The Bachelor 2016: What You Need to Know

The new season of ABC’s The Bachelor starts soon, and what better time to get caught up with all the Bachelor Nation drama!

Who is he? Ben Higgins was a runner-up on Kaitlyn’s season of The Bachelorette. He was sent home after thinking he was “unlovable” and claimed the hearts of America. He was a gentleman when she sent him home, and has yet to show himself as a jerk (although just wait, it might be coming this season). He’s only 26, making him on the younger side, but still responsible and looking for the ‘right reasons’.

When does it start? Monday, Jan 4 at 8pm with a two-hour premiere

Who are the women? Ranging from 22 to 30, these girls are ready to capture Ben’s heart. However, not everyone is new. You’ll probably recognize a few of the contestants from Chris Soules’ season. Becca is back after being runner-up with Chris, and Amber has moved through the Nation, appearing on both last year’s Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise. There’s a Canadian girl, and a few “diversity” picks as well. I wish they weren’t there just for diversity, but that’s usually what it seems like when they don’t mesh well with the lead.

A couple of the younger girls really don’t seem ready for this, like Calia and Jessica. Plus, there are 22-year-old blonde twins that should make life confusing while they’re both there. What’s worse, that’s what ABC listed as their occupation. They’re cheerleaders, so what’s the bet that’ll be their limo opening? How awkward will it be if one is sent home and the other stays?

To make things even more complicated, we have FOUR Lauren’s this season as well as a Laura. LB, B, H, and R. Yea, this will be a great mess of a season. We also have a “chicken enthusiast” this year, instead of the classic “free spirit” occupation, so I’m sure Tiara will be an interesting character. Then again, unemployed isn’t much better. However, we also have a war vet so I’m interested to see what stories she has to tell.

Returning women: 2
Women with children: 1
Canadian women: 2

We’ll have a breakdown of each of the women in our recap and review of the first episode, out on Tuesday at noon, and you can follow me @reviewsbylauren on Twitter to discuss the episode live with the West Coast viewing. After the first week, we’ll also have a Top Five post with our picks of the best girls *no spoiler, just opinion* up by Friday.

Are you interested in playing a Bachelor Fantasy pool? We’ve set one up (and will be playing ourselves), so you can follow along with it here. Updates will be posted on this page weekly, by Wednesday at noon at the latest.

But we have to ask… Are you excited about Ben as the new Bachelor? Enter our poll and give us your thoughts in the comments below!