As we gear up for another season of #BachNation premiering Monday, one contestant has already raised some eyebrows: a 25-year-old venture capitalist from Colorado whose name is David but will henceforth be known as Chicken Man, thanks to the head-to-toe chicken costume he wore for his limo arrival. David, who embellished the look with matching clucking sounds, is already the season’s first viral punchline. And yes, it seems ludicrous to assume that anyone who shows up on night one in a costume, or outrageous gag, is destined for success—but the show’s history proves otherwise. Hear me out.
As a proud newcomer to The Nation of Bachelors, I’ve done my homework to know how to properly obsess over its habitants. I only met Ashley I. and Jared Haibon on Season 3 of Bachelor in Paradise, but I stan for them like I’ve known them since the early aughts. My haters will say I became a fan during JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette. I’ll never know the actual season number because I don’t personally subscribe to the idea of how Chris Harrison and his army quantify any Bach season because it doesn’t make sense; with so many offshoots of The Bachelor each year (The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Winter Games), it seems more like a continuum.
JoJo was my entrance, but Nick Viall was the sustaining factor. And while Nick himself could be legally classified as “Fine AF,” it’s the women in his season who reinvented the Instagram era of Bach Nation, among them Alexis Waters, who made costumes on the show a thing. Yes, many came before her with stunts and crazy limo entrances, but without Alexis—whom you may know better as Shark/Dolphin Girl—we wouldn’t care for them as much.
As you’ll remember, on Season 21 of The Bachelor, Alexis, the “Aspiring Dolphin Trainer,” stepped out of her limo wearing a dolphin costume that America was convinced was actually a shark costume (because it was). Her get up wasn’t one of the first forays into stunt-queendom in the franchise, but it was certainly the most memorable. Alexis didn’t find love, but she did make it to the top 12, and beyond that, she’s become a fan favorite. She’s starred in the latest season of Bachelor in Paradise and even has her own line of hoop earrings! That’s better than finding a man, IMHO.
I’m sure Alexis, like myself, did her research on the Bach Nation stunt queens who came before her, and now, I’d like to honor them as we approach Becca’s season of The Bachelorette. Most importantly because unlike Alexis, they’ve actually made it pretty far in the game—and that’s why I really don’t think we should count out Becca’s Chicken Man just yet.
Since he showed up on the first night in a chicken costume, it’s easy to assume that David will go home the first night or at the very least not make it to a group date. But before David, there was JoJo Fletcher, who tried to woo Ben Higgins in a unicorn mask. And then there was Luke Pell, who returned the favor when he arrived on a unicorn to greet his Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher. Both JoJo and Luke made it to the top four in their respective seasons, with JoJo even making it to the top two and becoming the Bachelorette—and one of the franchise’s best-known alums.
And these weren't even the lucky few! Clare Crawley, known most recently for getting engaged to fellow former contestant Benoit Beausejour-Savard and breaking it off almost faster than you can say Winter Games, was also a stunt arrival who made it to the top two. In 2014, Clare showed up on the first night of Juan Pablo’s season with a fake baby bump! She nearly won Juan Pablo’s heart anyway.
Clare isn’t alone in the crazy successful department; Lindsay Yenter showed up on night one in a cheesy wedding gown for Bachelor Sean Lowe. She too made it to the final round and would have snagged the number-one spot if it weren’t for the pesky Catherine Giudici, who stole Sean’s heart and went on to have two of his children.
So, in the case of Chicken Man, or David, he may just stick around on Becca’s season, or at the very least get a stint on Bachelor in Paradise and a Hello Fresh #SponCon deal. I mean, I’m writing about him now, which means he’s made some impact. Plus, it’s the social media age where Shark/Dolphin Girls can thrive and Chicken Men can get press even before their one and (possibly) only stint on television airs.
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Following in the footsteps of #BachNation legends, Chicken Man deserves our attention and respect, because he’s not only vying for the heart of Becca “Do the Damn Thing” Kufrin, he’s also vying for the hearts of America and those in charge of distributing FabFitFun boxes. I salute him and his cause, and I wish only the best for his life and the eventual courtship that arises between him and whichever woman was on Arie’s season who just happens to be in Paradise this summer.
The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 28, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.