This Week in Bachelor Nation History: 'Can I Steal You?' Is Born
Certain phrases have become synonymous with "The Bachelor" over the years, such as "Here for the right reasons," "Journey to find love," "Will you accept this rose?" and "Pack your bags, because we’re heading to ___ (Cleveland, Thailand, Chile, Paris, etc. etc.)." One in particular, however, seems to cause tension: "Can I steal you for a second?"
This practice of "stealing" the Bachelor or Bachelorette is as commonplace as a Rose Ceremony. It’s the main way participants get their crucial one-on-one time with the leading man or lady.
The now-timeless sentence "Can I steal you?" made its debut 18 years ago, when "The Bachelor" premiered with 31-year-old Alex Michel hoping to find his wife. That fateful day — March 25, 2002 — launched legacies that have endured for 40-plus seasons.
Season 1 of "The Bachelor" looked much different from today’s show. Alex started with 25 women and cut the number to 15 after the first Rose Ceremony. Alex went all out for his first week of dates, which consisted of three group dates of five people each, and they traveled to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara.
During the Las Vegas date — the first "Bachelor" date ever, airing April 1, 2002 — Alex and the ladies checked into The Venetian and hung out in the penthouse to play pool and sip champagne. Angelique, a 27-year-old actress, revealed her big game plan to the cameras as she stood in a separate room.
"They’re in there playing pool, so I’m going to go in there right now and say, ‘Girls, I’m going to steal Alex for a little while,'" she said.
Angelique then went into the main room with the pool table and kept true to her word. She grabbed Alex’s hand and told the group collectively, "We all know what we’re here to do, so I am going to get the ball rolling. If you don’t mind, I’m going to steal you for a moment."
The inaugural Bachelor loved the fact that Angelique whisked him away for some personal time. Later on in the date, the group played blackjack and Alex admitted he "wanted Angelique to win." Whoever had the most money in their pot got to go on a private gondola ride with Alex, and he said, "I had a one-on-one chat with her up in the suite earlier, and I felt like the moment was right and I had a chance to kiss her and I didn't take it. I thought the gondola ride would be a good second chance."
"Stealing" the Bachelor or Bachelorette away can oftentimes be beneficial for those doing it, sometimes resulting in a First Impression Rose or a Date Rose. Angelique’s time on "The Bachelor" came to an end after Week 2, but needless to say, her word choice and actions left an indelible mark on the franchise forever.