Hola and lo siento for the delay, mijos; I’ve had to professionally recap things like Teen Wolf and The Real World all week, which are television programs about about teenage werewolves and hedonistic idiots, respectively. And by professionally, I mean I was technically earning money (but shaving years off my life and my pride) by watching shirtless man-boys turn into wolves. Because that’s how the world works now. Truly, these are the days of our lives!
And I’m sure this last week has been long for you too, as we’ve all be suffering from that hot and sexy disease that Chris Harrison so confidently deemed, Juan Pablo Fever. The symptoms: wavering between if you find someone incredibly attractive of incredibly awkward, illogical attempts at speaking Spanish, occasional rashes, of course, this face:
Lest you try to forget that Juan Pablo is the sexiest damn Bachelor in 18 seasons, ABC will remind you at every turn. No lingering shot on his abs is to close, no force-feeding you his devoted paternity too blatant. They even seem to have given him a sexy job because, as I recall, his employment on Des’ season was “Former Pro-Soccer Player (secret Miami Club Promoter)” and now he’s a “Sports and Entertainment Consultant,” paling around with professional baseball players. What’s he consulting them on? Probably the language looooooove (and board shorts).
I’ve got to say, my hopes were lukewarm for JP’s stint as the main man in my life [ed. note: Yeah. That’s right. Two hours every Monday makes him the main one. Keep your judgmental and correct thoughts to yourself, thanks.], but…I’m kind of into it. He’s seems a little excited, a little weary, and mostly confused: just like I like my men. Juan Pablo tries to explain how he found himself wearing ABC’s pink v-neck, passed down from generation to generation: “I’m in this situation because America wanted me to be the Bachelor.”
What he means is that ABC recognized him as the 50 Shades of Grey to every other former bachelor’s generic beach read. He’s walking fanfiction for the people who have never heard of fanfiction. The lusting women who practically threw their panties on stage at Des’ Men Tell All episode don’t want another born-again-no-fantasy-suite Sean. They want the fantasy suite in episode three! And they certainly never wanted Ben Flajnik. Only Kris Jenner wants Ben. And, like, maybe Arthur the Aardvark in a moment of confusion.
No, JP is the new Bachelor and none of these women were disappointed when they heard the news. They googled “how to be a step mom,” re-upped their birth control ‘scrip and spent the whole plane ride to L.A. plotting how to make Juan Pablo fall in love with them: either by using his ESL language barrier to trick him, or by being completely charming in their first exit-the-limo introductions. All but about two of them will have to fall back on the language thing because, woof, those limo intros. But before we get to those. DRINK!
Every time Juan Pablo has sexual chemistry with someone who isn’t a contestant. Double drinks for dudes!
For every time JP says “Wow” do a pushup, just to even things out. Ha, just kidding, I would never want you to do that! Just, like, lick a beer can or something. Because if you take a sip every time, you’ll die. If you take a half sip, you’ll die. If you take a quarter sip, you might just make it out of this alive, but not without first calling your ex boyfriend and telling him you’ve moved on, his abs have nothing on Juan Pablo’s.
Before he can get started on his journey to lov—HOLD THE PHONE! Imma give you back the mic in a second, but Juan Pablo just threw out the biggest Bachelor change of all time. What about when Brad just didn’t pick anybody, you ask. Bigger, I say. What about when Sean went rogue and handed out his roses throughout the cocktail, party you ask. BIGGER, I say! Juan Pablo refuses to call this a “journey.” JUAN PABLO REFUSES TO CALL THIS A JOURNEY. If you’re going to ruin my whole life, why don’t you just do it to my face, JP?! The fact that he thinks of this more like an “adventure” than a journey just shows…this kid’s gonna get eaten alive.
–– Back on the phone. JP calls up Sean the Former Bachelor (“Who else I was gonna call?”) to give him some love advice and I can’t focus on a damn thing he says because they’re so busy flirting with each other (drink!). Oh, you know how to tango, Juan Pablo? Maybe you could show me. How many of them did you kiss, Sean? Maybe you could show me. “I had a lot of hard nights where I couldn’t sleep, Juan Pablo.” MAYBE YOU COULD SHOW ME, SEAN!
That is only a very slightly altered version of events. After soaking up all the advice (and possibly ruining a marriage – sorry, Catherine, there’s always season 19 of The Bachelorette), it’s time for JP to put little Camiiiiiiila in her pa-yamas and go meet the 25 loves of his life. Wait, what’s that Chris Harrison? The 27 loves of his life?! Care to explain why you’re including two extra women? No? You’re right, why would you? This is your world, we’re just living in it. [ed. note: You’ll get yours one day, Chris Harrison!]
