“The Bachelor” with Chris Soules is off to a wild start. Last week's episode 1 ended with the 33-year-old Iowa farmer narrowing down his search for love from 30 to 22 women. However, in a juicy twist, one gal decided she wasn’t ready to end things with him. After failing to get a rose, Kimberly returned to “The Bachelor” mansion to ask Chris for a second chance, and viewers finally found out Chris’ answer Monday at the start of episode 2.
“I just can’t walk away from this that easily,” the Season 19 contestant told him, explaining that they never actually got a chance to talk during the premiere's cocktail party. Chris didn’t know what to do, and turned to host Chris Harrison for help. So, what did Chris Harrison tell him? “No rules!”
Although the other girls in the house weren’t happy about it, Chris welcomed Kimberly back into the game, upping the number of contestants to 23. And for further drama in the house, Chris invited Kimberly on the first group date of the season.
Group Date 1
“Show me your country,” the date card read. Kimberly, along with Jade, Tandra, Ashley I., Mackenzie and Tara, threw on their bikinis and headed to downtown Los Angeles to meet up with Chris. After some light frolicking in a rooftop pool, the ladies finally figured out what the date card meant – tractor races! Each contestant hopped on a tractor to race to the finish line for extra time with Chris. Although Tandra started out strong, Ashley I. managed to sneak ahead to win the bonus with the bachelor. However, the win didn’t mean she was getting the group date rose. Instead of handing out the coveted flower, Chris decided to change things up and asked one of the ladies to spend the rest of the day with him – Mackenzie!
As if Kimberly’s inclusion on the date wasn’t bad enough, the other girls felt cheated. But Mackenzie was ecstatic to have alone time with Chris – especially since she had to reveal a secret to him. What was the mystery? That she has a 1-year-old son named Kale.
Mackenzie broke the news to him, revealing that she was really scared to tell him. But Chris reassured her that he’s not scared of kids, and awarded her with the group date rose -- and a kiss.
Megan landed the first one-on-one date of Season 19. “Love is a natural wonder,” read the date card. What did Chris have up his sleeve? A romantic helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. The duo took in the sights before landing for a picnic. Megan opened up about losing her dad just a couple days after getting the casting call for “The Bachelor.” Megan explained that her mom encouraged her to follow her heart and “take a leap of faith.” Chris appreciated her being there, and admitted she made an “impact” on him that first night.
“I feel like there is something here and I want to continue to pursue that,” he said before handing her the date rose and stealing a kiss.
Group Date 2
The third and final date came with an ominous card – “Till death do us part.” Amber, Alissa, Ashley S., Britt, Juelia, Becca, Jillian, Kaitlyn, Kelsey, Tracy and Trina jumped into a limo to find out how they’d be spending their evening with Chris. The girls were ready to battle it out with each other in order to get some alone time with Chris, but no one expected another factor to stand in their way -- zombies.
Much to the surprise of the 11 girls, Chris took them to a dark, zombie-themed paintball park. Arming them with paintball guns, the bachelor explained that they had to “kill” the zombies and find the beacon to win the game. Everyone was excited (and a little scared), but Ashley S. couldn’t grasp the instructions. The contestant thought she was supposed to shoot the other girls, and it took Chris a couple times to explain that the only thing she should be shooting is zombies.
“She shouldn’t even be holding a wet noodle,” Kaitlyn said of Ashley S. holding a gun.
The group managed to survive the zombies and celebrated with a little cocktail party. Chris used the time to speak to the ladies individually, getting closer to Kaitlyn and Britt, while getting a little freaked out by Ashley S. Since Ashley S. was acting a little wonky, Chris sent her home to bed early. But Britt and Kaitlyn made out better than that. Chris admitted to Britt that he thinks about her, and gave her a note that read “free kiss from Chris,” an echo of the "free hug from Britt" card she had given him in episode 1. Britt took advantage of that note immediately, but when it came to the group date rose, Chris handed it to Kaitlyn.
Things got interesting at the cocktail party leading up to the rose ceremony. Since Whitney failed to get a date in episode 2, she stole some time with Chris to enjoy a glass of his favorite whiskey. Chris continued to get to know the other girls, while Ashley I. revealed a big bombshell to Mackenzie and Megan: She’s a virgin and has never had a boyfriend. Mackenzie and Megan told her to hold on to that secret, but were surprised when they caught Ashley I. and Chris engaging in a pretty steamy makeout session out back. The kiss made Britt cry, and unfortunately for her that wasn’t Chris' only kiss of the evening. He also locked lips with Amber, but slipped away from a drunken embrace from Jordan.
Heading into the rose ceremony, three girls already had roses – Mackenzie, Megan and Kaitlyn. Chris handed his first rose to Britt, followed by Ashley I., Trina, Kelsey, Samantha and Juelia. But before Juelia could accept the rose, Jillian misheard and tried to walk up to accept it. To make it even more embarrassing, Jillian tripped over the rug.
After Jillian composed herself, Chris handed the next roses to Amber and Tracy. Jillian finally got her rose, followed by Jade, Nikki, Becca, Carly and Whitney. The final rose of episode 2 surprised everyone. Despite exhibiting really bizarre behavior, the rose went to Ashley S., sending Alissa, Tara, Tandra, Jordan and Kimberly home.
Tara left in tears, telling the cameras that her elimination will “haunt” her.