Can we get a slow clap going for Jason Mesnick? After five long years, he is no longer the most hated man in the history of "The Bachelor."
That title now belongs to none other than El Bachelor himself, Mr. Juan Pablo Galavis. It was hard-won, to be sure. Jason set the bar pretty high -- proposing to one girl on the finale only to dump her on national television weeks later and subsequently marry his runner-up? And yet somehow good ol’ JuanPabs managed to top Mesnick. Congratulations, sir.
From the beginning, I didn’t have a good feeling about JuanPabs. Though ABC touted his status as a fan favorite during his turn on “The Bachelorette” last year, I never really felt that “Bachelor” nation was super into him. Basically, we all thought he was hot. We never said we wanted him to be The Bachelor.
And yet months later, there he was in front of the “Bachelor” mansion, practically salivating when limos filled with sexy women pulled up to greet him. It quickly became clear that JuanPabs was not going to play the game the last Bachelor, Sean Lowe, had. For one, Sean was a born-again virg, and JuanPablo is, uh, not. In fact, JP is a fan of besitos. And making out in the ocean. And fantasy suites.
He also -- how to put this delicately? -- had a hard time expressing his emotions. On a show that lends itself to grand declarations of love with waves crashing in the background and such, this did not work well.
But there have been strong-and-silent types on this show before. The problem with JuanPabs, I think, is that I never fully bought he was simply withholding his feelings. It seemed he didn’t have them at all.
Which leads us to the actual finale: OK, so we were in St. Lucia, and we were down to the final two women: Clare and Nikki. As is par for the course, he brought each of them separately to meet his parents. Each woman “visited” the same flower shop and brought the Galavis’ lovely island bouquets. Each met his daughter, Camila, who was cute. She wore a ribbon in her hair. It was red, and I enjoyed it.
Juan Pablo’s parents seemed kind, even as they were throwing him under the bus. Yes, like father, like son, apparently: JuanPabs’ dad told both women that the Bachelor had a stubborn side. His mother relayed that her son could be brutally honest and rude. Even his cousin, Rodolfo, warned that JP was prone to leave a relationship at the first sign of trouble.
Of course, Nikki and Clare sped right past those red flags in the pursuit of everlasting love and happiness.
“We would fight well together,” Nikki told Rodolfo, after he shared that his cousin was often argumentative. Way to look on the bright side of life, girl. Glass half full and rainbows and cotton candy and stuff.
Clare was being a good soldier too -- until she and Juan Pablo set off on their final one-on-one date together. Apparently, as the couple flew in a helicopter to a remote part of St. Lucia, there was a moment where the cameras weren’t on them and no microphones could catch what they were saying. At this time, JuanPabs took the opportunity to say something “sexual” to Clare that totally offended her. She wouldn’t say exactly what it was, but basically, it seems like he told her he didn’t feel like he knew her at all but really enjoyed having sex with her.
Understandably, she was disgusted. That night, when he came over to “her place,” he walked in and immediately requested besitos. She denied him besitos. Instead, she asked him to reassure her that he was interested in more than just knockin’ boots with her.
“Yeah, I could see myself with you,” he said, literally shrugging.
He told her he was more than just physically attracted to her. If he chose her, he said, he could see her having his baby in two months. Her ovaries almost exploded and, for a moment, all was right in the world.
Until it wasn’t. Yep, Clare was the first one to arrive at the final rose ceremony -- always a tragic sign.
He went to hug Clare to comfort her, and she was like, OH NO YOU DIDN’T. She pushed him away. This was when the Clare I have always wanted to see came out. Why did he tell her he wanted her to have his babe if he didn’t? That was not kind to her or her ovaries. Why did he say he could envision life with her in Sacramento? Why lead her on like that?
“Do you want to know when I made my decision?” he replied.