‘The Bachelor’ Premiere: Joey Graziadei Breaks Down Night One At The Mansion From Dating Sisters To The First Impression Rose

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the Season 28 premiere of The Bachelor.

It’s that time of year again. The Bachelor is officially back on ABC.

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For anyone who needs a refresher, we first met Joey Graziadei as a contestant on Season 20 of The Bachelorette, led by Charity Lawson. He was the runner up, as Charity accepted a proposal from Dotun Olubeko. Joey was a fan favorite on that season, and a shoe-in for The Bachelor. He’s a tennis instructor from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and he’s a Gemini.

Night one at The Bachelor mansion goes over just as most of them do, with plenty of sweet and wacky introductions, as well as the early emergence of a Season 28 villain, Jess. Who’s to say whether she’ll remain on everyone’s bad side, but she certainly did not start out on the right foot by announcing she got the first kiss from Joey to the entire mansion before stealing him away from Taylor for a second conversation. A big no-no on night one that, naturally, prompted the other women to wonder if Taylor is really there for the right reasons.

Joey also realizes very early on that he will be dating two sisters this season. Lauren and Allison don’t offer up the information right away, but Joey seems to pick up on all the similarities in their stories (and facial features) after a bit of conversation. If it seems messy, that’s because it probably will be. Allison gets a kiss first, and she gets a rose first during the rose ceremony, which seems to eat away a bit at Lauren.

Then there’s Lea, who met Joey during The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose. While on stage, she was presented with mysterious card, which she presumed might be a date card. Boy, was she wrong. Instead, the card gave her the power to steal a one-on-one from any other woman at any point before hometowns. Yikes. Talk about putting a target on her back.

Lea does not react well to learning that type of power has been bestowed upon her, and Joey actually finds her anxiety about it refreshing, considering many women would likely relish in that kind of power. Lea decides that, if she and Joey are meant to be, she doesn’t need that leg up, and she throws the card in the fire. Looks like that was the right move, because Joey gives Lea the first impression rose.

At the end of the night, Joey sends home five women. As always, we didn’t learn too much about any of the women in particular. But, Joey told Deadline that’s what he’s most looking forward to as the season continues.

“What I’m so excited about is for all these girls stories that come to light. They were an amazing group of women,” he said. “I think they all have very different and interesting stories to tell about themselves and how they got to where they are in their lives. It was a really great group of women that people are going to enjoy and really rally behind.”

The Bachelor himself spoke with Deadline about narrowing down his choices on night one, dating sisters, Lea’s decision and more.

DEADLINE: What was your reaction to finding out that you were going to be dating sisters?

JOEY GRAZIADEI: The sisters was not something I had on my bingo card to start the night. I think you saw, I put it together when I heard both of their stories. So I think for me, the position I’m in, I was just kind of like, ‘If you guys are okay with it, I’m okay with it.’ I just knew I had to tread lightly in that way, because you never want to pit any of the women against each other, let alone sisters, and it just felt like it could be a difficult situation. But I was optimistic on that one.

DEADLINE: Well, some tensions do start to arise early, as they both want to have “firsts” with you before the other…

GRAZIADEI: I mean, that’s the first time I see those interviews too, so I didn’t even know that there was a back and forth between the two of them. But as I got to know Lauren, she’s a lot like other girls I met in Philly. It makes sense. A lot.

DEADLINE: You say in the episode that this is hard for you, because you don’t generally date more than one woman at a time. How did you make sure, especially in the early days of filming when there’s like 30 women around, you were getting what you needed from the experience?

GRAZIADEI: I don’t know how I could ever prep for that. It just feels kind of wrong from time to time. But, for me, what was most important was just getting to know them. I just wanted to make sure I gave every woman a fair shake, get to know them as much as I could. And yeah, be open, because it’s a lot of people to meet and you just want to keep your mind open as much as you can through the whole thing.

DEADLINE: What was your reaction when you found out that Lea could steal a one-on-one date?

GRAZIADEI: It was tough. If I’m being completely honest, I was not very excited to hear that card. It was kind of my biggest fear [that it] would be something like that, that would affect the experience not only for myself but the other women that were involved. But my main thing I was just trying to make her feel better, because I could feel in that moment, even before she read the card, how much it was difficult for her. So it was less about how I was feeling at that time. I was just trying to reassure her to make her feel better, because that’s what I cared most about, at least at that time.

DEADLINE: How did you learn that she’d thrown the card in the fire?

GRAZIADEI: I found that out later on. All I knew was she said to me when she first read it that she was thinking about throwing it in the fire, and I think before I ended up giving her the first impression rose, someone through the grapevine told me that she actually did that. So just her attitude about it was what was most important to me but also to find out that she actually did that…I was pretty blown away.

DEADLINE: A lot of women in her position would have been really happy. What did you make of her reaction?

GRAZIADEI: I was very impressed with what she was thinking about, because she wasn’t thinking about herself. She was thinking about everyone else, and she didn’t want to have that idea of having so much control and taking away from not only my experience but all the other girls experiences. I think she even said to me, she wanted that one-on-one to come because I wanted to give it to her not because she took it from someone else. It just said a lot about her character.

DEADLINE: What went into your decision to give her the first impression rose?

GRAZIADEI: I kind of thought about it maybe a little differently than other people did. I always remembered from when I was in the house how much of pressure the first impression rose is [and] how much you have a target on your back. I thought it should definitely go to someone who I thought can not only handle that, but take it in stride… I just I knew that not only was it something that she deserved, but I thought she would be able to handle that pressure pretty well, because it’s a tough position to be in.

DEADLINE: Is there anything else you took with you that you learned from Charity’s season?

GRAZIADEI: Just how nervous I was night one, how nervous I was for the first couple of weeks, how long it took me to be comfortable and to realize that if someone has those nerves and it feels a little bit off, it might have nothing to do with me. It might have nothing to do with our connection. It just takes time. So I just tried to be very understanding about the nerves and the feeling of all this.

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