Bachelor Recap: Am I the only Juan
The cool, slick voice over from Our Host Chris Harrison began as it always does each finale – promising that this is going to be the most dramatic in franchise history. I was a bit startled when he added “and surprising” to the list as well. If that weren’t enough proof that I was in for a wild, confusing, can I get some subtitles please ride, the two text messages I accidentally read during the show sealed the deal.
Wow – JP is a total jack wagon
From Some Guy in Austin
Best. Exit. Ever.
Needless to say, I was intrigued. I settled in to the safety of my chair, propped my feet up and waited for Juan Pablo to wow me with his jack wagon-ness.
CLARE MEETS THE FAMILY
Juan Pablo admits to the camera that he likes Clare about as much as he likes wearing pink. I like the live camera box in the bottom corner as much as I like He Who Must Not Be Named. Clare likes wearing flowing brightly colored dresses, carrying huge tropical bouquets sold at the Saint Lucia airport and falling in love.
Juan Pablo’s Dad pulls her in for hug and a kiss. So does his Mom, his cousin, his brother. The sister is 40 months pregnant and refuses to stand up, but graciously waves as her darling little girl and Camila come bounding into the room carrying water bottles.
Clare: HOLA CA-MI-LA. HAND SHAKE?
Even Camila, the bilingual five-year-old, is offended by the gesture, but becomes mesmerized by the perfect the teeth of the pretty lady who speaks loudly and gestures wildly.
Padre asks Clare if she has plans for a family. Apparently, she has big ones. She can’t wait to be a mom. She’s going to rock it because she has 13 nieces and nephews. She wants three or more kids of her own. Ironically, no one asked why her accent kept changing.
When Clare gets alone time with Madre, she reveals that Juan Pablo “totally gets her.” Madre smiles kindly and then wisely asks Clare, “Is there anything you would like to know about him?”
Clare: Is there anything, like personality wise, that I should know that he would never tell me?
Madre: He’s hyperactive. Super hyperactive.
Lincee: Thank you subtitles, but that’s an odd answer.
Next up is the cousin.
Primo: Are you in love with my cousin?
Clare: I’m falling in love with him. It’s been a long time coming.
Lincee: It’s been like two weeks. Whatever. Own it sister!
Primo: If he is willing to walk away, will you hold on?
Lincee: Como say what Primo? Where will he be going?
Primo: If he proposes in five days, what will your reaction be?
Clare whips up the prettiest tears and devotes her life to Juan Pablo and his family. She chooses to completely ignore the giant red flag Primo was waving in her face.
Primo sits down with Juan Pablo and gives him the dirty on Clare.
Primo: That woman is in love. I’m not saying she’s begging, but she’s ready to get married. You need a person who is willing to stay around.
Lincee: Let the record show that I did not take artistic liberties with that sentence. He actually said those words. Out loud. On national television.
Total honest runs in the family.
We find Clare and Padre holding hands on the back porch. He compliments her in many ways and tells her this she will always have a father in him if she ever needs someone. If that’s not completely fed by executive producers, I don’t know what is. Clare naturally melts and wonders where she put that bridal consultant card from Des.
NIKKI MEETS THE FAMILY
(The Ones She Hasn’t Already Met)
Juan Pablo greets Nikki wearing a grey tshirt with sweat stains and purple shorts. Nikki rocks the side bang braid, displays the rib cage bird tat and carries the exact same airport flowers as Clare.
Nikki is on her game and ready. Let the questioning begin!
Topic 1: Juan Pablo is a single father.
Nikki: No problem. Camila makes him the awesome man he is today. Boom.
Topic 2: Juan Pablo is not an easy guy.
Nikki: No one said this would be kittens and rainbows. I’m strong. Word.
Topic 3: Juan Pablo thinks he knows the truth about everything.
Nikki: No duh. He’s stubborn. I can handle it. TRUTH!
Topic 4: What does a weekend with Juan Pablo look like to you?
Clare: Easy. Beach, pool, making out. Why do you ask?
Madre: It’s more like breakfast, email and watching TV. And then there’s Camila’s schedule.
Nikki begins to slowly crack under the realization that Juan Pablo might be a jack wagon.
Nikki: Do you think he’s ready for this?
Madre: I am pretty sure. He’s not easy.
