For The Baltimore Sun
11:27 AM EST, February 4, 2014
Welcome to my Episode 5 recapo. We are in Vietnam, and Juan Pablo sails down a river that looks like a cesspool while he reflects upon his "adventura."
“I’ve got 11 girls left,” he says, promising that he will keep his eyes open and focus on the ladies he hasn’t spent much time with.
The ladies "ooohh" and "ahhhh" as they check into their hotel. Nikki admits she was the cause of some tension last week; she hopes to put it all behind her, but desperately wants a one-on-one date. Looks like you will have to wait a little while Nikki, because the first date card, which reads “Are We The Right Fit,” is for House Mom/Therapist/Single Mom/Dr. Phil Wannabe Renee.
Renee is so excited to get the first date. She admits that she feels butterflies and that Juan Pablo makes her palms hurt, which I guess for Renee is a sign of true love. Personally, I think she should see a doctor about her painful palms.
Renee is hoping that she will finally get to kiss Juan Pablo, because Vietnam is the perfect setting for a first kiss. Renee clearly didn’t make that statement while staring at the diarrhea-colored river.
RENEE'S ONE-ON-ONE DATE
Juan Pablo and Renee meet on the streets of Hoi An and after an awkward hug and bicep rub, start walking hand-in-hand. After walking the streets for a while, Juan Pablo pedals Renee around in a pedicab, which is basically a large yellow stroller. Juan Pablo says Renee is so “cuuuuute” and he likes her because she is just like him -- a 32-year-old single parent (which is the only thing they have in common).
Juan Pablo is sweating after pedaling Renee around, and they finally arrive at their destination -- dress shopping for a tailor-made dress. Renee gushes about how much she likes him and how impressed she is that Juan Pablo was so thoughtful that he came up with the idea of making her a dress. As if Juan Pablo actually came up with that idea himself.
Renee picks out some purple fabric. Juan Pablo is particularly interested when the tailor measures Renee’s breasts. According to Renee, dress-shopping is amazing and is the perfect setting to fall in love. Renee has obviously never been dress shopping with my husband.
Renee is really smitten after Juan Pablo buys a fan and fans her because she is sweating profusely. Apparently, he makes her feel confident, beautiful, and sweaty.
They shop for gifts for Cameeeellla and Ben, the children who are so important to them that they abandoned them to go on a reality show. Renee is extremely touched that Juan Pablo bought Ben a stupid hat that he will never wear.
They board a boat and drink beer, but the boat doesn’t actually go anywhere. It just sits there at the dock in the brown industrial-waste water. Much to Renee’s dismay, they don’t kiss.
Later that night, Renee arrives for dinner in her new custom purple dress. They dine at a restaurant with lanterns and candles and Juan Pablo asks Renee about Ben’s dad.
Juan Pablo thinks Renee is a good mom, despite the fact that she abandoned her son and is in Vietnam with a stranger. Renee desperately wants a kiss, but Juan Pablo has too much respect for her and her son. I guess he didn’t have respect for Cassandra or her son Trey a few weeks ago.
Juan Pablo decides that he really likes Renee and really likes the dress. He asks her, “will you esssept theese rose.” She says yes, of course.
After dinner, they find lit-up Chinese food containers floating in the toilet water river and make a wish. Her wish is for a kiss. Just give it up Renee, it’s not gonna happen.
Back at the hotel, the group date card arrives and asks Sharleen, Chelsie, Cassandra, Kat, Clair, Kelly, Alli, Danielle, and Andi, “Can You Go With The Flow?”
Andi, who wanted to go out with Juan Pablo “twice on Sunday,” is mad and starts questioning what she is doing there if she isn’t getting one-on-one dates. Well, Andi, it looks like you are going to get to spend some quality one-on-one time with the lady of your choice, as you and a partner ride around in some bamboo bumper boat, half-coconut-looking thing on your group date.
Each boat holds two people. While each of the ladies grabs her BFF, Clare, who according to Kelly the Dog Lover has no friends, jumps in her bamboo tea cup with Juan Pablo. While the other ladies splash the brown toilet water at each other and giggle as they go in circles, Juan Pablo and Clare row into some tall reeds where he leans in and plants a big kiss on her, once again breaking Sean’s number-one rule about kissing in front of the other girls.
