“The Bachelor” Season 18, Episode 1: Things That Go (Baby) Bump In The Night

Hour 1: Sarah

We’re back.

So far the best thing about this season for me is “JUANUARY” — like, I get an embarrassing amount of satisfaction out of imagining the person who had the genius idea for #JUANUARY shyly bringing it up in a social media strategy meeting, and then imagining all the people in the ABC chain of command who had to stroke their chins and say “Juanuary. I like it” in order to make this possible. I LOVE JUANUARY.

I do not love this warmed-over intro package that true fans will have already seen if they tuned into ABC’S “gearing up for Juan Pablo” garbage hour yesterday evening. Juan calls his daughter Camila, who was born on February 14th, his “valentine for life.” 1. Yuck and 2. Why didn’t you name her Valentina?

Camila is also joining Juan Pablo in LA along with his parents, who will be looking after her, which is actually great and probably good parenting, but I am NOT looking forward to the parade of ladies trying to suck up to Camila all season long. Trying aggressively to make a child love you on camera is not a good look.

Anyway, we know how all of this works and I have a pizza to eat. I’m ignoring the remaining slow motion montages of Juan Pablo running shirtless on the beach (well, not ignoring them, they’re ABC-approved spank bank material, but let’s move on). From now on I will express my feelings with the help of a few GIFs.

Sean Lowe comes to give Juan Pablo advice and they touch each other with a hesitation that borders on revulsion.

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Sean Lowe talks about having a lot of “hard nights” as the Bachelor. I bet.

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I go into a fugue state. When I come to, Chris Harrison is standing outside of the “Bachelor” mansion, drenched in the blood of his enemies. He tells us that “Juan Pablo fever has reached epidemic proportions.” If you say so. Here we gooooooooo!!!!

Clip packages. Amy J. is a 31-year-old massage therapist who “absolutely considers herself an artist when it comes to the human body.”

Nikki is a pediatric nurse who gets to hang out with babies in her clip package. That is an unfair advantage.

Lauren is 25 years old and lists her occupation as “mineral coordinator”

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…and I think those are both lies.

Valerie is a personal trainer who is a poor man’s version of Courtney Robertson. COURTNEY, I MISS YOU.

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Claire is an age-appropriate hair stylist (she’s over 30, a rarity on this show). “I am part Mexican,” she tells us. Then she tells us that her father died of brain cancer and left behind a DVD for her future husband to watch, the contents of which she has never seen.

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End of clip packages! Time for limo entrances. “It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for!” Chris screams. Tell me about it. #JUANUARY!!!!

Every time Juan Pablo talks I fall asleep. Chris tells him there are two bonus ladies. Juan reacts like this has changed the course of human history. It’s an 8% increase! The girls start pouring out of limos like the zombie hordes in “World War Z.”

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Cassandra is a 21-year-old retired NBA dancer. She and Juan Pablo have literally nothing to say to each other. Her body is banging though so I bet she sticks around.

Christy is ALLEGEDLY a 24-year-old marketing manager. Everyone needs to stop sullying Juanuary with all of this lying about their ages.

Christine is a 23-year-old “police support specialist.” She is the first person to suck up to Camila. I hope Camila is making this face while NOT watching at home.

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The pediatric nurse shows up in a dress that belies her innocent affect and makes Juan Pablo hold a stethoscope up to her boobs. That checks out. Chantel seems cute and normal and kind of too no-nonsense for this whole dog and pony show.

Victoria is a legal assistant from Brazil. Juan Pablo seems to think she speaks Portugese even though the only words she said to him were “um pouco” over and over.

The monster who lists her occupation as “free spirit” does not deserve further commentary.

Some girl rolls in playing a fucking piano? Juan Pablo makes the face that I think I make when someone is playing music in a small room with not a lot of people in it, and one of those people is me, and I’m watching them play and they are also watching me watch them?

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Chelsea the science educator puts goggles on and then throws two test tubes into the bushes. Cool!

Valerie has brought cowboy boots in order to make up for not having a personality.

Elise is a first grade teacher with the sparkliest boobs in the competition. CONGRATULATIONS!

Meanwhile, Ashley the other first grade teacher speaks to Juan like a phone sex operator.

Claire with the mysterious bridal DVD from her late father climbs out of the limo with a fake pregnant belly. She is a nuclear reactor of issues.  She is my pick to go crazy on the other girls in a week or so.

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Everyone has blended together. Even Juan Pablo’s polite small talk is starting to sound condescending.

BUT WAIT. NEXT OUT OF THE LIMO IS A DOG! FOLLOWED BY THE GIRL WHO LISTS HER OCCUPATION AS “DOG LOVER”!!!! Guys, I can’t hate, I would do something similar.