Debbie Downer Cousin has his time with Nikki and pretty much allows her a peek behind the Juan Pablo curtain.
Primo: So how much fighting can you take?
Nikki: I would probably fight him if he asked me to dance again.
Primo: When things get rough and he walks away from the relationship, what will you do?
Nikki: If there’s passion there, I’m not scared. I’m looking forward to the future.
A collective groan issues forth from the live studio audience. Harrison polls a few people who think both girls are whack for not listening to the multiple warnings from the family. The one dude’s insight is that Nikki is hot.
Then he pitches it to the random assembly of past Bachelor contestants who live within a five mile radius of the abandoned warehouse where they are taping in East Compton. The Dog Lover can’t believe both girls are ignoring the red flags. Catherine thinks he’s complacent. And the entire back row of dudes are just there for the Instagram moments and to hook up with the girls on the front row. I’m looking at you Arie.
THE OTHER SHOE FINALLY DROPS
Juan Pablo takes Clare up in a helicopter and ABC editing leads us to believe that this is the most romantic moment since Noah Calhoun rowed Allie out into the middle of all those ducks.
Then the swelling, classical music slowly fades and all we hear is the whir of the helicopter blades as it lands on a mountain. Suddenly…
Clare: We were alone in the helicopter. No cameras. No microphones. And he said something to me that no woman wants to hear. I’m not just an object. Maybe I have it all wrong. I’m so confused right now and I don’t know what to do next.
The date goes on and we still don’t know what in the world Clare is talking about. Apparently, Juan Pablo whispered something incredibly disrespectful and followed that up with a tablespoon full of Juan Pablo Honesty.
Clare: He said he doesn’t know me at all. And then he said something sexual. I thought he was leaning in to say something sweet. I’m shocked. I don’t have words. I don’t want to repeat what he said. It was offensive and made me feel awful. I came here for love. Not a hook up.
For the first time, I truly felt like we were seeing the real Clare. She wasn’t fake crying. She wasn’t fake smiling. She was genuinely confused and working hard to hold it together has he drug her up the side of a mountain.
Later at the hotel room, she cries the tears worthy of an Academy Award nomination. Juan Pablo arrives and she confronts him.
I’m going to recap this next conversation from Clare’s perspective. The phrases in parenthesis represent Juan Pablo’s constant need to affirm, interrupt and assert his honesty. The interjections in ALL CAPS represent my constant need to yell at my television during this show. See if you can follow along.
Come in Juan Pablo. (Besitos?) I want to talk to you about something. (Ah yes. Me too. Besitos?) Please stop messing with my hair (eet’s so pretty) and listen to me. (okay) You could have said anything in the world to me in that helicopter. (I know. Saint Lucia. So green. So blue.) Focus Juan Pablo. What did you say to me in the helicopter? (You tell me? I say many things. Let me touch your ear.) HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT HE SAID. HE’S DISTRACTING YOU WITH HIS PHEROMONES AND TALENTED TONGUE. STAY STRONG CLARE.
You made a comment about we did in private. (Si. What we did stays private.) Look, we have great physical chemistry (Yes. Since day one.) Right. But you told me that you didn’t know me enough. (Si.) What did you mean by that? (Un beso?) Listen. I need you to tell me what you mean! (There may be some things I like and some things I don’t. I’m just being honest.) You don’t even know how I feel. (You feel soft.) This decision is hard. (Hard for both of us.)
I can deal with honesty but I’m confused. (Digame.) This is the end. (Of the road.) Do you even know what you’re going to do? (With what?) I can’t sit here with you being unsure. (I’m sure that you are hot.)
Clare vows to the camera that if Juan Pablo isn’t in this to win this, she will book her plane ticket back right this minute.
It can’t be just about chemistry. (You said you didn’t want to kiss in Korea. And I was glad about that. Then you went back on your word. Don’t blame me.) BLAME YOU FOR WHAT AND STOP TOUCHING HER CHIN LIKE SHE’S A FIVE-YEAR-OLD IN TROUBLE. Do you know enough about me to propose? (I have to make that decision for me and my family.) ANSWER THE QUESTION JACK WAGON!
Juan Pablo scoots closer to Clare on the couch and begins touching her face, ears and hair.
I like kissing you. WHAT THE WHAT IS SHE SAYING? (You are special. You got to meet my family. I know if I end up with you, we will have a baby in a year and two months. I feel great about you.)
