THE SHIRTS ARE BACK AND WORSE THAN EVER.
On Monday, The Bachelorette will premiere its first season starring a black lead, the lawyer and way-too-good-for-this-bullshit-show-but-goddamn-if-it-isn’t-entertaining Rachel Lindsay. And while this marks a major change in the franchise’s history of exclusively casting white people who have milked a cow in the last month and are also named Kevin, there remains a tradition that has stuck around: the contestants wearing not-great shirts!
These shirts, by the way, are the sole images that ABC releases to the public before the season starts. They, along with a questionnaire, the answers to which range from spectacularly maniacal to maniacally spectacular, are the only information we have to determine just how Kevin-esque each of the contestants are.
So if you’ll join me, below are Rachel’s 31 (!!) suitors and their shirts, ranked from least-worst to worst.
People may contest that this is a good shirt, but this is a good shirt. It’s substantial, fabric-wise, and it comes in a rich yet muted color. I’m also going to ignore some of Iggy’s more questionable survey responses (his favorite movie is Grandma’s Boy while his favorite magazine is the Harvard Business Review, which does not exactly compute) and instead appreciate the fact that he “hates it when my date is dumb.” Same!
Blake E. gets a pass here because his shirt is so uninteresting I literally can’t even think of anything to say about it. Thankfully, however, aspiring drummer Blake E.’s questionnaire gives us such unfortunate delights, like that he has a tattoo of the letter D “for the dog I rescued,” he hates “when my date tells me about her cats,” and he loves music “with good drums!”
Speaking of Blakes, I am highly into Blake K.’s chartreuse situation, and also the fact that he’s a Marine vet and said that he would like to be The Rock for a day “because he’s the only person who could look cool wearing a fanny pack.” Blake K., I am willing to bet that you too could pull off a fanny pack, m’dear.
28) Diggy, 31, senior inventory analyst
Diggy’s pink shirt is good, but HOT DAMN DIGGY’S GLASSES! I’D LIKE TO WARBY HIS PARKER, IS THAT A THING? However, we regret to inform you that Diggy’s “fun story about a one-night stand” is actually a horrifying tale in which Diggy admits to having sex with a girl whose brother goes missing, and then “played asleep so I didn’t have to help!”
27) Grant, 29, emergency medicine physician
Just by looking at Grant’s face and shirt, we already know three important things about Grant: First, that he was the social chair of his frat; second, that he loves “Ice Ice Baby” and Playboy; and third, that he once shit into a 2-liter Coke bottle while on a bus.
26) Brady, 29, male model
Brady, a male model with the face of a serial killer and the shirt of a salami, actually had one very endearing questionnaire answer. When asked about the most romantic present he’d ever received, he didn’t say “a threesome,” like not one but two of the other contestants. Instead, he said this: “Lululemon sweatpants. She knew the way to my heart is cuddling on the couch in well-made, high-quality sweats.” Actually, on second thought, it just seems like Brady is a Lululemon spokesmodel. Disregard.
25) Eric, 29, personal trainer
The third in a series of vaguely cranberry-colored shirts, Eric sets himself apart by answering the question “If you could live in any other time period, what would it be?” with “Before money was involved,” with literally no explanation. Does he mean the dinosaurs? I think he means the dinosaurs.
24) Bryce, 30, firefighter
Cranberry shirt #4 Bryce had one very good answer and three very, very, very bad answers. The good one was that his most romantic gift was a handwritten letter, because “handwritten letters are one of the purest forms of materialized emotion.” The bad answers were that he “could see himself being Matthew McConaughey,” he aspires to be a “professional Instagrammer” and his biggest date fear is that “the chick is actually a dude.” BYE BRYCE.
23) Kenny, 35, professional wrestler
The most aggressive of all the berry-flavored shirts this season, Kenny also spends his Saturday nights doing the very aggressive activity of “wrestling in my underwear for thousands of people.” He is one of many contestants who shouts out The Rock in their answers, but Kenny is the only one about whom he says, “We are very much alike.” That’s some confidence, Kenny.
