Essentially a Brain Dump of Unfiltered Thoughts About The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart
To be frank, when the teaser for The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart dropped, my initial reaction was something along the lines of Randy Jackson's signature "Yeah, that's gonna be a no for me dog" from his American Idol heyday. It looked unbearably corny, and, following the messy conclusion of Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor, I was more than ready to claim back that two-hour time slot on Monday evenings. But alas, a global pandemic hit, thus leaving that Monday evening time slot — and every other time slot, for that matter — wide open.
The whole "Bachelor in Paradise meets A Star Is Born" concept piqued my interest just enough.
A few days after the show's premiere, I caved and reluctantly hopped on the bandwagon because, well, what the heck else did I have going on? ABC had cast a few cute-looking musicians for the series, and the whole "Bachelor in Paradise meets A Star Is Born" concept piqued my interest just enough. Although I wasn't entirely sold after the first episode, I tuned back in for the second week, and against all odds, I got hooked. I relished in judging the singing abilities and romantic connections of those complete strangers, despite the fact that I possess zero musical talents or love interests. Now, I dutifully plop on my couch right at 7:59 p.m. every Monday night, ready to soak in the drama with an imaginary "Team Bri and Chris" poster in hand.
It took me a few weeks to transform from an eye-rolling Listen to Your Heart skeptic to a highly attentive, dedicated fan. I needed time to gather my thoughts about the show's format and feel out the pool of contestants. And now that I've fully wrapped my head around what the latest Bachelor spinoff has to offer, I'm here to share my unfiltered feelings about the couples, premise, dates, and more. Grab a mug, and get all the tea ahead.
- "Hold up . . . what even is the premise? I'm confused." — a thought I had about 17 times while watching the premiere
- Allowing American Idol and The Bachelor to coexist independently just wasn't enough for ABC, apparently, so the network threw those two into a blender and the resulting concoction was essentially this show. Drink up, people!
- Damn, OK, so this is a pair-up-or-peace-out kinda situation? After being forced to couple off, they're pretty much stuck with that person as their duet partner until the end. I mean, sheesh, what a way to kick-start a brand-new relationship! "Hi, nice to meet you! Shall we team up for an intimate performance of a love song even though we've only shared six cumulative hours of conversation together?" No pressure!
- The stakes are pretty darn high: the winning couple get to go on tour together after writing and recording their own original songs. Phew! When you're a contestant who gets eliminated on The Bachelor, the most you're losing out on is more Instagram followers and #sponcon deals. I repeat: no pressure!
- There's, ahem, quite the incentive to fake a connection. As host Chris Harrison described it, "The relationships come first and the music comes second." But with a prize package that huge, some contestants are bound to act like they're really digging their partner just to make it through to the end. As they say, that's show biz, baby.
- Whew, is it refreshing to have contestants who genuinely know nothing about one another. I love Bachelor in Paradise, but no preexisting, Stagecoach-related drama? Perfect.
- Y'all, these rose ceremonies are whack, and I'm living for it. Will the men have the power? Will a random celebrity decide who goes home solely based on how convincingly a contestant rubbed their partner's arm while singing on stage? Will straws be drawn? Will the audience vote? Who knows what's next!
- Oh, sweet, innocent, naive baby Jamie. What she lacks in composure, she makes up for with really cute ruffled dresses and an impressive ability to forgive quickly.
- Does Brandon have some insane pheromones, or what's the deal?! Why were, like, seven girls pining over him in the first few episodes? I just really need someone to break it down for me. Like, sure, he's buff and generally decent looking, but so far he's been about as charming as my wobbly kitchen table from Ikea.
- Watching Michael Todd attempt to smooth talk Savannah on night one was essentially a full-body workout because every fiber of my being simultaneously cringed for the entirety of their conversation. So honestly, thank you for the exercise, Mike.
- Trevor seems like the type of guy who ghosts girls and then, upon running into them at a bar months later, pulls the "Whoa, that's so crazy. I guess my texts never went through!" card.
- Sheridan deserves better, y'all. He just needs a big, warm hug, and I would like to provide him with said big, warm hug. The poor guy is so clearly infatuated with Julia, but she's too busy butting into Brandon and Savannah's relationship to notice the long-haired stud she's got right in front of her.
- Actually, on second thought, I'm not done with Julia just yet. The fact that she spent the entire third episode bashing Savannah for being "disingenuous" before proceeding to feign attraction to Sheridan during their onstage performance is just *tsk, tsk.* Is their love triangle giving anyone else flashbacks to the Jessica, Mark, and Barnett situation on Love Is Blind?
- Rudi has some chaotic energy that I relate to on a deep, personal level. Also, the girl has serious pipes. Whew!
