The best day of the Bachelorette cycle is not the day that any one particular episode airs—episodes have long stretches where people discuss emotions and stuff like that. Those days are great, but not as great as the day when ABC releases the biographies of its new contestants. Over two dozen fools per season are shepherded into our lives, attempting to put their best feet forward in their paths to finding true love (and fleeting social media fame).
However, there were some slight tweaks to the process this year. Instead of just releasing the bios onto the internet, Chris Harrison revealed the contestants in a live Facebook video. I recommend rewatching it, if only for the part where Harrison tries to hide his contempt for his crew as the broadcast experienced technical difficulties. “No one wants to speak when crap goes wrong,” he sneered. “At least 10 of my family members are watching.” Harrison vaguely hinted at which contestants he predicts will cause drama, and insisted that this contestant looks like 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir (extremely specific, but after Googling I see it) and that this contestant looks like Matt Damon (I really don’t see it).
More disappointingly, instead of formatting these bios as questionnaires, ABC released just a few sentences about each man. This is upsetting because those questionnaires often revealed interesting things, like how every woman on Nick’s season completely misunderstood the plot to The Little Mermaid. But, in the brief words provided, we still learned plenty about the men who will compete for Becca’s heart:
Biggest Potential for Drama: Clay and Mike
For years now, sports bloggers have alienated the people who follow us on Twitter by spending our Monday nights tweeting about The Bachelor, but on Thursday, our dedication was vindicated. One of our own, Pro Football Focus NFL analyst Mike Renner, will be on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette. Mentions of sports bloggers used to be followed with a quip about how we live in our mother’s basements, but now at least one of us is considered desirable enough to compete on a dating show. We’ll all be pulling for Mike—although considering the fact that the show started filming in mid-March and Mike was done in time to grind enough tape to analyze interior offensive line play ahead of the NFL Draft, I’m not too optimistic about his chances.
However, Mike’s job will put him into direct conflict with one of his fellow contestants—Clay Harbor, who played tight end in the NFL from 2010 to 2016. I’m hoping for an episode in which Mike reveals his frank and deeply cutting opinions about Harbor’s career. “You weren’t good enough at blocking to justify your inability to create separation!” Mike yells as his fellow contestants hold him back. “Saints tight end Michael Hoomanawanui has had a more productive career at tight end than you despite being taken seven picks after you in the 2010 draft!”
Biggest Red Flag: Ryan
Ryan was the guy from the After the Final Rose show who came out to serenade Becca with a banjo. It was cute! I’m here for anybody who can play niche instruments really well. However, in his bio, the provenance of Ryan’s banjoing is explained: He is part of a family bluegrass band.
Being in a regular bluegrass band? Cool! Quirky and fun! Being in a bluegrass band with your family? Ah, not great! If Becca comes to Ryan’s home for Thanksgiving, is she gonna be subjected to a two-and-a-half-hour pre-meal hootenanny where Ryan’s dad plays a 45-minute fiddle solo? Is she going to have to listen to his family’s bluegrass CDs in the car while he enthusiastically sings along with his sister’s vocals? Take a look at the brothers from The Band Perry. Do you wanna hang out with them?
Second-Biggest Red Flag: Nick
Nick’s bio contains the phrase “signature tracksuits.” If you’re wearing tracksuits unironically and regularly enough for it to be a signature, that can’t be good.
Worst Take: David
David is a 25-year-old venture capitalist, so you already know that dating him is probably exhausting. But worse, his bio indicates that he “loves guacamole, but hates avocado.”
First of all: Avocados are great. I’m already suspicious. Second of all: If you like guacamole, you inherently like avocados. Yes, there are spices and juices that provide the additional flavor for guacamole, but the predominant taste and texture of guacamole is the taste and texture of avocados. What, David, do you hate oranges and love orange juice? Hate chocolate but love chocolate ice cream? Hate cheese but like … slightly altered cheese? You’re a fool and I don’t trust you.
Best Athlete: Christon
Harbor is far from the only ex-baller on this season. Presumably, the casting people remembered that Becca’s ex-boyfriend Ross was a linebacker-turned-football coach and that she was recently engaged to a race car driver. (Race car drivers are athletes, right?)
We’ve got NFL training camp invitee Colton Underwood, who used to date a significantly more successful athlete in gold-medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman. (I found a post that described Underwood as “an NFL star,” but he has never played in a game.) There’s Chase Vergason, who played in the College World Series with South Carolina; Connor Obrochta, who played for an Atlanta Braves minor league affiliate; and Christian, whose profile describes him as a former semi-pro soccer player.
But the best athlete here—Harbor included—has to be Christon, a former Harlem Globetrotter and current “professional dunker.” Christon has also been on reality TV before—here he is on TNT’s The Dunk King:
I’ll presume that he is no longer dating the girlfriend who traveled to watch him dunk on that show.
Christon’s bio says that he “hopes finding love with the Bachelorette will be a layup.” But, like, if he was any good at hitting layups, he probably would’ve played basketball professionally instead of becoming a “professional dunker.” Anyway, it seems to have worked for him—here he is winning silver in last year’s FIBA dunk contest in France. In this video, he says he likes to get crowds excited by dunking on beautiful women:
Mark this down now: Christon is going to get kicked off the show for dunking on Becca.
Destined for Early Exits: Kamil and Jean Blanc
We all know the Bachelor tradition of giving people silly job titles like “amateur sex coach,” “chicken enthusiast,” “aspiring dolphin trainer,” and—OK, I promise never to bring up the Whaboom guy again after this, but—“Whaboom.” This year, two titles stand out from the rest: Kamil is labeled a “social media participant”—same—and Jean-Blanc is apparently a “colognoisseur.” Ha! A guy whose job is cologne! What a laugher!
Except their bios both indicate that they have real jobs: Jean Blanc has a masters in business administration, has worked as an engineer in the past, and now works in finance. Kamil works in real estate and has modeled. Both have two potential legitimate job descriptions, and The Bachelorette chose to give them gag job titles. The colognoisseur can’t win—there’s no way either guy makes it past the first two episodes.
Most Cringeworthy Future Moment: Garrett
Garrett’s bio indicates that he is “perfecting his Chris Farley impression.” This 100 percent means that he’s going to emerge from the limo on the season premiere, adjust his imaginary belt, and yell something at Becca about a van down by the river. We’re going to have to watch a man woo a woman by repeating a joke from 1993, and it is going to be awful.
Worst Dog Name: Colton
The bios let us know which guys have dogs, which is important, because why bother dating anybody who doesn’t have a dog? Mike’s dog is named Riggins, which is a good football dog name. Alex’s dog is named Donzi, which I don’t get, but is probably a good dog name. And Colton’s is named Sniper, which—and I’m not sure I’ve ever said this before—is a bad dog name.
Dog names should emphasize clumsiness and joy, not precise, murder-y skill. Even if your dog is a hunting dog, hopefully it’s on the “happily fetching newly deceased ducks because my master loves it when I retrieve ducks” part of the hunting spectrum, and not setting up camp in a blind.