“The Bachelorette” recap: Katie’s journey begins as she meets her suitors

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ABC/Andrew Eccles

Season 17 of ABC’s The Bachelorette arrived Monday with Katie Thurston ready to find her soulmate. The audience was first introduced to the star on Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor, who won Bachelor Nation over with her charm and no-nonsense attitude.

This season will not feature longtime host Chris Harrison, and, instead, will be Bachelor Nation’s own Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams.

In sharp contrast to Harrison’s fatherly approach to coaching contestants, the former Bachelorettes connected with Katie by egging her on and trading thumbs ups as the men arrived on campus.

The 30-year-old Washington native enjoyed a series of elaborate and unique introductions from her potential suitors.  Some of which were even dubbed over-the-top by Bachelor Nation standards.

In an apparent homage to Thurston carrying an adult toy when she showed up to last season’s The BachelorBrendan, a 26-year-old firefighter trainee from Toronto, Canada rolled up with an inflatable doll.

Meanwhile, Connor B., a 29-year-old math teacher from Nashville, appealed to Katie’s love for cats by showing up in a cat costume.  The Bachelorette thought Connor had the “purrr-fect” introduction, so much so that their conversation later led to some heavy petting and a face full of cat makeup.

The most bizarre entrance belonged to a mystery suitor, who came hidden inside a gift wrapped box and remained there for most of the night. Katie was very pleased when she was able to peek inside — revealing James, a hunky software salesman from La Jolla, California.

Despite all those elaborate entrances, the first impression rose went to 27-year-old marketing sales rep Greg.  The Edison, New Jersey-native’s shy demeanor, along with a pasta necklace crafted by his three-year-old niece, charmed Katie.

On the other hand, the worst introduction went to Jeff, a 31-year-old surgical skincare salesman from Jersey City, who pulled up in a messy RV with a “lived in” look that didn’t suit Katie’s lifestyle.

At the rose ceremony, Jeff was given the heave-ho, along with Brandon, 26, an auto parts manager from Queens, New York, as well as Marty, 25, a dancer from Reno, Nevada.

The men remaining after the first rose ceremony are as follows:

Aaron, 26, an insurance agent from San Diego, Calif.
Andrew M., 31, a deputy district attorney from Newport Beach, Calif.
Andrew S., 26, a pro football player from Vienna, Austria
Austin, 25, a real estate investor from Mission Viejo, Calif.
Brendan, 26, a firefighter trainee from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Christian, 26, a real estate agent from Boston, Mass.
Cody, 27, a zipper sales manager from San Diego, Calif.
Connor B., 29, a math teacher from Nashville, Tenn.
Conor C., 28, a former baseball player from Costa Mesa, Calif.
David, 27, a technical product specialist from Nashville, Tenn.
Gabriel, 35, an entrepreneur from Charlotte, N.C.
Garrett, 29, a software marketing manager from Salinas, Calif.
Greg, 27, a marketing sales rep from Edison, N.J.
Hunter, 34, a software strategist from Houston, Texas
John, 27, a bartender from Pacific Beach, Calif.
Josh, 25, an IT consultant from Miami, Fla.
Justin, 26, an investment sales consultant from Baltimore, Md.
Karl, 34, a motivational speaker from Miami, Fla.
Kyle, 26, a technical recruiter from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Landon, 25, a basketball coach from Dallas, Texas
Marcus, 30, a real estate broker from Portland, Ore.
Michael, 36, a business owner from Akron, Ohio
Mike, 31, a gym owner from San Diego, Calif.
Quartney, 26, a nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas
Thomas, 28, a real estate broker from Poway, Calif.
Tre, 26, a software engineer from Covington, Ga.

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