Season 20 of ABC’s The Bachelorette kicked off Monday with 27-year-old family therapist Charity Lawson ready to find her soulmate. The audience was first introduced to the star on Zach Shallcross‘ season of The Bachelor, where her combination of confidence, compassion and charisma immediately won over Bachelor Nation.
Lawson is the fourth Black woman on the long-running dating series, following season 13’s Rachel Lindsay, season 16’s Tayshia Adams and season 18’s Michelle Young.
“I can’t wait to show little girls who look like me [that they can] be in a position like this,” she said in a confessional at the top of the show.
Lawson’s first surprise of the season came when her brother Nehemiah unexpectedly showed up, seemingly to lend his support, but it turns out he had an ulterior motive. Unbeknownst to both Charity and her suitors, Nehemiah, disguised in a fake mustache, hat and wig, pretended to be a bartender and chatted up the men in an effort to spot “a bad apple or two.”
Most of the men passed muster, but Brayden, a 24-year-old travel nurse from San Diego, rubbed big brother the wrong way when, after sharing a long kiss with Charity, he displayed what Nehemiah and some of the other men described as overconfidence bordering on arrogance regarding his chances of snagging the first impression rose.
Brayden’s cockiness turned to concern when Nehemiah revealed his identity and said that he was going to report his findings to his sister.
During a followup conversation with Brayden, he told Charity that he was “giddy” over the kiss, and didn’t mean to come off as arrogant. After thinking it over, Charity followed her heart and gave Braydon the first impression rose.
At the rose ceremony, Chris, Joe, Khalid, Nic, Peter and Taylor were sent home.
Here are the men remaining after the first rose ceremony:
Aaron B., 29, a software salesman from San Diego, Calif.
Aaron S., 33, a firefighter from San Diego, Calif.
Adrian, 33, a realtor from Northridge, Calif.
Brayden, 24, a travel nurse from San Diego, Calif.
Caleb A., 29, a resident physician from Ann Arbor, Mich.
Caleb B., 24, a pro wrestler from Orlando, Fla.
Dotun, 30, an integrative medicine specialist from Brooklyn, N.Y.
James, 28, an attorney from Chicago, Ill.
Joseph “Joey,” 27, a tennis pro from Lawai, Hawaii.
John., 27, a data scientist from New York, N.Y.
John Henry, 30, an underwater welder from Virginia Beach, Va.
Josh, 28, a Harvard grad student from Bethlehem, Pa.
Kaleb K., 26, construction salesman from Norcross, Ga.
Michael, 28, a yacht captain from Chicago, Ill.
Sean, 25, a software sales representative from Tampa, Fla.
Spencer, 32, a medical sales director from Moorpark, Calif.
Tanner, 30, a mortgage lender from Pittsburgh, Pa.
Warwick, 27, a construction manager from Nashville, Tenn.
Xavier, 27, a biomedical scientist from Carrboro, N.C.
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