This post contains spoilers from Tuesday's season premiere of The Bachelorette.
Time to hit the books: Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette has officially begun.
"I'm looking for somebody who is genuine and passionate, completely authentic," Michelle, 28, said ahead of meeting her suitors.
Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe returned as co-hosts for Michelle's season, and before the elementary school teacher could be introduced to her guys, Tayshia and Kaitlyn vetted them by going through their hotel rooms. Some brought stood out for their skincare products, others for their level of cleanliness and organization. But one man — environmental consultant Ryan — raised some red flags.
While going through Ryan's room, Tayshia and Kaitlyn found his notes about how to score more screen time, how to get a good edit, who to emulate from the franchise and his overall strategy for the show. But first, Michelle had to meet him.
The limousine arrivals kicked off with sales executive Nayte, 27, stepping out first at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif. "Before we start this journey I just want to say, it's better Nayte than never," he told Michelle. The Bachelorette deemed the entrance "a good start."
Mathematician Romeo showed up next and tried to woo Michelle by speaking French. "I hope to meet my Juliet," the 32-year-old told her. Former Army officer Jack Russell, 30, followed by talking about how, "like the dog, I'm loyal and attentive, and I'm also playful and I'm so ready to play tug of war with your heart."
Clayton, 28, presented Michelle with a yardstick "in case I do happen to get out of line." The medical sales representative offered Michelle one free swing, so she gave him a gentle spank. "I'm going to be nice. It's your first day of school," Michelle quipped.
Biotech CEO Jamie, 32, arrived next. "Jamie's got some swag to him and he has this positive energy," Michelle told the cameras. "He's one that definitely caught my eye."
Canadian motivational speaker Chris G., 28, stepped up after Jamie, followed by academic instructor Mollique, 36, and engineer Alex, 29. Academic interventionalist Will, 28, spoke to Michelle in Spanish and then neuroscientist Pardeep, 30, played off his profession by telling the Minnesota native, "My dopamine is on fire right now after seeing you."
IT analyst Olu, 27, kept the night going and 28-year-old Chris S. arrived in a school bus and uniform. "I've never been so excited to come back to school, but you might have to take an exam of mine," the commodities broker said to Michelle. "I might give you a D … diamond."
Michelle responded, "You're definitely going to be in detention."
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Garett, 33, tech CEO walked over using a cane to assist with his broken foot; advertising creative director Casey, 36, played slapsies with Michelle, and brand manager Brandon K., 29, brought some giant Mardi Gras beads for the woman of the hour and asked her to show him her … heart.
Yoga guru LT, 28, trotted in wearing a tuxedo-printed banana hammock. "I'm trying to maintain eye contact," Michelle joked.
Next, a cart got wheeled out with a bowl of strawberries and a covered silver serving dish. When Michelle uncovered it, she found the head of Rick, 32. The medical sales rep introduced himself as the night's special. "I want you to enjoy your appetizers tonight, but when you're ready for your main course, come find me," he said.
Michelle decided, "Nobody ever looked better than you in a head of lettuce."
Notetaker Ryan rolled up in an ice cream truck asking, "Did someone named Michelle order a double scoop of love?" "I sure did," Michelle responded, later adding, "You did your homework."
Sales representative Rodney, 29, entered in an apple costume. "You're obviously my favorite teacher," he told Michelle. "I'm just trying to be the apple of your eye."
Pizzapreneur Peter walked in spinning some pizza dough. "I change lives one slice at a time," the 29-year-old said.
Firefighter Daniel, 26, rode in on a toy firetruck, only to be one-upped by 30-year-old PJ, also a firefighter, pulling up in a real firetruck. Traveling nurse recruiter Brandon J., 26, got wheeled in on a bed. "I just wanted to show you kind of what it would be like waking up next to you every morning for the rest of our lives," he said.
Financial crimes analyst Spencer, 25, came in double dribbling basketballs; NFL player Bryan 31, danced with Michelle; and personal trainer JoMarri, 26, tore off his sleeves to show off just how good he is at his job. Wellness coach Edward, 27, tried to help Michelle relax on the nerve-wracking night and biomedical PhD student Leroy, 27, snapped a selfie with the Bachelorette.
Another personal trainer, 29-year-old Martin, did a backflip for Michelle because "I feel like I'm already flippin' crazy about you." Michelle did a double-take, though, when she met the final arrival of the night, 28-year-old Joe. "You look really familiar," Michelle said to the real estate developer. Upon learning that he, too, hailed from Minnesota, she made the connection. "Have I met you before? Have I slid into your DMs? Is your last name Coleman?" Michelle asked.
Joe confirmed, "That's me."
Michelle explained to Kaitlyn and Tayshia how she knew Joe. "We messaged back and forth about basketball briefly, and then he ghosted me," she told the co-hosts. Still, Michelle said she remained "kind of interested" in Joe.
RELATED VIDEO: New Bachelorette Michelle Young on Her 'Bizarre' TV Love Journey That She 'Would Not Change
COCKTAIL PARTY AND ROSE CEREMONY
"Tonight truly marks the start of an important journey — a journey to hopefully help me find love," Michelle said to the men at the start of the cocktail party. "My two parents have been married for 33 years and they're still madly in love, and it's something that I'm searching for and hoping might be in this room."
Michelle challenged her suitors to "stay open stay vulnerable and show me your authentic self, because that is what you will always be getting from me."
After the toast, Jamie pulled Michelle first. "Honestly, this is just our show," he told Michelle. "They can watch."
