Hour 1: Sarah
All right, everyone. I’m back, I have a headache, and you know the next two hours aren’t going to make that any better, so let’s dive in. We’re in Miami, the geographical equivalent of the terminus of a sweat soaked deep V-neck T-shirt, and the ladies fulfill their contractual obligation to screech about how great it is. Once they arrive at their hotel, a penthouse whose doorway has likely been darkened by a Kardashian or two, they open boxes containing surprise bikinis.
…Okay. So this is one of the many reasons why dating Juan Pablo IRL would be exhausting. He is constantly making his dates change out of whatever they’re wearing into stuff that he’s picked out for them, and custom-made dresses and surprise bikinis notwithstanding I do NOT have time for multiple outfit changes in my regular life, unless you count going from work clothes into the largest possible pajamas the second I walk through the door at the end of the day, which is as natural to me as breathing.
Meanwhile, Sharleen’s exit is being set up nicely, as Juan Pablo yammers on to his cousin about how she is an elegant “Oprah singer.” Clare is pissed that Sharleen isn’t ready to instantly marry Juan Pablo, and by that I mean she is pissed that she didn’t think of going with that strategy as opposed to the string of winning tactical moves she’s been employing thus far. Sharleen calls Juan Pablo dumb. Hahahahahahahaha.
He quickly repays the favor by taking her on a one-on-one date and calling her uptight, as opposed to *~*cool chicks*~* like Clare, I guess. Sharleen interviews that basically she thinks Juan Pablo has the mental capacity of a fish, but she nonetheless cannot stop making out with him. Been there. Back at the hotel, Nikki and Andi desperately try to disqualify Sharleen in their minds with progressive and feminist observations like “she has a job that requires her to travel a lot,” which is definitely very different than when they put their lives on hold to chase the D around the world for months on end, I mean, really.
Juan Pablo asks Sharleen about how she has prioritized her career over love or some shit, and I was too busy looking for good GIFs to listen for the part where he makes her vaguely promise to give up her life and move to his city, but as a scholar of “The Bachelor,” I feel PRET-TY confident that it happened.
At dinner, Sharleen cannot stop talking about how dumb and boring Juan Pablo is, but she also can’t stop macking on him. He bites her lip repeatedly. Not like a sexy bite — like…chewing, like he’s a rabbit or something. Does Juan Pablo know where he is right now? Sharleen is feeling it, though. Unfortunately, Jape immediately kills the mood by failing to understand more of her basic needs, and you can see Sharleen trying to calculate whether it really would be so bad to be forever-married to Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Okay fine, it is not that extreme, but what I’m trying to express is that Sharleen is in pain right now. She keeps trying to have cute lip biting time (whatever gets you there, homie) and he keeps being like “But wait, before I lip-bite you into the astral plane and cast a sex spell on you with my abs, are you sure you don’t want to see a bit more of the side of me that’s SUPER DUMB?”
Unsurprisingly, Sharleen goes home, finds Renée and is like “Dude, I really can’t.”
All right, so now Juan Pablo is taking Nikki to his daughter’s dance recital, which seems super appropriate for all involved. His mother and father very sweetly stand up and greet the two of them, but that cannot distract me from the fact that they appear to be among the last to arrive at the recital, and I’m sure all the parents who showed up on time appreciated both of them plus a full camera crew having to do the “excuse me, pardon me” shuffle up and down all the aisles.
Scratch that — the recital begins and none of these fame whores opted not to sign the release, so we can see all their kids’ faces, which is surely a shining moment in their young lives. Nikki says that as soon as the performance started all of her nerves went away, and it’s great that she knows who this is really about. After the performance Nikki tries very hard to get into Camila’s good graces via lots of compliments, while Camila’s mom sort of stands warily nearby and Juan Pablo’s dad is all, “Sorry, and your name again?”
Juan Pablo takes Nikki to the Marlins Stadium for a picnic and she annoyingly follows his lead in referring to it as his “office,” and I’d like to take a brief break from barfing to note that while it’s possible my judgment is clouded due to my recent viewing of the Kanye/Kim engagement on last night’s “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (I cried), Nikki is starting to look like a winner to me.
“You’re always thinking,” Juan Pablo says when Nikki takes a break from complimenting him/touching tongues to ramp up to asking him a question in a very deferential and non-threatening way, and I’m BACK TO BARFING FULL TIME, Y’ALL! Is this a good time to talk about how the “HMMMmmm” sound Juan Pablo makes when he kisses makes me feel like I don’t have hands, in a bad way?
