Note: This story contains spoilers for “The Bachelor” Season 28, Episode 1.
“The Bachelor” Season 28 officially kicked off on Monday, and there’s already sparks flying between fan-favorite Joey Graziadei and 32 eager women.
As usual, the women arrived in style, with Katelyn DeBacker stirring up a chemistry reaction while sisters Allison Hollinger and Lauren Hollinger kept their history a secret from the leading man. Whereas most of the season’s ladies stepped out of the limo, Jenn Tran opted for a race car entrance while Jess Edwards arrived via boat.
Graziadei also reunited with a familiar face in 23-year-old Lea Cayanan, who he originally met at former “Bachelorette” Charity Lawson’s “After the Final Rose.” At the time, Cayanan was presented with a secret letter for the season that she was told she could not open until after arriving at the “Bachelor” Mansion. Though the premiere featured a fiery exchange between the pair, Graziadei chose Cayanan to receive his first impression rose.
After greeting Graziadei, Cayanan opened the card to learn that it enabled her to steal any one-on-one date with the leading man ahead of hometowns. Cayanan struggled with the possibility of taking a date away from another woman — and taking away Graziadei’s agency to choose — and ultimately threw the card in the fire after sharing her reservations with Graziadei.
Toward the end of the evening, Graziadei said in an interview he wished he could give away 10 first impression roses, but ended up singling out a woman he said shared the “characteristics” and “qualities” he wanted in a wife.
After winding his way through the “Bachelor” mansion with the first impression rose, he asked Cayanan to speak with him.
“I wanted to take some time to pull you aside and just explain again how much a lot of things that you said resonate with me, whether it was ‘[After] the Final Rose,’ whether it was you coming up in the limo, whether it was just the chance that we finally got to talk to each other,” Graziadei told Cayanan. “Your interpretation and thoughts [about] the card that you were given spoke a lot to me just about your character and who you are.”
Graziadei then offered his first impression rose to Cayanan, which she happily accepted.
“The Bachelor” premieres Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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