We get a break from dream dates and women sending themselves home on The Bachelor
this week, as it's time for the bi-annual tradition that is the "Tell All" bonanza. Juan Pablo and the women are on the hot seat this time, as 25 spurned suitors and quitters open up about their experiences searching for hot, barely bilingual love on reality television.
There's a lot of anger brewing among these chicas, but it seems like most of it is manufactured justification for losing, except in the obvious cases of the two who left voluntarily. Still, Sharleen is coming in looking a bit classier, while Andi gets another chance to double down on the ridiculousness that was her overnight date outrage.
I get it, you think Juan Pablo sucks. But it's childish to get all pissy and tell him why he sucks so much just because he didn't react to your leaving. But I'm sure we'll dive headlong into that later.
The real Godsend (for her) and tragedy (for us) is the news that everyone's favorite momma Renee is engaged to a normy from back home. I mean, I'm happy for her, but unless there's some freaky Utah polygamous rule changes (you watching, Jef Holm?), it means she will not be the next Bachelorette, which was all but assured after her dramatic departure.
But enough of my talking. Let's hear what the ladies have to say.
For the Third Time, I Present Sean and Catherine Lowe
Did anyone else notice that whole row of guys in the audience? This must be the most number of dudes at a Bachelor taping ever. I spotted, like, six of them.
But before we get to the current season, Chris Harrison invites newlyweds Sean and Catherine out to discuss their recent nuptials. America watched them tie the knot before their Bora Bora honeymoon, but we didn't get to see the much-anticipated wedding night sex-a-thon. Catherine says it was great but quick, and then Chris and Sean awkwardly joke about premature ejaculation before Sean launches into a story about a stingray latching onto his man parts while they were swimming with sharks.
Can we just bring out the girls already?
Kermit vs. Constantine
What the hell? I guess we're promoting the new Muppet movie, Muppets Most Wanted, because we get a very awkward skit with Chris interviewing Miss Piggy and Kermit about their upcoming wedding, only it's really frog-poster Constantine, who framed Kermit for something or other. Then Constantine makes fun of Juan Pablo's accent.
I'm pretty sure this first half hour is pointless, so I'll pick this up when the show actually starts.
Let the Juan Pablo Bashing Begin
Weirdly enough, free spirit Lucy and Renee get the loudest ovations, while Andi gets the longest applause. Guess we can tell whose side the audience is going to be on. There are 17 ladies present, minus the two who are still in the running, which means six contestants apparently had better things to do. Or we never really knew who they were anyway.
Renee and Scottsdale's Salsa dancing Kat talk about how attractive JP is, while dog lover Kelly was concerned that pooch Molly didn't seem to like him. Then comes the montage of the girls panting and drooling over him like the puppy dogs that they are. Then it goes south.
Andi, piano bicyclist Lauren S. and psych nurse Danielle all bash Juan Pablo for his shallow conversations, and even though Renee got deeper by talking about their kids, dumped-on-her-birthday triple threat Cassandra thinks there is more to relationships that JP didn't care about, like her favorite color. Kelly argues that there should be a life outside your kid, and it's pretty ironic to get on Juan Pablo for not separating mom and child when you're the girl who brought your dog on the show.
The Catfights Begin
Lauren S. didn't find JP relatable or interested, and Kelly jumps on her for being different now than how she was in the house, when she was in tears all the time. Chris asks if this is all sour grapes, and Kelly and I both think so. Andi does stick up for Juan Pablo's intentions, saying she believes he was there to find someone, but that he's just looking for a girlfriend to see where it goes afterwards. And that didn't jive with what the women wanted -- a hottie husband with an accent.
Kat points out the confusion sparked by Juan Pablo's ever-changing rules, and Kelly accuses him of using Camila as an excuse to avoid telling women he didn't feel any chemistry. But he sure didn't mention his daughter when he was in the ocean. Renee gets it because she's a parent, but Kat resents how the single moms were his "special ones," because then what is she?
An Ocean Romp with Clare
Now to the elephant in the room. Andi and Kat were roommates with Clare, and yet they had no idea that she sneaked out at 4am for some late-night fun. Still, all the girls think the hot tub group date action just prior was way more disrespectful.
They also agree that JP didn't handle the post-coital brush off in the best way, with Sharleen calling it a case of buyer's remorse. But they were both at fault. Andi again offers some quality perspective, that they can be angry about it now, but Clare and JP have a connection that she would have exploited the same way had it been her.
Sharleen to the Hot Seat
The first girl to leave of her own volition is back to talk about why Juan Pablo wasn't for her. Chris Harrison calls her the most intriguing person who's ever been on the show, based on the hot-and-cold relationship she had with JP. She covers her eyes when they show kissing during the montage of her time, and it's just as uncomfortable and awkward to watch the second time around.
She left because she knew that at the end of the day, Juan Pablo wasn't the one for her. She could date him and they had something special, but there was no cerebral connection and it was all physical. Still, she has to defend his conversational skills, because she found him very curious to learn about her and other people's experiences. She's surprised to hear him say that she was his favorite, but all the other girls were well aware.
She regrets some of the things she said, but she is still glad she left. She just didn't want to hurt him.
Is She or Isn't She?
Renee is next on the couch, and she found her time with Juan Pablo to be sweet and romantic. Part of it was that they both have kids, but it was different for her than the others and they connected on a deeper level. She relives her highs and lows during the montage of her experiences, which opened her eyes to the possibility of love as a single momma. It apparently made her realize she wanted to go home and marry that guy she knows.
