What a Tierra-ble season, eh, Bachelor Nation? Chris Harrison starts the three-hour, live death march by proclaiming it to be “the most controversial finale in Bachelor history,” and also warns us that Juan Pablo has a “big surprise.” I won’t make you wait because there was no surprise. Juan Pablo is a giant a-hole. But we knew that already.
Here are a few observations before we get to the recap:
Juanuary must have sucked for poor Clare. Listening to ABC hyping him up. Ugh.
You know Andi was in the running for the next Bachelorette after her tempered appearance on “The Women Tell All” and refusal to badmouth Juan Pablo.
On to the recap —
We begin with Clare and Nikki meeting Juan Pablo’s family (separately, in St. Lucia). First up is Clare, about whom JP says their attraction is “en fuego” even after their “misunderstanding” in Vietnam. Ahem. She’s introduced to JP’s mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin and daughter Camila. We watch as Clare’s ovaries tremble with joy as she watched Juan Pablo play daddy with his darling daughter. Clare wants at least three kids.
Clare told JP’s mom she more than likes him-likes him because he “gets” her. When Clare asks his mom whether she thinks he’s ready for this, or any advice, she’s met with RED FLAG NUMERO UNO: His mom says Juan Pablo’s super hyperactive, and can be very rude. “He made me cry,” Clare said. “Me too!” says him mom. Hooray! He makes us both feel like shit!
Juan Pablo’s cousin Rodolfo was intense – the dude doesn’t blink! He wants to know whether Clare is in love with Juan Pablo. He asks whether, when things get rough and JP wants to walk away, will she cling to their relationship or run away? [THIS WOULD BE RED FLAG #2.] Clare says she’ll do anything, no matter what, if she’s in love. Girl’s ready for a RING and has the blinders on. Juan Pablo’s dad tells Clare he loves her and essentially offers to adopt Clare if things go south. (I’ve had that before – where the guy is a jerk but his parents are awesome. ‘Tis a shame.)
Next up is Nikki. Rodolfo is “super excited” to meet Nikki. I liked meeting my cousin’s fiancée, too, but this was creepy. Nikki went bra-less, wearing a halter dress to showcase her armpit tattoo. JP’s dad says his son is “not an easy guy,” is very particular, and a know-it-all, which Nikki finds endearing. *AHEM* RED FLAG *AHEM*
Juan Pablo’s mom calls her son a simple man, who will watch lots of TV with her and Camila but won’t really go for any of the activities Nikki’s rattled off as fun things they’d do as a family. His mom thinks he might be ready for marriage, but I wasn’t sold.
Rodolfo asked Nikki “how much fighting can she take.” Really? RUN, girl. *ACHOO* RED FLAG *ACHOO* Nikki says coming on the show was the best decision she’s ever made. Again, really? Both women are chugging the JP Kool-Aid. When asked for her opinion by Chris Harrison after a break, Catherine (of Sean and Catherine fame) says she likes Juan Pablo as a person but he’s too complacent. (Pretty sure her opinion of him sours as the night wears on.)
Clare has her final date with Juan Pablo, where they take a romantic helicopter ride around St. Lucia. “You just see green and blue for like, miles!” Clare exclaims, and explains to us that she is ready for her fairytale.
BUT, that was not to be. They had a private moment without cameras when Juan Pablo whispered something to her. He said he doesn’t know her and said some sexual things that Clare found to be insulting and offensive. So, not the sweet nothings Clare was anticipating. From what we can tell, essentially he said, “I feel like we don’t know each other but [I] loved hooking up with [Clare].” [AND THE ENTIRE FLAG CORPS TAKES THE FIELD, WAVING THEIR RED FLAGS LIKE BULLFIGHTERS!]
After the date, Clare cries in her hotel room. He comes over expecting besitos, but she wants to give him a knuckle sandwich. I want to kick him in the nuts. How did she even continue with the date after that????? Clare pseudo-confronts him, and he says “ay, no” she got him all wrong. It’s that they don’t know each other “enough.” He says he “doesn’t need the physical anymore” which is such a crock of bull. Can you imagine Juan Pablo taking a vow of chastity? Me neither. Pretty sure he and Nikki won’t be spending afternoons reading books in the library, either. (Not that he’d even want to go, according to his mom.) Juan Pablo is either incredibly narcissistic and has no concept of reality or he’s a giant asshat. He honestly believes that he can say he’s “just being honest” and there’s probably a lot of stuff about Clare he doesn’t even know he doesn’t like about her. Wow. Just, wow. Stop talking.
