Forgive the late (mid-season) arrival, some copy got lost in translation. And if you buy that, Juan Pablo's public image has a shot.
So last week, amid all the real news (Chris Christie things, GOP things, Obama-NSA things, Sochi things) and amid all the Bieber news (eggs, DUI's, Jeremy Bieber's existence, shiny shorts, smiling mugshots) there was a bad piece of Bachelor news.
Juan Pablo, the current Bachelor, decided to share his feelings on a matter he was totally unqualified to address, he did so in a socially tone-deaf manner and is now dealing with that fallout.
But because The Bachelor was filmed awhile ago, we got to travel back to the vacuum that was Episode 4, and Episode 4 was filmed before this question undoubtedly (and justly) ruined Juan Pablo in front of cameras for forever. If you're still reading, you know the deets, but before we go for some fish pedicures, let's dive into the events in a totally chronological fashion:
It opens with Juan Pablo wishing his daughter goodbye, which a week ago would've been super-sweet or whatever. Not this week, JP! Meanwhile, Chris Harrison shows up to the girls' house and lets the girls know that they're going to South Korea.
Clare, who's a hairstylist from Sacramento, cries because no one else is crying. She then let's the viewers know that she's never been anywhere before. Anywhere. It turns out that Clare doesn't count Sacramento as a place. Shots fired, Clare, shots fired.
Juan Pablo starts the South Korean expedition with a group date. The date's clue: Pop! Onomatopoetic, JP, onomatopoetic. Also, very vague. But details emerge. Those details? Again, murky.
The girls ride to the date in a van. They talk about how awesome South Korea is. Chelsie, the Science Educator, displays a poor knowledge of how to wear seat belts by wearing it below her chest, and no one else seems to make this mistake. The girls meet Juan Pablo outside a giant building, which, he so kindly informs us, is a K-Pop recording studio. Juan Pablo tells the girls that, "All the K-Pop is made here." Hear that girls? ALL OF IT.
The girls go inside to meet… 2NE1!
2NE1, we are told, is the biggest K-Pop group in all of South Korea. They're like the "Spice Girls of South Korea," Juan Pablo says. Maybe Juan Pablo, but the Spice Girls without Scary, Baby, Ginger, or Posh, soooo…
The girls get their date task from what appears to be the front woman of the uber-famous band, 2NE1. How do we know that she is the front woman? We don't, but she certainly is assertive. The task she assigns them is dancing.
Nikki, the pediatric nurse from Missouri, hates dancing. But Kat, the medical sales rep from Scottsdale, loves it. Kat loves everything, it would seem, but she especially loves dancing. And she is incredible at it, she doesn't mind telling us. "I was made for this," she says.
(For whatever reason, Cassandra, the NBA Dancer, is neither offended by this comment nor is she interviewed. She is either the most boring person ever or the producers are as confused about the girls' identities as Juan Pablo is.)
Back to the dancing. Nikki is really bad. Kat announces once again that she's really good. Because this is a newspaper blog, that claim was investigated. The findings? Inconclusive. When the camera shows Kat dancing, only Kat is shown dancing. So, in regards to its validity, the statement is difficult to assess.
2NE1, a group that, in case you forgot, is really famous in South Korea, teaches them dance steps, then leaves the room. The girls learn these dance steps. 2NE1, a really famous K-Pop group (they really drove this point home, so I feel I should too), comes back into the dance studio with big news: The girls will be backup dancers at their show that may or may not take place in a few hours.
Nikki is pissed. She hates dancing, after all. Kat, on the other hand, besides possessing a generally unpleasant demeanor, is thrilled.
Kat decides that the crowd is here to see her. Again, no mention of Cassandra's profession.
*Pause.* BACKUP DANCING IS HER PROFESSION, ABC, HER PROFESSION. IT WOULD BE LIKE JUAN PABLO GOING TO A SOCCER FIELD ON THE BACHELORETTE (WHICH HE DID) AND FAILING TO MENTION THAT HE USED TO DO THAT FOR MONEY (WHICH THEY DIDN'T. PS: SORRY FOR THE DOUBLE NEGATIVES AND FOR THE CAPSLOCK). *Play.*
Back to the show. The girls perform inside a mall, which means only one thing: South Korea has very few limitations when it comes to choosing concert venues.
After the date, the girls do the awkward group dinner date thing, and Nikki ends up with a rose, much to the chagrin of the rest of the girls. They think she's a downer — which she totally is — and they don't understand why she got the rose. This, for those wondering, is standard practice on The Bachelor.
Meanwhile, at Bachelor Mansion: South Korea, Sharleen gets the one-on-one date card, and proceeds to look unenthused. The date is thankfully not one that involves a private concert featuring a marginally known country-pop star singing to an audience of two. Those are the worst.
Instead, JP asks Sharleen to sing on their date. Sharleen does not, however, ask JP to perform his profession afterwards, which is a good thing. We know plenty about Juan Pablo, but we have no idea what he does to make money in real life. He is listed as a "Sports Consultant" on the Bachelor website, which is only slightly more specific than the title of "Government Person."
Anyways, back to the date. JP and Sharleen kiss. It's way less awkward than their Episode 3 kiss and far more private. They stop kissing and start talking, which means an awkward transition from one of Juan Pablo's strengths to one of his weaknesses. He wants kids, she doesn't. Doesn't seem to faze either one. Cross that bridge when we get there, I suppose.
A bridge Sharleen doesn't need to worry about crossing? The Rose Ceremony Bridge, which doesn't really exist, but whatever. Why? She got a rose, because she always gets a rose. Juan Pablo thinks she has "mundo," like Atlas, or something.