22) Milton, 31, hotel recreation supervisor
Milton’s henley falls on the “good” end of the henley spectrum, mainly because the buttons don’t reach anywhere near the stomach area. (Are you listening to this, Nick Viall?) Unfortunately, that’s where Milton’s positive qualities end, because other facts about Milton are that he has an inner lip tattoo, he described himself as “Kobe” in a former basketball league, and he thinks being romantic means you’re weak. He also was the sole contestant to answer the question “What do you hope to get out of participating in this television show?” with “Real answer? Discovered. Everyone tells me I’m made for TV/movies. Doesn’t mean I’m out here hoping for that, but I would like to break into writing or acting.” Is this honest in a charming way or a gross way? I think it is in a gross way.
21) Jack Stone, 32, attorney
Jack Stone, who goes by the name “Jack Stone” despite the fact that there are no other Jacks on this season, says his worst attribute is being “hard on himself.” I wonder if that’s where his name comes from!!?!??!?!!!!!?????
20) DeMario, 30, executive recruiter
DeMario’s necklace might be a bit much, but I think I am in love with DeMario. DeMario’s dream is to have a pet lion and name him “Denzel, the lion;” he’s “geeky but cool, like The Fonz;” and to the question “Do you like being the center of attention?” he said “I won’t lie, I love attention… not like ’07 B Spears attention or 2011 Sheen. Natural attention, like when Justin and Brit wore those incredible denim outfits.” Who else but DeMario could turn a boring question into an opportunity to talk about 2000s pop culture?!
19) Adam, 27, real estate agent
We now move onto a section entitled Boring White Guys In Gray T-Shirts. This is Adam, who loves tacos, Jennifer Lawrence, and Transformers. His most romantic moment was a threesome.
18) Jonathan, 31, “tickle monster”
This is Jonathan. He’s a “tickle monster.” He named Flo Rida as his third-favorite music group.
17) Lucas, 30, “whaboom”
I don’t know what a “whaboom” is and I don’t care. Helpfully, Lucas has described himself in other ways, such as “cat uncle,” “Russian dancer,” and “person who would like to fuck Jessica Rabbit.”
16) Jedidiah, 35, ER physician
I don’t need to tell you that Jedidiah, who wears extremely tight gray V-necks and is named Jedidiah, has not one but two biblical tattoos (if you guessed a) a cross and b) Proverbs 3:5, you’re correct!). But personally, I find the most charming fact about Jedidiah is that when asked what things make him happiest, he answered “new socks, nice hotel rooms, good pens, and in-room coffee.” I’m pretty sure he wrote this while sitting in a hotel room, which is adorable and stupid.
15) Peter, 31, business owner
Rounding out Boring White Guys In Gray T-shirts, here’s Peter, who has competed in three Ironman races and loves Modern Family. Moving on!
14) Matt, 32, construction sales rep
What’s more boring than boring white guys in gray T-shirts? Boring white guys in blue T-shirts! Meet Matt, who loves Wedding Crashers, the band Train, lingerie, and “team sports.” He also had the best answer I’ve ever seen when asked what person he would like to switch places for a day with, which was MATT LAUER!!!!!!!!
13) Rob, 30, law student
Here’s boring white guy in a blue T-shirt #2, Rob, Tom Cruise’s long-lost little brother who once admitted to having blonde highlights and diamond studs in the early 2000s. That’s the most exciting fact about Rob, which I think is all we really need to know.
12) Michael, 26, former professional basketball player
Michael’s quasi-sweatshirt shirt is weird, but Michael himself seems nice: He played basketball professionally (in Bulgaria), wants to have lunch with President Obama, and loves Denzel and the ’90s sitcom Martin. He does, however, follow the Paleo diet, so in the words of Randy Jackson, it’s gonna be a no from me, dawg. Good luck with Rachel, though!
11) Josiah, 28, prosecuting attorney
Josiah seems like a legitimately good match for Rachel — he’s a lawyer, says he’s a natural leader and public speaker, and loves long phone calls with his mom. But literally none of that is evidenced by his choice of shirt, which looks like a the top half of a pajama onesie you wear on Christmas Eve as a joke.