Clare figuratively melts into his arms as her uterus quivers with the anticipation of carrying this amazing man’s babies. I puke in my popcorn.
Back in studio, Harrison gives Opera Sharlene the floor. She continues to slay me with precise accuracy in hitting the proverbial nail on the head each and every time she opens her mouth.
Opera: I find it interesting that Clare’s intuition was ringing, yet she did not listen. His way of complimenting her is that she got to meet his family? He’s very patronizing.
Very cerebral Opera. I like it.
NIKKI WANTS AN I LOVE YOU
Juan Pablo knows that Nikki loves him because she’s told him five times. But he needs to figure out what he thinks about her. There’s something there and it’s not just her boobs in that tiny black bikini top.
Nikki hopes that Juan Pablo finally affirms her feelings with a great big I LOVE YOU back. Clearly, she’s never seen this show.
He takes her on a catamaran and makes out with her. He confuses her irritated face with deep thoughts and she begins a long drawn out speech about how she feels like he’s guarded, and he doesn’t share his emotions, and she had no clue how he feels about her. Instead of answering the question, he fondles her ear and makes out with her.
This discovery of complete nothing confirms that Nikki is ready to get engaged and is totally annoyed by how much she thinks about silly things like emotion, true love and cerebral tendencies. Let’s make out on the beach now!
Nikki: What are you going to do when you don’t have private islands to lay on?
JP: I have a bed.
Nikki: [giggle, giggle]
JP: And I have a TV. If I’m alone, eet’s okay.
Why would he be alone? Nikki is ticked. She so ticked that she doesn’t change out of her super cute nightgown when Juan Pablo comes over to tell her she looks pretty before fixing the hair behind her ear.
She gives him all the green lights to share how he feels and he ignores them all. She gave him a framed picture of her on a horse in her Pocahontas outfit. He reads her entire love note out loud before realizing it’s not another forgo fantasy card.
He tells her to sleep. Then he gets up to leave. She gives him the cold shoulder and he is oblivious. Or just doesn’t care. We can’t be sure. He leaves. She cries on the sofa. Her nightgown was wasted on this moment
Juan Pablo fidgets with his Neil Lane ring. Clare puts on her turquoise Grecian dress. Nikki is in royal purple with a slip up to her hop. Everyone looks over their balconies, wondering if they will get their happily ever after.
Then ABC puts them on a boat to reach the rose ceremony destination. Clare’s hair flies all over the place. Nikki’s is as strong and stable as her will to win. I found this odd since Clare is a hair dresser. One would assume she would have hairspray that would withstand gale force winds, but that is not the case.
Clare is the first out of the boat. Her heels sink into the sand. Harrison is there to greet her and send her through the rain forest. The rose ceremony staging area looks a bit disheveled. It’s as if the ABC Intern checked out, knowing this wasn’t going anywhere. He just used whatever he could find. Then a wind storm came through, knocking everything down. Leaves are strewn about. Baskets overturned. Eet’s okay.
Clare greets Juan Pablo and pours her heart out. Juan Pablo responds with an interesting “I wish the earth sucked me” phrase, thanks her for being there and tells her he must say goodbye.
He goes in for the hug and Clare’s defenses kick in with a double hand to the chest, rejecting him amidst the rumpled mess around her.
Clare: This entire time, I’ve stuck around because I believed in you. The other night, you told me we would be having babies together so I believed in us. I’ve saved this moment for the man of my dreams. I thought that was you.
She stalks off the non-up-to-code stage, whipping around at the last second.
Clare: What you just made me go through, I would never want my children having a father like you.
Ouch. You’d think Juan Pablo would be hurt by that remark. Instead, he plasters a smirk on his face and says, “Woo. I’m glad I didn’t pick her.”
Mind blown. What a jack wagon.
Poor Clare leaves on a dingy. Just like Ben the Wine Guy did that one time. She’s not crying like a fool. She has angry tears like a woman who finally saw the light. You go Clare.
Nikki arrives. Juan Pablo looks about excited to see her as he did Clare. He tells her all the things he loves about her without saying he loved her. He said he had a ring in his pocket, but he wasn’t going to give it to her because her Dad said he should be 100% sure before he proposes, and he’s just not all that sure. He asks her to accept his rose anyway and then commands that she not get cranky because it’s so hot outside.
