Returning Bachelor Brad Womack is more than ready to find love. On episode two of the hit ABC reality show, an excited Brad welcomed his first round of dating with an open mind. “I know I’m a different person than I was three years ago,” the 37-year-old explained in the beginning of the episode. But the serenity didn’t last long, as drama among the women in the house mounted, ultimately leading to the demise of two contestants.
“Waking up in L.A. today all this became so real,” Brad said before his first date. “Never in a million years did I think I would be The Bachelor again. I’m a little nervous, but I could not be happier.”
Ashley H., a dentist from Philly, was elated when she received the first one-on-one date. The card promised a “wild ride” for her and Brad.
“I was freaking out when I found out I got the first date. It’s an honor. I’m just so amazed he picked me.”
Their date begins on a dirt road, as Brad leads Ashley with a lantern. “It feels like something out of a horror movie,” a weary Ashley shared.
The dark road is illuminated when the duo’s turns on a switch and a carnival comes to life to them.
“When Ashley and I were running through a carnival I kept seeing that she was smiling and giggling,” Brad said. “She didn’t care that she was in a fancy dress, she just cared about living in the moment.”
Ashley described the date as “romantic and flirty.”
Brad was also feeling the romance, as he shared, “This girl is the entire package, she is intelligent, pretty, I feel like I can be myself around her. I like this girl. I like this girl a lot.”
As they continue on with their carnival fun, Brad kisses Ashley dubbing the date “the best he has been on in years.”
“This is my very first date and I’m having the time of my life with this girl,” he gushed.
Ashley divulges some things about her past, sharing that she was raised in a single-family household and that her father battled with addiction.
This leads to Brad opening up about his family life during his childhood.
“Our dad split at an early age,” Brad shared. “I really relate with people not being there in your life.”
He also revealed that his experience with his father made him push people away.
Ashley — who Bran now calls Ash — shared her main fear is that Brad feels obligated to choose someone because of his history on the show.
“I don’t need redemption at all,” he explained. “I’m not gonna waste your time at all.”
Brad said Ash enabled him to “completely let down” his walls.
“I feel lighter,” he said. “I feel happier. The very first date and I feel like on my way to finding the wife.
The date ended with a rose for Ashley and the “couple” sharing an intimate kiss on the ferris wheel.
The lucky bachelor went on a date with 15 women for the dreaded-by-the-contestants, obligatory “group date.” Chantal, Emily, Michelle, Stacy, Shawntel, Alli, Lisa M, Keltie, Melissa, Britt, Kimberly, Raichel, Marissa, Meghan and Ashley S.
Before the date even began, Michelle expressed how upset she was that she would have to share Brad.
“Happy freakin’ birthday to me. There is a lot of competition here and I second guess everything. I just want him to notice me,” Michelle explains as she is bitter about having to share her date with 14 girls on her 30th birthday. She also complains ab out noticing more wrinkles.
For the date, Brad and the ladies donated their time to the American Red Cross Blood Donation Foundation.
The girls created PSAs with Brad to raise awareness about the importance of giving bloods.
“We are all going to be fighting for his time,” Michelle said, “People are going to piss me off today. I know it.”
Stacey, Emily and Lisa M. acted out a Spanish Soap Opera with Brad, which required some serious lip lock.
Melissa barges into the scene and kisses Brad.
“I just didn’t feel special at all. Just like another number,” Melissa said after her disturbance on set. “It’s hard to know exactly what he is looking for. A lot of women fighting over on man and I don’t know if I’m going to make it through it.”
Michelle holds the same concerns and can’t handle watching the girls interact with Brad. She storms off the set prompting Brad to find her.
“I want to show you a good time,” Brad said in an attempt to cover her. “I want to know you so badly.”
“I want to get to know you,” Michelle replied. “I think we should continue down this path and see what happens.”
