Sure, it was dramatic when Sharleen voluntarily left, and kinda messed up when Cassandra was sent back to her baby daddy on her 22nd birthday. Yeah, the hometown dates were fun, with plenty of drama coming from Andi and Clare's respective families. And we were all upset when Renee went home to become the next Bachelorette
. But let's be honest. This
is what we've been waiting for.
It's more highly anticipated than the Women Tell All, the After the Final Rose and, this season at least, even the possible proposal. It's the question that's been asked for weeks now, and we're finally getting the answer in the form of the second half of a two-night Bachelor
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What the hell happens in the fantasy suite?
There has been plenty of speculation in the tabloids, which I won't dissect here, and everyone has their theories. Mine is that he and Andi do the horizontal Salsa between the sheets and he's like, "That was fun, but Clare was more aggressive and attentive." Either that, or he keeps his red flip flops on and she finds out his ankle bracelet wasn't an arts and crafts project Camila made. Or maybe he still gets it on with the ex-missus on the regs. So I guess that's three theories.
No one knows exactly what it is yet except those involved, but what we do know is that it's about to tear apart at least one relationship, prompt a rose ceremony confession from JP and make everyone -- and I mean everyone -- cry. Except us, of course. We'll probably just be amazed at Juan Pablo's cajones. Blame it on the language barrier.
To the fantasy suite mobile!
Welcome Back to St. Lucia
The Bachelor returns to the Caribbean island paradise where dreams are made and locals teach you how to open a beer bottle with another beer bottle. It was a trick so cool I brought it back with me from a cruise that stopped there, and now I just kill at parties.
The residents are also very proud of their time-honored reality television dating heritage, and your tour guide will point out the Bachelor house as your catamaran goes by it, nestled in between the massive Grand Pitons like it's motorboating them. "Here is the spot where that pilot guy proposed to the crazy b**ch who ended up with the guy who got a heart tattoo on his wrist and talked like Kermit," he'll say.
Juan Pablo is relishing private time away from the cameras, but he has no idea what's about to happen. Then again, neither do we.
The First of the L-Bombs
First up is Clare, who is finally ready for her love story
in the bedroom. They ride a boat called "Give Thanks" (paying attention, Clare?) to a yacht called Pixel, which I don't have a joke for. They cuddle and talk about meeting the fam and crazy protective Laura, and Clare tells him how her parents were engaged after just three weeks of knowing each other. That's probably a little strange for JP, being a single dad from a failed relationship, despite the fact that he's trying to find love in such a short time frame.
He literally strips her down to her bikini for a sultry dip, and I get dirty looks when I start beatboxing adult film music. Before dinner, Juan Pablo says he is excited to get to know Clare better -- "a lot better" (cocks eyebrows and elbows cameraman) -- and I'm starting to believe he thinks these women are obligated to sleep with him.
Clare asks if they end up working out, if she'd be able to meet Camila's mom. She goes on a long diatribe about why it's important to her, even if JP and her relationship is terrible, because, you know, she's your daughter's mom. He should respond that it's cool because Nikki already met her, but he doesn't.
Will She or Won't She?
Chris Harrison invites them to stay in the fantasy suite, and she segues it into a conversation about Vietnam and the 4am ocean romp. She didn't realize that setting a good example for his daughter was so important to him, and he's like, oh yeah, that was just to blow you off because there were cameras watching. I totally don't care about that. What do I need to do to get you in that room?
They sit on the couch and kiss, and he tells her she's cute. Is that his go-to line? And oh my god, if I have to hear him ask "What are you theeeenking?" one more damn time...
Clare is bursting with love and can't keep it in any longer, so she says those three magical words. Or more accurately, "I love falling in love with you." They reflect on their time in the frozen cave when Juan Pablo melted her ice queen heart. Gee, I wonder where it all melted to?
A steamy make-out session in the hot tub gets rid of any remaining frigidity and leads to ... the next date with Andi.
The Beginning of the End
Andi feels like they're in a good place despite the hometown date dad troubles, and it's off to the Dunnery Seafood Fiesta for lunch and a lesson in playing steel drums. They chat with and contemplate stealing some local children before buying them food and drinks, because apparently stranger danger is a myth in the islands.
