Another day, another episode of America’s favorite guilty pleasure, “The Bachelor.”
Before we get to the most dramatic finale in Bachelor history a couple of quick comments on last week’s “Women Tell All Episode.”
Juan Pablo has been taking a pounding the last couple of weeks, and for the most part I think that’s been deserved. He’s a bit of an egomaniac, he lacks some social skills, he’s probably looking for a girlfriend and not a wife and his butchering of the English language is an insult to ELL elementary school students across America.
ABC has also done something to JP that they’ve never done before – they made a Bachelor look like a jerk. There have been far worse Bachelors (Jake Pavelka and Brad Womack come to mind) and they were never edited the way Juan Pablo has. To be sure, no Bach has ever been lauded with so many endorsements either but up to last week I was beginning to think that there was no bachelorette villain this season, that the villain was Juan Pablo himself. Then I changed my mind.The rose without a ring.[/caption]
For all of his faults, and he has plenty of them, Juan Pablo is nothing but easy to understand. He’s just Juan Pablo – a guy who likes to dance, plant besitos and have a good time. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. All of those negative characteristics listed above are right in front of your face. He doesn’t hide them, that’s just who he is. Last week he didn’t apologize for who he was and when Chris Harrison asked him if he had any regrets, he confidently answered, “No.”
This non-apologetic behavior for Juan Pablo being Juan Pablo and Sharleen’s defense of him made me change my opinion of JP. It also, at least in my opinion, makes the complaints from the bachelorettes (and Andi in particular) moot. They expected Juan Pablo to be something he’s not. To be fair to them, that’s the kind of Bachelor this show usually provides. Someone who’s a little more caring, someone who really does (maybe) want a wife and someone who knows how to play the Bachelor “game.” I guarantee you that if Sean Lowe was up there last week with Andi drilling him with questions about why he didn’t want to know more about her, Sean would have been apologizing left and right. But not Juan Pablo.
That’s not who JP is. And to be fair to Juan Pablo, you can’t be mad at someone for who they are not. When the smartest person in the room (Sharleen) doesn’t have any ill will towards JP that should be a sign to the other bachelorettes that they just don’t get him. Andi said repeatedly in her last episode that Juan Pablo just doesn’t “get it.” Well, maybe the reality is that every bachelorette except one really didn’t “get” Juan Pablo. I get that might be disappointing for the bachelorettes, they were probably expecting something more. But as the saying goes, JP is who he is, flaws and all.
And that last sequence of paragraphs are easily in my Top 5 Things I Never Thought I’d Write. I think “defending Juan Pablo” is maybe even in the top 3.
Okay, enough jibber jabber. Let’s put this baby to bed.
7:00 – Today is my 43rd birthday. That’s right. I’m spending three hours of my birthday evening writing a Bachelor post. You guys owe me big time.
7:01 – For the record, I share a birthday with Chuck Norris and Jon Hamm. In fact, Hamm and I are the exact same age. I seriously bring down the cool factor on March 10.
7:02 – We start the show with a recap of the Andi/JP fantasy suite episode. Please correct me if I’m wrong but this is getting made into a MUCH bigger deal than it should be. I thought when I saw the previews for that episode that maybe JP was too handsy or something but Andi’s beef is that he didn’t show enough interest in her. Seriously?!? Gimme a break.
7:04 – Chris Harrison is talking to a “live” studio audience, putting the hype machine in full motion. No one uses hyperbole like CHarr. I think it’s his middle name.
7:07 –Time for Clare to meet JP’s family. I’m not sure what bothers me more about Clare, her use of clichés or her fake personality. I’m pretty sure everything Clare knows about relationships comes from Disney movies.
7:13 – JP’s family clearly knows him. His cousin says that sometimes he gives up and walks away. Can you be strong enough to deal with that? His mom said he can be rude. How ya gonna handle that? They are trying to point out who Juan Pablo is. My favorite moment was when the cousin said, “I don’t want to say she’s begging for it…” I like these people.
7:17 – Clare’s time seemed to go well. His family liked her but does JP? I think he sees her more as a fun time girl than anything relationship worthy. But he probably thinks that about every bachelorette.
7:21 – Nikki’s turn. The cousin seems to think she’s the frontrunner. Foreshadowing perhaps?
7:25 – Can JP’s dad Saul get his own show? I really like that guy. He’s wise, he’s quick with a laugh, he’s sweet but he’s also realistic. He’s like the Venezuelan Mr. Miyagi. ABC needs to sign him to a deal.
7:28 – Love the cousin too! He again brings up JP’s tendency to walk away from a relationship. I know Clare and Nikki are trying to make a good impression but I really like that JP’s family is asking them some serious questions because they know what kind of guy he is.
7:30 – The chats after the family visits couldn’t be more different for Clare and Nikki. Juan Pablo seems way more into Nikki and it doesn’t even seem close.
7:36 – Chris Harrison is talking to the studio audience. One of two guys in the audience gets a chance to talk to CHarr. This has to be the greatest moment of his life. If I worked with that guy I’d give him so much grief about being on this show. And I write a Bachelor blog.
