Spoilers are ahead. There are already several standout men on Katie Thurston's Bachelorette season, including first impression rose recipient Greg Grippo. Unlike many of the other contestants (the cat man and box guy come to mind), 27-year-old marketing sales rep Greg didn't lead with a gimmick right out of the limo. He just talked to Katie like a normal person, telling her that he was really nervous but so happy to see her. It was genuinely very cute, and Katie seemed instantly into him too. She also mentioned that he looked like her ex-boyfriend, but we've all been there.
Later on in the evening, the duo connected over Greg's desire to have a family and his love for his nieces, one of whom made Katie a gift. He handed over the macaroni necklace and joked, "It's not real gold by the way, it's just pasta." We get it, Greg — but it was charming that he was so giddy to be talking with Katie. "There's just something that's really sticking out about him," Katie said in a confessional when asked what she thought about Greg thus far. Who doesn't love a family guy who describes himself as a "hopeless romantic" and gives you a gift made by his three-year-old niece?
He stuck out enough in her mind — even without the gimmicks or costumes — that she thought of him when it came time to hand out the first impression rose. Instead of acting like he knew it was coming, Greg seemed actually overjoyed and surprised to receive the rose. He and Katie shared a sweet (and pretty steamy) kiss.
"[Greg] stood out to me because he didn’t try to be anything but who he was. That’s so important to me. He was so nervous. They didn’t show it, but he actually even swears when he comes out of the limo because he’s so scared. I just loved that. He was just owning it," Katie told Refinery29 in a recent interview. "He was like, ‘I’m not going to try and act like I’m not scared. Because I’m so scared.’ I thought it was really endearing and I really wanted him to open up. So he got the first impression rose." She said she also kept all the gifts she was given on the show, including the pasta necklace.
First impression roses aren't just flowers on this show. In five of the last six Bachelorette seasons, the first impression rose recipient went on to win the whole show. Perhaps that's a coincidence, but Greg is definitely going to be someone to keep an eye on as the show continues — especially if he keeps things as down-to-earth as he did in the premiere. Katie mentioned in the premiere that she just thinks of herself as a regular woman looking for love. She keeps it real, and she's gonna need someone to do that same. Thus far, that's been Greg.
Now, we're never gonna put all our eggs in one contestant's basket on this show, because more than once someone we've loved has turned out to be not-so-great. But if Greg doesn't milkshake duck us or Katie, we're gonna stay big fans.