JP brings it in with CH (drink!) and tells him that he’s excited about his
journ adventure but he’s a little nervous because he doesn’t like hurting people. Well buckle up, amigo, you’re about to meet the 27 most emotionally volatile people of your life:
Amy L, 27, Local News Reporter, wearer of this shirt: Amy L starts off an unusual trend of mostly straightforward introductions. No props, no knight’s armor, just awkward, awkward banter. It takes about four girls before Juan Pablo speaks above a whisper, 12 girls until he can remember to kiss them on the cheek without the producers reminding him from stage left, and he never quite gets the hang of not eye-effing the sh— out of every single one of them [ed. note: Excuse me, but it’s true.]
Cassandra, 21, Former NBA Dancer: Everything about Cassandra on paper screams train wreck. She’s 21. 21! Do you know what I was doing when I was 21? I can’t tell you because THOSE are the kinds of things you should be doing when you’re 21. You shouldn’t be trying to fall in love with a 31 year old DAD, no matter how smoking hot he is [ed. note: the Fever, it’s catching]. And how are you a former anything at 21? A former fetus, sure. A former founder of an iCarly fanblog, probably. A former NBA Dancer…well, that does actually seem to make for a good match with a Former Pro Soccer player on paper, but in real life, it means you’re both jobless. And that’s no way to raise Mija Camila. I say all of this because Cassandra makes no other impression except that she’s beautiful and awkward. The editors use the cricket noise and everything, because the editors are assholes.
Christy, 24, Marketing Manager: I’ve already put it on the table that I think Christy might be a homicidal stalker obsessed with Juan Pablo. Her subtle white-gown-and-tiara-like-headband bride motif do not dissuade me from that belief.
Christine, 23, Police Support Specialist: Christine is wearing a lovely green gown, is from Miami and brings a cute little present for Camila that she somehow presents non-awkwardly. She’ll have a stiletto through the heart within the hour.
Nikki, 26, Pediatric Nurse: Nikki is the one that asked about drunk dancing in her bio. Nikki is a nurse of precious children. Nikki uses this fact to have JP use a stethoscope on her, which actually means she innocently guides him straight into second base. Nikki is winner.
*WOW count: 10; JP’s thought-of-the-moment: “No more limos…”*
Kat, 29, Medical Sales Rep: Kat comes out, asks Juan Pablo to teach her some salsa moves, follows his lead and arranges a date for inside. Patti Stanger would be proud. JP’s thoughts: “She smells good. Very good.”
Chantel, 27, Account Manager: I thought that Chantel and JP had a very just-friends chemistry, but the way he checked her out for a full 30 seconds as she walked away suggested otherwise.
Victoria, 24, Legal Assistant: Victoria wore a kick ass yellow dress, is Brazilian and tried to get JP to speak Portuguese. Turns out, two languages is his working limit.
Lucy, 24, Free Spirit: I can’t do it. What, with the flower headband and the no shows and the calling herself a hippie all the time? I don’t think that’s a thing that hippies do. And I don’t believe Lucy. You know why she gets to be a free spirit? Because her parents are rich! You SHOULD have some worries by the time you’re 24. You should be thinking about where your health insurance is coming from. Especially if you’re gallivanting around with no shoes on and probably having sex with a guy who’s having sex with 12 other women (I just know the fantasy suite will come earlier on JP’s season). I’m going to tell you what your best friend, Kate Upton, who HAS a job, won’t: get your act together.
Danielle, 25, Psychiatric Nurse: Well, I’m glad we’ll have one of those on hand, especially considering the *This Season On* bathroom breakdown.
Lauren S, 26, Music Composer: Lauren S. Fred Flinstones a piano up a very steep hill to show Juan Pablo her music passion. She’s so embarrassed about how poorly it goes that it takes the embarrassment-pressure off of my shoulders and makes me like her a lot more.
Chelsie, 24, Science Educator: Chelsie wears lab goggles (that are just fake Forever 21 hipster glasses) and pretends to do a science experiment with JP, but ditches it halfway through in favor of just “having chemistry instead.” They do not.
Elise, 27, First Grade Teacher: Elise hugs Juan Pablo, tells him they have so much in common, and then immediately leaves. Always keep the tricks guessing, Elise!
