Welcome back The Bachelor, where Juan Pablo and his bevy of bachelorettes have made their way from Vietnam to New Zealand to continue their journey to find love, hopefully with each other. As the numbers dwindle, the stakes are raised and everyone is angling for PG-rated alone time with Juan Pablo.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelor:
Bachelor Milestone: “It’s getting really real.”
First Date: Lovely lawyer Andi gets invited on her first one-on-one date. Juan Pablo has set up an adventurous journey for them, because “it’s important that Andi trust” him and the best way to foster trust is to force a woman to face her fears, preferably in a bikini. They ride a boat to the middle of nowhere and then crawl through what one can only assume is a leech-infested river without Googling whether or not New Zealand has leeches.
Best Out Of Context Quote: “So many crevices!” declared Andi.
Most “Love As Landscape” Metaphors Per Minute: If I can let my guard down and trust Juan Pablo something amazing will happen. In a one-minute span Andi manages to make three adventure-as-love metaphors: They are “navigating unknown territory,” “it’s a squeeze”, they “never know what’s around the next corner.” Then they make out under a waterfall and on camera and Juan Pablo doesn’t once mention his No Kissing rule or stop and scream, “The children! What about the children!” even once. Instead he whips out a rose for Andi. “She wants love. She wants a family. Just like me.” And just like every other woman on the show.
Dirtiest Metaphor: Speaking of love as a landscape: There are two geysers spurting furiously into the air. Hopefully Juan Pablo’s daughter will never sees this!
All About Clare: Clare is frustrated that she didn’t get the date card, because after hooking up with Juan Pablo and then being publicly slut-shamed despite his willful participation, she wanted to have some alone time with him to hug it out in an appropriate manner. She tells the camera: “Things might finally erupt in New Zealand,” but it’s hard to tell whether she’s talking emotionally or about a giant pimple. She got the second date card, so we will find out soon.
Worst. Birthday. Ever.: It’s former NBA dancer Cassandra’s 22nd birthday and not only does she not get a one-on-one date, but on the group date she gets loaded into a giant hamster ball that is partially filled with water and then shoved down a hill. Then she got to watch him do that with six other women. Then, in a private ceremony, Juan Pablo dumps her when all she wanted was “open up to him in a way she’s never opened up before,” which is definitely a euphemism.
Biggest Missed Opportunity: Instead of tucking Cassandra into a giant plastic hamster ball and rolling her home, he just put her in a boring old SUV.
Nerd Alert: The Bachelor took over Hobbiton, where The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed. The women all do their Gollum impressions while making “my precious” jokes about the date rose.
All The Feelings: Real estate agent/single mother/den leader Renee would like to kiss Juan Pablo for the rest of her life. Nikki, the pediatric nurse, feels much the same way. Opera singer Sharleen does not. She’s not sure about her feelings for him at all.
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Truthiest Truth: Sharleen has a moment of clarity and realizes that “this process is a little inorganic.” It’s as if Sharleen had never watched the show before auditioning. To assuage her doubts, she then makes out with Juan Pablo in a very organic way and washes all those pesky thoughts away. To top it off, she gets the date rose.
Best Reason To Date Seven Women At Once: When Juan Pablo gets back from dumping Cassandra, he has six women eager to comfort him.
Lamest Mea Culpa: After making Clare cry last week, Juan Pablo confesses that he knows it was his mistake. Clare explains that she would never do anything weird or awkward she just wanted to go for a swim in the ocean (euphemism alert!) but she would like to know the boundaries, moving forward. He sets out the rules: No kissing in front of his daughter, no hand holding in front of his daughter, no overnight dates in front of his daughter and no skinny dipping in the ocean at 4 a.m. on national television in front of his daughter. Kissing all the girls in front of a national viewing audience before 4 a.m.? Totally cool. Then Clare and Juan Pable go back to his place, put on matching sweat pants and, um, swim on the couch.
The Cocktail Party: The remaining women are feeling the pressure. While Renee thinks all the women have “a connection” with Juan Pablo (read: they’ve swapped spit) Juan Pablo and Chelsie go for a canoodle and she admits that she feels frazzled and then asks if he knows what it means.
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Best Cautionary Tale: Kat has been “journaling” since she’s been here and had an epiphany that her drunk father was never there for her and now she’s trolling for love on reality television and, you know, journaling. It was all a means of excuse as to why she hadn’t made out with him yet.
The Rose Ceremony: Andi, Sharleen and Clare all have roses already, so when Nikki and Renee are called, it comes down to the virtually indistinguishable Kat and Chelsie. Juan Pablo calls Chelsie’s name because she was getting screentime while Kat was busy journaling. In the limo, Kat reassures herself that it’s a marathon not a sprint. Seems that no one has pointed out to Kat that, when you’re in the limo, you’re out of the race.
Coming Up On The Bachelor: Juan-Pablo takes his roving harem to Miami, where Sharleen finally realizes she has doubts and Nikki opens up about the fact that she hates Clare.
Most Egregious Edit: As the credits ran, we are shown footage of Juan Pablo throwing sheep poop at the bikini-clad women as he chased them through a meadow. How could they edit that illuminating footage out of the show?