The Bachelor — Season 18, Episode 1811 — Live Blog and Discussion

“We all know by now how awesome he is, but I am super conflicted and I have been for awhile now.”

These are the trenchant words spoken by Sharleen in tonight’s profoundly familiar episode of The Bachelor, wherein the same thing happens that has happened every other week, except maybe instead of Juan Pablo telling the viewers whom the producers have decided is not sufficiently shrieky, slutty, or making enough of a spectacle of herself to remain on the show, one of the girls will announce it herself.

Despite such time-tested exciting-preview-clip-generating tactics making this season debut with the show’s highest ratings ever, more and more nosy people are finding out that Juan Pablo maybe isn’t as awesome as Sharleen insists. Beyond the vacant-eyed Venezuelan taxidermy project’s obvious shortcomings of being incapable of expressing any kind of coherent thought or allowing his dates’ tongues to remain unmolested during any private encounter, it has come to light that he was never even a genuine soccer player, but merely a benchwarmer. So he doesn’t even really use those abs he keeps baring for the camera.

Meanwhile, Renee spoke with and answered the piercing question of Who is your biggest competition?

They are all amazing women, but I’d say Clare. Just the way he looks at her. But he laughs a lot with Chelsea. But at this point he’s got something for everyone.

Since this is a family show, though, we probably won’t get to see it on camera.

We’re in Miami this time. Much lower budget. We’ll find out about why Clare is not okay with being disrespected, and how it’s sad for JP to say good-bye to someone he cares about potentially having sex with.

As we open, JP is going to see Camila. It’s the first time in weeks he’s kissed a girl without using any tongue. The gals arrive at the hotel and do their typical oohing and aahing over the suite, as required by the contract with the sponsor.

Since this is the week that rose-earners will be awarded hometown visits, Sharleen explains that she is not ready to introduce JP to her family. That’s possibly because her parents may frown on a relationship in  which the boyfriend is pawing a whole bunch of other girls in between dates with their daughter.

JP arrives at the girls’ suite and hands the date card directly to Sharleen. Nikki looks non-plussed. There’s another word he probably doesn’t know. As Sharleen prepares for the date, she explains that her doubt arises from a desire for a cerebral connection with JP. There are two obvious resolutions here, I think. Either schedule the world’s first brain transplant for him, or book a flight back to Germany immediately.

None of the other girls understand why JP is so drawn to Sharleen and her particular tongue. She’s not blond or stacked, after all. The two board a yacht and snuggle while she continues to feel conflicted, which she doesn’t let get in the way of making out. His idea of a conventional social encounter is either scaring the woman to death or shoving his tongue past her uvula. The rest of the girls back at the hotel devote more time to discussing the substance, as it were, of their relationship, as it were, than Sharleen and JP do.

They reach a beach, and Sharleen discusses her singing career. “Change is good,” she says vaguely. JP likes that, possibly believing it means she’ll let him stick his tongue somewhere else on her body. As evening falls, Sharleen declares that the day was great. It appears they made out on a yacht, on the beach, in street clothes, while it was sunny, and while it was dark, so we know they have variety in their relationship. JP says he has everything with her, except the minor details of knowing her last name and what religion she is.

But Sharleen continues to voice concern that they’ve never traded more than a dozen inanities during any single encounter before they start slobbering uncontrollably all over each other. “I wish I was a little dumber,” she says, as countless feminists leap off buildings.

The next date card arrives for Nikki, who worries that she will be required to dance or otherwise enjoy herself. The other girls resent her negativity. At least she’s one thing the the terminal people down at the hospital don’t regret missing.

After Sharleen returns from her date, she tells Renee her worries. After these weeks on the show, wherein she spent a few hours largely just sharing saliva with a person who says “ay yi yi” to express his innermost thoughts, she bemoans how difficult it is to decide if he should become her partner for life. Renee appears understanding, but how could she really know Sharleen’s agonizing dilemma, since she’s only scored a few quick liplocks.

Ignoring that he just essentially announced that Sharleen is The One, JP tells us how thrilled he is about his date with Nikki. She’s going to meet Camila! And his family! Maybe they’ll all parachute out of a plane! She seems shocked and anxious. It’s worse than spelunking into a 1,000-foot deep cave. And she is not dressed nicely enough for this seminal occasion. JP seems not to care. The kid can’t see some kissing, but she can be exposed to her potential stepmother wearing some loud shmattah and jean shorts to attend a family event.

Next a group date is announced. A rose will be presented to the first person to get a hometown date. This is impetus for Sharleen to worry about whether she can marry JP. Sharleen, there is the option to turn down the proposal, although I understand divorce doesn’t seem wise since he has no income for alimony.

Meanwhile, Camila is featured in a recital with a bunch of other little future bachelorettes. The child’s mom is there, too. What a powder keg! You can just see the producers salivating. “This could be my life,” declares Nikki, forgetting there will be no craft services table or make-up trailer then.

