Surprise, surprise, Colton Underwood's Bachelor season premiere included a hefty focus on the former NFL player's virginity. Billed as the franchise's first virgin lead, Colton has signed himself up for several months of being the subject of often harsh Bachelor Nation memes. He first experienced a taste of jokes to come as the women of Season 23 arrived at the Bachelor mansion, and these jokes about Colton's virginity on The Bachelor's first night grew old pretty quickly.
The 26-year-old first revealed he was a virgin on Becca Kufrin's Bachelorette season, explaining that his sports career took priority before and that he never found the right person. However, Colton's pre-show relationship with Bachelor contestant Tia Booth was what really dominated his Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise storylines. Now with Tia out of the picture (...for now), Colton's virginity is clearly ABC's major selling point for his season, and in a Bachelor ad, the star even emulated the infamous 40-Year-Old Virgin poster.
Laughs aside, Colton said in the Jan. 7 premiere that he didn't find his confidence until high school, and his worst fears about his virginity and not finding love were discussed by fans upon his Bachelor casting. We need to give the guy a little more credit for being vulnerable, and given how open Colton has been about it, his virginity was bound to be a Night One highlight. As expected, his contestants didn't exactly shy away from addressing it.
While Hannah B., aka Miss Alabama, admitted in her intro package that she liked that Colton was a virgin, Texan Demi confessed that it concerned her. As the first woman out of the limo, she tackled the elephant in the room boldly, telling Colton, "I have not dated a virgin since I was 12, but I’m excited to give it another shot." Consider this my bet that Demi will soon become as quotable as Corinne Olympios.
Entertainment Weekly's behind-the-scenes look at limo arrivals revealed that dental hygienist Kirpa's first entrance included a joke deemed too dirty to air, but Caitlin's joke about Colton's virginity managed to slip past censors. The Canadian entered with a red balloon, which she then popped and said, "Now that I popped your cherry, we don't need to talk about virginity anymore."
Later, after Katie arrived with a deck of cards and stole Colton's "V card," Alex D. hinted at his virginity in a more subtly way, dressing as a sloth and saying that she heard Colton liked to take things "sloooowly." By the time she reached him, any viewers playing drinking games focusing on the word "virginity" were probably dealing with alcohol poisoning. Are we ever going to learn more about Colton beyond his sex life?
Clarifying that he isn't postponing sex for religious reasons, Colton previously implied to Entertainment Tonight that he wasn't in a rush to lose his virginity. "It’s just all depending on where my feelings are," he said. "I said I'm waiting for someone that has the right heart. I’m waiting to be madly in love with somebody, so if that happens by the time fantasy suites comes around, so be it."
Although the topic will be unavoidable when the season reaches the fantasy suite stage, count me in as a fan who wants a bit of a break from the virginity talk. Before Colton was solely defined as the virgin, his connection to Tia was seemingly all we knew about him, which doesn't contribute to him being a very interesting lead. If ABC truly wants us invested in Colton finding love, we'll need a tad more insight into who this guy is beyond his sexuality and career.
Season 23 of The Bachelor continues on Monday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.