The kids like soccer, so JP and Andi jump into a pickup game and get sweaty before hopping into an off-road vehicle for a walk through the rain forest. It's their second waterfall date, and he fills her in on papa bear's "No one is good enough for my Pookie" chat. They go for a swim, with Andi looking incredibly sexy in another backless deep-V one-piece. It's something they both have an appreciation for.
The gorgeous sunset gives way to a private dinner and some awkward conversation about how desperate Andi is to fall in love. She told him on the hometown date that it was something she wanted quite badly, and he's worried that she would force it just to have it. But she says wanting something and forcing something are different things
in English, and he accepts her clarification.
Then they have a disturbingly real and mature conversation about motherhood, if she'd move and take the bar exam again, what their life would be like and any other concerns they have over this insane process. Whew, I'm glad that's over with.
Finally! The Good Stuff!
She accepts the invitation to the fantasy suite, and they share a champagne toast before the cameras leave and the lights go out. He thinks Andi could be "the one," his future wife, but she is about to view their relationship very differently. I hope I'm not disappointed...
In the morning, Juan Pablo wakes up in a state of pure bliss over the evening they shared. They chemistry is great, and they had a great night full of fun and laughter. He just really likes the way she is, and he's happy. From her perspective, however, she could not wait to get out of the fantasy suite. So how did it turn into a nightmare?
She saw a side to him that she didn't like, and she calls the entire night a disaster. She started off this journey with concerns and was skeptical, but the immediate connection was enough for her to brush past them. But every time she tried to talk about her feelings, he made it all about him and didn't care who she is, what she's like or what she wants. It seems strange, because from what we've seen this season, all he does is listen. Then again, maybe that stems from embarrassment about his English, and it disappears when the cameras are off?
Also, he name drops and admitted he had an overnight date with Clare, which she didn't even ask about and which made her want to smack him across his stupid face. He has no filter, and he thinks he can say whatever he wants and everyone will love him. It's not funny or cute, it's just wrong, and she needs to be with a guy who loves her more than he loves himself.
While harsh, this is still a letdown, as nothing even remotely scandalous happened. She just got to know him and realized she didn't like him. Seriously, how is this "The Bachelor like you've never seen it before"? Meh.
An Undramatic Nikki Date
My frustrations are immediately dispelled when Nikki walks up wearing next to nothing. I exclaim, "Damn!" while my girlfriend mutters, "Oh jeez." When I asked how I should describe the outfit, she say, "I dunno, slutty cowgirl? Ugh. If you're going to dress sexy, at least wear something cute. Fringe? It looks like she bought it at a flea market in Texas." (It's actually big flowing floral cover-up pants and a tiny tassel-y gold bikini top.) Ahhh, the difference between men and women.
They ride horses and muse how difficult that would have been if Nikki hadn't worn pants on the date, before stripping down and romping in the ocean. She is still waiting for that perfect teen movie moment to drop her legitimate L-bomb, and he can tell her wheels are turning prior to dinner (even though he doesn't know what that expression means). They talk about theeenking, open the overnight invitation and retire to the fantasy suite.
Perfect moment be damned, she just can't keep it in any longer, and she straight-up says, "I love you" and that it takes a lot for her to say it. Much like they've always been able to have grown-up conversations, she conveys these feelings in the most mature way we've seen so far. Sometimes simple is the most meaningful.
Videos from the Non-Beyond
Before Andi lets him have it, Juan Pablo sits down with Chris Harrison to break down what it means when JP "likes" someone. Does he like them? Or like like them? Then it's time to watch the final plea videos before he whittles the field down to two.
Nikki walks through their journey, from her heart racing to meeting his family to the most romantic day of her life. She is happy she was able to express how she feels and can't wait to see what the future holds for them.
Clare says basically all of the same things, but about meeting her family instead of meeting his. She says a normal I love you, which is easier when you're talking to a camera instead of a human, and she's ready to start a life together, like right now. She also cannot wait to see where this goes.
