It might just be me, but I feel like it's been ages since we've gotten some intimate time with our favorite Latin heartthrob on
Maybe it's been all the distractions -- three snowstorms this week on the east coast, the New Jersey Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, puppy training and the fact that I'm sick and bruised my ribs in an ice-induced fall down the stairs taking out said puppy -- but it feels like a heck of a lot longer than seven days since we got our fill of trashy TV love.
Goooooooood Morning, Vietnam!
The 11 remaining ladies catch a plane from South Korea to Vietnam, where Juan Pablo's quest for love continues. Scottsdale's Salsa dancing Kat says it's like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, because JP flies somewhere and they follow.
But clearly she never played the game, or she'd realize that no gumshoe ever catches the elusive megathief. After weeks of playing, I once realized it was Carmen herself that I was chasing only to watch her slip away. It was as disappointing as when a contestant pulled Africa for the final challenge on the game show. Hit it, Rockapella!
The first date card arrives -- Are we the right fit? -- and of course all the women think it's owed to them. But it goes to everyone's momma Renee, who jumps up and down like a giddy schoolgirl at her first one-on-one. But why not me, every worried spinster asks?
Chips A Hoi An!
Juan Pablo and Renee explore the Vietnamese waterfront city of Hoi An. But it's brown industrial water that you making a living on, not the kind you swim in, sit by or drink. Unless you want dysentery, like little Susie on The Oregon Trail.
"Are we the right fit?" references the traditional custom attire Renee is being fitted for, and JP pays particular attention to the bust measurement. He says "Ohhh, 86," which is either a good joke or a really bad understanding of the metric system. They take some selfies around town and buy gifts for the little ones. It's generally easy-going, but the date carries the conversation and it remains to be seen if they have anything to talk about other than their children.
To Kiss or Not to Kiss
Poor Renee is desperate to plant one on Juan Pablo, but he's playing hard to get, so it's off to dinner in her new fitted dress. She looks good, but it's the most flattering style, so it doesn't wow. They dine over conversation about Ben's dad, who rocked Renee's world a decade ago when she was in her early '20s.
He thinks she's a good mom and could see something developing, as he is hypnotized by her eyes and the fact that their ages have the exact same number for at least part of the year. Guess someone never played Math Blasters.
He gives her the rose, and they make wishes and push paper lanterns out onto the water. Hers is for a kiss, but he wants to respect her son and keep things clean. Apparently, he does not have the same respect for 21-year-old triple threat Cassandra's son, because he made out with her in a heartbeat.
The Hoes Come Out
The group date card asks if the ladies can go with the flow, and joining JP will be opera singer Sharleen, archenemy Chelsie, Salsa dancing Kat, triple threat Cassandra, fake pregnant Clare, dog lover Kelly, soccer nanny Alli, don't-get-no-love psych nurse Danielle and DAndi, who is the one questioning things this time after still not getting a one-on-one.
They hop in bamboo boats that look like half-coconuts, and Clare rides with Juan Pablo because she has no one to pair up with. An increasingly enjoyable Kelly points out that it's the first time having no friends is actually beneficial.
Clare and JP get tangled up in some reeds, so they take the brief moment to go at it like a couple of Word Munchers. Naturally, everyone else sees Juan Pablo once again break Sean's main Bachelor rule while also denying other ladies their first kisses.
The group then goes gardening in Que Village (thus the hoe reference), where DAndi asks for reassurance. Juan Pablo tells her to smile until her face hurts. Dinner follows.
Interrupting Clare's One-on-One Date
Several pieces of fruit are slaughtered and shaped for the cocktail part of the group date, and everyone is miffed when JP pulls Clare aside first. She hogged the daytime hours, and now she gets the night, too?
They retire to his suite, where they change into swimsuits and hop in the pool. She wraps her legs around him for a makeout session, and if I was one of the other girls, I would be pissed. A very bad move on Juan Pablo's part.
No-Kiss Rule, Deconstructed
Sharleen and JP take a walk on the beach, where she literally tastes Clare's lingering desperation. I hope he at least used mouthwash.
He spends small, mostly unseen, amounts of time with the other women, giving sloppy beach thirds to DAndi. This is actually kind of gross.
For good measure, he gives the rose to Clare. The women consider a better life in Odell Lake.
The Lamest Bucket List Ever
Clare's day has been so good that she doesn't want it to end, so she sneaks back to Juan Pablo's suite to knock that last item off her bucket list. Yes, that's right, she's never swam in a warm ocean before. That is the one thing she has always wanted to do.