Peter laid out some homemade cannolis and red wine for his time with Michelle. "What is this?" cannoli first-timer Michelle asked. Peter explained, "It's deliciousness."
Then Michelle spoke to Joe about the pre-Bachelorette ghosting situation. "I was surprised to get a few responses back and then, you know, someone forgot to hit send," Michelle said.
Joe offered up his side of the story. "In that situation and that time, I had a lot going on," he said. "I had a property in George Floyd Square, like three blocks away, and I had a lot of shootings, a lot of murders, a lot of things going on where at the time, it just caused a lot of anxiety. I didn't feel like I was in a place to open up to somebody and I didn't know how to express those feelings with you."
Michelle said she would've understood if he talked to her. "You didn't have to be ready for a relationship, you just had to communicate that you're not in a good place right now. That's it," she continued. "Because for me, respect is a huge thing and my hesitance here tonight is that how do I know you're not going to shut down again?"
Joe said he'd been working through those emotions in therapy. "I truly came for you," he promised.
Michelle spoke next to Rick, who'd come out from under the serving cart. "I came here wanting what you said," he told Michelle. "I want to find a wife. I want to be engaged. I want to have kids. I want to have a family. Those are important things to me."
Michelle felt "excited" about Rick being on the show. "He was charming, charismatic, and there's a little bit of chemistry," she said in an on-camera interview. "I feel like I'm connecting with all these guys."
Ryan then pulled her onto the ice cream truck he arrived in for a sweet treat. "This man already gets brownie points," Michelle told the cameras. "I feel like ice cream is kind of like the way to my heart."
Ryan talked to Michelle about being a coach for the Special Olympics and Michelle confessed in an on-camera interview, "I really did feel a connection with him right off the bat."
But Tayshia and Kaitlyn felt they needed to warn Michelle about what they discovered earlier in Ryan's room. "We found a document that one of the guys had, and it had a lot of things about how to act around you, about how not be a 'villain,'" Tayshia relayed. Kaitlyn named Ryan as the man in question, so Michelle grabbed him immediately to try to understand his intentions.
"I was really a little bit caught off guard when Tayshia and Kaitlyn checked in on me tonight and said they stopped by your room and when they were there, they saw some notes about how to get the most screen time, how to not be the villain, searching up facts about teachers — basically acting like you're interested in the profession," Michelle said to Ryan. "And so I wanted to pull you aside because I do want to hear an explanation and I want this cleared up very quickly."
Ryan claimed to be green when it came to The Bachelorette. "To be perfectly honest, I'm very new to The Bachelor and I haven't seen much of it," he insisted. "So I had no idea what to expect and I wanted to get to know, who is Michelle?"
That response didn't satisfy Michelle. "But the notes weren't about me. The notes were about how you should act," she said.
Ryan claimed his friend's wife actually wrote the notes, so Michelle asked to see them in order to have an "open, honest" conversation about the issue. As Michelle perused the papers in Ryan's room, he told the cameras, "I'm here for the right reasons."
But Michelle felt differently. "I am not okay with stating a relationship on red flags," she told him.
"Just give me one chance to make it up to you," Ryan begged.
Michelle had her mind made up. "You need to respect that I am going to choose to listen to my red flags and so, unfortunately, I will be walking you out," she said.
Michelle informed the rest of the group about Ryan's departure and said she didn't want to waste more time dwelling on him before moving forward with the cocktail party. "After talking with Ryan, there was a lot of red flags that were brought to my attention, and I sent him home," Michelle told the guys. "I am not for a play-by-play book of how to get screen time and how not to be a villain. As much as I want to sit here and be disappointed, you guys have been waiting, so we're going to get this cocktail party back up and running."
Michelle continued the evening by talking to Nayte, who admitted he felt nervous about opening up, especially since he thought his family didn't come across as "strong and together" as Michelle's did. "I had the best childhood ever, but my parents got divorced," Nayte said. "My mom just went through another divorce with my stepdad, who's like my best friend. So what I'm looking for too is meeting that person and being able to bring together that togetherness."
Clayton proceeded to chat with Michelle about his mom working as a special education teacher. "Teachers are some of the most passionate, caring, driven people that I've met, and made such a positive impact on my life," he said.
Brandon J. described himself to Michelle as "fun, truthful and caring." "When someone that I truly, like, deeply have a connection for, I just can't wait to show you all of me," he said.
But Michelle ultimately decided that Nayte's openness deserved the first impression rose.
"I wanted to start by telling you how when we were talking earlier tonight you kind of expressed that it was difficult for you to be vulnerable, in that it might have to be something that you ease into, but I truly saw you push yourself. And even as you opened up, you were completely Nayte," she said to him. "Nothing but Nayte. So that being said, Nayte, will you accept this rose?"
Nayte said he "most definitely" would, and he and Michelle shared their first kiss.
At the rose ceremony, Michelle began by giving a rose to Jamie. Then she handed roses to: Leroy, Martin, Spencer, Rick, Clayton, Peter, PJ, Mollique, Romeo, Daniel, Brandon J., Will, Chris S., Rodney, Alec, Pardeep, Christopher G., Casey, Olu and LT.
Michelle excused herself before presenting the final rose to figure out if she wanted to keep Joe after he ghosted her prior to coming on the show. "Why are you popping back up now? Why did you wait? Is it because I'm the Bachelorette?" she wondered in an on-camera interview.
In the end, however, she decided to extend that last rose to Joe.
"Cheers to really beginning the journey!" she toasted with the remaining men.
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.