Now they go to Marlin Park, JP’s “office.” It appears to be on the stadium field. Is his job cutting the grass? They toss a baseball back and forth so there’s risk of her low-cut halter top falling in an inappropriate way, then recline on a blanket. He asks her how she felt about meeting his family. She asks him beseechingly where she fits in the dynamic among all of them and Carla, Camila’s mom. You’d be what we call the “meal ticket,” Nikki. Once all that is clarified, which means JP mumbles something about family being important and how Camila is his everything, Nikki breathes that today really solidified her feelings for him. She wants to marry JP, have Camila live with Carla, and send the parents to an assisted living facility in another state.

Back to Sharleen’s continuing agony. It’s only been a couple of weeks; has she considered that this could just be PMS? She knows what she has to do, though. She comes to tell the other girls that she thinks it’s unfair to possibly end up with a rose at this point, so she will be leaving. Maybe spend a few days at the beach, go to the clubs, and do some shopping, but then leaving for sure. Their glee is only thinly veiled.

Then Sharleen goes to his suite and bangs on the door like Clare looking for some early-hours nookie. JP answers and the POV shifts to over his shoulder. Do the camera guys just hang around in his room waiting for someone to show up?  They huddle on the sofa and she whispers her doubts, which we get to read in subtitles like a French movie. Or in their case, Swedish.

“This is a hard situation, this is a hard place to be, this is a hard everything,” JP replies. I’m sure something is hard for him.  She weeps, revealing impressive mascara staying power, and he embraces her, telling her not to be sorry for something she feels. Especially something hard. “Thank you for being honest,” he tells her at the door. JP admires honesty, except in his tax filings. One camera chases her down the hall, another follows him out to the terrace to gaze pensively at the stunning Miami skyline (extra $150 night for ocean view).

Sharleen quickly forgotten, it’s time for the group date. They fly in a seaplane to a private island, where the rose waits ominously. JP and Chelsie go off alone first. She reads him notes from her mom and dad, which include advice like “keep your clothes on.” JP has rejected her by then. Then he takes Andi for a walk. She starts blubbering about how upsetting it all is. The uncertainties! After two weeks, she absolutely must know if he’s viable husband material. How do these women date anyone under normal circumstances if they can’t accommodate the freakishness of this artificial arrangement?

Next it’s Clare. He asks about her family. Nobody has one they’re merely cordial with. She’s the one with the dead dad, though, so there’s a tearful recounting of how he told her before he took his last breath that he wanted her to marry the right man. The man actually made a video to be watched by whoever that man might be, which would be charming in a Lifetime movie but in real life is just creepy. Touched, JP mauls Clare with his mouth.  I doubt the video includes a part where the dad recommends this kind of thing.

Time to present the rose to the gal whose family JP really wants to meet, and whose net worth he researched earlier. The skies lower, rain falls, and Andi gets it. With that and a reputable mutual fund, she should be feeling very secure. That night, the two of them go out with her cleavage pouring out of a dress that’s tighter than the seal on a can of biscuit dough. As some Latin singer croons, he leads her to the stage to dance. They have a meeting of the minds and crotches.

Back at the hotel, as the other girls talk, Nikki suddenly storms out for some reason. Clare resents her attitude, and follows her to the bedroom. The confrontation is not enlightening. “Get out!” “Oh, is this your suite?” “Did you pay for it?” “Why is it always about you?” If I wanted to experience this kind of exchange, I would eat Mexican food and have a nightmare of being back in high school.

Next the girls parade in their cocktail dresses to the pre-Rose Ceremony gathering. Chelsie insists JP must see her in hometown with her family, or he will never know her. He’ll have to give tongue to all the relatives, since that’s how he introduces himself to people. Nikki comments that she does not want to hang out with her “boyfriend” with Clare around. I bet Clare doesn’t want to either. Do harems have these issues?

Nikki gloats with Andi that JP acts so differently with the other girls than he does with them. Maybe she means he feels up the left boob first with them. She thinks meeting his family gave them a connection no one else has, failing to consider whether the family found her anything to write home about. Clare thinks Nikki’s not mature enough to be a stepmom. They sit together, silently glowering. Clare is in green for her envy, while Nikki wears red as the siren.

After Chris shows up for his weekly unctious pronouncement of the arrival of the Rose Ceremony, JP repeats his spiel about how hard it is to say goodbye. He’s gotten pretty good at it, I’d say. As the moon rises over Miami, the girls line up like so many cheap souvenir chatchkes on your grandma’s curio shelf.

JP steps forward to solemnly utter words like amahzeen and dahseezhun and eempohdund. Nikki’s tongue gets the first rose, then Clare’s. The third rose goes to Renee, leaving Chelsie to go home and hang out with her important family alone. JP looks crestfallen. He probably sneaked a peek at her in the shower after the decision was already in. “Such a mistake. Huge mistake,” murmurs Clare, earning a glare from Nikki that could make a grilled cheese.

Chelsie rides off in the limo, consoled that JP felt so bad that she had to leave the show. He wanders off, a broken man, wishing he could meet her family.  She’s not going off to the gulag, for heaven’s sake. You still want to date her, go ahead, you giant doofus.

The Two-Day Bachelor Event next week will shock us  in even more ways, apparently, than the fact that JP did not feel the need to shave for his visits to the girls’ families.


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.