Well that was an Awkward Mess (The Bachelor Finale and After the Final Rose Recap)

BACK ROW: NIKKI, KATHERINE, CHRISTINE H., LAUREN S., KELLY, CASSANDRA, ALLISON, LAUREN H., AMY L., MAGGIE; MIDDLE ROW: AMY J., CHRISTINE L., CHANTAL, SHARLEEN, KYLIE, LACY, LUCY, VICTORIA, ASHLEY; FRONT ROW: ANDI, RENEE, DANIELLE, ALEXIS, JUAN PABLO GAL

Aye yi yi, Juany Pabs what are you doing?  Last night the loveable latino single dad continued his trek down the path to being the most hated bachelor of all time.  I want to give Juan Pablo at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, and say that the language barrier still may be playing a role in making him come across so poorly on television (also the edit by producers is obviously effecting our view of him).  I guess like Nikki and Clare heading into the final rose ceremony a part of me still wants to believe that I wasn’t dooped into thinking Juany Pabs was a good guy.  Like all the other viewers along for this journey, I’ve logged a lot of hours with this years bachelor, and it’s disappointing to get to the end only to realize he may just be an insensitive jerk.  In his defense he has no obligation to be in love with Nikki or Clare or anyone else from this show.  Not many people are going to find “Forever Love” in a group of 27 members of the opposite sex, even if they were hand selected for you (as is evidenced by the lack of lasting couples from this franchise).  The issue is, for a guy who has constantly played up his honesty throughout the season, Juan Pablo really didn’t come across as very honest or sincere in the shows closing moments.  Rather than admitting to loving, or not loving Nikki, Juan Pablo kept insisting the information was private.  Honestly I thought their relationship looked a lot like the one between Jenna and Jay on the current season of The Real World, where one person (Jenna or Nikki) is saying “I love you,” and the other person refuses to say it back, but still feels they are part of a happy, healthy relationship.  In Jay’s case a big part of the reason he refuses to say the words is because he just isn’t interested in being in a committed relationship, and Juan Pablo kind of seems to feel the same way (he did ask to keep both women at one point during the finale).  After taking the season long journey with Juan Pablo and Nikki I just can’t see this couple working out, and last night did nothing to quell any doubts about their future.  Last night did however put an ending on one of the most awkward, and yes, as Chris Harrison would say, dramatic, seasons in the history of The Bachelor, with that in mind let’s talk about what happened last night.

Last night’s finale kicked off with the ladies meeting Juan Pablo’s family, first up we get Clare.  One of the big take aways from last night was that Juan Pablo’s family did not paint him in a very positive light.  They talked about how he can be rude and insensitive, and looked surprised when the women seemed to brush those traits aside.  Another one of the big take aways is that Juan Pablo’s dad is awesome.  Clare describes him as a true gentleman, and says she can see where Juan Pablo gets it from (it’s totally unclear how Clare can still see Juan Pablo as a gentleman after everything that has happened between the two of them, and he’s going to work on changing her mind a little later in the episode).  As Clare drives away from meeting Juan Pablo’s family she says she could “1000 percent” see herself as a part of his family forever (unfortunately for Clare, Juan Pablo seems more interested in keeping her as his side piece).

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Juan Pablo’s family must have felt like he didn’t do enough to warn Clare, because they try even harder to convince Nikki that Juan Pablo is not a great guy.  Juan Pablo’s dad tells Nikki that he isn’t an easy guy, and that he is very focused on himself and what he wants.  Then Juany Pabs mom totally blows up Nikki’s vision of what a weekend with Juan Pablo would be like.  Nikki is picturing taking Camila to the beach, and having quality family time.  Then mom steps in to say that in actuality Nikki will be cooking breakfast and then the will lay around and watch tv all day (Juan Pablo sounds a lot like me, maybe I’ll go for him after he’s done with Nikki).  Generally speaking, the family and Juan Pablo both seem to feel a little more positive about Nikki, and her potential to build a lasting relationship with Juan Pablo (even though the only people who really seem confident in these relationships working are Nikki and Clare).