7:39 – Harrison’s been taking a lot of digs at Juan Pablo tonight. Is he hedging his bets because he knows JP does something stupid later? Gah! That’s an even bigger red flag then Juan Pablo’s family was giving to Nikki and Clare.
7:45 – Time for one last date with each bachelorette. Clare is up first, time for a helicopter ride.
7:49 – Uh oh. The mood has totally changed. Clare is saying that Juan Pablo said something to her that “no woman wants to hear” something sexual in nature that made her feel horrible. What was it? According to this post on Wetpaint it was, “I really loved $%#&%@ you.” What?!? WHAT?!?!! I don’t know how to address this.
7:54 – We don’t even get to see the day portion of the date. It’s evening time and JP is visiting Clare in her hotel room. Clare wants to know their relationship isn’t just physical.
7:56 – This conversation is a non-conversation. Now that cameras are around, both are dancing around what the topic – Is this just a hook up to JP? It looks like it is and Clare is just now figuring that out. This makes JP look like a slime ball and I’m actually feeling (a little) bad for ragging on Clare this whole time. But at least I was right about the ocean coitus.
8:03 – The conversation is still going on. Another aspect of this is that Juan Pablo allegedly told Clare that he “doesn’t really know her and she doesn’t really know him.” Again, to be fair to Clare, that’s really not what you should be told if you’re in the final two.
8:05 – I think we’re getting a glimpse at what Andi saw during her fantasy suite time with Juan Pablo. Clare is really into JP so she’s being more patient with his constant talk about himself. Andi probably had far less patience for it and realized JP was, in reality, a selfish person. Clare really wants this to work, and is willing to work through JP’s communication issues to have a real talk and it seems to have happened. JP also seems to have reassured Clare that she’s the one. I’m so confused right now.
8:12 – Chris Harrison is again talking to the studio audience, this time to Sharleen and Sean Lowe. Sean thinks JP wasn’t being straight about his feelings with Clare and that he was talking in circles. Sharleen thinks Clare was ignoring her own intuition and that JP was being patronizing to her. I’d agree with both takes. This whole segment made Juan Pablo look pretty horrible.
8:17 – Time for Nikki’s final date. Much like her last one-on-one date with JP she’s got the girls on full display.
8:20 – Nikki brings up the ongoing theme for this season – she’s a bit unclear how Juan Pablo feels about her. Is it possible Juan Pablo is an alien? Or maybe a robot incapable of expressing emotions like Commander Data?
8:28 – Nikki says she wants to hear Juan Pablo tell her that he loves her. Throughout this show’s history that is something the Bachelor or Bachelorette has never done. I’m sure that’s something producers tell them not to do, otherwise it would ruin the finale so I’m not sure why Nikki is expecting that.
8:30 – Throughout tonight’s show there’s been a periodic picture-in-picture where the studio audiences’ reaction is shown while JP is talking to Clare and Nikki. I have never seen such a negative reaction from a studio audience before. If Juan Pablo comes out and the audience is there, I fully expect him to get booed.
8:40 – Time for a long, drawn out set up for the final rose ceremony. Clare says that, “This has all been her perfect version of a fairy tale.” Nice to see Clare is back to normal but I’m not really sure ocean coitus, being told “I really like (insert dirty slang here) you” and trying to pry emotions from an emotionless self-absorbed robot would be what I’d call a fairy tale.
8:42 – JP is ready. We don’t hear from him at all. We don’t see him pick out a ring. He’s just standing at the location of the final rose ceremony. The ladies are both on boats. The first boat arrives, or as I like to call it the “Rejection Boat” because the first person who shows up always gets rejected.
8:43 – Clare walks off the rejection boat and is greeted by Chris Harrison. This could get messy.
8:44 – As Clare walks up to JP she’s saying all sorts of things in a voice over that she’ll regret later – “My dad would be proud,” “I trust Juan Pablo, he really does make me feel safe” and things of that nature. This has got to be hard for her to watch.
8:46 – Juan Pablo just said, “I appreciate you for being here” and that’s when Clare knew it wasn’t her.
8:47 – JP goes in for a hug after rejecting Clare and she pushes him away. The audience was heard cheering in the background.
8:48 – And here we go, Clare is telling JP off. She finishes with, “After what I just went through, I would never want my kids having a father like you.” And again, we hear the cheering of the studio audience. So let me get this straight, five seconds ago you were ready to accept an engagement ring and now you’re in “I knew deep down you were a jerk” mode? That doesn’t match up.
8:49 – And JP just said, “Glad I didn’t pick her.” And the studio audience moans. Ouch.
8: 50 – Says Clare as she exits, “He’s truly not the man I thought he was. Don’t tell me you can see yourself in Sacramento. Don’t tell me how much your family loved me.” This would be more believable if when Clare was “crying” actual tears came out. Sorry, but I’m not being moved by the studio audiences reaction. I actually expected Clare to act like this if she was rejected. From my perspective this is Clare acting out because she didn’t “win.” And for the record saying “I see myself in Sacramento” is clearly a lie. NO ONE sees themselves in Sacramento.
