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The Bachelor S018E01


Juan Pablo, El Bachelor, has a leg up on every other Bachelor thus far, if ONLY because he can speak two languages and pull out two passports. Oh, and he has a beautiful daughter. And abs. And face. And he goes "Hoooo!" when he's excited, which I totally do. He's perfect. And as we all know, the hotter the Bachelor, the better the season, because SHIT. GETS. REAL. WHEN. GIRLS. CARE.


To kick things off, we got a brief, fascinating attempt at wise counsel from Snickerdoodle Sean, who showed up and to tell us he’s living in BURBANK (code for: I want to become an actor) and he and Catherine spend their nights scrubbing down his dog with tomato paste and baking soda after it gets sprayed by a skunk (save the sexual euphemisms for your Emotions Diary, dude). He gave us some incredible insight into the great responsibility assumed by the mere mortal who takes on the shamanic role of being The Bachelor in this contemporary fertility ritual. Basically: DON'T kiss the ladies in front of each other, DO tell them you won't remember their names upfront, and get ready for a boatload of crazy gimmicks on the first night. Thank you, Professor.


I have to say, whether this is due to Juan Pablo's fan-favorite status or people just have access to more beauty products, Juan Pablo's harem is one of the finest ever. EVERY girl was gorgeous. There were very few if any dental hygienists. Juan Pablo has to make some tough choices! I also LOVED his color commentary. “She’s cute.” “She smells good. Really good!” delivered directly to camera. Chris Harrison, go ahead and retire, Juan Pablo is taking over El Bachelor hosting duties! You are free to turn into a bird and fly away directly into the sun.




Harrison was lookin' sort of tragic. His eyes told me that life is not what you think it's going to be. You start out as an actor with a sweet hosting gig on a little reality show, then decades pass and you're a bitter divorcee offering yet another himbo a key to the fantasy suite while America fails to ask how YOU'RE doing. Will Chris Harrison never get his own international journey to wine and dine hot skanks potential future wives on ABC’s dime? Or is he basically doing that behind the scenes with a bevy of naive interns and makeup ladies? I sort of kind of have to know.

Anyway: Let’s review who made it through the in-depth casting process, who stood out during the Ramada Inn Ballroom cattle calls, cleverly evaded the grueling ABC office interrogations, and endured relentless handling from their Segment Producers to make it to this first cocktail party, a victory in and of itself! Let’s meet the ladies of the Awkward Implied Off-Screen Sex Version of The Hunger Games!


AMY L.


A Florida local reporter who looks like a Pixar character. Sure! Good job, casting. And she can hold her liquor, which is really what this first night is all about.


CASSANDRA


The whispering Soap Star. She looks like a 70’s fashion icon but I couldn’t hear a WORD she said. Beautiful dress. Did you notice Juan Pablo would really take the time to watch them walk into the cocktail party? “Ass man” is what I’m saying.


CHRISTY from CHICAGO


Her lips were paler than her skin! Her hair paler than her eyes! Beautiful, but her beauty color palette confused and challenged me. She may or may not be able to kinetically form ice sculptures.


CHRISTINE IN GREEN


Such a hottie AND she brought a nice bracelet for Camila. LOL that bracelet was not even close to nice. It was over the tracks and under the bridge from nice. Honey what did it cost, five cents? Looked like you got it from a homeless woman making beaded novelties out of a shopping buggy. I wouldn’t want to see my daughter put it in her mouth. A super cheap present is actually worse than no present, just saying.


NIKKI the NURSE


Okay, so: Obviously this girl makes it to top three or something. I mean, spoiler alert but the promos were full of spoilers and Nikki is going to do just fine this season. And let me tell you, if you have a four-year-old daughter and you're a single dad, a pediatric nurse as a romantic partner will save you a freaking fortune. “Should we take her to the ER?! She says her ear hurts!” “No she’s fine. I’ll give her 40 CCs of Tylenol and then we can finish Game of Thrones.”  I mean, it’s like having a private doctor: Go get ‘er. AND a studded black gown!? AND a bird tattoo on her back? Nikki is party in front, free health care in back. Let’s do this.


KAT THE DANCER


Whoops thought she was in medical sales? Real estate? But she's going with dancer. Sure. We are the story we tell ourself.


CHANTEL


Wore a mini skirt. Few and far between are the leggy beauties who go this route, and I always sort of root for them, because I feel like I would wear a mini skirt. LEGZ. Muy Bueno.


VICTORIA THE BRAZILLIAN


She popped up in this flirty yellow number that’s actually quite arty and nice? I loved her dress. Also she speaks Portuguese and a little bit of Spanish AND English? An advanced human being, basically. 


LUCY


Okay so, Juan Pablo kind of read this super-rich Santa Barbara “hippie” perfectly. I mean, I love a girl who refuses to wear makeup (and goes barefoot, and wears a FLOWER CROWN), but when Juan Pablo described her bare feet (thrust into his lap) as “staring at him,” I connected with him more than any onscreen character in the last 20 years. BARE NASTY FEET STARE AT YOU. They do; it's not okay. That having been said, I was so glad when she got a rose. She’s sort of a mold-breaker for The Bachelor, a self-described gypsy and “drifter.” Based on her designer gown and Santa Barbara lineage I’d say she’s more like a millionaire. But what texture she’ll add to group dates! Finally, someone a little less predictable in the mix. Charlie is Love.