Unspeakable things happen in that warm water, and there's a decent chance they actually had sex. Especially after she compares their time together to a baby giraffe being born on wobbly legs. G-R-O-S-S. They pushed each other's buttons like it was Mario Teaches Typing.
Nurse Nikki Freefalls
Early favorite nurse Nikki gets the other one-one-one, and they're off to "have a hell of a good time." They're about to rappel down a cliff into a cave called Hell, and Nikki and her decreasingly sexy back tat commit my cardinal sin pet peeve of reality TV stunts -- she freaks out.
I really can't stand the drama and anxiety related to this kind of stuff. It's not like they're going to let you die on primetime television. This is the network that made Nik Wallenda cross Niagara Falls with a damn tether. Just woman up and do it already. It's easier than Treasure Mountain.
They pause during the descent to make out, and I'd really like to understand the parameters of this no-kiss policy. Does it only apply to Renee and piano biker Lauren? I wonder if she's watching all this unfold from her couch?
Captain Caaaaavvvvee, Maaa-aaaann!
They have dinner and drinks in Hell, where they continue their streak of actual conversation. He slips in that he didn't get much sleep last night, which Nikki attributes to his excitement over their date and not the fact that he was slipping something else in.
Even though a lot of the girls don't like her, she doesn't fit the mold of your average Bachelor villain succubus. She seems like she's there for the right reasons, and she gets a rose for her efforts and willingness to be a stepmom. She and Camila could open up a Lemonade Stand together.
Fake Pregnant Clare Goes Crazy
It's funny that she's the one who loses it at the cocktail party, because I could totally see her actually getting pregnant just to trap a man. The women are making their case at a beautiful Vietnamese villa, which Renee speculates is the perfect place for a first kiss. C'mon, honey, you had a one-on-one and didn't get a smooch. Then he banged someone else in the ocean.
Juan Pablo kicks off the night with the devastating news that he'll be sending home three women, and Clare toasts to "finding love, being loved and making love." Smooth move. Like we needed that confirmation.
JP begs DAndi for a little beso, compliments Cassandra's beauty, praises Sharleen's individuality and finally kisses Renee (to triumphant music, no less), who extends her arms and does her best helicopter impersonation.
Juan Pablo's Second Thoughts
JP starts to doubt his decisions, now believing he went too far with Clare and was unfair to the other girls. So he sits her down and tells her it was inappropriate. She's taken aback and says she feels silly, but really she's just pissed off. Then he says he wouldn't want his daughter to see that kind of smut, and the waterworks come at the thought of disrespecting Camila.
He soothes her, but she still feels blindsided by it all. It was a mutual feeling in that warm Vietnamese water, and now she has no idea where they go from here. We all agree with her that he probably should've just said no.
The other women see the rift between JP and Clare, but it's not like she can talk to them about it. The rest of the cocktail party is rather somber. It's Museum Madness!
Another Awkward Rose Ceremony
Nurse Nikki, gives-it-up Clare and everyone's momma Renee are safe, which means there are only five roses to give out. They go to:
Opera singer Sharleen
Triple threat Cassandra
Scottsdale's Salsa dancing Kat
So it's the end of the line for dog lover Kelly and her sarcastic wit, never-got-any-love psych nurse Danielle and soccer nanny Alli. It can't be that surprising, since none of them got a lick of alone time. They are the three we know the least about.
Danielle knew there wasn't a strong connection and was hoping for the opportunity to bridge the gap, but it never came. A tearful Alli wishes him the best, while Kelly doesn't appear on camera. I'll miss her the most, because she's the only one who made me laugh. Oh well, at least the dogs will be happy.
New Zealand Beckons
It's off to the land next to the land down under, where things really hit the fan with Clare. But what can you expect when you're (I believe) the earliest to give it up in 27 seasons? Is he supposed to just end the show right then and there?
I think we all have to question Juan Pablo's judgment after this fiasco, too. It's not like he's Ben Flajnik and this was the first time a pretty girl touched his wiener. JP's a model-dating playa, and he's gotta think with the big brain if he's serious about this.
Renee stood out a lot for me in this episode, as I liked the non-momma side of her that emerged on the date. And while I'm a fan of hers, I'm not sure I'm a fan of her for Juan Pablo. But that might just be because I'm unsure if I'm a fan of Juan Pablo for anyone.
What did you think of the tryst? Were you surprised they didn't tease it up a little more ahead of the episode? Can JP really end up with someone else, or has this compromised his ability to forge a connection with another woman who likely found out about the incident while watching the episode, just like we did? Did he lose his credibility and trustworthiness?