Okay, so when we get back Sharleen is dreading telling Juan Pablo to smell her later. She changes into a really cute outfit and does her makeup before going to tell the girls what’s going on, and they are nicer to her than they ever have been, because they are transparent as hell and thrilled to see her go. Sharleen’s hair is extraordinary in this scene. How can I be more like Sharleen??????????
On that note, I leave it to Carly to describe exactly how Sharleen bosses out of all of our lives. G’head girl, it’s been real.
Hour 2: Carly
Sharleen makes her way to Juanny Pabs hotel room and knocks on the door. JP happily answers, because history suggests that uninvited door knock = surprise sex. This time, though, it’s his heart and not his bonie that is getting surprised, and not in a good way. Sharleen slumps down on the couch and attempts to rip the band aid off. Their date was amazing, and this is going to be really difficult, she says. Juan Pablo looks at her with his big, beautiful, dumb eyes, clearly having no idea what is happening. “I just don’t know that I can get to the place I’m supposed to be at in three weeks’ time,” she says. “THANK YOU!” cry rational people across the globe.
She starts to cry, and Juan Pablo immediately panics and tells her not to cry because of him. Shut up, Juan Pablo. I will give him a teeny tiny pat on the back for reacting pretty decently to her dismissal. He says that he understands, having been through the process himself, how you come to learn things about yourself during the show. The only thing he is mad about, he says, is that he didn’t get to hear her sing more. Dude, me too. And with that, our last line of defense against insanity gives JP a hug and hits the road. Buena suerte, Sharleen. Somewhere out there is a man who can engage your body and your mind.
The next day, the gals are riding high on the heels of Sharleen’s early departure as they head out for their group date. Andi, Chelsie and Clare join Juan Pablo for a pontoon plane/beach outing. Today’s date is the only one that has a rose at stake, and because all great romances have winners and losers, the lone rose recipient will be the only one to continue on to the evening portion of the date.
Chelsie is the first one to throw her hat in the ring, pulling JP aside to read some notes her mom gave her before she came on the show. “Please do not bring shame upon our family” is the basic gist. Juan Pablo appreciates her immaturity “happy vibe.” Andi, on the other hand, is rocking a bummer of a vibe, as she spends her alone time with Juanny crying about how vulnerable she feels. She is scared to bring him home and introduce her to her family when it might not work out. More like almost definitely won’t work out – even if she wins this thing, Juan Pablo is 100% putting his foot in his mouth before he gets anyone to walk down the aisle. JP lacks the basic mental capacity to offer any reassurance, so he compensates by shoving his tongue down her throat.
Clare is also emotional during her one-on-one time, as she talks about her late father. She once again reminds us of the unwatched video that he recorded for her future husband. This is Chekhov’s Posthumous Recording and if it doesn’t pop off in Act 3 of this season I am going to be writing some strongly worded letters. I need to see Juan Pablo try to make sense of something that is well beyond his emotional aptitude. Renee’s one-on-one time is not shown, since it probably included mom-talk and no tears.
Back with the group, Juan Pablo presents the rose to Andi. Clare is bursting with rage. She screams about how the only people getting roses are the ones who are doubting things, which makes her wonder what she is doing there. So, doubting things.
After the losers have been tarred and feathered and sent packing, Andi and Juan Pablo are off to a club to hear the musical stylings of someone named Romeo Santos and grind up on each other. So romantic!
Back at the hotel, Clare, Renne and Chelsie fill Nikki in on their humiliation. Clare says that she thinks Andi must have needed the reassurance. Nikki says, “that’s so stupid” before stomping back upstairs. Of course Clare follows, because why wouldn’t she? Nikki didn’t want to sit around and listen to people talk about her friend. Clare is confused and confrontational, and it all devolves very quickly. Before long it’s like an Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First” bit as they take turns cutting each other off in order to debate who is, in fact, cutting whom off. Finally, Nikki asks Clare to leave “her room,” leading to the two to launch into a comedic debate of property rights: “Do you sleep in here?” “Did you pay for it?” “Do you sleep in here?” “Did you pay for it?”
Eventually the chicken/egg style of fighting reaches its end, and we’re off to the cocktail party. There’s some inane chatter between Juan Pablo and the ladies, but the highlight is the LENGTHY silence shared by Nikki and Clare. A stark refusal to break the ice is a thing of beauty, and these two are champs at it.
Finally it’s time for the roses. Harrison is there to remind them that hometowns are next, so this one’s important. Andi is already through, leaving three roses left to give out. Nikki is called first, then Clare, then Renee. Chelsie gives Juan Pablo a hug goodbye, and relishes in his sadness like only a contestant of The Bachelor can. Godspeed, Chelsie.
Next week: hometowns!