Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette premiered on Monday night on ABC and Maynard told the world that her ultimate goal is to meet somebody that I can marry and have children with and who could be that father figure in Ricki's life, which I want for her more than anything.
Season 8 of the The Bachelorette will surely be different from the rest. Emily Maynard is not some goofy sorority girl or fame-monger. She is a single mother looking for someone to fill the role of dad in her six-year-old daughter's life; making this new season of The Bachelorette far more significant than the others.
The stunning Maynard caught America's attention when she first appeared on Season 16 of ABC's The Bachelor. She stole Bachelor Brad Womack's heart after revealing to him that her high school sweetheart, racecar driver Ricky Hendrick, died in a tragic plane crash in 2004 just days before she found out she was pregnant with their daughter. Maynard gave birth to Josephine Riddick Ricki Hendrick on June 29, 2005. Womack eventually proposed to Maynard with a $50,000 Neil Lane engagement ring but the love did not last between the two.
So Emily returns to the small screen for another chance at finding love. Being with Brad really taught me that I have it in me to fall in love again. He reminded me of that and he helped me do that, she said. Coming back to be 'The Bachelorette' is a huge risk, but meeting the person that I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with, I think, is totally worth it.
Here is a recap of some of the best and worst of the 25 bachelors vying for Emily Maynard's heart, introduced in the premiere episode of The Bachelorette.
Jef: (27, Entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, UT) This baby-faced 27-year-old might not make the greatest first impression, but he could ultimately have a lot to offer. Jef's intro features him scooting around on a skateboard, saying things like I love when people underestimate me. Although he seems like a boyish, free-spirit he shows a far more responsible side when he explains the idea behind his company, People Water, a sustainable water bottle company that helps get clean water to people around the world. Making a difference in the world but still not taking yourself too seriously? Jef could prove to be the perfect bachelor for hopeful Emily.
Charlie: (32, Recruiter from Nashville, TE) Charlie is an adorable bachelor who revealed a harrowing story about a life-threatening accident. He fell 15 feet off a collapsed balcony and broke four ribs, punctured a lung, fractured his spine and sustained a severe brain injury. His recovery process helped him to focus on the important things in life. I never really gave myself an opportunity to experience true love, he said. I may have had a head injury but there is nothing wrong with my heart. Aww!
Arie: (30, Race Car Driver from Scottsdale, AZ) The producers of The Bachelorette received some flak for casting a race car driver as one of Emily Maynard's bachelors, considering her heartbreaking past. However, Arie showed himself to be a true gentleman who was sensitive to the issue. I know Emily's ex-fiance also raced, he said. Bringing a race car driver could bring back some painful memories for Emily so I'm definitely nervous going into this. I know it is a big risk, but I am willing to take that risk.
Randy: (30, Marketing Manager from Hermosa Beach, CA) Randy was the absolute biggest disappointment of the night when he arrived to meet Maynard dressed as an old lady. Yes, you read that right. He dressed up in his grandmother's clothes in an attempt to charm Maynard. She did think it was funny and host Chris Harrison also approved. I have to give Randy props for watching our show and going with the grandma gag. Emily thought that was pretty funny, as did the rest of us, Harrison wrote on his Entertainment Weekly blog. No thanks, Randy.
Travis: (30, Advertising Sales Rep from Madison, MS) Bringing an egg to meet Emily was not the best first impression. He told Maynard that this egg represents you and Ricki, which seemed like a forced attempt at an analogy. Those sort of tactics will not win Emily's affection.
Kalon: (27, Luxury Brand Consultant from Houston, TX) Kalon introduces himself as a young, fun, good looking guy, with a few dollars in [his] pocket. He said that he used to be loud and obnoxious but has since changed. Unfortunately, when he arrived in a helicopter to the cocktail hour, he proved that not much has changed at all.
Who Went Home? Emily Maynard said goodbye to Brent, David, Jackson, Jean-Paul, Lerone and Randy. Those poor fellas will not get to share Emily's minivan full of babies.
Did you watch the premiere of Emily Maynard's Bachelorette? Who is your favorite pick? If you want to read some spoilers about the new season, click here.