8:57 – Now it’s Nikki’s turn. During her walk up voice over it sounds like she’s expecting Juan Pablo to say he loves her and is expecting an engagement ring. I think she’s expecting a bit too much.
9:02 – Says JP to Nikki, “I’m not 100% sure I want to propose to you but I don’t want to let you go.” Juan Pablo mentioned something that Nikki’s dad said about not proposing unless you’re 100% sure, which is why he said that. That’s honorable (in a way) but also incredibly unromantic. Least. Romantic. Final Rose Ceremony. Ever.
9:04 – Bonus Bachelor coverage! It’s time for the After the Final Rose show!
9:07 – Harrison asks about the helicopter comment. Clare, being classy, decides not to repeat it. Don’t worry Clare the internet took care of that for you.
9:11 – CHarr asks Clare if she wants to confront JP. To Clare’s credit, she said that after she said what she needed to him in St. Lucia she had closure. Good for her. Some women would have taken the easy bait and used it to get back at him but she took the high road.
9:16 – Out comes Juan Pablo, he was greeted with tepid applause.
9:19 – Gotta give JP credit, he’s handling some tough questions from Harrison well. He’s not badmouthing Clare, he has no regrets and things worked out how they worked out. JP was matter of fact about things. The dude is bulletproof. He just doesn’t care. In a number of ways, you have to respect his point of view. “Hey, things happen in relationships, some good some bad, that’s how it goes.” He’s not coming across as “I didn’t do anything wrong” it’s more of “What you saw is what you saw, what the hell do you expect me to say about it?”
9:26 – Nikki is out to chat with Harrison. Juan Pablo still hasn’t told Nikki he loves her. She doesn’t seem concerned. So neither should the studio audience.
9:32 – Juan Pablo joins Nikki and Chris Harrison. I really dig that JP WILL NOT bend to the will of what everyone else wants him to do. The studio audience is dying for him to say he loves Nikki. Harrison even keeps trying to get him to say it but he just won’t do it. Why? IT’S NONE OF ANYONE ELSE’S BUSINESS.
9:36 – For the third time tonight Chris Harrison tries to get JP to say he loves Nikki. He won’t do it.
9:38 – Chris Harrison says he doesn’t know what he’s looking at when he sees JP and Nikki. Juan Pablo says that they do. What he really meant to say is, “Screw you Harrison, I know what we have, you don’t need to know. Quit pestering me about the “love” word. Back off!”
9:44 – Harrison continues the L word pestering. I know why he’s doing it but he really needs to lay off. JP and Nikki are deciding to have their relationship private now that the show is over. I respect them for that.
9:47 – There’s been some head butting between Sean Lowe and Juan Pablo. Sean is pushing JP to be more open about his relationship but Juan Pablo is just not budging. Granted, this is a show about love (allegedly) and you become a public figure of sorts. Clearly Sean has embraced this, his wedding was on TV for crying out loud, but JP is deciding to take a different route. I applaud him for that.
9:54 – Chris Harrison announces the new Bachelorette. It’s Andi and I’m completely conflicted on her selection. She could be great or absolutely horrible. Andi could be great because she speaks her mind, she could be horrible because she says “At the end of the day” too much and I think she has a real mean streak.
9:56 – Andi comes out to a standing ovation. I’m starting to think me and the masses who watch this show are becoming different audiences. I don’t know if I can watch the Bachelor anymore.
9:57 – Chris Harrison continues his JP bashing. Making all sorts of allusions to things JP did “wrong.” I’m starting to turn on CHarr. Harrison really seems bent that Juan Pablo refused to fit himself into the typical Bachelor/Bachelorette “professing your love at the end” mold. I find this disturbing and viewers should too. If this show REALLY wanted people to find love, they’d let them find it in their own way.
9:58 – Andi just said “At the end of the day” for the fifth time tonight. She’s been on camera less than 10 minutes.
Final thoughts – This is by far the best Bachelor season finale I’ve ever seen. Usually it’s full of schmaltzy, cleverly edited romance but this episode was full of things that ticked me off. I like that…Chris Harrison was completely pandering to the audience. He was pressing for JP and Nikki to talk about how in love they are and dish on their future plans but Juan Pablo was having none of it. What is wrong with that?!? They seem to be treating this like an actual relationship. How many people have come on the After the Final Rose show, proclaimed how in love they are, accepted the applause of a mindless audience, then get featured on the cover of US Weekly two weeks later about their breakup? At least these two seem like they’re in a real relationship. And sure, Nikki is in love and JP is still giving no signs of that. But so what? It’s their relationship to screw up, not ours…That was easily the most entertaining Bach finale I’ve seen in a long time. Did I mention that already?…I have serious doubts about whether or not I can stomach an Andi season. Nothing about her is likable to me. At all…I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Andi as the new Bachelorette, JP and Clare, JP and Nikki not telling Chris Harrison what he wants to hear, all of it. I’m being serious. If the readers of this blog are the same type of people who sat in the studio audience I just can’t do this any more because I’m writing for the wrong people.
Thank you so much for joining me this season! It was a real roller coaster ride but it was also very fun! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to see a man about a dog.