I have to admit, I was very conflicted going into this recap. I, as well as the rest of the world read about all the very bad things that this latest leading man of The Bachelor said. He is a bit homophobic! Very conservative: on a show with this track record? Quelle surprise! Only, really it isn’t. This is the zebra showing its stripes, really. I don't blame people for boycotting the show. What Juan Pablo said was atrocious. And ignorant.
And the so-called apology/explanation was worse. Calling gay men “more perverts, in a sense” is just bullshit. No one who speaks Spanish could mistakenly translate “more affectionate and intense” to “pervert.” The Spanish word is pervertido, from the verb pervertir, means “to pervert, warp, deprave” according to Google Translate. (I’m sure all those gay friends of yours love that.) If there is nothing wrong with gay people falling in love and having families then there should be nothing wrong with showing them on TV. Because there isn't; it’s just allowing people to live in ignorance and fear rather than face reality and their own prejudices. Homophobes: there are some members of the Wrong Side of History, even, that are throwing you shade right now.
The man is clearly conservative in his personal leanings, which isn't all that surprising when you consider the very particular type of people they cast on these shows. And as a hate-watcher, it made me feel all the worse about supporting the whole thing. So needless to say, I considered the whole not-watching-thing myself. But it is also my job (a thing that helps me pay my bills) to watch this stuff and write about it (like here, and also here).
So I’d like to offer that you all stop watching if you want. Seriously. Turn it off if you want. If you feel guilty about indulging in the series, there’s no need: that’s what I’m here for. Just read my recaps instead! I’ll do the hard part so you can sit back and read and laugh between Excel spreadsheets. I’ll take one for the team, because I care.
Now, let’s take a look at what has continued to be a series of painful absurdities draped in mindless drivel, lumped into things called “dates” in the name of “true love” as defined by King of the Dance, Juan Pabsies.
Following a brief jaunt at the beach with his daughter, JP mumbled off to meet his potential future childbride, Cassandra, the former NBA dancer, mother of a 2-year-old that hasn’t been on a date since she was 18. Oh my god! you think: but wait, that was only 3 years ago and good lord do I wish I was kidding but nope. Ugh. Throughout much of the date, it was fairly obvious that Cassandra was out of her depth, so to speak. But still she plodded along, playing pretend, conjuring in her mind this slapdashed, cinematic version of herself and proceeded to act as if she was that woman, all glossy and new. Bright, confident, smart, and totally not at all overwhelmed by the fact that she’s got a bunch of people staring at her while this 31 year old man cooks her dinner on camera and calls it romantic. So he starts dancing with her to make her comfortable. Which, we learned tonight, seems to be his only move. (But more on that later.)
The duo spend their time talking about malted milk balls (he doesn’t know what those are), how long it’s been since she’s been on a date, and why she’s an overprotective mother. Juan Pabsies declared that “DAY-UM,” she was pretty so she got the rose, especially because “she’s beautiful, she’s funny, and she dances.” The potential for longevity, people!
Afterwards came the literal manifestation of the love games going on within the show: a competitive game of soccer. Because Juan Pablo is a man of many varied interests, and also because girls running, yelling, kicking, and screaming after a ball feels like a great metaphor for the whole series.
Kelly, Dog Lover, was worried about having to play sharesies with the other girls in regards to Juanie P in addition to being a non-athlete (yadda yadda insert Clueless’ balls/social life joke here), especially around über-competitive athletes like Alli.
I will admit that Nikki seemed to have a connection with Juan Pablo, which, yeah sure, good for her. I don't necessarily know if I see it as much with Andi, who seemed super into her makeout sesh in the kitchen with him before declaring crazy feelings. Of course none of that topped the scandal-causing on-field make-out between Sharleen and Juan Pablo because…dun, dun, dun: the girls could see it! (The horror of being faced with the realities of what you already know is likely happening, eh?) Homegirl had been turned on by watching Juan Pablo out on the field, having a lightbulb moment where she realized she was attracted to him at least physically, and went for it. Like, really went for in for it.
But what happened in the next segment was a thing of reality television beauty. Truly. I have to give a hat tip to the story editors/regular editors/whoever was in charge of framing this entire forthcoming sequence of events. The comedy was pure and brilliant and true in The Age-Old Saga of Elise and Chelsie.
Following the admission that she’d possibly-maybe had a sex dream starring Juan Pablo (what else would constitute a dream being “steamy”? Did you sweat next to each other in a sauna?), Elise spent the rest of the episode crowing about Chelsie’s adolescence.
But first there was the date, where JP was able to pull out his one and only how-to-interact-with-the-ladies move, singing and dancing to Spanish songs. Literally. He does this with every woman he encounters one-on-one. Even his daughter — remember when they were in the car? It’s a particularly apt moment to compare the two, as we have JP in a car with Chelsie to start off their one-on-one, singing and dancing to a Spanish song. Right before she begins to act like a total child. She’s 24, so, there’s that.
After eating a bunch of delicious-looking Venezuelan food, here comes the actual date: a casual bungee jump. Oh, great, that’s fun for the stomach. And both Juan Pablo and Chelie admit that they're scared. But Chelsie’s really scared. So much so that both of them go into their de facto mode: baby and parent. Literally, he shushed her like a baby, hugging her and stroking her back while he cooed, “Listen, nothing’s going to happen.” All really bolstering Elise’s case.
Which: you know Elise is watched this last night, cackling in a room somewhere full of friends (maybe some random strangers) as she pointed at the television. Someone probably yelled “nailed it!” before they high fived.
But after a billion years of hemming, hawing, and coddling, Chelsie relented and they took the damn leap.
Of course we later learn why Chelsie is so scared: as a teacher in a sea of dentists (her family must have intimidatingly good teeth), she was the black sheep. But she asserted that she lives in the moment and only ever wants to be happy. That, Juan Pablo later asserted, is all he needs and wants in a woman — someone carefree and easygoing. “That’s wifey material,” he declared.
Of course the comedy train returned shortly thereafter, with Elise continuing her crusade against Chelsie age in conversation with another contestant. Seriously, the moment Elise admitted she’s 27 to the other girl she'd been complaining too about how young Chelsie is — after said girl guessed Chelsie to be “25 or 26” — was just perfection. Speechless. Chelsie got the rose, by the by. It was the best day of her entire life! Mine too, Chelsie: mine, too.
Prior to the Rose Ceremony, Juan Pablo showed up to make the girls breakfast. And he made breakfast. I actually wanted to eat all of that, no lie, but I'm hungry all the time so what else is new. But the appearance was actually a switcheroo: they're not going to have a stuffy cocktail party; Juan Pablo wants a pool party! And a pool party he shall have. “This is a great day of being el bachelór,” he declared.
But what happened next was more akin to a parade of tears. Sharleen declared to him her frustrations with the cameras; Clare looked herself in the bathroom upon seeing the duo steal a kiss after he consoled her. Then Clare came down and cried to him, too — because crying to House Mom Renee wasn't enough, apparently. It’s just because the “process is weird,” you guys. Clare then went on to explain that what she feeling wasn't jealousy — by literally using a textbook definition of jealousy. “It’s not jealousy; I just want it to be me.”
But there’s no time for all of that nonsense now, because things are “getting real,” as JP oh-so-eloquently mused. Is it getting real, Juan Pablo. Really, really real? Courtney Stodden rill? I must know the answer. Apparently, the answer was: too real for Christy, who was very upset. And perhaps not real enough for Lucy, Free Spirit, who is forced to twirl her way back to Santa Barbara and her life of being naked and friends with Kate Upton. I never knew the search for true love would be this real, you guys. I didn't think it would drive us all this crazy.