.
  • I liked Annaliese better with her mask on. She was way more mysterious and it enabled us to focus on her perfect teeth which is a big seller in my book. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them. Also, what is Arie supposed to say when she takes off her mask other than “Wow, you’re beautiful?”
  • Chelsea is gonna “vill” this season. She snagged the first impression rose by stealing Arie twice and you know that puts the target on her back. She doesn’t care. She’s a mom. Her time is more precious than anyone else’s time and you know we’re gonna get a “I’m not here to make friends” pitch in the next episode or two.
  • Brunette wavy haired Jacqueline is entering the Friends Zone early according to The Husband.
  • Wild, jittery Jenna is terrifying. Arie couldn’t figure her out. I think she forgot her anxiety meds. Once Arie realizes this, she’ll be gone.
  • All the other blondes blend together at this point. Major hotness points go to Lauren B, Lauren S and Maquel.
  • Valerie, with dyed red hair, was looking like a hot mess by the end of the night (or early morning rose ceremony?). Her formal photos are much better than the video. She’s a 25 year old server (read: aspiring country singer) from Nashville. Bets are on that she’s written Arie a song within the next week or two.
  • I loved Jenny the blonde’s drawing of Arie. She’s cute and talented.

In case you’re counting, I’ve got some stats on the ladies:

  • 13 out of the 29 ladies are blonde, or 45% and 9 of them stuck around after the first rose ceremony which keeps Arie at a 45% blonde level.
  • Ages range from Nanny (21?) to Annaliese (32); it was Lauren J at age 33 but she’s been eliminated.
  • We’ve got some great diversity this season – no longer just 1 or 2 African American women.  I’d say the ones to keep an eye on are Marikh who co-owns an Indian restaurant with her mom and kind of looks like a Kardashian; Lauren G, an attractive 26 year old Executive Recruiter and Seinne – the alluring Commercial Real Estate Manager. Honorable mention to Brittany T who stole the first kiss and was super proud of herself for confirming that Arie’s kissing bandit rep is deserved. No Asian women, transgender or bisexual women that we know of at this point.
  • There are 4 Laurens, one mom that we know of (Chelsea) and one Libra (why does anyone start a conversation announcing their astrological sign?)
  • 4 Real Estate people:
    • Ashley – Real Estate Agent from West Palm Beach, Florida
    • Caroline – Realtor from Holliston, MA
    • Chelsea – Real Estate Exec Assistant from South Portland, ME
    • Seinne – Commercial Real Estate Manager from Long Beach, CA
  • 6 Californians

Overall, I think this season has potential – both on the Arie side and from the Ladies. We’ve got some true Alpha type women here who will not be wallflowers and will refuse to sit by and watch others walk over them. There is built in drama. Chelsea is already stirring the pot. My guess is the Nanny is going to piss off people too. Kendall and Jenna will be off the wall nuts but entertaining. Tia will narrate this season like Raven did hers.

What did you think? Any early favorites?



  1. Love your blog and glad you are recapping this season. Even though I read the spoilers, I appreciate reading your reviews from the unspoiled perspective! As a mommy of two boys who recently made it through the trenches I can appreciate your potty stories. One day she’ll flip a switch and it will all be over!

    As for a podcast, I would love to hear your (and the husband’s) thoughts. I already listen to several Bachelor related podcasts (great for killing the daily commute) including Ben and Ashley I’s Almost Famous, Off the Vine with Kaitlyn B., and Mouthing Off with Olivia C. Would love to hear from a bachelor “outsider” too.

    Good luck with the job change and the potty!

    • Cindy B – your wish is our command. Just posted our podcast. I also listen to Ben and Ashley during the Bachelor in Paradise season. Every time I hear Ben Higgins speak, I’m reminded about how awesome of a Bachelor he was and how all the ones that have come since don’t come close :( But maybe this season will be at least entertaining given the ladies.

  2. I am so happy you are still doing this blog. I rushed to look last night after the show and was worried when I didn’t see you were still doing it. You are always the first thing I read after I watch the show. Keep up the amazing work. 😉

    • Janelle – the fact that anyone is rushing to see if I’ve posted makes my heart do flip flops. I love that and you for being such a devoted reader of this blog. Thank you!! It’s people like you that motivate me to keep doing this.

