‘The Bachelorette’ Contestants Named; New Season Begins May 23

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What do a buffed butcher who is ready to slice up the competition, a handsome brokenhearted winemaker, a masked mystery man who wants to be known as more than a pretty face, a solar energy executive who will try to light up Ashley’s life, an amusing “boy next door” who can crack a joke but might not be ready to settle down, and a divorced, single dad who may be there for the wrong reasons all have in common? They’re all on the hunt for the new Bachelorette, Ashley Hebert, when the seventh edition of the female version of ABC’s popular romance reality series, “The Bachelorette,” premieres at a special time on Monday, May 23 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on the ABC Television Network.

Ashley, 27, who is finishing her degree in dentistry in Philadelphia, meets 25 potential soul mates as she begins her own search for true love. In the premiere, “Episode 701,” 25 eligible men come from all over to try and win her heart. Immediately, the drama begins: Chris Harrison is surprised to find out that Ashley already knows about one of the men — Bentley — before meeting him. Mickey, a handsome chef, can’t help himself and steals a kiss. A sharp Wall Street banker, Ames, is right on the money when he offers Ashley a pair of tickets to the ballet. Ben F., a vintner who knows his way around fine wines, pours a glass for Ashley from her own special vintage he created. And Nick, a former baseball player, recites a poem he wrote just for her. Meanwhile Jeff, the mysterious masked bachelor, attempts to draw all of Ashley’s attention, but manages to irritate the other men at the same time. Then Bentley finally arrives… He is the man whom Ashley was made aware of before the show even began; a former “Bachelor” cast member tipped her that he might be there for the wrong reasons. When he steps out of the limo, all bets are off. She starts off being cynical, but is blown away by how attractive and charming Bentley is.

Once inside, Ashley lives every woman’s dream – surrounded by 25 handsome men, all there just for her. As the biggest night of her life begins, so does the competition between the men. Ryan P. is the first to steal the Bachelorette away for some alone time and tries to quiet her fears about the men not liking her. Matt scores big points for introducing Ashley to his mother over a speakerphone. Ben C., an attorney, makes his case by communicating a romantic message to her from across the room on giant cue cards. From behind his mask, Jeff explains to Ashley that he is not just a pretty face — and wants her to get to get to know the person he is on the inside. But will his enigmatic efforts pay off with a rose? Mike has a special song for the Bachelorette and starts to accompany himself on his guitar, but she is unprepared for what happens next. Moreover, Bentley surprises her with how genuine he seems.

Tensions mount and sparks fly as the bachelors vie for the first impression rose, but Tim is so nervous, he begins to drink to cover his stress, forcing Ashley to make her first major decision.

Finally, Ashley will eliminate seven of the 25 men, leaving 18 to compete for her affections and, in the end, her heart.

Ashley’s 25 suitors are:

Ames, 31, a portfolio manager from New York, NY
Anthony, 28, a butcher from Wyckoff, NJ
Ben C., 28, a lawyer from New Orleans, LA
Ben F., 28, a winemaker from Sonoma, CA
Bentley, 28, a businessman from Salt Lake City, UT
Blake, 27, a dentist from Greenville, SC
Chris D., 25, a sports marketing coordinator from Chicago, IL
Chris M. 27, a construction company CEO from Edmonton, Canada
Constantine, 30, a restaurant owner from Atlanta, GA
Frank, 29, a college admissions director from Murfreesboro, TN
Jeff, 35, an entrepreneur from St. Louis, MO
Jon, 26, an e-commerce executive from Vancouver, WA
J.P., 34, a construction manager from New York, NY
Lucas, 30, an oilfield equipment distributor from Odessa, TX
Matt, 28, an office supply salesman from Bridgewater, MA
Michael, 29, a technology salesman from San Diego, CA
Mickey, 31, a chef from Cleveland, OH
Nick, 26, a personal trainer from Tampa, FL
Rob, 27, a technology executive from Monroe, MI
Ryan M., 27, a construction estimator from Royal Oak, MI
Ryan P, 31, a solar energy executive from Corona Del Mar, CA
Stephen, 27, a hairstylist from Manhattan Beach, CA
Tim, 35, a liquor distributor from Long Beach, NY
West, 30, a lawyer from Chapin, SC
William, 30, a cellular phone salesman from Galloway, OH

Hosted by Chris Harrison, “The Bachelorette” is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers. “The Bachelorette” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with stereo sound. A TV-parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.

This episode of “The Bachelorette” will be available on ABC.com the day after airing on the network for users to watch online. For more information on “The Bachelorette” please visit ABC.com.

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