As we are treated to camera shots directly up Clare’s shorts, the other ladies are upset about having to look at Juan Pablo and Clare’s one-on-one date. I am upset about having to look at Clare’s crotch.
After the lame bamboo-boat thing, Juan Pablo takes the ladies for a stroll, where they stumble upon a “random” local and ask for a place to eat. The “random” local takes the group to his house, gives them hats, straw bowls and knives, and takes them to the garden to pick vegetables. Strange how this “random” local had enough hats for everyone.
Cassandra is really impressed with everyone pitching in and picking vegetables. She's never saw anything like it and tells the girls that they should have something like this back in America. Uh, Cassandra, it’s called a farm and believe it or not, even in America, there are people who pick vegetables for other people.
Andi is off by herself picking mint and is mad! She says she needs something at this point. I think all she needs is some rum and sugar cane to go with her mint and she would forget all about what’s-his-name. A few good drinks and she won’t care that she has been turned into a migrant Vietnamese farm worker.
Instead of making a mojito, Andi asks Juan Pablo why she is on this group date. Juan Pablo replies “trust me.” He then tells her he wants her face to hurt from smiling so much. She buys this load of crap and she says she feels calm. Stupid girl.
The girls feast on a healthy farm-to-table dinner, then head back to the hotel to get ready for the nighttime portion of the date, which is pretty much a continuation of Clare and Juan Pablo’s one-on-one, just this time with eight tag-alongs.
This fact is solidified when Juan Pablo grabs Clare for the first alone time.
Dog Lover Kelly, who has maintained her sense of humor throughout this “adventura” despite having left Molly at the mansion, jokes, “should we just give Clare the rose now?” Little does she know that Juan Pablo has taken Clare back to his hotel suite and the couple has stripped down and are making out in the pool. Good thing Juan Pablo is sticking to his plan of getting to know some of the other women better.
When Juan Pablo finally unwraps Clare’s legs from around his waist, he returns to the group date and takes Sharleen for a walk on the beach. Sharleen questions her connection with Juan Pablo for the fifth week in a row and says, “I needs to believe he sees me as a panda in a room of brown bears.” Huh?
Sharleen is clearly annoyed that Juan Pablo hasn’t been paying enough attention to her, so by way of apology, Juan Pablo pinches her cheeks, says she is “muy cuchi” and shoves his tongue down her throat. Let’s leave Sharleen’s cuchi out of this please; it was bad enough I had to see Clare’s.
Andi gets the same beach/make out treatment as Sharleen which makes her sloppy thirds. Andi apologizes to her mom for making out on TV. I am getting a little tired of seeing Juan Pablo’s tongue and hope for the girls’ sake that he is using mouthwash between women.
Unfortunately for Andi and Sharleen, the group date rose goes to Clare.
The girls go back to hotel and sulk. Andi feels dumb. Clare, on the other hand, feels incredible and doesn’t want the day to end. Unbeknownst to the other ladies, Clare sneaks out of the hotel and makes her way to Juan Pablo’s hotel suite, so she can knock “swimming in a warm ocean” off her bucket list.
Juan Pablo is only too agreeable to frolicking in the ocean with Clare at 4 a.m. with cameras in tow, and says something that sounds like “Clare is on fire in her peeyamas.”
Juan Pablo says “the waves were wild and we got a little wild, too.” Clare wanted a special moment, so she let go of all her fears (and morality, values and dignity) and “went for it.” She describes her love for Juan Pablo as a newborn baby giraffe with wobbly legs. Sharleen is a panda and Clare is a giraffe and the other girls are sitting ducks. Or schmucks. Either way it’s not looking too good for the other ladies.
Nikki’s date card arrives and says “Let’s Have A Hell Of A Good Time.” Nikki, a/k/a “Neekee,” is so excited for alone time with Juan Pablo. She babbles on and on, completely unaware that hours earlier he was doing the nasty with Clare. Neekee side-braids her hair, puts on her favorite sparkly headband and is off!
Their date starts innocently enough with a stroll through the grounds of Marble Mountain, but the smile on Neekee’s face quickly disappears when Juan Pablo tells her that they are going to rappel down to the bottom of something called Hell Cave. Neekee is scared, but Juan Pablo tells her not to worry because they will be together, and off to hell they go!