Then comes Andi. Oh boy, and here comes Andi. She didn't know what to expect from this experience, even as their relationship progressed from crushy-crush to full-blown feelings. And waking up after the overnight, she went through a ton of different emotions that she wishes to share, but not on a video. In person.
She woke up that morning knowing Juan Pablo isn't the guy for her, and it will be hard, but she's completely sure of what she's doing because every ounce of her being knows she's not in love with him and never will be. All he wanted to do when she talked about things that were important to her was tell her it's okay and give her a kiss. That sounds about right, but that doesn't mean he isn't taking this seriously.
She tells him she doesn't love him and that it's not going to work, but he's not nearly as devastated as she wants him to be, and that's not going to fly. He tells her that it's okay, and that if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. It is most certainly not okay, she growls.
He tells her that he can have her in his heart and love her to death, but he can't make her feel something for him that she doesn't feel. So even though it's sad for him, it's better for her to be honest and move on as soon she's sure. She's only had to worry about feelings for one person, while he's been trying to take care of 27 women down to the
three two who are still left.
This still isn't good enough for her, and she demands he show emotion and do anything other than say it's okay. All he ever says is "It's okay," and she'll die if she has to hear it one more time. He's like, Andi, what do you want from me? This is life. This is reality.
He's making so much sense that she has to change the topic to his offensive mentioning of the overnight date with Clare to try and get a rise out of him. She calls him a bleeped-out name, and they argue excessively over whether the word "default" is in his vocabulary.
She hammers him about all the things she hated in the fantasy suite, and he asks why she didn't mention any of them at the time. She scores one point, though, after peppering him with questions to prove he knows nothing about her. He asks if she knows what his religion is, and she answers immediately. His stunned face is priceless.
Either way, this is an easy breakup. For both of them. His parting shot is that if she had just said she didn't see it happening, he would have been crushed. But arguing with him turned him off to the point where he is done, too. He's not going to argue with a lawyer.
The Getaway and Aftermath
She rolls her eyes in the van, saying he just doesn't get it and never will. No one wants to be with someone so honest that they make you feel bad about yourself and put you down, and there's a difference between being sincere and just being offensive.
The tears come soon, though, because walking away from this makes her feel like a failure who might never find love or have a family. Oh well, at least your dad will be happy.
From my perspective, she comes off as the one who looks bad in her handling of the situation. If she doesn't like him, fine, that could happen to anyone on any date. But to get pissed that he's not more upset and then focus on that one comment about the other overnight date seems more like petty jealousy.
You know what you're there for. If you can't take the game, don't play. Maybe he shouldn't have brought it up, but it's certainly not breakup-worthy or even that controversial. I think her pride was just hurt.
Maybe it's a female thing about being insensitive, but what did she expect? As sleazy as he can appear sometimes, Juan Pablo has always been consistent and true to his being throughout the process. Who would have though JP would win the maturity award? He really is the womanizing male version of Renee. Maybe I should have a kid.
No Need for Roses Now
Our final two are set without a rose ceremony, but the ladies still need to be informed of Andi's abrupt departure. Archenemies Clare and Nikki glare at each other, or maybe that's just the sun, setting up an epic finale showdown. Chris Harrison informs them that Andi is gone, but leaves it up to Juan Pablo to explain the sordid details.
He gives them a seemingly honest and heartfelt speech about her leaving, his desire that they be honest with him and express their concerns and the fact that he'd understand if they didn't want to accept a rose.
Clare is positively giddy over the possibility of leaving St. Lucia an engaged woman, and because she and Nikki are such polar opposites, Juan Pablo's choice will tell a lot about him as a man, i.e. if he picks me, he's a good guy. If he doesn't, there must be something wrong with him.
Will Juan Pablo pick Nikki? Will he choose Clare? Will both end up going home ringless? Or will someone leave on their own? Speaking of which, what are your thoughts on Andi's departure? Did she handle things well? Does Juan Pablo's maddening complacency and mature approach justify her reaction?
Next up is the explosive Women Tell All, followed by the dramatic finale, family meet and greet and final decision. Like I said in Monday's recap, this may be the worst season in Bachelor history. But it's also one of the most entertaining.
The Bachelor season 18 airs every Monday at 8pm on ABC.