The Bachelor is back with a much-anticipated and highly unusual pick for Season 21. In lieu of choosing one of JoJo's rejected suitors from last season, producers opted instead to cast one of Bachelor in Paradise Season 3's contestants, who just so happens to have a long and storied past with The Bachelor franchise. He hit the ground running for his fourth and hopefully final comeback, though, during the Season 21 premiere and seemed to genuinely hit it off with a very impressive lady on the first night. Rachel won Nick Viall's first impression rose on The Bachelor, which surprised her a little bit (OK, a lot), but it makes perfect sense.
Rachel is a civil defense litigation attorney working in Dallas, who went to law school at Marquette University in Nick's home state of Wisconsin. Both her mom and her dad have 10-plus siblings each, and Nick comes from a similarly huge family as one of ten siblings. He was immediately charmed by Rachel's cool job, her obvious intellect, their Wisconsin connection, and the fact that she comes from a similar family dynamic as his. She's also one of the few age-appropriate women cast for Nick. At 36, he's something of an older Bachelor — a full ten years his predecessor's senior. I hoped this would mean that the women of his season would finally skew a little older than what we're used to, but unfortunately, most of them are still in their 20s, with several of them a decade or more younger than Nick.
Many of the younger contestants are firmly established businesswomen who have clearly put a ton of focus into their careers and may very well be mature enough to settle down with someone Nick's age. But as a 31-year-old attorney, it just feels like Rachel is a match of more equal experience to Nick. So it doesn't seem quite so surprising as a viewer that she would get his first impression rose. What's honestly most impressive is that she stood out enough to get the first impression rose as one of approximately 15 women wearing a red dress.
As he presented the rose to her, the two had an easygoing, jokey back and forth, which was both super witty and deeply tender. It seemed like a sweet match to have someone Nick could both playfully tease and be vulnerable around. They even shared a pretty romantic-looking kiss afterward, which looked miles less awkward than the one Corinne sort of force-planted on him earlier in the night. Hopefully, this means we'll get to see Rachel stick around for awhile.