The Bachelor — Season 18, Episode 1803 — Live Blog and Discussion

Juan Pablo achieved conclusive American fame this past week when he joined all the other morons who’ve said idiotically offensive things in interviews, and then had to immediately back-pedal with a network PR department-sanctioned mea culpa about as genuine as his tan. Once the homophobic cat was out of the bag, though, vast numbers of indignant viewers vowed to stop watching The Bachelor, as if that were some form of retaliation against him instead of just a reward to themselves, since now they can spend those hours rereading the classics or installing solar panels on their houses. Anyway, unless a sizable portion of those people are either Nielsen families or CEOs of the sponsoring advertisers, it’s not going to make one whit of difference.

Furthermore, the fact that Juan Pablo is a callow, loutish, and provincial jerk should not come as a revelation to anybody. His mere presence on the most misogynist television broadcast since Ricky routinely threatened to spank Lucy for disobeying him is evidence enough that his opinion of women is lower than the ratings for a PBS fundraising drive.  Yet everyone, myself included, considers it merely hilarious that this guy is being paid to evaluate and systematically reject the deficient candidates from a gallery of paper-doll-cutout women as if they were so many disappointing search results on eBay. No doubt that if the interviewer had asked Juan Pablo’s views on healthcare and climate change, there would now be Facebook pages and nationally circulated petitions calling for his deportation.

We’re in terrible shape as a society if we look for a role model in a former mediocre soccer player who was recruited, based solely on the stellar qualities of his abs and dental work, for the task of purchasing a potential wife from a pre-selected panel of Craigslist-recruited famewhores, all while being filmed and misleadingly edited for national television. In other words, who cares what this fool says?

Now, then, it’s just about time for another week of making fun of the meaningless clownishness of The Bachelor and everyone associated with it, especially Free Spirit Lady! Thank you for your comments.

Bungee jumping, kissing, girls comparing themselves to the others, bikinis–it’s all coming up tonight. And every week thereafter. Kelly says a lot of love has come out of the show, mostly from the producers’ investment managers. Chris can’t believe they’re already down to 15 girls. I can’t believe his two-tone shirt.

Cassandra gets the first date card, which says “love is a wild ride.” Meanwhile, JP lounges on the beach with his parents and Camila, who acts bratty. He remarks that Cassandra has a son, which he likes. Maybe they can have a two-brat blended family.

He picks her up in a Jeep, which for some reason confounds her. Maybe because there must be a half-dozen cameras mounted all over it for those narrative-crucial four-second above-the-rear-wheel angles. They arrive at the water’s edge, and JP drives right in. It’s a boat car! I had no idea those had actually been invented. Finally, watching this show proves informative. I’ve learned that, and that Mineral Coordinator is a job.

Back at the house, Renee and some blond, I think it’s Elise, discuss things. It’s an emotional talk, which you know because most of their bodies are covered by clothing and soft music introduces the scene. Elise smiles when confirming that her cancer-ridden mom is currently dead. She had wished her daughter could be on The Bachelor, so Elsie feels blessed to be there. I’m envious–my dying mother only hoped I’d be on the local news.

Cassandra and JP are having a great time driving all over the water and chatting with other boaters. What happens if you have an accident? Do you file a claim with your car insurance or your boat insurance? Then they climb aboard a regular boat, she strips to a bikini, and they jump into the water to commence pawing at each other. The date’s going swimmingly!

At the house, Kat tells us that JP has made a commitment “to work quickly” to define his feelings. I’m sure he will work quickly on other things involving feeling.

JP brings Cassandra to his house and shows her Camila’s drawings, which probably indicate some kind of sociopathic tendencies. They cook together. She seems nervous, JP decides, and he wants her to relax, so they dance. Personally, I prefer copious amounts of liquor when I’m anxious.  The camera features close-ups of her bottom in tight pants. She must be completely comfortable now, with a boom mike hovering over her head and the director telling her to shake her booty.

They nosh on some food outside near a firepit, so the lighting director can take a coffee break. It turns out that JP has never heard of malted milk balls. He does not have mundo. Then he shows Cassandra photographs of Camila, which seems to me about as romantic as hauling out the slides of your last vacation. He comments again that he likes that she’s a mom. Check her feet, JP, because they have to be in good shape for all the time you’ll want her barefoot and pregnant.

He hands her the rose. “Pretty awesome,” she says. She will teach him the ways of Whoppers.

Now we’re at a soccer field. JP gave up the game when his daughter was born because . . .why? It’s so dangerous? Eleven of the girls are headed for the group date now, on their way to join him at the stadium. The girls are impressed that he can play and is sweaty. They have simple tastes, a good thing since an ignorance of malted milk balls is a pretty serious deficit. Now they are going to play soccer, too. Alli has played before, and thought to wear a push-up bra, too, so she’ll have an advantage.

They practice first. JP assesses both how well each one plays and how hard she tries. It’s a metaphor, of course. The girls return to the field in uniforms. They are divided into teams that are pitted against each other. It’s a metaphor, of course.

JP appreciates that Sharleen gets hit in the face and keeps playing. She has fundo. This whole thing seemed like a pointless exercise, other than permitting JP to view some jiggling and hope a catfight would break out on the grass.

Nightfall, and everyone is wearing their cocktail dresses. They toast each other with champagne before JP goes off with Nikki. He’s all flirty while she wants to discuss her discomfort. But she says they connected. Next he chooses Andi. They go into a kitchen and make out by the refrigerator. She is obviously comfortable.