During her interview, Michelle adds, “All I want for my birthday is Brad. When I kiss Brad and Brad kisses me fireworks are going to go off. Any girl he kisses after he kisses me is going to be a huge disappointment. Sorry girls.”
The girls travel to the Roosevelt Hotel for the after party, and Brad keeps repeating he wants the night to be “drama free.”
Brad steals Melissa away to explain why she intruded in on his scene with the other girls.
“I’m very spontaneous,” she explained. “Afterwards I felt like I probably shouldn’t have done that it wasn’t
During Michelle’s one-on-one time she explains her desire to be close with Brad.
“I just want to connect with you. You have walls,” she explains. “I feel like we need to dissect you. I feel like there is so much to you and I want to peal all the layers.”
Melissa and Raichel continue to fight over their intentions.
Back at the house, Jackie receives the next one-on-one date card.
First stop — a hotel in Beverly Hills where Brad and Jackie get pampered for a spa day.
After their relaxation, Brad leads Jackie into a room filled with gorgeous gowns and tells her to get ready for a glamorous night out.
Before they head off in a limo, Brad drapes Neil Lane diamonds around her neck before they head to Hollywood Bowl — the sign outside reads “For Jackie, Love Brad.”
The huge amphitheater is closed down for the two of them as they enjoy a candlelight dinner and a private concert from rock group, Train.
Jackie admits that she is very cautious when it come to relationships, only dating two guys in her life.
“I’m concerned that Jackie may wake up and realize that this is too much for her,” Brad admits.
Brad admits he hesitant about giving the rose, because of her dating history; however, he wants to explore their relationship more.
“Jackie is a cautious one when it comes to love and it scares me a bit. But who am I to judge. That was me three years ago.”
As they dance to Train, Brad and Jackie share and intimate kiss.
“Brad is ready to make a commitment. I can see it being me in the long run,” a confident Jackie shares.
At the rose ceremony. Michelle steals Brad away right from the start and begins to ask him rapid fire questions.
“Do you prefer Starbucks or the Coffee bean? What is always stocked in your fridge?”
Brad seems a bit caught off guard but answers her questions graciously.
During his one-on-one time with Emily, the mom shares that she is more private than the other girls.
Brad admits Emily, who is having difficulty being away from her daughter, makes him very nervous.
“You make me lose words,” he tells her. ” I feel intimidated talking to you.”
Raichel and Melissa start to fight again inside the house, and Raichel calls Melissa “a toxic disease”
Melissa cries during her one-on-one with Brad and explaining she is at her“breaking point.”
“I’m the targeted girl in the house for whatever reason,” she tells Brad. “There is one girl that’s been targeting me. It’s Raichel. I feel like she is draining me and pulling the positive energy out of me.”
Brad then finds Raichel crying and complaining about Melissa.
Amid the drama, host Chris Harrison introduces last season’s Bachelorette Ali Fedotowksy and Roberto Martinez who will be helping Brad gauge the girls intentions.
Ali and Roberto advise Brad to give the rose to Emily.
Before he hangs out the roses, Brad tells the girls, “Ive made stronger connections in a single week than a whole month when I was previously the Bachelor.”
In the end, Raichel, Melissa and Keltie are sent home.
Keltie takes the hit very hard.
“It they gave out an Oscar for worst date in the world it would be me. I’m so awkward,” she says with tears in her eyes.
Melissa give Brad a cold goodbye, without a hug.
“I think there are several girls who targeted me and they needed to push me over the edge so there was one less girl. It’s a shame because I don’t feel I deserved it,” she said crying.
Raichel also took the rejections hard.
“Nobody likes to be in this position. You feel rejected you know. I feel like I deserve better. I came here to find love. I came her to all in love I didn’t come here to get so upset by another girl. I tried to put myself out there and this wasn’t my time.”
Brad did not let the drama go on in the competition and is excited to move on with the women he has chosen.
Be sure to tune into The Bachelor next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC to watch Brad in his quest to find love.