- Yep, I'm gonna need Bri to drop her brow tutorial ASAP.
- Mariana and Ruby, the latecomers who showed up in the second episode, never stood a chance. Don't they know connections form on these shows faster than the speed of light?
- You better believe a handful of these contestants will be walking down those steps at Playa Escondida in Mexico for the next season of Bachelor in Paradise. My money's on Julia, Rudi, Sheridan, Jamie, and, yes, Michael Todd, just for sh*ts and giggles.
- Imagine the producers' delight when they discovered Natascha, a talented singer who just so happened to be friends with another contestant's ex-girlfriend. Consider the pot well-stirred.
- I'm still upset we got no backstory on Gabe from Houston. He had the cutest lil' smile, and I wish he went further.
- Chris and Bri's relationship makes my cold, dead heart beat again. I stan them until the end of time and would like to volunteer myself to be the officiant at their wedding — because yes, they will be getting married, and I refuse to believe otherwise.
- Jamie done f*cked up when she ditched Ryan for Trevor. She should've known when she saw Trevor in that shearling-lined Jed Wyatt-esque jacket that he was bad news.
- I'm not quite sure how much longer I can stand to watch Julia toy with Sheridan's emotions and pretend to like him when she's really still obsessed with Brandon.
- Rudi and Matt are such a wild, all-over-the-place pair — exhibit A: Rudi slapping Matt and then promptly proceeding to make out with him — that I can't help but root for them. Plus, their harmonizing is *chef's kiss.*
- When Natascha kissed Ryan for the first time, she snapped into full-on Harry Potter dementor mode and looked as though she was sucking the life out of him via his mouth. Like, I was legitimately concerned for his physical well-being.
- I typically despise when any dating-show contestant jumps the gun and claims to be "falling in love" a mere 17 hours after first meeting the other person. But when Chris and Bri said so on their first date, I didn't mind one bit. In fact, a few tears may or may not have rolled down my cheeks. I told you they were bringing my dead heart back to life!
- For reasons I can't quite explain, Bekah and Danny struck me as the type of couple who would go to Disney World every weekend if they were still together.
- When Jamie and Trevor busked on that boardwalk for their first one-on-one, what on earth did they do with that money those strangers gave them? I demand to know.
- I thoroughly enjoy how everyone pretends to be so shocked when they're prompted to sing on their dates . . . as if they didn't sign up to be on a dating show that revolves around singing.
- I had completely forgotten about the Plain White T's until Mel and Matt's date. "Hey There Delilah" still slaps to this day.
- I'm honestly still shocked Jamie chose Trevor after going on that first date with Ryan and hearing him sing "Gravity" by John Mayer. That rendered me speechless from my couch, but I can't even imagine how dreamy it must've been in person.
The Celebrity Cameos
- Do you think that Jason Mraz, back in his "I'm Yours" days, ever could've predicted that one day he'd be judging the onstage chemistry of aspiring singers on an ABC dating show? And if he did predict it, would he have done anything to stop it from coming true? (I hope not. His critiques are hilariously ruthless.)
- On a related note, Jason has some serious range when it comes to facial expressions. I would pay top dollar to download Bitmoji of them.
- Of course ABC couldn't resist asking the handful of Bachelor and Bachelorette couples who are actually still together to make guest appearances. Anything to prove that "this process works."
Chris Harrison's Role
- First of all, my GOD, is it good to have Chris friggin' Harrison back in my living room on Monday nights. It's brought a sense of normalcy and routine back into my life that I was really missing before I hopped on the LTYH bandwagon.
- Chris isn't here for any of the fakers. In the third episode, when he sternly hit them with the "figure your sh*t out, couple up, or GTFO," I was literally slow-clapping for him from my couch. You tell 'em!
- Another slow-clap-for-Chris moment? When he took charge with saying who gets the roses during the third rose ceremony. Even though the decision was already made by the celebrity judges, Chris went all "I'm the captain now" and doled out those roses like the damn boss he is.
- Yep, you better believe Chris still clings to his title of Final Rose Announcer on this show, too. During every elimination ceremony, he can't resist informing the last remaining contestants that "this is the final rose tonight," despite the fact that they can clearly see the single rose (or pair of roses) sitting on that table.
- I'm really gonna need him to step in and give Brandon some man-to-man advice about how to treat ladies with respect if this whole Savannah and Julia love triangle goes on much longer. Some of my favorite Chris moments are when he steps in to share his words of wisdom with the Bachelor or Bachelorette.
- Chris, I love you, but telling the contestants they could find a relationship like that of Beyoncé and JAY-Z on this show was . . . a smidge uninformed.
- Here's a fun drinking game: take a shot every time Chris name drops the title of the show.