Clare keeps quoting Shania Twain – “if he’s not in it for love, I’m outta here.” Except she stays. He says he likes her, but isn’t sure he’s ready to propose. But he manages to sweet talk her and give her hope that they’ll be together after the show ends. He plays the song from their first date on his magical cell phone (thought they didn’t have access?) “I don’t want a rose, I want forever.” Oh, poor Clare.
Chris Harrison checked in with Bachelor Nation and asked Sharleen whether she was glad she dodged that bullet. Sharleen said it was pretty painful to watch Clare ignore her intuition while he was patronizing her. Even Sean was squirming. Sharleen was probably wishing she was singing opera in Germany and thinking the chance to meet Arie and Brooks (both in the audience) was so not worth it. (Kat, however, was chomping at the bit.)
After the commercial break, Nikki’s looking for Juan Pablo to confess his undying love for her on their boat date. She asks him what happens when he doesn’t have a private island, and he says he’ll have a bed, a TV, and his office, and he’ll do a lot of these things alone. [THE FLAG CORPS IS PASSING OUT FROM EXHAUSTION!] This is NOT what Nikki had in mind. For the evening portion of their date, she wears a white dress (TAKE A HINT!) She wants to know that she’s the final girl RIGHT NOW. That doesn’t happen. They continue to talk about how “crazy” everything is. From listening to her heartbeat on the first night to watching baseball in his “office.” There are lots of awkward and uncomfortable silences. He says everything’s going to be “OK” at the end of this. Uh-huh.
Before he peaces out, Nikki gives him a picture of them riding horseback and a card. She Lloyd Dobler’d him and he said thank you. (No pen, even!) She cries in the non-fantasy suite because he hadn’t pledged his undying love for her like she clearly expected.
The show hasn’t gone quite according to formula. No visit to see Neil Lane. No morning-of journaling and meditations by the ladies. Both are so convinced that Juan Pablo’s a prize. Ew. Nikki’s clearly rebounded from her meltdown the night before and is in it to win it. “It has to be me. He can’t have what we have with anyone else,” she says. Let’s hope not.
I was waiting for the motorboat to capsize on the way over, or a volcano to erupt. But, alas, no such luck. The first woman to disembark was Clare. Chris Harrison escorts her into the jungle. “Nothing that he said the other night said that he has any doubts.” Except you were the first one off the boat. So there’s that.
Juan Pablo let her ramble on and on about the kind of man he is and how what they have is so special. And he LET HER. JUST KEEP TALKING. Put her out of her misery. You know it’s not her, so let her go.
He said she was an unbelievable, amazing woman, but he’s sending her home. Just like that. He tried to kiss her and she pushed him away. For the first time, Clare actually stood up for herself. She said she’d given him the opportunity to say goodbye during their last date, and he told her he could see himself in Sacramento with their babies. (What????) She was upset because she saved her engagement day for the man of her dreams, and he wasn’t it. She said other women saw it, and you can see his temper flash for a minute. But he regained his composure.
She says she lost respect for him. “What you just made me go through, I would never want my children having a father like you.” GO GIRL! (At least she didn’t let him watch her dad’s video.)
To which, Juan Pablo, ever the gentleman said, “Whew! I’m glad I didn’t pick her.” Spoken like a true asshole.
After watching the show, how would Nikki want to be with a guy like that? I would hope any self-respecting woman would RUN away. Although, after some of the crap she’s talked about, I think they deserve each other.
He let her take the lead and babble about how she wants to spend her life with him and wants to be part of his family. He said he loved how much she cares about other people, and how they’re both SO HONEST. On second thought, they’re perfect together.
He said he “likes her a lot” and doesn’t want to let her go, but wasn’t ready to propose. Then my DVR cut off in the middle of the non-proposal because it was 9 p.m. And you know what? I didn’t really care. It’s not like it was Shakespeare or anything. He warns her not to get cranky because she’s hot. Ugh. How annoying. And patronizing. Ick.