And they lived happily never after.
AFTER THE FINAL ROSE
Clare is first up on the hot seat. She looks great. The tan is glowing and the hair extensions are curled. She’s definitely putting out the vibe to those single ex-contestants on the back row. She admits that she should have followed her gut and just left. She was very gracious in saying that he was not the man she thought he was.
Clare: That day was pivotal for me. I have never been able to stand up to a man before saying exactly how I felt. It was not okay. That was my closure. That was all I needed. Don’t want to sit on this couch and get fed any more BS.
OHCH: So you don’t want to confront Juan Pablo?
Lincee: WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO!
Juan Pablo basically says that he doesn’t regret a moment of the show because he was honest. He was straight forward. He was poorly edited. When Harrison jumps in to talk about Clare, he gets pissy because Harrison interrupted him.
After 27 seasons under his belt, Harrison doesn’t really care about this unfortunate Emily Post moment and keeps going. He is the host after all. Our host. He tries to get Juan Pablo to feel bad about Clare but Juan Pablo is too busy making “get a load of this guy” gestures to the audience because Harrison interrupted him.
From the lack of compassion, I’d say the audience is Team Harrison.
OHCH: So what did you say in the helicopter?
JP: I don’t like talking about my private things. She was disappointed she wasn’t picked. I knew she would be.
OHCH: Right. So what did you say in the helicopter?
JP: It’s between the two of us. It’s fine. From my mouth, nothing is going to come out. I have no regrets.
OHCH: Really? You can’t think of one? Huh. Soooo, how’s life with Nikki?
JP: We are happy. Things are great. Eet’s okay.
Harrison brings Nikki out. She’s wearing a red tank top from Build-A-Bear.
OHCH: How are things with Juan Pablo? Are you still in love?
OHCH: Is he in love with you?
Nikki: We express things differently.
OHCH: What does that mean?
Nikki: My feelings haven’t changed.
Annoyed and ready to give that investigative reporting class he took the old college try, Harrison brings Juan Pablo back out to join his
fiancé girlfriend friend Nikki.
OHCH: The happy couple is together at last! [in a dead pan voice]
Juan Pablo: Yes. Now we can go eat a burger in a restaurant. Or go to a park.
OHCH: So you told our producers that you had a big surprise tonight!
Juan Pablo: I don’t know what you are saying. It’s time to be private and we are happy we are free.
OHCH: Okay. Sooooo do you love her?
Juan Pablo: I’m not going to answer that. This is real life. We are done with the show. We are so done. You guys have been boxing me. Just like the time you interrupted me Chris. I’m just being honest. I’m always honest.
OHCH: But this is the fun part. Everyone went on this journey together. They want to know how excited you are. Instead they are throwing stuff at their TV screens.
Thirty minutes later, Harrison is still beating a dead horse. I beg him to land the plane because no one is emotionally invested with Juan Pablo and more than likely we really don’t care if he chooses to confess his undying love for Nikki.
The interesting part is when he said that “things had changed” after the last time he had been to Los Angeles for Women Tell All. My guess is that ABC conveniently handed over some paperwork that said he was contractually obligated to hitch his wagon to Nurse Nikki for at least 90 days. His “plan” quickly changed from dumping her on national TV for Camila’s mother (SURPRISE) to convincing her to fly to Miami four weekends in the next three months, plus one “happy couple” appearance on DAndi’s Women Tell All.
Nikki is unusually quiet, which does not align with her character either. Juan Pablo apologizes for the show not turning out the way we all wanted it to. He just want to live his life away from the media.
Sean laughs, explains that his life will be in front of the camera for at least a year and then punches Arie in the knee to keep him from whispering, “Punch him dude. How do you say that in Spanish?”
Juan Pablo remained oblivious, yet honest. Nikki was mute. And Harrison is still annoyed to this day.
Oh, and DAndi is the next bachelorette. As if we hadn’t figured THAT out.
The bottom line is that I wasn’t really emotionally invested in Juan Pablo. I didn’t really have an opinion this rose ceremony. I don’t like what he said about being thankful he didn’t pick Clare. And something shady is definitely up, but it won’t make me lose sleep tonight.
I agree with Kristie. He may have jack wagon tendencies, but eet’s okay.
All about the shame, not the fame,