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Lacey the nursing home owner brings Juan some medication. She seems like the type to poison someone, I’m just saying. Everyone else sucks. A really normal Canadian opera singer who seems too cool for this show brings up the rear. She’s my pick to win. Aaaand with that I’m out! Tune in in one second for Carly to recap more hijinks and probable shirtlessness!

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Merry Juanuary to all and to all a good Juan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hour 2: Carly

Feliz Juanuary, all! Before we even get into things, I just want to point out that it is always crazy when the ladies say that they went on “The Bachelor” for one specific contestant because they “felt something,” but it is ESPECIALLY crazy to say such a thing about Juan Pablo, who, despite being supes hot, had mere blink and you’ll miss it camera time in Des’s season. 

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OK so let’s get into it. Still outside, Harrison reminds Juan Pablo that there’s a first impression rose. Just one? We’re back to playing by the rule books? Sean “I work for no man” Lowe was TOO crazy and TOO unpredictable, so Juan Pablo is has to stay inside the lines. I see you, Harrison.

Lots of screaming and cheersing and “he’s so hot!!”ing leads us into the cocktail party, where Juan “where the party at” Pablo has set up some music and a photo booth because he’s the COOL BACHELOR, dammit. Also probably because he’s a club promoter in Miami and dude likes to party.

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First one on one time is for pediatric nurse Nikki, who flaunts her good with children-ness and gets her flirt on. Based on the profile reads, she was one of the most normal-seeming, so I’m on board.

Renee, the single mom, cuts straight to the kiddie talk. Since, you know, having that whole parenting thing in common is all you need to form the foundation for a lasting relationship. It’s a wonder single parents even exist anymore! Go find each other, guys! That’s all it takes! Am I getting this right, Renee?

FUCKING Lucy, the “free spirit” piece of garbage is next. She grinds all over him, tries to use sex appeal and calls herself a drifter and a hippie and I HATE HER THE MOST. I hate her even more than that idiot who tried to call being a dog lover a profession. I know Sarah tried to defend it in hour 1, but I need to revisit. I MEAN COME ON. If being a professional dog lover were possible I would be the first to know, so CAN IT, WHATS HER NAME.

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Amy the massage therapist with crazy eyes slams Juan Pablo on her table and yanks on his body parts while making sexy noises while her eyes roll back into her head. What a professional!

Chelsie, the “science educator” has her one on one time in the photo booth, and says “all of them” when asked how many children she wants. Chelsie might be a little drunk.

Elise uses her time with JP to talk about her dead mom. Normal first date stuff.

Now’s the moment when half the girls get emotional about how hard it is to claw each others eyes out to get time with Juan Pablo, and how it isn’t fair. These are the GAMES, ladies! We can’t all be careers, and only one can be Katniss Everdeen, and at the end of the day, maybe sometimes your best play is to pull a Peeta, cover yourself in champagne and regret, and hope that you get through to the next round by just not being noticed.

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But that’s not what Lauren H. is doing. She’s getting all emotional and making a scene and being a real buzz kill.

She finally gets her one-on-one time, and is immediately the dramatic one, telling JP that she comes here fresh from being dumped by her fiance, who had a kid, and how she was ready to be a step mom to that kid, and since all kids are the same and have the same personalities, then she’s obvi also ready to be a stepmom to Camila. Logic, guys.

Andi the prosecutor doesn’t have the patience to read. I don’t have the patience for Andi.

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Sharleen, the opera singer, is just a normal human being having a normal conversation, which sets her apart from the other girls because she’s not being a psycho. JP digs that and runs off to get the first impression rose. Sharleen interviews that she didn’t feel the instant chemistry, and she gets super weird and borderline freaked out by the rose, but ultimately accepts it. GIRLFRIEND, you just got there. You don’t have to be in love with him after 5 minutes, you just have to be not grossed out by him! The chemistry can happen later, probably. All great relationships start with a little doubt! (and yes, I’m still single, in case anyone is wondering)

Rose ceremony. Clare (oof). Nikki (yay!). Renee. Andi. Alli. Chantel. Lauren S. Kelly and Mollie. Boo Kelly, Yay Molly). Cassandra. Danielle. Chelsie. Kat. (((((EXCEPT OH NO KYLIE THINKS HE SAYS HER NAME AND SHE WALKS FORWARD AND HE HAS TO TELL HER TO GO BACK AND IT IS VERY VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!))))) Victoria. Christy. Lucy (GET OUT YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY THE WORST). Elise. Aaaand Amy L.

That means that Amy the crazy eyed massage therapist, Kylie of the misheard name, Lauren H. of the tears and the ex-fiance, Alexis (?), Ashley (?), Christine (?), Lacy (?), Maggie (?) and Valerie (?) are going home. Everyone who is interviewed is way more sad than they have any right to be.

That’s it for night one! The preview for this season looks amazing. Highlight: someone falling to the bathroom yelling “Juan Pablo, I HOPE YOU DIE!” Oh heavens. This is going to be delightful.

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