Moving on. The rest of the girls get the clue for their group date. They are going to be eating street-food and exploring Seoul, Seoul style. On their date, we learn that Clare is petrified of eating octopus. Andi, the lawyer, reminds us that octopus is widely available outside South Korea, and its presence shouldn't alarm anyone. Kelly, the Dog Lover from Atlanta (real title), makes a fellatio joke, which is funny, but in a you-had-to-be-there kind of way. And, to be clear, it was a you-had-to-be-there-while-we-were-filming-in-South-Korea kind of way.
After the tasting fiasco, the group goes to an establishment offering fish pedicures. For the uninitiated out there, a fish pedicure is when you stick your feet in a plastic tub filled with fish that snack on your dead foot-flesh. It looked about as comfortable as it sounds. Post-fish feeding, JP takes the girls to sing karaoke, because all Juan Pablo likes to do is sing and dance, we're learning.
After the Octopus-Fishicure-Karaoke date, the girls get their alone time with Juan Pablo.
But there's a M. Night twist coming at the girls: Juan Pablo won't kiss any of them on this Seoul-ful evening. His reasoning? He has a daughter, who he doesn't want to set a bad example for. At this time, it's important to note that this fact has neither stopped him from making out with "six" other girls since this thing has started, nor does it explain his motives for coming onto the show in the first place.
(And after host Chris Harrison's "27 Girls" shenanigans and JP's secret pact with himself, the only fitting ending to this season of The Bachelor would be an "After the Rose" revelation that Harrison has, in fact, been dead this whole time and we, America, are now all blessed with the gift/curse of Young (aka Best) Haley Joel Osment. I can see no other alternative, regardless of what Reality Steve says.)
But I digress… Andi gets time with Juan Pablo. She wants a kiss, but JP's made that personal pact. Impasse, folks, impasse. What does Andi do? Busts ol' JP's balls for being both a bad dancer and a dude who is more clearly a dancer than he is a professional. In any field. That second part was made up, but she was thinking it. She was totally thinking it. JP likes the ball-busting, though, and seems smitten. Still no kiss for Andi, though.
Then Lauren, the accomplished pianist, gets her one-on-one time, and she is worried about the connection between her and the Venezuelan dancing machine. Juan Pablo reassures her that everything is fine, but he refuses to kiss her when she directly propositions him for such, because of his whole sabbatical from kissing thing. Weird rationale, Juan Pablo, weird rationale.
Anyway, she's visibly crushed, and he then goes on to explain to the poor girl that even sans kiss he is still super into her and that he really wants to get to know her more, which is sort of like the Bachelor equivalent of George telling Lenny how awesome their farm is going to be. Message to Lauren: You're an accomplished pianist, you'll be fine. You don't want to live in Miami. You're not named Pitbull. Back to the action!
After the JP-Lauren awk-fest, Clare, the hairstylist from Sacramento who has already cried this episode, gets more screen time, which we can file in the Non-Octopus Related folder. Clare is a piece of work, behavior-wise, but Juan Pablo is absolutely unabashed about how "hot" he thinks she is. Juan Pablo calls himself helpless. They kiss. Juan Pablo apparently forgets he has a daughter whom he may or may not be disappointing.
After the kiss, he awards Andi with the date rose. Yes, Andi. To recap (within the recap): He's admittedly helpless around Clare, won't kiss Andi, Lauren or anyone else on the second group date, but he then awarded the date rose to someone other than Clare. Makes total sense.
Following a necessary commercial break, the Episode 4 Rose Ceremony gets underway. The three girls who already got roses — Sharleen, Nikki and Andi — agree to let the other girls have the precious one-on-one time with JP, because they already got their roses. Who says the Bachelor is all about girl-on-girl crime?
Whoever it was is totally right. Nikki, who is potentially the human manifestation of a rain cloud, decided that she didn't agree to this rule and that she wanted her one-on-one time with JP regardless of rose acquiescence. She interrupts Clare, who was in the process of talking smack on Nikki. (The timing on this show makes NASA look like amateurs, BTW.) Nikki, oblivious to the smack talk, asks for time. Clare is displeased. Juan Pablo asks Nikki awkward questions about her relationship with the rest of the girls in the house. Nikki throws Clare under the bus. It all happens very fast.
After Girl, Interrupted: Bachelor concludes, Nikki seeks out Kelly for moral support-venting camaraderie. Some righteous talk is dropped regarding Clare, neither of them like her attitude, but… But!!! BUTTTT… Clare emerges from around a corner and walks up to the clandestine-ish meeting. Kelly changes the subject remarkably well. She should consider changing her profession from Dog Lover to Subject Switcher.
BUT! Kelly can't handle the awkwardness and spills the beans that she and Nikki were talking about Clare. Sort of. Again, this season is vague. Clare and Nikki talk about barely anything, and then the Rose Ceremony begins (Note: The events might not have proceeded that quickly, but this is a two-hour show, folks. Latitude is requested.)
The roses, in order, go to Renee, Chelsie, Kelly, Danielle, Cassandra, Alli, Clare and Kat, the Dancing Queen. Lauren was predictably sent packing, and so was Elise, a girl whose existance I was unaware of until she didn't get a rose. It's down to 11. Here's to hoping Juan Pablo gets interviewed some more this week.
Episode Grade: B.*
*Justification for Episode Grade: None. But, to be more specific, only an episode featuring either, a) real violence, b) real, deserved tears, c) an ambulance or d) a hot tub/paddle boat combo can earn an A from this particular grader.