We like to pair our handsome eligible bachelors with good wine, so we’re thrilled to partner with Two Oceans Wine to give you juicy recaps each week for this season’s highly anticipated must-see TV: The Bachelorette Canada. Keep coming back, because you KNOW this will get heated. 

The first episode of The Bachelorette Canada was everything I wanted it to be and more. There was tons of sexual tension, a male stripper who showed up topless (and almost bottomless), and even a cat-obsessed body builder. Basically, Bachelorette Canada is the most addictive show ever to air on Canadian television.

The inaugural episode opened with an introduction to Jasmine Lorimer, a 27-year-old hairdresser and ice skating enthusiast from British Columbia. Ms. Lorimer is this season’s titular bachelorette, and she now must sort through twenty hunky Canadian men, all vying for her affections. The man meat includes the requisite hot firefighter, a management consultant, an adorable waiter from Quebec named Benoit, and a body builder who loves his cats. It’s a truly colourful cast of characters, just like the country that produced it.

As the men arrived at the mansion for the opening night cocktail party, each received the opportunity to introduce himself to Jasmine one on one. Some went big, like Ross, who composed and recited an unfortunate haiku. Later, one gentlemen literally performed backflips as he exited the limo. Predictably for anyone who has ever been on a real-life date, the best introductions were the simplest. After all, who needs a script or special effects when hugs have been proven to release endorphins?

Of course, like the bachelorettes on the show’s American version, Jasmine herself is absolutely stunning. Having said that, Jasmine’s charms are significantly more than skin deep. In fact, I would say what makes her truly unique is she’s also a total boss.

As her twenty suitors arrived, our leading lady was given the opportunity to showcase herself as a strong, opinionated woman with a fantastic sense of humour. A definite highlight of the night was Jasmine referring to male model Thomas by the nickname “Sexual Tongue,” after the pair shared a passionate first kiss. It’s an evocative nickname that speaks for itself. It also cemented Jasmine as the narrator of her own story, someone who isn’t afraid to appraise and report back on the men fighting for her hand in marriage. She has sexual agency in spades!

What’s even more remarkable is that Jasmine’s candor did not stop at witty commentary. While it would have been taboo on the show’s American cousin, Lorimer openly admitted there was no way she could thoroughly meet and evaluate all twenty men in the hours leading up to the opening rose ceremony. As an inveterate member of what is known by fans of the franchise as Bachelor Nation, I found Jasmine’s honesty refreshing. Rather than pretending she possesses some sort of super human ability to socialize, Jasmine admitted her picks might be imperfect.

Witty and truthful as she is, Jasmine’s best quality might just be how she cares more about the competitors’ characters than grand romantic gestures. Case in point: David, a 26-year-old musician from Windsor who performed a song to woo our girl. Admitting to a weakness for male musicians, Jasmine was charmed by the serenade; however, when David later got aggressive with the other guys, she did not hesitate to lay down the law. Jasmine immediately took David aside for a stern warning, and in that moment, I fell in love with her. Ms. Jasmine Lorimer is a boss, a boss who took a stand against the sort of toxic masculinity that has long characterized the American Bachelorette.

The episode concluded with a rose ceremony where – thank goodness – Mikhel, who is my personal favourite, received a rose. Of course, as this is an elimination show, many men were sent home on night one, and I offer you my sincerest condolences if your favourite fellow got the axe.

Watching The Bachelorette has historically been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. The American version purports to put its leading lady in control, but often the episodes devolve into men’s displays of over-the-top machismo, as the contestants flagrantly fight over her. Jasmine, however, is having none of that. So far, the Canadian version joyously flips the patriarchal courtship script, unambiguously constructing The Bachelorette as the one in control. I would even call the first episode an inspiring celebration of female romantic empowerment. Fingers crossed the trend continues for the rest of the series and that Jasmine remains the author of her own story.

I’ll be recapping each episode right here on She Does The City, so don’t forget to tune in next week!

Thank you to Two Oceans Wine for partnering with us on this post, and for hooking us up with the sweetest Bachelorette Canada viewing kit: popcorn, a cozy blanket, socks, a chocolate rose (!!!) and two bottles of beautiful wine (Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc and Two Oceans Shiraz). Now that’s how you do The Bachelorette Canada in style.