Next up is the last one-on-one date for Juan Pablo and Clare aka Juan Pablo’s last attempt to prove to Clare that he is not a gentleman.  For their final date Juan Pablo and Clare take a helicopter ride, and for reason that aren’t entirely clear, the couple gets a brief period of time where they are free from being recorded.  After the helicopter lands Clare says that during their time off camera Juan Pablo leaned over and said something sexual that “no woman ever wants to hear.”  Clare refused to repeat what Juan Pablo said both during the episode and during the After the Final Rose special, but that didn’t stop rumors from flying around the internet.  The most popular rumor, attributed to the website Wetpaint, says the site heard from a “source” close to the show that in the helicopter Clare asked Juan Pablo to say he loved her and he responded by saying he loved f*cking her (source).  Needless to say, that was not exactly the affirmation Clare had in mind, and her fears that their relationship may be purely physical start to resurface.  During the evening portion of the date Clare wants to talk to Juan Pablo and find out if he has any actual feelings for her. beyond just their physical attraction.  Initially Juan Pablo says they don’t know each other very well, and there may be a lot of things they don’t like about each other that they don’t know yet.  He also takes another opportunity to slut shame her, saying her no kissing rule was the best rule she ever made, and that it was her fault they didn’t stick to it, and her fault that they spent all their time kissing instead of getting to know each other.  Things aren’t looking good, but then Juany Pabs circles around and starts to spout off some bs about how he feels great about Clare, and if she’s the “winner” he knows they will have a baby in “a year and two months” because they won’t want to wait.  Luckily for Juan Pablo, Clare isn’t a woman who needs a ton of reassurances, and she is calmed down enough to finally give him the besitos he was looking for when he first arrived at her place.  The live studio audience is a lot less easily swayed however, and they are feeling a little disappointed that Clare didn’t add herself to the group of women who walked out on Juan Pablo.

Heading into his final date with Nikki, Juan Pablo says he knows she loves him, but he isn’t so sure how he feels about  her (meanwhile the studio audience is feeling more and more confident in their feelings that they hate Juan Pablo).  Heading into her last date with Juan Pablo, Nikki is really hoping that he will tell her he loves her.  Up to this point Nikki has been able to ignore the lack of an “I love you” return because she feels that Juany Pabs has been “guarded” throughout this process.  However when Nikki mentions this to Juan Pablo he completely blows her theory out of the water, saying he isn’t guarded and he’ll share his feelings when he feels it’s right (based on last nights special it appears the right moment still hasn’t arrived for Juan Pablo).  Later on in their date, Nikki asks what Juan Pablo will do once he doesn’t have private islands to hang out on anymore.  Juan Pablo wants to make sure she doesn’t worry, he tells her he will still have his bed, and a tv to watch movies and sports on.  He also says he’ll probably be watching tv alone, which you would think might raise some red flags, but Nikki seems satisfied when he accepts that he won’t always be watching alone (he’ll probably have friends over to watch sometimes).  Despite the fact that it’s pretty obviously not coming, Nikki works hard to get an “I love you” out of Juany Pabs throughout this entire final date.  Nikki’s last attempt involves giving Juan Pablo a card about her feelings for him with an “I love you” at the end, but rather than returning the sentiment, Juan Pablo just gives Nikki some besitos and a nice “see you tomorrow.”

finalrose2

At this point in the episode I think pretty much all of “Bachelor Nation” was screaming at their televisions for both Nikki and Clare to pack their bags and leave Juany Pabs at the altar, alas things didn’t work out that way.  Clare is up first, (never a good sign) and despite everything that has happened she still describes this experience thus far as her “perfect fairy tale” (this led many viewers to conclude that Clare’s parents must have read her some really f*cked up fairy tales).  It took awhile, but Clare finally showed that she had a backbone during her final goodbye with Juan Pablo.  After rejecting his hug attempt Clare called out Juan Pablo for not being able to admit the feelings weren’t there when she gave him the chance to walk away (like Sharleen and Andi did).  Then for her parting shot Clare says that Juan Pablo isn’t the man she thought he was, and that she wouldn’t want a man like him as the father of her children.  Then as Clare is being led away by Chris Harrison, Juan Pablo responds as only he could by saying “glad I didn’t pick her.”

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Next up is Nikki who is picturing Juan Pablo getting down on one knee, and telling her how much he loves her.  She gushes about how exciting it will be to call her mom and announce that she is engaged.  Unfortunately for Nikki none of these things are going to happen, on last nights show, or anytime in the near future based on what we saw last night.  Instead she gets a rose, a wink, and an “I like you a lot, A LOT,” which is basically as good as a relationship with Juan Pablo gets.  Actually that’s not all she gets, after Nikki accepts the final  rose Juan Pablo says “don’t get cranky now because you’re hot, trust me I’m hot too.”  (Personally I love it when a guy doesn’t propose to me and then tells me not to get cranky.  Really I love it when anyone tells me not to get cranky.  Juan Pablo really knows the key to a healthy start in a relationship).