  3. Let me join the others to say how worried I was when I didn’t see your posting after the show….on PST! Glad you are back and as sassy as ever. I was a big Arie fan five years ago so was very interested to see how this season would go. He seems very sincere about his life and feelings in that time and as he appears to be a catch they may be true. What bothered me last night was how stiff he seemed. Almost storkish. And sometimes he looked so geeky, which I don’t recall at all from the past. The interesting part to me was in the video he did with Sean Lowe there was no sign of it. So maybe it was nerves or if he was really into this role so quickly maybe he just didn’t have time to rehearse. But it did seem strange to me. Well he has an interesting group of women who should challenge him so it may be a good season.

    • PLynn – I’m sorry that I worried you! But I’m glad you care! :)

      I agree that Arie was a bit stiff. Agree that he needs to loosen up. They were way more focused on the ladies than on him. Hoping it’s just nerves too.

      Anyhow, thanks for continuing to be such faithful reader and poster / commenter on this blog!

  4. Oh thank God you’re back. I panic’d Tuesday morning when there wasn’t an update. I appreciate you sticking with it for all of us fans. Fans of The B and fans of yours! I agree with PLynn above, Arie seems very nervous (as he kept saying he was) and his toasts & speeches seemed very rehearsed and not natural. I do think it’s nerves. Hopefully as the season progresses and he gets more comfortable with the process and with the girls, he’ll be more himself. Glad to have you back Stacey.

    • Lisa – no need to panic and I’m sorry that I made you worry. I’m here! Happy to be here and alive and that it’s Bach season. Agree with all you’ve said and that Arie unfolds himself like a beautiful blue eyes flower before us in the coming weeks :)

  5. Anonymous 4 says:

    Stacey !
    Of course we’re reading you…it’s all part of the Bachelor experience 😉

    Wrote a long comment but lost it somehow, so will just say :
    – Chelsea is acting desperate & calculating
    – Arie’s mom is very Dutch which gives an external appearance of coldness
    – There are so many beautiful, interesting & sincere women—lots of hearts to be broken.
    Hopeful for a good season. I like Arie and he seems more settled now.

    Have you been using a children’s potty where her feet can stay firmly on the ground ? (Ikea sells several models). Give her prunes or prune juice to avoid hard (hurtful) mov’ts. Remember carrots, apples & rice constipate (I think apple juice doesn’t cause constipation). She’s probably afraid of it being painful.

    Got to think about that office space question…but it’s a good move for you to be present at home & take the pressure of commuting out of the picture.

    Happy New Year to you, the Husband & the whole family.


    • Welcome back, Anon 4 and happy new year to you too. Agree w/ all your Bach commentary. Should be an interesting season. I’m honored you consider this blog part of the overall experience. Writing it is definitely part of my experience that I love.

      We probably have 5 different types of potties. She only wants to go at the one at home or at her school. She has regular, beautiful poops so she’s not constipated unless I drive her crazy to use the toilet, in which case she’ll hold it in until I break down and hand her a pull up. During that time she’s the crankiest crankster of all time and refuses to eat. That’s fun. I’ve resigned that she will go to college in a pull up. Maybe they’ll be fashionable by them. I’ve heard people in Times Square for New Year’s Eve wore diapers because of how cold and crowded it is and how there are no bathrooms around. Maybe that’s the new thing these days. :)

  6. Did anyone feel like Krystal (the wellness coach who smiles all the time, and has that soothing, breathy voice) reminds them of Britt from Farmer Chris’ season?

    • Ahh, mcmomof5 – yeah – that over the top smile definitely could give a Brit vibe. Good call. She wasn’t exotic like Britt though she seemed very sweet.

  7. Susan Curry says:

    So my first child has asperger’s and he finished potty training at 5 1/2. I feared he would go to college in pull-ups but eventually it worked out. My second child (not on the autism spectrum) was also very reluctant…not as much as the first, but I wondered if she heard some of his anxiety over potty training and filed it away. Anyway, here is what worked for her:

    We let her keep the pull-up but cut a small hole in the pull-up. So she felt like she was still wearing the pull-up but she actually sat on the potty wearing it. Over time, say every few days, you cut the hole in the pull-up a little larger and a little larger until there is barely anything left of the pull-up and then they are ready to try without it. It did work for us, with patience.

    And by the way, they are all fake boobs…women in the real world with very big boobs are overweight, not fit or tiny. So, yeah.

    • Thank you, Susan. Getting Ellie to physically stay in the bathroom while she’s pooping in her pull up may be a challenge. She is prone to want to be reading her books in her room. That said, maybe I will suggest this method this week. I’m willing to try anything.

