Inside ‘The Bachelorette’s’ Drive-In Premiere

“The Bachelorette’s” “most dramatic season ever” wasn’t about to let the pandemic stop it from debuting in style. Tuesday night, Angelenos pulled up to the rooftop of The Grove’s parking garage for a special drive-in premiere of ABC’s famed reality show. The night was filled with red roses, Bachelor franchise fanatics and plenty of on-screen drama.

As guests arrived, they were put through the COVID-19-era safety protocols, temperature checks and symptom questionnaires – aka the new normal these days. But after the safety checks were passed, the fun began. Attendees drove onto a step and repeat and leaned out their windows, while playfully holding up roses that were given to them inside of gift bags. Additional contents included Bachelorette tumblers and very on brand blankets adorned with “the most dramatic season ever” patches. Then, after pulling into carefully spaced out parking spots, male models that moonlit as cater waiters, all clad in their black tie best, delivered dinner to everyone’s cars.

Guests dined on hummus and crudité, turkey and veggie wraps, pasta salad, fruit cups and hibiscus tea as a female DJ hyped up the ground. Muffled cheers arose from inside cars with rolled up windows – if your window was down, the masks had to be on – as the DJ exclaimed: “I heard this season is very exciting. Yeah, get it Clare!” A car nearby proudly held up a sign that read: “Chris Harrison 4 Prez” in response.

Shortly after sunset, a promo video popped up, which, as promised, did make this season look as if it will be extra heavy on the drama. Fans cheered as Clare Crawley appeared, via a prerecorded video. The 39-year-old, who made history as the oldest female star in the franchise’s history, called her stint as the Bachelorette “an experience of a lifetime.” She then teased her upcoming season, adding: “I cannot wait for you guys to watch and see how it all turns out.”

“Bachelor” franchise host, Chris Harrison, then made his own little digital cameo adding: “Tonight, we get to see Clare begin her journey to find love and you are not going to want to miss what unfolds. On behalf of ABC, Pop Sugar and YouTube, thank you for joining us for this unforgettable evening. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the first episode of ‘The Bachelorette.’ And be sure to watch every Tuesday to see how” – yes, he hammered this home for us more time…just in case – “the most dramatic season ever unfolds.”

The two-hour premiere began, and just like the viewers at home, the drive-in guests were treated to two hours of everything from a literal knight in shining armor, to a flustered Crawley declaring that she might have met her husband, and two dudes facing off over somebody allegedly sliding into another girl’s DMs while signed on as a suitor.

Pictured above: “The Bachelor” alum Becca Tilly and her “Scrubbing In” co-host Tanya Rad.

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