She was in love, even though she couldn't get the words out because it felt unnatural, but she doesn't think that saying it would have made any difference. It was tough for her to watch on television as he held back on kissing her and then made out with Clare 20 seconds later.
She has dated since leaving the show, and she's in a situation now where she's "very happy." She's not wearing a ring, but she's definitely off the Bachelorette market. Hmph. I don't know who else they can pick from this season, as I wouldn't be excited for any of these jilted drama queens.
Andi and the Fantasy Suite Nightmare
DAndi is the last one we're hearing from before the man of the after-hour hits the stage, and it's time to delve deeper into what exactly went wrong to bring about her complete 180. Initially, she was attracted to him, enjoyed spending time with him and feeling like she could fall in love. Then came the fantasy suite.
They had some fun times and laughter once the cameras were gone, but then Juan Pablo started talking about himself. He also started to get very negative about the process, when she felt he should have been grateful for the opportunity. Then she brings up the whole "default" thing again, the fact that he mentioned his overnight date with Clare and told her that she barely beat out Renee. Shocked and appalled? Yawn. Fake sleep or no fake sleep, she was mentally done, and so am I.
What Are You Theeenking?
You can almost see some of the women pull out their dagger sharpeners as Juan Pablo walks to the sofa. He waves hello to the girls, and Andi takes some deep breaths. He's anxious and nervous, but he's happy to see them and thinks there could be a few friends in the group.
As he reflects upon his time, he wouldn't change anything, because it's all about honestly and maturity, even if it appears rude at times. Honesty can hurt, especially if you're not going out of your way to let people down easy. It's probably why I could never be the Bachelor. I always have to look like the nice guy at the end of a relationship.
Ladies? Lauren S. is up first, and it's all about women-jumping and seemingly inconsistent promises.
Juan Pablo Again Silences the Critics with Maturity
I gotta say it, Juan Pablo makes a ton of sense and comes off looking really good here. He wasn't the Bachelor to kiss 27 women, he was here to get to know the women and see who he liked and how he felt. And if he wanted to kiss one, he'd kiss her. It sounds bad to say, but the show really is all about him, even if it puts the ladies' feelings at risk. He's the Bachelor after all, so he's front and center at all times.
His motivations were different with Renee because of a story we didn't see them share, during which she told him of a breakup that left Ben crushed. That put him on a different timeline with her, which seems totally understandable. Cassandra says that he shouldn't have gone on the hometown date, and he just says, why not? What difference does it make? He didn't know what was going to happen yet.
Then all the non-parents get on him for having "special one" parents, but he's once again correct that it's a big difference having kids versus not having kids, and all the other crap the non-parents had to leave behind is completely irrelevant compared to leaving children. I get that, and I only have a puppy.
They get on him for always saying he was trying to be fair, and apparently that's another phrase that must stricken from his vocabulary. Andi sticks up for him, continuing her streak of backtracking on her overly negative Juan Pablo bashing from last week. There are parts of him she likes and parts she doesn't, so she's just being honest. I think they could actually probably end up good friends because, like him, she won't need a filter if they're not trying to date. It's probably the best way for them to tolerate and appreciate each other, if they're both someone else's problems.
Eees Not Okay
Juan Pablo also apparenlty didn't say the word "wife" enough, and many of the girls are in agreement that he didn't get to know them well enough. But he says he took it seriously and in reality, you can't get to know everyone the same. Lucy says that each woman wanted to feel like they were in an individual and unique relationship with him, but that just seems like they all want to be babied.
Then the topic turns to Juan Pablo's seemingly anti-gay comments, particularly from Kelly, who has at least one gay parent. He talks about it being taken out of context and that he has no problem with gay people in any capacity. And Victoria, who moved to the US not knowing any English, implores him to stop using the English-as-a-second-language cop-out. He tells Kelly he'd rather not discuss the topic for the next four minutes, but is more than willing to take an hour after the show and go over it in every detail.
I get why people are offended by his words, but we covered this weeks ago and what he said was really not all that controversial. The word pervert was definitely not the right one to use, but he didn't even use it as a noun, which is a huge clue to the language barrier. Sharleen backs up his open-mindedness and acceptance of others.
Please Accept My Little Package
The blooper reel includes Juan Pablo and Cassandra breaking down mid-lake in the boat car, lots of dancing, JP repeatedly referring to Camila as his "little package," lots of set stuff falling, a montage of every time Juan Pablo said "ees okay," Molly going to the bathroom in the pool, a giant rat, a literal catfight and JP in neon pink Spandex.
A Finale Preview
It's down to Nikki vs. Clare, and Kat says it's a wide open race. Kelly is team Nikki, as is Sharleen, while a show of hands reveals a few members for team Clare. Both women are in love and dreaming of wedding bells, but St. Lucia isn't all rainbows and sunshine.
The women meet JP's family, and his relatives have a few words of caution. Tears abound, but neither wants to lose. We see Juan Pablo walking all by his lonesome into the woods, but is it just fancy editing? Or does he really end up with no one? We'll all have to tune in next week to find out.
The "Women Tell All" ends with free spirit Lucy jumping into Chris Harrison's arms and then being the center of a massive group hug. I actually think it's pretty telling as to Juan Pablo's character that the two women who stuck up for him the most were the two who left willingly. I think they both appreciated him for who he is while also realizing that he's not the one for them. It's certainly more mature than Andi looked last week, and she did a good job of redeeming herself. The others are just bitter.
The Bachelor season 18 finale airs next Monday at 8pm on ABC.