DANIELLE WHO'S TOO CLASSY FOR HER OWN GOOD


Danielle showed up in a dress no skank would ever wear. Asymmetrical, ombre, flowy pants instead of a skirt?! What?! Lady, this ain’t the Pulitzer Prizes it’s The Bachelor!!! Home of sequins, extensions, and jeweled halters. You’re dressed far, far too classy for this affair. And for that I salute you. Namaste.


LAUREN THE PIANO MAN



Okay, so every year some bitch brings up her musical career and tries to sell a single in the first episode. Lauren bicycled a piano up a wet cobblestone driveway and then didn’t even play her own composition correctly? Bye.


CHELSIE THE CHEMIST


So. This girl is obviously cute, extroverted, has played decades of softball. She also weirdly has a job at a Science museum? but she’s about as interested in Science as she is in picking up the fake test tubes she brought to throw into the bushes as part of her Wacky First Impression. Chelsie is one of my favorites (I loved her telling Juan Pablo, drunkenly, that she wanted “all of the children”) and just sort of an interesting person to watch. Plus silver sparkle lamé? You got my attention.


VALERIE


So Kountry Times Katniss wore a dress by Speedo. Don’t tell me otherwise. That was a Speedo with a skirt and I’ve worn enough to know (swim team). I sort of don’t trust the girls who go in like “I’m gonna catch me that male varmint and marry ‘im!” and also, is it impressive to shoot a bull’s eye when you have like 15 scopes on your bow? I wanna know, archers.


ELISE


She was in her own little rom-com last night that no one else could see. Do you, Elise.


ASHLEY


At first I thought Ashley had a calming energy, then I realized she was just throatily whispering everything. What is that about? So whispery. 


PREGGERS THE FAKER


Okay, so, for sheer balls, Preggers was the lady of the night. Ballsy, ballsy move! And like, weirdly aware of what the series has become? When I heard there was a pregnant lady on The Bachelor I was like “Oh they went there” but it was really just this genius racheting up the awkward and emphasizing how we expect this show to be less of a viable romantic journey and more of an emotional minefield. I totally approve. She got Juan Pablo’s attention (he singled her out as being cute) AND made him consider her fabulously working uterus. Mastermind? Yes. She’s a mastermind. Show up to a blind date pregnant, ladies, and thank me later, is what I’m saying.


ALLI


Okay so, Legs for Days came out of the limo with a soccer ball like a pro. She’s offish a Nanny but she was talking with Juan Pablo within moments like she’d known him for years? She was so cool, calm, and collected that maybe she’s already over it? I don’t know but I envy Alli’s self-possession. If I were Juan Pablo I’d be stalking her. Call me, Alli.


AMY JEPSEN


Okay so... Carly Rae over here is actually a very LA type. I live in LA and I love LA, but this is a very specific type of lady and hey, not a complaint. I’m grateful LA has a community of dreamers who are ill fit to live anywhere EXCEPT LA. Cool. Love you Amy Jepsen. Stills, I’m a little upset that Amy J. had the audacity to give Juan Pablo a massage with ESSENTIAL OILS while he was WEARING A SUIT. Nonononononononononono. That’s not how clothing works. Did we all catch this? She led him out to a massage table out-of-doors, then kneaded oily oils into her hands, and then rubbed her hands into his suit. Like what?! 


MIAMI RENEE


Okay so this very Aniston single mom kind of got on my bad side when she described Juan Pablo as “Totally my type—very attractive.” I got to give Renee credit for having a super hard body. Don't I? Like legally I think I'm required to applaud people for having rock-tight abs? Not sure what the actual value of that is, per se, or if it necessarily indicates good-personness. However I think it's actually quite admirable that she lead with being a mom straight out the limo. She’s clearly got her priorities in-hand, and we should all be so lucky.


LAUREN H., JILTED BRIDE


Lauren H. was one of the five, like, "featured" candidates with a produced segment before the cocktail party. She spent a lot of that time talking about the fiancee who blindsided her by calling off their wedding. She stared at her old wedding dress. She stared at her old engagement ring. She sat under a lighthouse and stared at a couple getting married like she was picturing them bursting spontaneously into blue flames. 



Like from the get-go the editors seized on her for their "Jilted Woman" narrative, although to be fair she did her part at the cocktail party by totally losing it. First chance she got, she spilled everything about her ex-fiancee to Juan Pablo. It’s pretty clear that every time Lauren H. gets two shots in her, her friends get a two-hour sobbing rant about the ex, and that's just what happened here except instead of Sheryl and Carole she was sitting across from Juan Pablo holding up a giant sign reading "Broken." We’ve all been there, but Juan Pablo has 26 other bitches who just want to dance. Don’t ask him to handle all your baggage at this point in time. Don't hand him your suitcase, hat box, and wheeled wardrobe right now. Just relax. Lauren told herself to fail because that's the story she's told herself ever since her ex hopped out on her, and it's a cautionary tale for the ages. When you act like a dick to a girl, guys, you can ruin that girl’s life for a long, long time because we are raised to judge ourselves based on how you react to us. Ladies, let's stop doing that.  Lauren H., I send you all the love in the world. This experience was clearly a little too soon for you, you need to learn to love yourself before you can expect to share your life with someone. That’s just how it works. But you got all the time in the world because you are only 20-freaking-five. Also what does “Mineral Coordinator” mean? Because my immediate association was “dealing rock.” Hope it’s not that. Feel better.


