January 08, 2013 at 06:03 AM EST

The Bachelor

TV Show
Reality TV
run date
Arie Luyendyk Jr, Nick Viall, Ben Higgins, Chris Soules, Juan Pablo Galavis
Mike Fleiss

Let me start this season off by saying it’s always good to be back. I always miss you guys as much as you miss the show. I didn’t get a chance to put up a blog after Ashley and JP’s wedding so before I dive into the new season of The Bachelor let me back up a bit and say just a few words. I was incredibly honored to be a part of that special day. The truth is that the odds of any relationship, on TV or off, making it all the way to the altar and ending in marriage are so small that it’s something that should always be cherished and celebrated. When you add to that the fact that Ashley and JP are such good people and so fantastic together it should definitely be celebrated. One thing I’m always struck by during these Bachelor weddings is how damn fun they are. At the end of the day it’s just a bunch of family and friends celebrating one of the great things life has to offer: true love. Speaking of true love, let’s talk about Sean and his search for that very thing.

I’m glad the season started with an ample amount of Sean catching us up on his life and just enough of that came with his shirt off to let you know after his heartbreak with Emily he didn’t go on a three-month ice cream and doughnut bender. Before Sean headed over to meet with me and the 25… I mean 26 women, he had a visit from his old friend, Arie. After watching these two I’ve decided there’s nothing more natural than for a couple of guys who got dumped by the same girl to sit around, have a cold one, and talk about kissing technique. After a quick lesson in love from Arie, it was time to get serious and meet the ladies, and that’s exactly what Sean did.

I never really know the best way to write about the hijinks on the wet driveway because you see it just as I do when I’m standing just off camera watching it go down live. So I’ll go over the, ummm, highlights from the arrivals on the first night. Sean was pretty nervous but I have to say the guy did great. It’s not very easy and he was pretty smooth and handled himself well. Kelly from Nashville was the female version of “guy with guitar,” deciding to serenade Sean. Not sure it’s much consolation for Kelly, who went home, but my 9-year-old daughter said she had a pretty voice. (We’ll discuss my parenting and the fact that I let my little girl watch the first episode with me later.) Ashley P. strolled out and seemed innocent enough until she pulled out the Fifty Shades of Grey tie and was ready for a little bondage. We’ll have more on Ashley P. in a bit. I felt bad for gymnast Robyn who probably could usually pull off those back handsprings any day of the week, but choked under the pressure and took a spill. The funny thing is that probably helped her stand out even more in Sean’s mind. Paige from Bachelor Pad was back, and… then she wasn’t again. I have to say I was a little surprised she didn’t make a bigger impression on Sean and at least stay the first week. Sean is very wary of those that showed up just to be on TV and whether Paige was there for that reason or not, she definitely started behind the eight ball and never made up for that in Sean’s mind.

NEXT PAGE: Sean goes rogue with the roses

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