First of all, thank you for watching The Bachelor premiere! I have received nothing but overwhelmingly positive responses and I can't thank all of you enough for that. It was so strange watching myself and the women on TV! It seems like such a long time ago that we filmed everything and it's almost like reliving a memory or a dream.
In this week's episode, you got to see two one-on-one dates and one group date unfold. They were so much fun!
My first date was with Ashley H. So many thoughts and emotions were going through my head that day. I had SO much going on. I was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that morning, Dancing With the Stars that evening (that's when I was officially announced as the Bachelor) and then had to rush home to get dressed for my date. I was so nervous when I arrived at the mansion to pick up Ashley. But all the nerves went away as soon as I saw her. She looked gorgeous! I was also grateful to have a very serious conversation with Ashley about our pasts, which are eerily similar. The night could not have gone better. I said that date was the best first date of my entire life, and I mean it. I left that night thinking, "If this is how every date is going to go, I am no doubt going to find my wife along this journey."
Group DateThe next date was a group date ... with 15 women! How is that even possible? What kind of conversation can I possibly have with any of these women when there are 15 of them? I didn't know how it was going to work out but it was fine. Regarding the PSAs, I'll admit that not a single one of us has talent. We're merely reality TV people with zero acting ability. But the fact that we were all so utterly talentless made the scenes terribly funny. The main message was that "giving blood doesn't have to be dramatic." Am I the only one that sees the irony in that? Isn't The Bachelor extremely dramatic? What a funny and incredible way to help spread awareness for the cause. If you're reading this PLEASE go out and give blood today!
The women seemed to be in very good moods until a certain point in the evening. I don't know if the episode actually allows the viewers to see the extent of the issues developing between some of them. I tried so hard to keep a positive vibe for the party. I knew it was Michelle's 30th birthday (and after watching the episode, so did everyone else in America). What you didn't see was that I surprised her with a cake. Michelle and I had a great private conversation. It actually threw me off guard when she accused me of having walls up. I thought I had done such a good job of being so open and honest. I actually have to thank Michelle for saying that because it made me very aware that I needed to work even harder to gain the women's trust. As far as giving Michelle a rose, it wasn't just for her birthday – but also because of our very revealing conversation. But what is up with her rose dance in the pool? I didn't see that until I watched the episode! Michelle, what are you doing? You were getting down with that thing!
Pretty Woman DateMy third date was with Jackie. I was so excited to be able to give this particular date to her. Let me explain: Jackie is one of the sweetest women I've ever met in my life. She is unassuming, polite, genuine and so deserving of the finer things in life (only because she doesn't expect them). I wish I could describe how I felt when I saw her face light up as the door to the suite opened ... priceless. The same goes when I surprised her with the jewelry. What a lot of people don't know is that Jackie was able to keep the earrings that I gave her. They were a very fitting gift for such a deserving woman.
Okay, for all of you out there that appreciate a very nice automobile, let me tell you about our ride. It was a Bentley Mulsanne. At the time of filming, it was one of only four in the entire U.S. I felt so privileged to be able to be driven in this car. Jackie and I had great conversation at dinner and I still can't believe that Train sang for just the two of us! In what lifetime does that happen?! The members of the band turned out to be some of the nicest guys around. All in all, my date with Jackie was incredible.
Rose CeremonyI was in such a good mood for the cocktail party and rose ceremony. It seemed like we had all reached a turning point – like we were all becoming good friends and building relationships. When Michelle immediately stole me away to ask me questions, I didn't know if she was joking or if she really wanted to know where I buy coffee. I laughed out loud when I watched Emily say, "I don't really care where he gets his coffee." Speaking of Emily, what was I thinking during that conversation? "You make me lose words." My God, I was a stuttering idiot. Those are the moments when I watch myself and grimace.
Here's where it got interesting ... I was oblivious to Rachel and Melissa's argument until I spoke with each of them later that night and I had no idea how bad it really was until I watched the episode. It breaks my heart anytime I see a woman cry and I felt somewhat responsible. It's so eye opening to see the drama that unfolded when I wasn't around. I can't imagine what I'm going to see later on in the season.
I was honored to have Roberto and Ali at the rose ceremony to help evaluate the women's intentions. I wanted to meet them since the day their season ended because they prove this experience can work. Roberto is the nicest guy around and Ali is extremely sweet and a bundle of energy. It was so interesting to watch as they asked questions. I chose to give a rose to Emily because of the advice they gave me. Roberto and Ali, if you're reading this, I can't thank you enough for helping me out. You allow all of us to realize love can happen. Also, Roberto gave me great advice that I've really held onto. He said to be empathetic with the woman I chose. You explained how hard it will be for her to watch me with other women while viewing the show and to be understanding and compassionate while she's going a little bit crazy. I've had to remember that every second of every day!
The rose ceremony went fairly well. I was very confident in my decisions. I thought Rachel and Melissa were too caught up in the drama to build a relationship with me. Keltie and I didn't have a chance to bond. I was completely surprised, though, while watching her response to my saying goodbye. I honestly didn't think she'd care that much. It didn't make me rethink my decision – it just opened my eyes to the fact that she truly cared. She's a very unique woman that will not have a problem finding a date.
Well, that's it for this week. Thanks again to all of you for watching, reading, blogging and Tweeting! – Brad Womack
For more on The Bachelor, check out Chris Harrison's blog on EW.com