MAGGIE


She had just the sweetest, sexiest accent. And a cute-ass dress. Team Maggie.


KELLY THE DOG LOVER


NOT A JOB. Just put "Rich Dad" next time. 


LACY THE EMPATH


Okay so first of all, this girl was so nice her life was a nightmare. Can I say that? Working at MORE THAN ONE elderly folks’ home? I mean: C’mon. Am I a monster or does that truly take a heart of gold to even consider without shrieking? A heart of GOLD! If we were to measure people strictly by sensitivity and empathy, Lacey would probably be the president. Plus she looks like a freaking showgirl and she was handing out pills as an icebreaker. Lacey, you’re a fairy-tale come true.


ALEXIS


Look we didn’t spend much time with Alexis but she was cute as hell. Her gown was sexy without looking trampy. She seems real, and I liked her edgy dark lipstick. Team Alexis.


KYLIE


Where to start with this bitch? FIrst of all, this is not the Broke Down Disney Princess Costume Calvacade as held in a rundown Florida Strip Mall Banquet Hall and sponsored by Hot Topic, this is The Bachelor. Why are you dressed up in an adult-size Little Mermaid Halloween costume? I would LOVE to see this gal's interior decorating, because her taste seemed questionable. But I’m not going to sit here and hate because she was the one who thought she got called for a Rose at the Ceremony but she actually hadn’t gotten called and AWKWARD and in that moment we were ALL Kylie... so sorry Kylie. We send our love your way. Now put on a slick black DKNY number the next time you go out on a date because that Princess Sparkle shit is childish.


SHARLEEN


Okay, so, verbatim, what I wrote when i watched her walk onscreen in my notes was this:

“SHARLEEN U TOO CLASSY FOR THIS YOU LOOK LIKE AN AMBASSADOR!!! A CANADIAN?!?! GET OFF OUR MEN!!! NOO CANUCK NOO!!! AHHH SHE’S AN OPERA SINGER NO CLASSY LADY NO TOO CLASSY FOR THIS!!!! NOOO!!!!”

Ahem. Clearly, I get a little riled up when watching The Bachelor. And apologies to my sexy Canadian sisters, but Sharleen just seems sort of too good for this enterprise which is not a diss, it's just a confusing compliment. That Juan Pablo gave Sharleen the First Impression Rose was a big credit to him: It shows he values intelligence, worldliness, and culture in a woman. That she seemed slightly awkward about receiving the First Impression Rose said a lot about her: She doesn’t see herself in a competition with these other ladies. She has nothing to prove. She wants some kind of normalcy and authentic connection and maybe she doesn't actually know how this show works? Those attitudes in a man and woman participant are UNHEARD OF in Bachelor history. Valuing intelligence? Wanting authenticity? I will be watching almost EXCLUSIVELY for Juan Pablo and Sharleen going forward. Their awkward dance of resistance and pursuit and appreciation for subtle, arty gowns has me all caught up in its web.


ANDI


Okay so. Andi is sort of my favorite? She’s an avenging angel Prosecutor who's also a 10, which is a rare breed indeed. Juan looked ready to melt into the ground and then they flirted with each other super comfortably. Also ombre hair? Yes. Deep V? Yes. Team Andi.

Obviously we lost a literal ton of these ladies during the Rose Ceremony. Specifically:

Christine, Lauren, Kylie, Amy J., Sneezy, and Grumpy.

But look, it really doesn't matter who got voted off in this round. We won't know all their names until four weeks from now. THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, who are your top three going forward? 

Is this the greatest season of The Bachelor we will ever know? Or is the The Bachelor, like the four seasons, an extension of a natural energy far beyond human control that wreaks its will across mankind’s furrowed barren emotional fields and leaves us ecstatic and trembling in its wake harvesting our belief in true love every year anew, just as the consummation of spring with the thawing of winter’s snows awakens the world each year?

Discuss.


QUESTIONS:

... Who will make it to the top three?

... Lauren H.’s meltdown: played up by ABC or truly a pity?

... Juan Pablo: hottest Bachelor ever?

... What was Sharlene’s reticence about with the First Impression Rose? Did she really almost refuse it? Why did she even apply to The Bachelor (as she’s clearly far too classy for it)?

... Chris Harrison: Do you think as a single man he would ever consent to going through the Bachelor process himself?

... Promo dissection: Who is clearly in the top three? Who is storming out in a fit of rage? What have you figured out from the promos?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/3/2014

Season 18 : Episode 14

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