Ashley, 25, Grade School Teacher: Ashley speaks in her first grade teacher voice the whole time but, frankly, I felt a touch reassured about my decision to invest two hours in Juan Pablo when she stuck a little gold sticker on his lapel and whispered, “I think you’re doing the right thing by being here and trying to find your wife.” That was, of course, immediately sucked out of me dementor-style with…
Clare, 32, Hairstylist: You may remember Clare as the hairstylist who said she’d never been on a vacation because she’s never made time with her job. I’m not saying that’s not a time consuming job. I’m saying you can take a vacation from any job. Even being a hairstylist. Especially being a hairstylist. Anyway, you actually don’t remember any of those things because now you only remember that Clare is the one that showed up looking like she was pregnant in her gown, and didn’t ever really assure Juan Pablo that it was a fake baby bump. I just knew she was going to pop a soccer ball out of there but, nope! She just walked away into her second fake trimester. And you know what? Juan Pablo LOVES it. Actual quote: “You look gorgeous with the belly.”
Alli, 26, Nanny: Alli plays a little fútbol with JP, but mostly looks simultaneously exactly like Eva Mendes, and nothing like her at all.
Amy J, 31, Massage Therapist: OK, all cards on the table, I’ll probably be single when I’m 31 too. There’s nothing wrong with it. You haven’t found the right guy yet, you’ve been focusing on your career, whatever. It’s fine. Amy J is the type of person who makes me lose all of my principals and think, “Ah yes, I see why she’s still single.” Amy J is terrifying. Beyond having an orgasm via her profession in her intro package, the main move of her limo introduction is to open her eyes as large as possible (so, huge), stare straight into JP’s ojos and say: “I’m here for you. Because it’s you. And I can’t wait to get to know you.” To both note that you have not gotten to know someone yet and in the same breath tell them that they’re the one for you is a special breed of crazy: a Bachelor breed.
Renee, 32, Real Estate Agent: Renee seems very sweet and she and Juan Pablo connect in that awkward latching-onto-any-single/divorced-living-soul way you might expect at a PTA meeting. But I really wish she would stop saying “single mommy.” Unless she’s saying “single mami,” in which case, totally fine.
Lauren H, 25, Mineral Coordinator: Lauren H’s first mistake: not immediately explaining what a mineral coordinator is. Her second mistake: everything she does once inside the house.
Maggie, 24, Personal Banker: Maggie is the type of person who has “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” written in bubble letters somewhere in her house, and I just really don’t have a lot of time for it. Neither does JP, evidently.
Kelly, 27, Dog Lover: You guys, believe it or not, I dabble in the internet from time to time, and I read somewhere – although I’m unwilling to dig deeper – that Kelly is actually a dog rescuer and not just a general “dog lover.” But I still have to judge her for, a. Listing that as her occupation, and b. Not knowing that she was stealing the title from a much more famous doglover.
*WOW count: 300; random voice in the approaching limo: “Are you crying?”
Lacy, 25, Nursing Home Owner: Lacy brings JP a prescription and tells him to “take two and think of her.” I don’t like the implied date rape, but I do like that Lacy owns a nursing home at age 25. That’s a specific passion.
Alexis, 24, Communications Director: Alexis is very precious and seems to be a tipping point for Juan Pablo – “but she’s cute, too!” – when he realizes he can’t just judge this on looks alone. I mean, he can for like the first two eliminations, but this is a particularly attractive cast. Probably because they all look alike. [ed. note: ‘cept you Sharleen, we’ll get to you Sharleen!]
Kylie, 23, Interior Designer: Kylie is the problem with The Bachelor. That’s not to say that The Bachelor only has one problem; that’s to say that The Bachelor has 1,000 problems and every single one of them is personified in Kylie. She is 23 and already desperate to find love and/or fame. She is clearly a fan of the show and already so obsessed with Juan Pablo, a man she’s never spoken to, that she runs up to him, says, “Oh my god, I’ve been dying to hug you,” hugs him and runs inside without looking him in the eye, learning a single thing about him, or telling him a single thing about herself. Kylie is the worst.
Sharleen, 29, Opera Singer: Sharleen is everything right with The Bachelor. That’s not to say that there’s anything right with The Bachelor, that’s to say that Sharleen came on this show and made something right. She and Juan Pablo have the kind of conversation – you heard that right: a conversation! – that you might expect to have with a stranger the moment you meet them. I truly believe that Sharleen knows nothing about JP, in the same way that he knows nothing about her and they meet each other in a very honest moment. She’s kind of cold and awkward and beautiful; 4,000 more words on Sharleen to come.
Andi, 26, Asst. District Attorney: I’m not sure how you become an Assistant District Attorney by the time you’re 26, but it’s probably not by being and intern when you’re 25, so I’m officially out of the running. JP turns into a 13 year old boy talking to his best friend’s older sister when talking to Andi. He’s, uh, very attracted to her. I didn’t respond well to her high-ponytail, high-power lawyer shtick in her intro package, but I like how natural she was in her limo introduction.