10) Will, 28, sales manager
Meanwhile, here is Will, in the top half of a pajama onesie you wear on Easter as a joke.
9) Mohit, 26, product manager
I don’t much care for Mohit’s shirt, which can’t decide whether it’s a henley (occasionally hot) or baseball tee (rarely hot unless you’re Derek Jeter), but Mohit gave the world an extremely clever way of thinking about beauty routines: When asked how long it takes him to get ready to go out, Mohit replied, “An episode of Seinfeld.” From now on, whenever anyone asks me how long I’ll need, I’ll just say “Three and a half seasons of 30 Rock, so I probably won’t make it after all, bye!”
8) Jamey, 32, sales account executive
Jamey, who has the name of a tiny baby, also appears to have the temperament and personal style of a tiny baby, which includes stripes so teensy weensy you can barely tell they’re there. Jamey loves EDM, is currently getting a tattoo removed, wants his ideal mate to look like “a model,” and describes his best friend of the opposite sex as “I do not have female friends.” Charming!
7) Anthony, 26, education software manager
While Anthony’s shirt color is a bit much, he makes up for it with the fact that he’s the recipient of a Fulbright grant who reads Murakami, and if he could be anyone else for a day, he’d be his mom, so that he could “see the world as she does to understand her better.” ANTHONY WINS, GO HOME, EVERYONE ELSE! BUT MAYBE TAKE ANTHONY’S SHIRT WITH YOU!
6) Bryan, 37, chiropractor
Bryan appears to be an escapee from The Bachelor contestant production facility, as evidenced by his perma-10-o’clock shadow, egregiously deep V, and his name, which is Bryan. He also named The Bachelor as his favorite show, which is just a little too on the nose. This one needed a bit longer in the factory, boys.
5) Dean, 26, startup recruiter
I was going to give Dean the benefit of the doubt with this weird-ass fake acid wash T-shirt because he has a very Rebel Without a Cause vibe happening in the hair area. But then Dean revealed he has an inner lip tattoo that says “Riteous.” And then he had the audacity to say that “whenever a girl tries to bite me I have to stop everything and have a discussion.” DEAN!!! YOU HAVE AN INNER LIP TAT! AT THAT POINT YOU’RE ASKING FOR IT, BUD!!!
4) Kyle, 26, marketing consultant
KYLE, WHAT?! First of all, you don’t need to button down your henley this deeply to show us you shave your chest hair. WE KNOW, KYLE. Also, you do not need the necklace. We are already staring at your chest. More things I want to yell at Kyle about: his answer to the question “Gluten?” which was just “Not really sure what it is or what food it lives in, but I select gluten-free menu options when I can.” WHY!?!??!?!
3) Fred, 27, executive assistant
Come on, Fred. Have you seen this show? You don’t show up in a business-blue oxford and a cream-colored sweater and last longer than Week 3!!! But Fred also did something extremely sneaky, which was that he named Basquiat as his favorite artist. Like I’ve said before, knowing who Basquiat is should immediately disqualify anyone from competing on The Bachelor. But do you know who also named Basquiat as her favorite artist? RACHEL. WE SEE YOU, FRED.
2) Lee, 30, singer/songwriter
Lee, whose shirt is essentially a sandwich board that reads “Please punch me,” loves Matthew McConaughey and Scarface. And judging by his haircut and profession, I’m also guessing playing unrequested renditions of “Crash Into Me” at parties.
1) Alex, 28, information systems supervisor
Alex. Oh, poor, poor Alex. Now, this shirt, while very V-necky and purply and stripy and altogether Far Too Much, is not a crime in itself. Yet Alex’s questionnaire responses are just too good not to publish in full. So please, save your opinions about Alex’s shirt to the following Alex facts:
What are your 3 worst attributes? Selfish, unemotional, unapologetic
What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done? Ate a live salamander
Who are your top 3 favorite groups/artists & why? Coldplay, Beatles… Can’t really think of a third one. Music isn’t a big part of my life.
Who is your favorite artist? The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)
Remember, without Alexes, we don’t have a reality show. I look forward to Alex and Rachel discussing their favorite artworks on Week One, and then never seeing Alex’s face again.