“The Bachelor” finale, featuring the polarizing Juan Pablo Galavis, came to a merciful close last night in one of ABC’s most awkward and agonizing Bachelor runs yet. And the final rose goes to… Nikki – sort of.
Fox News on Monday exclaimed a collective reality show-style sigh of relief. “Whew. The worst – and most bizarre – season of ‘The Bachelor’ is finally over.” Agreed.
If Juan Pablo had his haters before – people “behind their computers” as he said last night to host Chris Harrison – the hunky and dopey American-born Venezuelan better keep clear of anything with a keyboard for at least a few months.
In Monday night’s episode, both of Pablo’s final women, Nikki Ferrell and Clare Crawley, were left in tears on their last date as they individually tried to pry some resemblance of an emotional response out of Juan Pablo. No dice; Juan just did his typical snuggly, stare intently and furrow eyebrow thing while agreeing incessantly and offering nil in response.
His dismissive attitude was a train wreck to watch. As much as The Bachelor is reality television fluff – while only marginally touching on anything that has to do with relationship “reality,”) – watching Clare get shelved and Nikki unenthusiastically agree to Juan Pablo’s non-proposal was like rubbernecking at a traffic accident.
As both women met Juan Pablo at the very end, he simply stared at them with his beady eyes, forcing the gals to start the conversation and reveal the exact things that he should have been saying to them.
“I can’t imagine spending my life without you,” Nikki, 26, told Juan Pablo, clearly looking for that enormous meteorite of a diamond ring. “I love you.”
“I can see you as a good stepmom for Camilla,” Juan Pablo, 32, said in reply. “It’s been a perfect time every time I’m with you.”
Then it got uncomfortable, and stayed uncomfortable for the duration of the show, including the live reunion ceremony after.
“I have a ring here in my pocket and I’m not going to use it,” Juan Pablo said. “I’m not 100 percent sure that I want to propose to you, but at the same time, I’m 100 percent sure that I don’t want to let you go. I like you a lot. So, Nikki, will you accept my final rose?”
“I like you… a LOT.”
Listen up Hallmark. Those were poetic words for the romantic ages that would melt any woman’s heart.
Prior to Pablo’s choice of Nikki however, Clare, who proved herself to be a much stronger person, turned the tables on Pablo’s rejection, dissing him in a moment of clarity that had millions of viewers cheering her on.
“I appreciate you being here and trusting me all along,” Juan Pablo told Clare. “But I have to follow what I think is best for me. I’ll have to say goodbye to you.”
Pablo went in for the hug, but Clare wasn’t having it.
“This entire time I’ve stuck around because I believed in you,” she said, fighting back tears. “I needed that reassurance [on our date last night] and I gave you that opportunity right then.”
“I saved this moment for the man of my dreams, I thought that as you, I thought I knew what kind of man you were,” she said, before doling out this doozy: “I would never want my children having a father like you.”
Only confirming his flippant attitude, Juan Pablo smirked, turned around and under his breath muttered, “I’m glad I didn’t pick HER.”
During the live “After the Rose” ceremony, Chris Harrison offered Clare the choice to see Pablo again. She refused, stating she had her moment of closure when she told him off months prior. “I don't want to sit here on this couch and get fed anymore BS,” Clare said as the studio audience applauded.
As Juan Pablo and Nikki sat together during the after-show, the mood was equally discomfited and emotionless.
For Nikki’s sake, Harrison tried valiantly to pry an “I love you” out of Juan Pablo, who evidently in four months hasn’t decided yet if his admission of “I like you a lot” could evolve into something more.
“So you love her?” host Chris Harrison asked.
“I’m not going to answer that question,” Juan Pablo said. “People don’t understand this is real life. We’re very happy and we are so done with the show.”
“So….you’re not gonna tell us you love her?” Chris asked, obviously baffled. “This is what this show is about. We’re on this journey with you. This is your time to shine. You can express your feelings.”
Juan Pablo continued his amazingly bolshie mannerisms, calling Harrison out – twice – for interrupting him, telling Chris that there was no "big surprise" as Pablo evidently had built up to the show's producers, complaining about viewers’ comments to him these past four months, forcing Harrison to explain what “Don’t bite the hand that fed you” meant, and all the while leaving Nikki to awkwardly defend her man.
At the end, as many thought, Atlanta assistant district attorney and fan-favorite Andi, who most famously told Pablo she would ring his neck if he said “It’s OK” to her one more time, will be the next Bachelorette.
So let’s hear your take on this season’s show. Sound off in comments below.