“The Bachelor” Season 18 Finale: Everyone Hates Juan Pablo

OK. This is late, yes, but there was a LOT to digest here. First of all – Juan Pablo is a walking pile of human garbage with a criminally low IQ, but this was great television. A+, would watch again. I know it’s always “THE MOST DRAMATIC/CONTROVERSIAL/SURPRISING BACHELOR FINALE EVER” but maybe this time it was real? There’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’ll try to keep this brief, but let’s DIVE IN.

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We’re back in St. Lucia, where Clare and Nikki are going to meet Juan Pablo’s family. Clare’s up first, and she’s meeting his mom, dad, brother Rodrigo, cousin Rodolfo, sister Anita and Camila, obvs. Clare gushes about how excited she is to meet Camila, and Juan Pablo gushes how hot he thinks Clare is, just to give everyone a reminder of the level of seriousness of both their feelings.

Clare sits down with JuannyPabs’s mom for some girl talk. Clare tells her that she’s in love with her son, and Mama JP is like “him?”  Clare wants to know if there’s anything she should know about Juan Pablo, and his mom launches in to a laundry list of red flags: he’s hyperactive, he’s sometimes very rude, and he has made his mother cry with his ‘honesty.’ Clare tells her about their “disagreement” over Ocean Bang Gate so the two can bond over being made to feel like trash by the sociopath they both claim to love.

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Clare then joins Rodolfo, who asks her if she’s in love with Juan Pablo. She is, of course, and Rodolfo is like “oh you poor, sweet thing.” He wants to know if she’ll fight for him if he tries to walk away, because that’s apparently a thing that he likes to do. VERY COOL!! She’s got her eye on the prize though, and tells him that if Juan Pablo proposes to her, it’ll be the best day of her life.

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Juan Pablo’s dad is really sweet as he speaks with Clare. “Please don’t judge me by the idiot son I raised,” his eyes seem to plea, as he tells Clare that he’d welcome her into the family with open arms, and even if she doesn’t get the rose, she’ll always be in his mind.

And with that, it’s on to the next one! But first we have to have some audience participation, lest we forget that there is a group of people who willingly gave up the better part of their evening to sit in a studio and gasp audibly.

Nikki arrives and tells the family how “life changing” the experience has been, and how much she’s learned about herself. I assume she means that she has learned that she has terrible taste in men, because come on, JP suxxxx.

Saul, JuannyPabs’s dad, talks to Nikki briefly about Camila, before reminding her that his son is “not an easy guy” and that he’s stubborn and selfish and overall a worthless human. (I’m summarizing). Nikki is “ready for it.” It being a comically large Neil Lane diamond ring, because damn it she’s not getting any younger.

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Now it’s mom’s turn to desperately try to open Nikki’s eyes to the nightmare that came from her loins. Upon hearing that Nikki thinks she’s in love with Juan Pablo, Nelly asks her to describe what she thinks a typical weekend with him might look like. Nikki, naturally, describes a picturesque scene of having fun with Camila, which Nelly immediately shoots down. She says that Juan Pablo will want her to bring him breakfast and then let him watch TV. That’s it. “He’s very simple,” Nelly says.

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“How much, like, fighting can you take?” asks Rodolfo. OK this is just amazing.  I have never seen a any group of people work so hard to convince someone that their family member is a nightmare. I feel like both of these dates have been the equivalent of a soldier lying injured on the battle ground, saying “Go. Save yourself. It’s too late for me. You can still get out.” I imagine if we searched the ABC cutting room floor we’d find scenes of Camila saying, “please, take me with you!” to the producers. Still, Nikki is keeping her blinders firmly in place as she tells Juan Pablo that coming on the show was the best decision she’s made.

The next day, it’s time for Clare’s final date. They’re taking a helicopter to a remote location. Not too many helicopters this season, huh? I’ve missed you, old friends. JP and Clare kiss and hug a bunch, and then load into the helicopter to take in the St. Lucia beauty. We cut to a wide shot as the helicopter lands, which Clare explains was a rare moment without microphones or cameras. Apparently, JuannyP used that time to lean over and whisper something in Clare’s ear. Clare is clearly agitated as she explains that he said was that he doesn’t really know her, followed by something sexual that she doesn’t want to repeat. Seriously, Juan Pablo? Do you have ANY idea how humans function? At this point I wouldn’t be shocked if we found out this was some elaborate piece of performance art because JEEZ LOUISE.

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Clare is clearly upset at Juan Pablo objectifying her and being an offensive jerkwad. She coldly greets him as he arrives at her hotel room, and quickly asks him to repeat what he said on the helicopter. Of course, JuannyPieceOfShit plays dumb and asks her to remind him. She mentions the not knowing each other bit, leaving the sex stuff out for now. He seems shocked that this statement upset her, since he just meant that he didn’t know her enough. And then he says something about not even needing a physical connection with his wife, which WHAT? Something tells me that JuannyMysogyny is looking for a mom more than a wife who will take care of everything for him, and that whoever he ends up with can look forward to years of pretending not to care about his side piece. FOR REAL.