Then it’s time for the “After the Final Rose” (ATFR) special, where we’re reminded that Juan Pablo has a “big surprise” for everyone. (Which, of course, he doesn’t.)
Clare was up first and still has some residual bitterness. She still wasn’t willing to repeat what Juan Pablo said to her in the helicopter, but seemed to rebound pretty quickly on the date. Chris Harrison gave her the opportunity to confront Juan Pablo in front of everyone, and said she didn’t need any “closure” from JP. Clare said that day in St. Lucia was so liberating for her because she’s never stood up for herself before. She’s had her fill of bullshit and didn’t see the need for any more. Good for her.
Juan Pablo came out after the break and tried to get some sympathy points for being from Venezuela. People from Venezuela were like, “Dude, keep us out of this.” Chris Harrison asked Juan Pablo AGAIN if he had any regrets, specifically with Clare, and he, again, said no. He pretended that he wasn’t sure what he should regret. Even after he was asked about insulting her in the helicopter.
Nikki came out with her “it’s OK” grin plastered across her face for 42 minutes. She says their relationship has been “great.” Spoken like a true Stepford Wife. She says she’s in love, but doesn’t know if he’s in love with her. She says his actions say he cares about her a lot, even though he’s never said those words to her. If they’re six months in and there aren’t those feelings…move on, girl.
When Chris Harrison brought the lovebirds out, Juan Pablo gave her a quick peck. Chris Harrison says Juan Pablo told the executives in St. Lucia he had a big surprise for the evening, and the surprise was… there’s no surprise. Chris Harrison asked again how he feels about Nikki, and asked, several times, “Do you love her?” and he’s like, “This is real life, and you don’t say ‘I love you’ in public.” Um, yeah, you do. Clearly he doesn’t understand what he signed up for. He said he was happy for the opportunity but was “done” with the show. I’d check your contract, bro.
Sean looks super uncomfortable. He’s like, this is what you signed up for, man. He said the moment he knew he was falling in love with Catherine and wanted to spend his life with her, he couldn’t wait to tell her that. But, to each their own.
Chris Harrison clearly doesn’t like Juan Pablo and keeps needling him “Do you love her? Do you? Do you?” because that makes great television.
“This is a real relationship to us,” Nikki says twice, like she’s trying to convince herself.
JP’s new party line is that he’s taking things slow out of respect for Nikki’s dad. Oh, yes, because he’s such a gentleman, and he’s so respectful of other people’s feelings.
Chris Harrison asks Nikki how long she’s willing to stick it out if he doesn’t use the “L” word. Juan Pablo said they had to change their plans “drastically” after “The Women Tell All” but that’s “their private information.” When asked by Chris Harrison what could possibly have happened on the show that would affect their plans, Juan Pablo started getting upset. Please – like anyone gives a shit about his plans.
Catherine says if she were Nikki she’d be hella confused. She wouldn’t accept JP’s rose because she doesn’t know him. She tells them not to slap the hand that fed you. (Read: ABC) Awkward. Painful.
Then, Chris Harrison announces that Andi’s the new bachelorette. Big shocker, I know. She’s a gang prosecutor. I’m sure she’ll be able to keep doing that, since that’s a low-profile gig. “Like, I could be engaged by summer!” she said. I wonder if Alli will stand in for her – and would we even notice? We can watch her journey, starting May 19th.
So, here are some final thoughts:
- I wish Chris Harrison would’ve asked Nikki what she thought about her boyfriend “going swimming” in Vietnam, or his comments about gay people being “too pervert” for television, and all the other bad behavior he displayed throughout the process.
- I think the ladies were brainwashed by his accent, because he’s a decent looking guy by traditional standards, but became really ugly the more he opened his mouth. I liken it to the summer when I was in 9th grade and went to a week-long church retreat in North Carolina. I had a crush on this guy I met down there who had a southern accent. When I returned to Illinois, and there was a new kid in school with a Southern accent, I was hooked because he didn’t talk like he was from Chi-CAH-go. It was different. It wasn’t a love connection.
- For some reason, the term “douche-nozzle” kept popping into my head as I watched the show and ATFR. Is that a real word? Probably not. Was he a real bachelor? Nope.