No, I didn’t crash tonight’s date like Cam did on last week’s episode of The Bachelorette. I actually had an invitation from ABC to tag along for Hannah Brown’s group date—which was appropriately titled “Labor of Love”—with several of her men (Cam, John Paul Jones, and Tyler C. among them). As an avid viewer of The Bachelorette, I thought I knew what to expect. Turns out, I had no idea.
Here’s the thing about attending a group date (I was off-camera, of course) before the show has actually premiered: You go in with a blank slate and no preconceived notions. But five minutes into observing celebrity husband and wife team Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen teach Hannah’s men about the female anatomy, I got a crash course into each guy’s personality, and who may—or may not—be the best guy for our bachelorette. Take a look in this exclusive clip below:
“It’s been super emotional already,” Hannah tells me during a break in filming. Now that I’ve seen the first two episodes, I get why: Luke P. has said he’s starting to fall in love with her; a guy named Scott was previously dating another girl a few days before coming on the show; and perfectly good chicken nuggets were thrown on the ground. I would have had a full-on meltdown by now.
So what does Hannah have to say about all of that? “I think that means [the process] is working.” And, “I do think my future person to do life with is here [on the show]. It’s surprising how fast I feel confident in that.”
Even so, Hannah admits it’s hard to know what’s going on in the mansion, and it’s especially not easy with the limited amount of time that she has on each date. “I’m just really pouring my heart out and making sure they know what they’re getting,” she says. “I just want real in return.”
She’s about to get it. On tonight’s first group date, the men learn what a woman actually goes through in labor, how painful it is to breastfeed, and how not to hold a baby (it’s not a football, Tyler C.).
“Today is supposed to be fun,” Hannah says, “but the deeper meaning is seeing who would be supportive. It’s OK if they don’t know where everything is [in the female anatomy] just yet. I’m OK with that! But it’s more about seeing who I want by my side in the good times, bad times, and painful times, who will be a good father and who I want to do that with in the future.”
Jonathan Saunders may not be that guy. “I was hoping I was prepared for it,” he tells me after a female anatomy lesson, “but with each passing moment I realized I have a lot to learn here.” Regardless, he says he’s confident in his “budding” relationship with Hannah and can’t wait to see “how it will continue and grow stronger.”
He’s going to have some competition though. “Cam has stepped up his game, and also Luke P. and Mike, who I’m here with today. Those three for sure [are my biggest competition]. They’ve made some moves that a lot of the other guys in the house haven’t been willing to do or execute. It’s so early in the game, but they’re the first ones to really take that step forward.”
When I talk to Cam later in the date, it’s obvious Jonathan’s assessment is spot on. “I’m here to be friendly, but not make friends,” Cam says. “Luke P. has been the most aggressive in terms of professing that he’s falling in love with Hannah after only knowing her for [like] 48 hours. Interesting tactic on his end. But I have to continue to build the momentum I have with Hannah and see if she feels the same way about me.”