Monday, February 10, 2014

Perhaps reality TV is more of real life than any of us want to admit

Before I start my official commentary on tonight's episode of The Bachelor, I hope you'll indulge me for just a few minutes as I rant on about how people take relationships in real life.

If you'd rather just skip to the recap, just scroll down until you get past the video preview.

I am far from an expert on relationships. I am not a parent. Therefore, I may have no business going on this rant, but that's my name up there at the top of the page, so I can.

Blame it on the ridiculousness of Juan Pablo's statement about not wanting his daughter to see him kiss a bunch of women on screen -- because he sure hasn't been worried about kissing 6 or 7 so far. That's not to even mention what went on with Clare last week or what is to come.

Attribute it to the link a friend sent me on Facebook about the Clare incident and expectations and assumptions of what goes on in the fantasy suite.

Throw in last night's sermon at church about dating... (...at which time I kept thinking about my friend and her "stalker"... The last time there was a similar topic presented, he took it as a cue to start bombarding her with text messages again. I wondered if it might start again. However, later in the evening I thought of someone else who really needed to be in the audience.)

Mix in two conversations I've had in the past few days...

I'm not so sure The Bachelor is really that far off from real life. That in and of itself is a sad reality.

I'm going to take what I say right here and apply it to Juan Pablo -- as well as Renee and Cassandra for that matter -- but I know some people who need to apply it to themselves. If the shoe fits, take your name (whether you be male or female) and insert it for Juan Pablo.

Individuals who are parents really have no business being on this show. For all his references to Camilla (or Renee's to Ben -- or in past seasons, Emily's to Ricky), I call him out to say - baloney! You are not first and foremost trying to find a stepmother for your child.

When an individual starts off in dating, courting, etc., you and the other person can be the center of each other's universe (well, God should be, but other than that). You're likely to make some bad choices and stupid mistakes. Hopefully, after you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you will get married, then have children. That order is really for the best on so many levels. Hopefully the succession of those things have matured you are in a place to be responsible by the time the children come along.

Reality check #1... that doesn't always happen. Obviously, we know this in the case of Juan Pablo and so many people in our daily lives.

Whether children come, then a divorce happens, or you made some other mistake weren't married to the parent of your child, once you have children, they need to be your first earthly relational priority. Period.

Not finding someone new because your first (or second and so on) decision didn't work out.

Reality check #2... you had your chance to shop around for a spouse. It's not like buying a house or a car. Trading in doesn't work. Especially when your child(ren) need a roof over their head and someone to take care of them, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

You need to make sure your child is taken care of in every way. Finding someone who is pretty, who knows how to have fun, who (fill in the blank), should not be your first priority.

Camilla, Juan Pablo's daughter, has been shown in some shots in early episodes, but we all know he's not paying attention to her right now. He's out kissing 5, 6, 7+ other women, on screen or not. Whether she sees an episode of this season on TV, she's sees what you're doing. Perhaps not every tongue-exchanging interaction, but she sees you. Regardless of what she may have been taught, she's going to instinctively know that it is not right.

If Juan Pablo's first concern was his daughter, and finding a person to be in her life, the conversations would be different. He's be talking priorities. He wouldn't be doing the stupid things he's been doing.

Forget about your own selfish needs and desires and raise your kid(s)!

The fact that you aren't just means that your kids are going to follow your stupid example, and the world's just going to get even more screwed up than it already is.

My biggest pet peeve in all the world is people not being responsible. Suck it up!

Ok. Rant over. On to tonight's show.

Now we have moved on to New Zealand which spell check doesn't even recognize as a properly spelled word. Seriously? 

At least we're headed out of countries associated with wars fought by Americans. I expect it to be much prettier than the brown water of Vietnam.

It's down to Juan Pablo and his harem of 8 women. When the "ladies," and I use the term loosely arrive, they marvel at the beauty of the Huka Lodge and do their paid promotional endorsements of it.

Kat is ready to experience the country with Juan Pablo and kick it from slow boil to something hot.

Cassandra misses her son, and it has been hard. (Read my thoughts above... maybe you should be with your child.)

Now, onto Clare's two cents about the dark cloud overshadowing the beauty that surrounds them because of what happened last week. She still doesn't know where she stands and getting that first date card is crucial.