      Thank you also for validating my fake boob suspicions. They just didn’t even look like real humans with those proportions.

  8. SusieQfromPhilly says:

    I love this blog! And also felt the anxiety when Stacey’s writing didn’t appear on Tuesday a.m. (no pressure, though – we’ll take it whenever you have time to write)…

    My friend actually writes down all the names and then makes notes so she can remember who is who. I thought about doing that about 50 minutes too late into the show. I am impressed whenever anyone mentions someone from another season. I am so unable to do that.

    I do like Ari. I am looking forward to this season as a nice, mindless way to begin my week…and Stacey’s recaps and the comments continue the joy into the week. So a BIG thank you to all who participate.

    I do forward this blog to several friends who prefer to not admit that they watch the show. HA!

    As for the toilet training…by my 3rd, I just did what the child asked for but told her to let me know when she was ready to use the toilet. It worked quickly. My child who was the longest hold-out was almost 4 when he caved!

    And, about the home office, I do professional organizing and also am friends and consult with a Feng Shui consultant. We would both tell you to somehow be able to “close or close off” the office area for when you are sleeping, maybe with a desk that closes or a shoshi screen.

    So, again, a BIG thank you for all your time!

    • Hi Susie Q! Glad to have you back for this season and I’m so appreciative of your faithfulness to this blog! Thank you for forwarding it to your friends too. I’ll see how long Ellie’s willpower holds up. I know with 100% certainty that if I drive her crazy and keep making it a “thing” – she will fight me to the death. So we’ll just have to see how she does on her own.

      Interesting about the home office tip and closing off the office area. May be hard to do with a small bedroom, but will try to think of some ideas. Thank you!

  9. Hi Stacey!
    So glad you are continuing your blog! Since I met you (I’m friends with Lissa, Neha and Lauren), I’ve loved your blog. :) You are always spot on.
    Hard to tell so early, but here are some thoughts —
    1) Yes — Chelsea is the villain and she won’t make it too, too far b/c all the women will hate her!
    2) Krystal seems too good to be true and it looked from the previews that she is. She was just overly sweet; something didn’t seem natural.
    3) Love the diversity this year as well and I agree that Marikh looks like a Kardashian. She also made a comment at the beginning that she is used to being pursued, so I’m not sure she’s going to be able to handle all of this. But Arie seems to love the confident women.
    4) The potty thing— I had a similar thing with my second daughter. My oldest didn’t poop in the potty until 3.5 and my middle daughter waited until a week before she was 4. For us, it ended up being a control thing. About a month before her fourth birthday, I bought the pull-ups and told my daughter that it was the last box of pulls ups I was buying and after that, if she ended up pooping in her pants, that was fine with me. She ended up teasing me the countdown (only 10 left, mom…), and when we were finished with the pull ups, she went right to the potty. I couldn’t believe it. (And we had tried all the bribes in the world.) Good luck!!

    • Hi Katy!! Great to hear from you and hope you and your family are doing great. Happy new year! First impression rose receiver never makes it to the end (except Roberto Martinez on Ali F’s season). I’m so jealous that you have children who use the potty. Potty envy? We’ve counted down the pull ups 3 separate times already and I’ve threatened that they’re going away. And then my kid just holds it and holds it and is a misery to be around. Totally a control thing. I’m hoping one day, when I stop pestering her, she’ll just come around. Like when she’s 45 or something. Xo

  10. Hey Stace! I too was worried when I didn’t see a post from you! Going to your blog is the first thing I do after the watch the previews for next week’s show. I’m feeling hopeful about this one – Arie is cuter than I remember. Maybe it’s the salt and pepper hair? My husband usually calls who is getting the first impression rose (he thought Annalise or Brittany T.) but for the first time he was wrong! Chelsea is totally going to suffer from the first impression rose curse. Her “mean girl” vibes are such a turn off.

    My little one is seven months old now. I’m tired of people asking me if she sleeps through the night – just look at the bags under my eyes for your answer!

    Great to have you back,

    • Mia,
      Sorry to make you worry! I’m here thank goodness. I agree it’s nice to have a more “mature” Bachelor as opposed to some of the young ones. It’s also compelling that he’s got a more stable career versus just traveling around race car driving.

      7 months – oy I remember those days! Just wait til they start asking you when the next one is coming. That’s fun 😉

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