On Monday night, the U.S. Military Conflict Tour, Bachelor Style rolled on, from Korea to Vietnam where Johnny Pabs entertained the 11 remaining ladies. We first saw Juan Pablo cruising around alone in a boat, like a Swift Boat era John Kerry (if he's to be believed, right Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?).
The first one on one date card is for Renee and she's thrilled. She's been gunning for a kiss (MILITARY JOKES) and Renee is hoping that a date will be just the place for Jonny Pabs to land his hot, Latin lips on her Floridian lips, like the Normandy Invasion, but with lips (my supply of war references is running out FAST). Juan Pablo and Renee explore Hoi Ann village, holding hands, cruising in a pedi cab, and taking selfies (no one can resist!). Renee says that Juan Pablo makes her hands hurt (cute, but weird) and the two are very touchy-feely. They visit a dressmaker, where Renee picks out a gorgeous fabric and has her measurements taken (I'm a proud A Cup, but I can imagine no worse hell than having a date witness my bust measurement). That night, Renee wears the custom-made dress and Johnny Pabs ogles the hot mama. They sit down to a romantic, candlelit dinner and discuss exes, kids, and dating, but I feel like I'm watching two pals chit chat. I hope these two aren't living La Vida Amigos (the Latin version of "being in the friend zone"). JP gives Renee a rose and a kiss on the cheek, just like you would to an old buddy. Sigh.
The next day is the group date and the gals who are ready to "go with the flow" are Sharleen, Chelsie, Kat, Cassandra, Clare, Kelly, Alli, Danielle, and Andi. Apparently "going with the flow" means hopping in circular bamboo boats and watching a shirtless Johnny Pabs make out with Clare. Those two were paired up for this partner event because Clare didn't have anyone to be with. As Kelly put it, "for the first time, having no friends is an advantage!" Oh Kelly, you are hilarious and opinionated and if you hadn't posted your job title as "Dog Lover," I might actually like you. The 8 gals who aren't Clare are upset and feel like they are interloping on a Juan Pablo and Clare one on one date.
Next, the gang enters a family's home and they are promptly put to work picking vegetables and watering the crops (nothing is a better date idea than manual labor!). For lunch, JP and the gals eat the vegetables that they just harvested and the ladies are stunned by this farm-to-table experience (have they never been out to dinner in Brooklyn or the South End of Boston?). Cassandra is especially impressed, saying, "We should have this back in America!" Umm... we do. These things are called "farms" and there's a huge movement called "farm-to-table" but apparently that hasn't hit the former NBA dancer community just yet.
That evening the ladies continue to feel like 8 third wheels on a Clare & JP date, as he pulls her off for alone time first. Their alone time consists of sneaking off to his suite, getting into their swimsuits, and canoodling in his pool. JP has 1:1 time with each girl and Sharleen hopes that Johnny Pabs sees her as a "panda in a room full of brown bears" (huh?), Andi shares her doubts about the process, and presumably the other girls do and say things also. At the close of the night, Clare scores the rose ("ugh" - -8 non-Clares) and Johnny Pabs says it's for "getting out of her comfort zone" (and into a tiny bikini, then onto his lap AM I RIGHT? UP TOP!)
The gals retreat to their suite but Clare hasn't had enough, so she takes a page from the Courtney-from-Ben's-season (aka brunette Satan) playbook and sneaks back to Juan Pablo's room. The two scamper off to the beach and play in the rough waves, which Clare explains saying, "I let myself be vulnerable. I just went for it" and then draws a parallel to a baby giraffe somehow. As the episode goes on, it becomes clear that their "time on the beach" is code for humps and that Clare and Johnny Pabs's tour of Vietnam included a stop in Bone Town. As our blonde Ricky Ricardo would say, "Aye yi yi!"
The next day Nikki has a one on one date and she's dressed like an 80's video reject with a sparkly headband, side braid, and daisy dukes. Their activity is repelling down a vertical wall into a cave aptly named Hell and -- oh yeah -- Nikki's afraid of heights. Nikki says, "I either live or I die or I poop my pants" and it's the best thing she has said all season. Despite her fears they make it down (all she needed was him to believe in her, you guys! Just have a man tell you what to do and you can accomplish ANYTHING!) and then explore the cave and one another's mouths (HEYO! KISSING HARD!). That night they have dinner in candle lit cave and Nikki says that in her nursing career, she's helping people, but they are helping her, too. Girl has been reading too many pithy Hallmark cards lately. She scores a rose and a kiss, then says that she feels "electrified" around Juan Pablo. Electrified like a dog running through an electric fence, or like a murderer running out of appeals and being put to death in the electric chair? Either way, ROMANCE!
It's time for the cocktail party and rose ceremony and the ladies are dressed to impress! They get their drinks and Clare proposes a toast: "To finding love, to being loved, and to making love." Oh Clare, you have the tact and subtlety of a 16 year old. Andi's wearing a gorgeous, fuscia cocktail dress and she has a good conversation with JP, then Renee finally lands a kiss. Clare and Juan Pablo talk and he says that what happened was unfair to the other girls and that he doesn't want his daughter to see him behave that way. Clare somehow suddenly realizes that JP has a daughter who has access to network television and she breaks down in tears. They talk a lot about "what happened" and their "swim in the ocean" and I speak of all of Bachelor Nation when I say, "we're not even in the Fantasy Suite yet!"
Finally, it's rose ceremony time. Renee, Clare, and Nikki already have roses so they are safe. Who gets the long stems?
-Sharleen (I guess Johnny Pabs DOES see her as a koala!)
-Cassandra (can somebody tell her what a farm is?)
-Chelsie (hanging on, but I don't see her in the final 4)
-Kat (in her worst look -- flat hair and an odd blue dress)
-Andi (ombre DA is a slow burn! Girl needs a one on one with Johnny Pabs STAT)
So who is hopping on a Swift Boat back to barracks known as normal life?
-Danielle (she admits that there wasn't a strong connection with Juan Pablo. I appreciate her honesty.)
-Alli (is sad to go, but I'm relieved that I won't confuse her with Andi anymore.)
-Kelly (no more snarky, opinionated commentary because that "Dog Lover" has got to get back to work! Are those dogs just going to love themselves? Well, they should, since self love is SO important. But also, it's Kelly's JOB!)
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