Too bad, so sad, Clare. She brings in the card and somehow manages not to throw a hissy fit since Andi finally gets her one-on-one date that she has wanted since the very beginning. "Let's heat things up." 

Clare is not happy because this would have been the perfect time to work things out. She thinks as things get worked up, she may erupt. She's just looking for drama.

Cassandra didn't expect Andi to get a one-on-one. Why not? It's Andi's turn. Cassandra talks about having a guard up because of not wanting her son, Trey, to be hurt. With her tears, I may actually believe it because she is so young...and stupid. I still think she can find someone more responsible and a better fit for her situation. She really needs to give it a few more years.

In the land of volcanoes, everyone feels like things are bubbling and the pressure is building. (Do they coach the participants in cheesy analogies and metaphors?)

Andi emotionally needs the one-on-one. Emotional. Needs. Those two words = problem. She's not too adventurous and seems scared of everything, including the speed boat ride. They jump out of the boat into the water and through "The Squeeze," a tight spot between rocks from cold water (which she complains about) to warmer springs.

"It feels good to be taken care of." That's as he drags her over rocks and around hazards to a water fall. There he doesn't seem to behave too much better than he did with Clare. Andi should be pleased. He says she's incredible, and "it's early in the date."

They sit down to dinner in front of a geyser, obviously not thinking about what happens when it blows, which it does, soaking them and ruining the atmosphere and meal (though she cares more about the company than food anyway.

Back at the Huka, the women decide they are all equals now after each having a one-on-one date. Cassandra says getting her own date would be a perfect 22nd birthday gift. Why is someone so young on here?

"Let LOVE roll..." The card goes to Sharleen, Chelsie, Renee, Nikki, Kat and Cassandra.

Clare is giddy that she must get the one-on-one while Cassandra is bummed because they really needed to talk about whether he wants her there or not.

Meanwhile back with Andi, she's still trying to get to know him, but she's a wad of emotions. She tries to dig deeper, but he's pretty shallow. Trying to get the conversation going, she says she can't wait to have a family. He doesn't say much other than, "you will." Then, he unzips his jacket to pull out the rose. Then they kiss some more because his kissing fast is as over as the chocolate fast I went on years ago. (Can't believe I lasted over a year. I need to try that again.)

The group date is out in middle of a cow (or is it sheep?) pasture. But, it's a beautiful cow pasture overlooking the oceans, green hills and the beautiful countryside.

After commenting about being dressed for the windy weather, they all strip down to their swimsuits and get in giant inflatable, water-filled balls to roll down the hills. Perhaps they will all catch their deaths from a cold.

The rest of their date takes place at Hobbiton where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Sharleen is having a nerdy moment about it.

The first person he takes off is Renee. She says last week that their kiss really moved things along for her. After working in a kiss, Renee tells him about the Mommy breakdown moment she and Cassandra had and how at least he doesn't see their kids as baggage. He actually probably does. For as level-headed and calm as she seems to be, she has pretty strong feelings for him.

Next to go off with him is Nikki. She wants to put all her feelings out there. He plays with her hair as she talks about being scared of being hurt. I'm pretty sure that was code for "stop talking and kiss me, Nikki."

There's a discussion among some of the women on what the group date rose means and how it's different now vs. before.

Sharleen's private time starts with a kiss. That's four women in this episode. She tells him, "you cut to the chase, don't you." Then, she has to explain to him what that means. After another kiss, she decides that's enough, and has another one of her roundabout, big worded, schizophrenic conversations with him. He does the hair stroking, "shut up and kiss me" move again.

The women have a little birthday party for Cassandra in between each of their turns to get kissed.

The show would only be an hour long if all the times Cassandra says the rose and/or date would be the perfect birthday gift. As we see her walk off with Juan Pablo, her face-to-face with the camera includes the words "father figure." Ironic with my lead-in tonight, huh? I really had it planned out and typed before watching the episode. Do you really think he would be a good dad for your son? Hair stroke to put her hair behind her ear, but we don't see a kiss.

"Aye, aye, aye." Rose time. Renee thinks Cassandra needs it more than anyone and is she is someone Renee has been rooting for.

Sharleen gets the rose, but he pulls Cassandra out to talk to her again. Nikki assumes it is to tell her "happy birthday," or at least how she justifies it in her mind. Juan Pablo tells Cassandra that she is one of her special ones, but he wants to know if she really wants to be here or not. She's gorgeous and funny and so nice, but he doesn't think they are "on the same chapter." He lets her go before the rose ceremony so that she can go see her son.

