Minnesotan Becca Kufrin met the 28 men vying for her love during the season premiere of "The Bachelorette" on Monday night. Among her would-be suitors were a few former football players, a stuntman and a banjoist.
But the first man Kufrin sent home was the Minnesotan.
Kufrin had met Jake, 29, a marketing consultant from Minneapolis, before the show. During Sunday's episode, she pulled Jake aside, questioning why he came on the show when before, in Minneapolis, he had no interest in her.
"We have met many times before," she said, "and I think I would just constantly question your intentions here."
Kufrin, 29, grew up in Prior Lake, Minn. Read an interview about her season, her parents' love story and her Minnesotan accent. (Her fellow contestants during "The Bachelor," kept making her say "bag.")
She stepped into the starring role after winning "The Bachelor," last season, when Arie Luyendyk Jr., proposed to her, then — in an excruciating scene — dumped her for runner-up Lauren Burnham.
Many of the men tried to make a memorable first impression on Kufrin during the episode that aired Monday. Lincoln offered birthday cake. Chris brought a choir. Mike hauled a cardboard cutout of Arie. (Because every woman loves a lifesize visual reminder of her last, failed relationship.)
The men normally pull up in limos, but one guy rode in on an ox, another in a hearse. Garrett, 29, arrived in a minivan, outfitted with a soccer ball, car seat and diaper bag. There was quick chemistry.
"That was good," she said, smiling.
"She’s witty and has quick rapport," Garrett said.
He then taught her how to fly fish in the backyard pool. Kufrin grew up fishing with her father, who was an avid outdoorsman and waterfowl activist. "Garrett does remind me of home," she said during the episode.
Later, Kufrin gave Garrett, a medical sales rep from Reno, Nev., the "first impression rose."
That rose means a lot. As the former star of "The Bachelorette" discussed at the episode's start, the women of the franchise have a much better track record in picking their mates. The three most recent Bachelorettes who gathered for Kufrin's pep-talk -- Rachel Lindsay, JoJo Fletcher and Kaitlyn Bristowe -- gave the first impression roses to the men they'd later pick to propose.
During the "rose ceremony," Kufrin narrowed the field, sending home six more men.