*WOW count: 2,600 [ed. note: j/k, that’s my word count]; Juan Pablo’s (I assume season-long) mounting anger at Chris Harrison: “How I’m gonna do this, huh? How I’m gonna send people home?”*
I like Juab Pablo as the Bachelor a lot more than I thought I would because he’s lot worse at it than I thought he would be. He’s bad at remembering names, the English as a second language, though charming, makes for a lot of awkward pauses, and he mostly seems attracted to the women who seem cool and smart and normal, and will make for terrible television. He’s totally creeped out my how much everyone’s eyes on him make him feel like a piece of meat, but he can’t stop thanking everyone for being there. Ever the club promoter, he even pulls out his Bose speakers for a one-groom-all-bridesmaids dance party. It’s pretty cute.
And then the night drags on for what I’m sure is 10 hours, and everyone starts dissolving emotionally and physically. There are really on two things to note from the cocktail party:
1. Lauren H isn’t exactly over her ex-fiance leaving her six weeks into their engagement. The moment everyone starts applying their bitch-face to battle it out for one-on-one time, Lauren H realizes she’s not quite as confident as she thought she was. You know, if you can measure confidence on your ability to steal a man away from another woman at three in the morning to have a five-minute conversation. Girl just weeps all over the place, to anyone who will listen, mostly the cameras. It’s never totally clear what she’s crying about, she’s just having one of those moments where you look in the mirror and see that you’re about to cry and then you can’t stop. But when you do it, you’re by yourself, and when Lauren H did it, her bathroom mirror was America.
Someone finally sits her down on an outdoor couch and sends a completely exhausted Juan Pablo to talk to her. She’s gotten her makeup in tact and it seems like she might have a chan—what’s what? She’s going to tell him that she just ended and engagement a few months ago, start balling and assure him that she’s “totally over it.” Alright, well-handled, then. JP looks like this through the whole conversation:
2. Sharleen is a BAMF. Just the BAMF-iest of all Bachelor BAMFs (given, her only competition is Mikey T!). JP loves Sharleen. What’s not to love? She’s elegant, she’s a different kind of beautiful than all of the rest of the women, she has an interesting, successful life and, of course, she’s not into him at all. Every man’s dream. After a pretty awkward conversation about her life abroad that is probably 1000x more interesting than anything anyone else has told him all night, he excuses himself. Sharleen knows what’s coming; we know what’s coming; the other women know what’s coming: First Impression Rose.
But the awkwardness we sensed? Yeah, Sharleen sensed it too. And she’s not so sure she should keep trying to date a guy she isn’t feeling a connection to. This is a real life thing!!! This reality show is giving us some little sliver of reality, right NOW. Sharleen has gone on her first Tinder date with Juan Pablo, it was fine, he’s totally into it, and she’s not sure. Does she tell him the truth and turn down his offer for brunch next Saturday? Does she ignore his text and pretend she just didn’t see it until a few weeks later when she wants a booty call? Or does she pound through with the comfort that a ton of people have fallen in love over time and not within the first 10 minutes of meeting someone. She chooses the latter but not before pausing for what feels like an hour before accepting Juan Pablo’s First Impression Rose with an elegant shoulder shrug and, “Sure.” Sharleen keeps it so real.
Finally, at 5 a.m., it’s time for the Rose Ceremony and JP pretty much presents them in order of how much he likes the women, because he really does not know how to do this yet: Clare, Nikki, Andi, etc. It goes down without a hitch, oh, except for that time KYLIE (foreground) THOUGHT HE CALLED HER NAME AND WALKED FORWARD, BUT WHAT HE REALLY SAID WAS “KAT” (background).
And then he couldn’t even be like, “Naw, it’s fine, you take this one, girl” because Kylie wan’t getting a rose. Because Kylie told Juan Pablo she dreamed about him before she ever came on the show. Because Kylie is the worst.
Note: I used the official Bachelor website for this to make sure I didn’t spell any of the Lindzis or AshLeys wrong and, you guys, they’re doing this thing where they black out the photos of the women who don’t get roses and listing their “status” as “eliminated,” like they’ve DIED. It’s awesome.
ELIMINATED: Alexis, Amy J (phew, no murder this season!), Ashley, Christine, Kylie, Lacy, Lauren H (best oF luck, sister, maybe look up Zak W, the Fluid Drilling Engineer from last season), Maggie and Valerie.
Next time: Awkward group dates! Can’t. Wait.