The other girls observe nervously as JP separates the members of the herd one by one to chat with each of them.  Canoodling with JP on a blanket on the field, Sharleen gets tongue. Andi is concerned about that, since she made out with him, too, but perhaps only rated ear-nibbling. Ultimately, Nikki receives the rose. Damn, and she only hugged him. Maybe he copped a feel when we couldn’t see.

Chelsie–okay, that’s how you spell it–has been chosen for the next date card. As they drive to their destination, JP asks if she trusts him and she giggles that she does. If he’s so fixated on everyone feeling comfortable all the time, maybe he should spike their water bottles with Xanax. The helicopter cam reveals he’s rather an erratic driver, veering all over the road. He might want to work a little harder on that aspect of the trust thing.

They go a Venezuelan restaurant and chow down. This doesn’t seem like a good plan before bungee jumping. He asks if she’s scared of heights and she says she is. They approach the railing of the bridge where the equipment is set up. She squeals. She has never jumped off of a large object before, although it’s possible she has jumped on a smaller object. They will make the leap tethered together at the ankles, because they can only genuinely test their trust of each other on a first date by putting their lives at risk for a cheap thrill. How does this exercise build trust, anyway? He wasn’t the one who secured the ropes.

As they stand at the edge of the platform that overhangs the drop, she starts to panick. Very sensible. She takes the opportunity to wrap her arms around him and weep prettily. Very strategic. They back slowly off the platform, and JP starts sweet-talking her. Her espadrilles look like they might come off in the leap, that’s something to consider. Chelsie marvels at his sincerity in giving her the option to not leap off a bridge. What a stand-up fellow. She agrees to do it, she screams a lot, and then they make out hanging upside down, swinging in the breeze. This guy has some smooth moves.

Later they walk hand in hand through the city to a flower-and-candle-bedecked table set up on the steps of City Hall. Is this a proper use of taxpayer-funded public property? They discuss their fears. He worries about being a good example for his daughter, she worries about being happy. Right in line with each other. She explains how she is the black sheep in her family for becoming a teacher when everyone else is a doctor. I think that’s more like a white sheep in need of a little shampooing. “We had a really epic day,” she tells us as the evening nears its close. He hands over the rose, transforming the day into an epic!!11!1!!! one. Then they rush over to the plaza, where they are serenaded by some band I don’t recognize. It’s going to be quite a letdown when he takes her to In-n-Out burgers for their next date.

JP comes over to cook a Venezuelan breakfast for the girls the next morning. Kelly gets up early to walk the dog, and is horrified to be seen unmade-up and otherwise disheveled. Braless is probably not an issue. She has a point–he’s likely there to compare who looks the best right out of the sack. I think the dog wins.

JP proposes that they have a pool party instead of a cocktail party before the Rose Ceremony. Everyone rushes upstairs to shave their legs. Poolside, cue shots of half-bared breasts and tanned midriffs. Everyone gapes at JP’s fabulous body. It’s one giant sexist extravaganza.

As some girls monopolize JP’s time, accusations of “whore” and “slut” are hurled–regular whore, not famewhore, since that would be hypocritical. “People’s definitions of fun vary,” quoth Sharleen just prior to  massaging JP’s uvula with her tongue. Alone with him, she expresses admiration for his ability to talk to people easily. She could, too, if her tongue were not otherwise occupied. She starts crying and is gathered into his manly arms.

The others around the pool fret as they try to see what’s going on with those two. Are they kissing or just hugging? Frenching or closed lips? How long will they be together? It’s like a meeting of the Warren Commission.

Two girls are now bemoaning the awfulness of it all in a closet or something. The camera tries to peer in the crack between the hinges of the partly open door.  There are tears and rending of sarongs. They don’t like that JP is sharing all of these women. Someone please hand them a TV Guide to explain how the show works.

Now JP is with Cassandra again. “The process is weird,” she tells him in a stunning demonstration of understatement. She wishes it had been her on all those dates she hears about. “Of course,” JP replies knowingly. He spends a lot of time reassuring these women that he wishes he had some other recourse than to make out with all of them on separate occasions.

Chris finally arrives to spirit JP away. This was better than a cocktail party, he tells the girls, largely because more flesh was visible in the natural light.

JP is more confident than ever that he’ll find his wife here, Chris tells the girls gathered for the ceremony. Probably she’ll be among the production assistants, but still. JP is glad that he saw what they all look like in pajamas and bikinis, something which he’ll need to know about a potential wife, certainly before he discovers her religion or views on childraising.

The first rose goes to Andi. Renee is next to say she’ll cep dis ruzz, then Kelly (with Molly the dog), followed by Sharleen and her tongue. Then come Elise, Kat, and Alison.  Clare and Lauren follow, then one rose remains. The remaining girls swallow hard and sigh. Danielle gets it. There are feelings of bitterness for the rejected girls, curiosity about what they look like naked for JP, and resentment for me that we’ve lost the comic opportunities offered by the Free Spirit.

In the closing credits, Chelsie attempts to teach JP how to pronounce “chivalrous.” He can’t manage it, which is ironic in so many ways.

Until next week, when I hope to again see all of you who enjoy this “heaping pile of shit” and “still watch it after this ridiculously homophobic Neanderthal’s musings.”  You know who you are.










About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.