Surprisingly, Neekee is afraid of heights and is not happy about being lowered into the depths of hell. Never missing an opportunity for a metaphor, Neekee compares climbing down a cave to falling in love, saying not only that she is “willing to take risks for love,” but also is “willing to die or poop my pants for love.”
Neekee is clearly obsessed with pooping, as this makes two weeks in a row that she is willing to defecate on national television to win Juan Pablo’s heart. I think being lowered into something called Hell Cave is the best metaphor I have seen in "Bachelor" history, and perfectly describes this entire train wreck.
Juan Pablo descends first. Neekee hesitates, which offers Juan Pablo the perfect view up her shorts. He gives her words of encouragement and advises her “if you open your legs, it’s better.” Eventually they make it to bottom of Hell Cave, kiss and have a hell of a good time.
Night falls and Juan Pablo and Neekee have dinner in a nicer cave. They talk, he repeatedly puts her hair behind her ear, and after her perfectly scripted speech about how much she loves kids and will be a great stepmom, Neekee essepts the rose.
This cocktail party is particularly stressful for Juan Pablo, because he really likes everyone but has to send three women home. Renee is still talking about getting her first kiss; her pleas seem even more pathetic now, knowing that Juan Pablo didn’t kiss her on their one-on-one, but later banged Clare in the ocean.
Speaking of Clare, the cocktail party starts and the women are deadly silent until Clare toasts “cheers to finding love, being loved and making love.” Thanks for the confirmation, Clare.
It’s time for Juan Pablo to make the rounds. He takes Andi for one-on-one time. Some kissing on the beach confirms that he likes her, as does his comment, “Aye aye aye -- what am I going to do about Andi”?
He then spends time with Renee, repeating that he won’t kiss her out of respect for her son. As Renee attempts to reassure Juan Pablo that Ben won’t be mad, Juan Pablo quickly loses concern for Ben (he bought the kid a hat after all) and kisses Renee mid-sentence. Renee is elated. I hope she has some penicillin in her bag; at last count, she is the sixth girl Juan Pablo has kissed in the past 12 hours.
While Renee celebrates her kiss by spinning around with her arms out like a helicopter, Juan Pablo starts thinking that doing the nasty with Clare was a bad idea. “It wasn’t fair to the other 10 girls in the house.” Ya think?
He pulls Clare aside. She is thinking they are going to go for round two right there on the bench, but he tells her that the other night was a mistake, that he is trying to be fair to the other girls, and that she disrespected Cameeeellla by seducing him and forcing him to have sex with her.
Clare says she feels stupid and embarrassed, but in reality, she is pissed.
“He was onboard with everything when we were in the ocean” says a confused Clare. She only had the best intentions and never intended to disrespect Cameeeellla. I guarantee that when Clare knocked on Juan Pablo’s door at 4 a.m., Cameeeellla was the last thing on little Juan Pablo’s mind. Or big Juan Pablo’s mind, for that matter.
Clare and Juan Pablo return. The other women notice the tension as well as Clare’s red eyes, which she says are the result of bad Vietnamese allergies. It takes a lot for Clare to open up (unless she is in the warm ocean), and she is so upset that he regrets their little tryst. She slinks away to sulk and cry some more. Of course, Juan Pablo follows.
Instead of admitting that her Courtney Robertson plan backfired (Juan Pablo apparently has more morals than Ben Flajnik,) she blames Juan Pablo for her lack of judgment and asks,“Why didn’t you say no.”
The correct answer would have been, “because I am a horny guy who despite my ‘no kissing rule’ has become a huge make-out whore.” Instead, he says, “It was my mistake, too.” Gee, thanks.
After a good 30 seconds of awkward, tension-filled silence, Chris Harrison walks in, sees the women sitting there and is like, WTF? Fortunately for everyone, it is time for the rose ceremony.
Renee, Clare and Neekee have roses and are safe.
The remaining roses go to Charleen, Cassandra, Chelsie, Kat and Andi. Going home are Danielle, Alli and Kelly, who happen to be the only three girls Juan Pablo didn’t kiss.
Juan Pablo is sad to see them go. He cries as he says, “It’s hard to say good-bye to the people.”
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