I’m not even going to recap last night’s train wreck that was the After the Final Rose live telecast; I’m just going to address it.
But before I do, did anybody else notice that Clare’s lips and entire head seemed to get off the street-grade speed they were on during the entire taping of the show? Do you think she watched herself talk on the show and screamed, “Stop it!” like the rest of us?
Now, about that shizshow of a live finale—Long story short: Clare is all hopped up on finally sticking up for herself and Juan and Nikki are happy, but uncelebrated by BachelorNation because everybody hates Juan Pablo.
Juan Pablo said something offensive to Clare off-camera which made her question the relationship, as she should, but was very easily reigned back in by some unimpressive reassurances uttered en acento de Juan Pablo. Then during the final rose ceremony, Clare was shocked to find she was not Juan Pablo’s future bride, which really hindered her plan to get pregnant five minutes later. She said everything that should have been said six episodes ago, but it was downright too late. The live audience at After the Final Rose cheered and applauded and congratulated the woman for standing up for herself, and so did we at home, so then she took it even further and rattled on about her closure through Chris Harrison’s attempted interruption for the scheduled scene change.
Here’s my problem with that: Clare was 1,000 percent happy with the man up until the moment he rejected her. Her reasoning was that he told her he saw them really lasting, but as I recall, he said, “I can see us working.” That’s not the same thing, and that’s standard procedure for the show. I have never heard another Bachelor do any different on final dates. She “was ready to leave” if he didn’t want to reassure her, but I seriously doubt the producers on sight were ever going to let that happen. Who’s the real villain, here? Juan Pablo is under contract. Roll back, Clare. Smell the St. Lucian coffee (which is probably fantastic, by the way).
On a more pertinent note, Juan Pablo probably couldn’t give Clare everything she wanted on her biological clock-oriented schedule. He realizes this, and does what a responsible human should.
Fast forward to Nikki’s final ceremony and we see Juan Pablo deny a proposal, but offer the final rose. She accepts, and to everyone’s surprise the couple is still together. During the live show, Nikki confesses that JP has yet to say “te quiero”, and the audience is all, “Oh girl, snap snap, you bettah leave his ass!” Then JP joins her on the couch and Chris mentions that he had told execs that he had a “big surprise”. Juan replies, “Surprise? What are you talking about? I don’t have a surprise.”
Chris’ face is absolutely priceless and frantic whispers arise from the live audience.
Then, the real awkwardness begins and the rest of show is purely Chris, the girls, and the Lowes pressuring Juan Pablo to tell Nikki he loves her. Angry Tweeting ensued, and Nikki had to defend her relationship with JP on live television while the world feminism-shamed her for staying with a supposed god-awful boyfriend.
So, what I’m trying to say is back up off. In case you haven’t been following Juan Pablo news lately, the poor man was dropped from the cast of Dancing with the Stars literal days before the live taping of Women Tell All. He was dropped because he told a reporter his opinion on a hypothetical gay version of The Bachelor and the world, myself included, crucified him for it. I agree that those who utter insensitivities about oppressed minority groups should pay the consequences of their actions, but I also know he’s apologized for it and definitively allied himself with the LGBT community. I’m not saying that’s good enough, but I am saying he’s trying. He’s part of a generation that has to unlearn everything they’ve ever known about the gay community and the political segregation its members experience everyday. I’m pretty sure everything I’ve ever seen in the media pre-1998 that attempted to depict a gay person represented them as ridiculous and flamboyant accessories to rich white girls. So, instead of making an example out of Juan Pablo we should constructively and aggressively use his perspective to teach people that “equality”, “acceptance” and “tolerance” are three different things and we have not reached the former, yet.
That said; let me address the fact that Juan Pablo has become a sitting duck of a target. The man cannot express himself properly; especially to a couple of the most eloquent ladies I’ve ever seen on a reality dating show. Most of Sharleen’s vocabulary is a third language to JP and Andi speaks in gorgeous figuratives that resonate with him like the plight of an 80-year-old farmer in depression-era Oklahoma resonates with me.
Because of his inability to defend himself from the onslaught of mob mentality attacks, Juan Pablo has become a caricature of himself that we love to hate. He didn’t propose to Nikki and he hasn’t dropped the “L” bomb, but for some reason that makes us angry. Like, viciously angry. Because we think we know better than Nikki and JP about their relationship. I’m squinting at you, public.
Catherine says, “Don’t slap the hand that fed you.” Well, the same hand that fed him screwed him when it had the opportunity to stand by him and defend him. The network kicked him when he was down. Frankly, he was right to stick to his guns and refuse to give the producers what they wanted. Obviously he was planning to propose to Nikki Live last night, and Chris had heard as much from the execs. Juan Pablo says outright, “Something happened just before Women Tell All that drastically changed our plans.” ABC had given him the Dancing finger, so he gave it right back, and they deserved it. We even see Chris run off the set before the camera cut away for a commercial break, so obviously JP’s rebuttal sunk in. I’m impressed with Juan Pablo. He stuck up for himself the same way Clare did except it was harder because he did it as a public commodity.
Nikki also raises a good point: Plenty of people sit on that couch and say they’re in love and we want to believe it, but we don’t. And then they inevitably break up, and we’re not surprised. The couple is being responsible, God-forbid! Besides, would you want your boyfriend/girlfriend to say “I love you” because a live audience pressured her/him for twenty minutes straight right in front of your face? The answer is “hell no”, in case you’re stumped.
So, to sum things up, Juan Pablo is not disrespecting Nikki, and Nikki should not leave him. Maybe if we all just chill out for a minute and let Juan Pablo try to enjoy his resulting relationship without a media firestorm condemning him to hell, he’ll tell everyone how he’s feeling instead of spiting us right back. I think that’s fair. Nikki is a HBIC (Head Betch In Charge) and she does not need us to coax her into a Clare-esque outburst. If wants to leave, she’ll darn well do it and she’ll leave a path of devastation in her badass wake.
Additionally, Jp has to live with being a public pariah while Camila is learning to read and use the internet. Let’s empathize for a hot second, yeah?