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How does one solve a problem like Juan Pablo and his no good, very bad (yet so far deserved) image? Well something tells me that The Bachelor’s producers are hoping that the current leading man of true, everlasting love’s decision to not kiss all of the girls will do it. That’s right, Juan Pebbles has decided that his previous dating tactics — kiss all of the girls and dance a little — might not be the image he wants his daughter to see a few years down the line. He’s a gentleman and a father and not a — how you say? — pervert.
But that was only one part of the tactical emotional manipulation assault against the collection of insecure laughing-while-eating-salad models that the ABC series has amassed this go around. First, the women are told they’re going to Seoul, South Korea. Freakouts ensued; a girl exclaimed: “Korea? I don’t even have a kimono!” and they all bounced and giggled as they carted their bags of fake eyelashes and hair all the way around the world.
This week there would be two group dates, and but a single one-on-one. Sharleen proved to be Juanie P’s Seoul-mate for the romantic date. The rest of the girls were split into two group dates. The first batch of MENSA candidates were invited to dance on stage with a popular K-Pop group 2NE1 (that’s pronounced Twenty One and not “to anyone”) in a big, swirling mall filled with semi-enthused fans. “Just like Gangnam Style!” JP declared. The whole thing was, naturally, drenched in dramatics: mostly thanks to Nikki’s dislike of Kat and the other dancers in the group helping out the non-dancers in their attempt to learn the group dance. Which is a totally cool and normal thing to get upset about: someone helping you. I mean, especially when it shows off skills that you don’t have and that makes you feel as if the Totally True Love of Your Life might slip out of your grasp and into a synchronized step-ball-change with your nemesis. That’s just the worst.
The girls don’t like Nikki, which naturally means that she gets the rose from Juan Pablo. So tensions continue their never-ending ascent up to the summit of Mount Meltdown, complete with the obligatory “I just think you should be aware that some of these girls aren’t genuine” shitalking to Juan Pablo. Because — horror of unbelievable horrors — there may be some women on this show who are not the series for the all-important Right Reasons.
But let’s hop over to Sharleen the opera singer, receiver of the Seoul-fated one-on-one with JP, and apprehensive maybe-lover of this particular bachelor. None of the girls understand why she got the date, because they find her dull and Sharleen herself has admitted the duo have boring conversations. But against all her seemingly better judgment, she carries on with this awkward, lip-biting jamboree. Juan Pablo is feeling Sharleen though, thanks to her outsider perspective and honesty regarding a situation where she previously dated a man with a child but it didn’t work out. So he gave her the rose because he thinks they might be soulmates as well as Seoulmates! The other women are going to hate that.
The second group date started out with karaoke and ended with communal tank fish pedicures. Because nothing sparks romance like tiny, toothless carp nibble away at the dead, callused skin on the feet of you and your boyfriends’ other girlfriends. After that, Claire made a big stink about trying octopus as if someone was asking her to ingest dead foot skin. Probably because Claire’s insecurity has her wound up like a cymbal-toting anxiety monkey, forcing her unwavering march into Juan Pablo’s heart at all costs. Not that she has any reason to worry — Juan Pablo broke his kissing rule for her, not minutes after Lauren S. (this year’s token “wait, she’s been here the whole time?” contestant) started crying over this very arbitrary rule.
The evening ends with the Andi and Kelly, Dog Lover Comedy Hour, spent riffing on Claire’s antics before Elise and Lauren S. are sent home. Overall the consensus the girls have regarding the show is that it’s awkward. Which is one way of looking at all of this, I guess.
Next week, we’re going to go out on a limb and say there will be some dancing, some kissing, and a lot of tears. Some things never change, even when they insist they've changed.