So then the conversation devolves into “who’s more physically attracted to whom” as JP says that she’s the one who broke her no kissing rule in South Korea, “so don’t blame it on [him].” And then he tells her she’s special and avoids answering the question of whether or not he’s actually interested in her beyond the banging, and somehow it WORKS?! Oh, CLARE. He pulls up a song that played on their first date and plays it on her phone and Clare swoons and talks about their wedding and forever, and Juan Pablo looks so GODDAMN pleased with himself for getting back in her good graces and it’s all too much for me.

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As Juan Pablo waits for Nikki, he interviews more about how he doesn’t know what he’s going to do or how he’s going to make this decision. Nikki, meanwhile, thinks that Juan Pablo is one of the best people she’s met, and that she hopes that he’s going to tell her he loves her on this date. Writing this having already watched through “After the Final Rose,” all I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

They go out on a boat and she talks about how much she liked his family (plainly ignoring how much his family doesn’t seem to like him), but that she’s afraid of getting hurt in all this. When he asks her concerns, she says that he’s been guarded. His response, naturally, is to simply tell her she’s wrong, because who needs a dialogue? She asks what life would be like outside of all the private islands and bankrolled vacations, and Juan Pablo hilariously says that it’ll mostly be him watching TV in bed BY HIMSELF. The fact that this doesn’t ping any sort of red flag radar in Nikki’s mind makes me think that maybe she and Juan Pablo are perfect for each other after all.

That night, Juan Pablo joins Nikki in her hotel room. She keeps trying to lead him to reveal ANYTHING about his feelings, but he’s not biting. She says she didn’t expect to be so nervous, and of course Juan Pablo is like “You’re nervous? I’M NERVOUS? EES OK! I kill small, cuddly animals for fun!” She gives him a framed photo of the two of them on horseback, and continues to stare at him expectedly, to no avail. And with that, he gives Nikki a quick kiss and hits the road, telling her he’ll see her tomorrow, leaving her to bathe in her own tears.

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Proposal day! Something is amiss, because we are not treated to the typical b roll of the Bachelor lathering himself up as he voice overs about how in love he is and how excited he is to start his life with his choice. Instead, JuannyP is already suited up and staring at his Neil Lane ring. The women get ready gush about how excited they are and it’s all very bleak.

Of course – OF COURSE – Clare is the first out. Harrison leads her to Juan Pablo as she further interviews how much she trusts Juan Pablo and how the other night made her feel confident in their connection. OH boy. She greets JP, and launches into her speech, saying that despite some weird times (like, OH I DUNNO, when he slut shamed her for hooking up with him in the ocean or when he said he didn’t know her, but really enjoyed banging her??), she is convinced that they have something special. Juan Pablo responds, saying she’s great and amazing and blah blah blah and then he says that he wish the earth could have sucked him down so that he wouldn’t have to choose, and Clare is like “OH FUCK.”

Juan Pablo tells her it’s time to say goodbye, and opens up for a hug. Clare pushes him away, saying that she gave him every opportunity to tell him that she didn’t have feelings for her, and he could have cut her loose the same way Andi and Sharleen cut him loose. She says that she lost respect for him, and would never want her children having a man like him as a father. OH, also in the limo she confirmed that the sweet nothing he whispered in the helicopter was that he “loves fucking [her].”

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As Clare angry cries in the limo, Juan Pablo lets out a big ol’ sigh. “Whooooo I am glad I didn’t pick her,” he says. AHAHAHA he has no self-awareness and no feelings! Maybe Juan Pablo is the Zodiac Killer and has just aged remarkably well because dude is ICE COLD.

Nikki is greeted by Harrison and taken up to Juan Pablo. She interviews that she loves him and is ready to get engaged and hear all the things he hasn’t been able to say. Get ready to be disappointed, Nikki! She delivers her speech, saying that she loves him and wants to be a part of his life. Juan Pablo very carefully tells her he loves so many things ABOUT her, without ever saying that he loves her. He brings up how her dad said that he wouldn’t want his daughter engaged unless the dude was 100% sure, and JP isn’t sure. Nikki is nodding so hard that I worry for her neck. Juan Pablo’s ultimate sentiment is that he “like[s] [her] a lot,” and that he wants to keep hanging out with her. And with that he offers her the final rose, and she shamefully accepts. Ugh.

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Immediately following that supremely uncomfortable final rose ceremony, we were taken back to Harrison and the live studio audience for After The Final Rose. Clare realizes that she should have walked away much earlier, she doesn’t want to talk to Juan Pablo and got all the closure she needed when she walked away from him in St. Lucia.

Juan Pablo has no regrets about how he handled himself all season, and still refuses to say “I love you” to Nikki. Nikki looks like a wounded animal as she sits next to him silently, pretending that she’s completely ok being associated with this stupid, misogynistic shell of a human.

Other highlights:

All through the final episode and the live special, Harrison teased a special surprise that Juan Pablo had told the producers he had planned. Then, when Harrison threw to Juan Pablo to do whatever it is he had cooked up, JP was like “surprise? What surprise? I don’t know anything about a surprise. EES OK!”

Andi is the new Bachelorette. We all knew this was coming.

Harrison straight up HATES Juan Pablo, and he deserves an award for at least somewhat keeping that trainwreck of an interview on the rails.

PHEW. That’s all! We’re done! See you in May for The Bachelorette!

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