By Denise Weiss
For the Baltimore Sun
11:53 AM EST, January 6, 2014
Welcome to Season 18 of "The Bachelor"! Last night’s episode "Countdown to Juan Pablo" was a complete waste of time, but gave us a glimpse into how different this season will be from past seasons. NOT!
As usual, there will be yacht jumping, waterfalls, hot tubs, kissing, dancing, kissing while dancing and lots of tears and drama. The good news is that Juan Pablo has been working on his abs, his biceps and his English, and all are significantly improved.
In order to fill this “Get to know Juan Pablo” hour-long episode, we are treated to an inside view on how ABC chooses the women who will be cat fighting for Juan Pablo’s heart. This group is as pathetic as you could imagine, and include a woman who no longer wants to be a booty call, one who admits to strangers on TV that she lost her virginity two weeks ago, a charmer whose talent is that she can put her fist in her mouth (which she goes on to prove by actually shoving her fist in her mouth) and a real brain surgeon who exclaims “oh, he’s single” when she learns that Juan Pablo is going to be the next Bachelor.
Duh! And let’s not forget the grandma who had no idea what The Bachelor was, but instead insisted that her granddaughter was very qualified for the beauty pageant. That would be “Toddlers and Tiaras” which is filming on the lot next door grandma.
Next we watch as Chris Harrison “surprises” women at their homes when he shows up on their doorsteps, rose in hand, to deliver the news that they have been chosen to be on The Bachelor. I use the word “surprises” loosely because these women are wearing full makeup and sundresses and don’t look as if they have been caught by surprise. If Chris Harrison showed up on my doorstep unannounced in middle of the day he would find me in my pajamas with a clip hanging off my hair. Perhaps that is why I have never been chosen to be a contestant on "The Bachelor."
The first lucky lady is Lucinda, who is so excited that she jumps on Chris, wraps her legs around him, gives him a little dry hump and screeches “I love Juan Pablo.” Of course you do Lucinda. Chris Harrison’s second rose recipient is Elyse who confesses that she has been working on her Spanish in anticipation of being chosen. So far she has mastered “Hola.”
We meet a few others, including Lauren who I thought was going to make out with the Duck Dynasty looking producer right on her doorstep. We also get a glimpse of a real classy girl who jumps up and down on her bed in her pink panties, and one who runs into the ocean yelling “I’m coming for you Juan Pablo.” All the women throw their arms up in the air and scream “Juan Pablo” at the top of their lungs, and I can tell immediately that it’s going to be a long season.
Finally, it’s time to meet our Bachelor. Juan Pablo is a 32-year-old, retired soccer player who is a single father to his 4 year old daughter Camilla. Juan Pablo is a terrific dad, despite the fact that he doesn’t know how to properly buckle her into her car seat and allows her to dive face first into the shallow end of a swimming pool. He likes to take to her to the park and really, really loves being a dad.
We don’t see a recap of Juan Pablo’s time on Des’ season because he was barely on it. Truth be told, we don’t know much about Juan Pablo other than that he is muy caliente and has a very sexy accent. After watching last night’s episode, I have a feeling that there’s not much more to him, and that Juan Pablo is as deep as a puddle.
Back in Miami, we meet Juan Pablo’s family including a distant relative who mistakenly calls him “Juan Carlos.” His female cousins call him a player, his sister announces she is pregnant and some guy named Ivan gives him really good advice to wait 15 minutes and brush his teeth between make out sessions. Thanks Ivan, that’s the stuff that good, solid marriages are made of.
His Dad takes him outside and tells him that he hopes he will bring home a daughter in law, but reminds him “you have to think about Camilla.” The best way for Juan Pablo to think about Camilla would be for him to stay home and avoid these bat-shit crazy women. The final bit of Dad advice is “remember we are here for you” to which the words “until you make a fool of yourself” should have been added.
After watching this introduction, I liken Juan Pablo to a beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning. Adorned with ribbons and bows and shiny wrapping paper, you ooh and aah at the sight of it, but are very disappointed when you open it up and find new underwear inside.
I’m sure this season will provide lots of drama, backstabbing and helicopters, and I am looking forward to sharing every cringe-worthy moment with you!
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