Now that some of the fat has been trimmed (no, I’m not being derogatory towards women), let the dating begin! The honor of Juan Pablo’s first ever one-on-one goes to Clare Bear, the hairdresser with the heart of gold. JP single-handedly (no, that’s not true) transforms L.A. into a Winter Wonderland complete with an ice skating rink so that he and Clare can flirt like toddlers followed by a very adult dip in the hot tub where she immediately opens up about her dead dad to score some extra bonding points. It’s a rule that every time the Bachelor is submerged in water, he has to kiss the girl nearest to him, so they proceed to smooch. Notably, there was no alcohol during this date – perhaps a first in Bachelor history, so the perceived chemistry was probably real. Does this mean Juan Pablo will be able to avoid the curse of the episode 7 weight gain? We’re looking at you, Sean. The date ends, like most Bachelor dates do with a surprise private concert by a band no one has ever heard of while fake snow falls on the dancing duo.
Next up is a one-on-one with Kat who puts on her best chambray shirt for the occasion. She’s whisked away on a private plane. Where to, she muses. Paris? Miami? No, honey. You’re going to Utah for a made for TV rave. Yay! She changes out of her sexy denim into more suitable neon attire before joining masses of people who are all miraculously wearing the same light-up tracksuits. After dosing themselves with ecstasy, they join the 5K dance parade. She gets a rose. Duh. He’s hopped on goof balls. How else would you explain how much fun they're having waving around glow sticks?
And now for the group date – every girl’s favorite (said no one on The Bachelor, ever).
The theme: A photo shoot for “Models & Mutts” – an organization that pairs pretty women with mangy dogs to raise awareness for shelters. The contestants are all given costumes to wear – with varying range of hellaciousness depending on how much the producers hate them.
- Elise, the first grade teacher who’s also the softest of the bunch (which is to say she’s still tiny by human standards) is tasked with wearing two pieces of cardboard which will expose her naughty bits. She very cleverly swaps with happy naked Lucy who’s given a giant fire hydrant costume (well played, producers). Lucy is a good sport. Score one for sisterhood!
- Andi, the DA, is given but one piece of cardboard to wear. She has a mini meltdown. “I send people to prison for a living ... I’m not that kind of girl ...” (read: I feel bloated today). Juan convinces her to strip down in the least pervy way possible. What a great dad.
- Kelly, who is a “dog lover” by trade is dressed like a big poop. Literally, poop: complete with bald cap and brown head to toe makeup. So violently unattractive that she must have done something awful to Chris Harrison. But her good attitude gets her the group date rose. See? It never pays to whine (Andi).
At the after party, boring Cassandra (the 21 year-old dancer/makeup artist) tells Juan Pablo she has a two-year old son (you do the math) so now she’s guaranteed to get a rose. Way to bury the lead, Cassie. “That’s a good surprise!” JP says with a face filled with genuine glee, making my ovaries hurt.
Victoria drinks too much flat champagne and whips out this gem (it’s best if read slurred): “If Juan Pablo happens to be mine, I’m going to straddle him every day because that’s what life is about, straddling and things...” Classy. She locks herself in a bathroom sobbing because she hasn’t had any alone time with the guy she wants to hump. Renee (Den Mother of the year), slides under the stall door to very sweetly console. Not sanitary or helpful. Juan Pablo -- a veteran in the shutting down little girl tantrums department -- tries next but gets cussed out. Victoria is sent to the nearest Holiday Inn where she can’t be a bad influence on the other impressionable young ladies. Juan Pablo, as usual, is a perfect gentleman about the situation. He kindly executes her the next day in her hotel room. Conclusion: highly emotional drunks are unfit mothers and suitors for sober guys.
Then comes the rose ceremony.
No real surprises here. The curly haired girl flat irons her hair so she gets to stay. Cassandra’s a mom now so she’s sacrificed. Sharleen is still a b-word but she's "elegant" so gets a pass. Time's up for the only woman of color and Amy is let go after she "interviews" Juan Pablo in a campy, cringe-worthy news anchor routine. Men don't like performance art, missy. When will these women learn?
Still high on our power rankings: Clare, Nikki, Andi, Renee
See ya next week! Until then, cover up and drink in moderation.