After the Final Rose

harrison_chris-e1394558808233

Now that this season of The Bachelor is officially a wrap, Chris Harrison promises us that all our questions will be answered during this live special.  What actually happens is one of the most painfully awkward live hours of television in history.  Clare comes out and conducts herself with great dignity and grace during the first segment, declining to confront Juan Pablo, saying she said everything she wanted to tell him while they were in St. Lucia.  Things basically start to go downhill as soon as Juan Pablo comes out on the stage.  Juan Pablo comes across as combative when questioned about potential mistakes he may have made, and his refusal to admit any feelings for Nikki is both confusing and frustrating for Chris Harrison and the audience.  With all that being said, here are some of my thoughts going through the After the Final Rose special.

-I know it’s supposed to be good to live with no regrets, but maybe not to the extent that Juan Pablo seems to.  When confronted directly about if he regrets what was said in the helicopter, Juan Pablo says it was a private conversation and that “it’s fine.”

-Juan Pablo seems really eager to get out of the public eye (which according to Sean isn’t going to happen).  And also seems offended that people are “hiding behind computers” and commenting on his life.  Did Juany Pabs forget he signed up for a tv show?  I guess this franchise wasn’t as fun for him the second time around when he got a lot more camera time and viewers realized he might not be the charming, sexy guy they fell for during Desiree’s season.

-Juan Pablo says he doesn’t know why he should be feeling regret because he didn’t watch the show.  Umm…weren’t you there while the show was happening?  Maybe Juan Pablo just has a terrible memory and that’s why he doesn’t feel any guilt for acting like an ass.

-What’s the big surprise Chris Harrison has been teasing that Juan Pablo apparently told producers about in St. Lucia? It’s that there is no surprise.  SURPRISE!  So much for people thinking that Nikki was going to get a proposal or even an “I love you” during this special.  Juan Pablo acts like he has no idea what Chris Harrison is talking about, and this is basically the tipping point for Chris Harrison, he’s done trying to hide his disdain for Juany Pabs.

-Nikki sticks up for Juan Pablo by saying a lot of people have sat on that stage and said they were in love when it wasn’t true, and that what she and Juany Pabs have is a real relationship.  I hope that Nikki is including herself in with the group of people who weren’t actually in love.

-Juan Pablo tells Chris Harrison that the plans for his future with Nikki “changed drastically” two weeks ago.  He then refuses to elaborate in any way, other than saying it was after he got some information from production.  I think most of America is hoping the change in plans is that they broke up and just aren’t announcing it yet.

-While it’s not clear if Juan Pablo is in love with Nikki, what does seem to become increasingly clear throughout this awkward hour of television, is that he is not in love with the viewers.  Juany Pabs seems very unhappy that people have judged him so harshly for the missteps he has made, both on the show and in comments he has made since the show finished filming.  It seems that at least in part, Juan Pablo is refusing to share his feelings about Nikki or their plans for the future to punish the viewers for not supporting him more.

-Finally, as the internet rumors correctly reported, Andi is the new bachelorette!  I think Andi is the right choice out of this season, but I said the same thing about Juan Pablo, so what do I know.

That’s a wrap for this season of The Bachelor.  I think everyone, and Chris Harrison especially, are ready to move on from this debacle.  While Juan Pablo will certainly not be remembered as one of the most people bachelor’s of all time, he did keep things interesting, and as other people have pointed out, this show really works better when the bachelor is a jerk, no one remembers the nice guy bachelors.  I have no idea if I will be back to blog about Andi’s season of The Bachelorette.  I am about to head into a big period of change in my personal life, and don’t know if things will have settled down enough by the time it airs, but I’m sure I will be tuning in and sharing my opinions on Twitter if I can’t get on here.  I do know that I’ll be back Thursday to recap this week’s episode of The Real World Ex-Plosion, hope to see you all then.

Thoughts/Questions/Comments- You can reach me via email – SHMcG223@gmail.com or on Twitter – @NoOneGoesToClev

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