He sure knows how to charm a woman with his words. (Yes, that was snark.)

I'm not sure if his reasons of letting her be with her son are genuine or an excuse. I think the 10+ years between them was a big difference, and he wasn't connected. I hope it was a real reason. Anyway, happy birthday Cassandra!

He comes back all melancholy. The music matches the mood which is overkill.

Juan Pablo is missing Camilla, so Skypes with her. Thank goodness! The voice over at this point is talking about Clare and how he upset her after they went too far.

As she walks out to meet Juan Pablo, we hear from her that there is a line between being honest and hurting someone's feelings, and he hurt her feelings. She knows in her heart she wasn't trying to disrespect anyone and it makes her want to crawl back in her turtle shell.

Here's the humdinger... "He is more than welcome to say, 'Clare, I'm sorry.'"

He tries to smooth things over and wants to move past it. He tries to make things better, but instead of her dropping it after saying her peace, she drags it out more and more. She wants to know his boundaries. He tries not to do anything in front of Camilla. She then asks if they did anything inappropriate. Is she really this stupid at this point? "Four in the morning. Going to the ocean and swimming and kissing in the ocean. It didn't feel right to me." He goes on to say he got mad at himself when she cried.  He literally tries to kiss and make-up.

I think that's 5 kisses for the episode.

Clare's all about the apology. Hair stroke. He asks her if he's making any progress in melting her heart. She rehashes how she thought the date could have gone bad going in. And lots of conversations about bolting.

I really think this date was less about who he wanted to go on a date with and who he was trying to stay in good graces with. He says he likes listening to her talk. He has got to be the only one.

They get comfortable in sweats to hang out. He thinks she's hot and gives the rose. I really wanted him to send her packing. He should bolt.

Thankfully, we have now come to the rose ceremony day. Of course, it's getting really hard now, and he doesn't want to make mistakes.

Andi, Sharleen and Clare have roses. Cassandra has already gone home. Only one more goes home tonight. Kat, Renee, Nikki and Chelsie have to be feeling the pressure.

The ladies arrive and everyone is quiet. Uncomfortable quiet.

Renee as the voice of reason seems like she can take it or leave it, honestly. Probably the best approach.

Nikki takes her time first. This is the first time since the first rose ceremony that she hasn't gone in with a rose already. He confesses that he is wearing pink underwear before kissing her. His lips may fall off. He's not asking, but she's saying she really likes him. This surprises him.

Renee finds it scary to be the only mom left. She knows that if he isn't sure about her, he'll cut her loose. He realizes it must make her nervous. He asks about talking to Ben on the phone. He finds nothing more attractive than a woman talking about her child. Then, they kiss again.

Chelsie thinks the last rose may come down to her and Kat. Chelsie thinks she has the edge because they had a romantic date, and Kat hasn't gotten a kiss. Of course, Kat thinks she has the edge.

Chelsie has to explain what it means to be frazzled to him and blabbers on about wanting to stick around. But she feels less nervous after talking to him. She only gets loud slurpy kisses on the cheek.

(Buy Juan Pablo a dictionary!)

Kat rambles on about journaling to him. She starts talking about her daddy issues and associating her relationships to that. She's waxing philosophical which is not a good thing given that Juan Pablo isn't very deep, language barriers or not. She thinks him listening is sensitive and sweet. I think his eyes glazed over in boredom.

He does his charming Latin lover/charmer speech. They all drool.

With only three roses up for grabs...

  1. Nikki
  2. Renee
  3. Chelsie
Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey goodbye Kat! Clare smiles way too big as she hugs her. Sharleen hugs Chelsie and says, "I'm really sad," in her ear. 

Kat, of course, saw herself staying around until the end.

For some reason, Sharleen then comes UNGLUED. She's happy to be here, but confused. She feels guilty to still be around. Her doubts are growing with seeing other girls suiting him better. She's going to give it one more week, and if she can't see herself with him, she's going to go home.

Next week... on to Miami where Sharleen seems to be in tears the whole time and Nikki calls Clare out on all her stuff. 

The credits roll showing everyone on the group date chasing sheep and a poop fight. Much like last week, that was the most interesting part of the show. 

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