Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Juan Pablo 10: The Women Pile On

They should have renamed this one The Women Pile On episode. I'm pretty sure the whole pre-edited event wasn't nearly as negative as what we got to see. Producers love conflict. We're not going to hear Anonymous Back-Row Girl giving bland platitudes when you've got three or four squeaky wheels dominating the conversation with attacks on Juan Pablo. I feel this was a pretty good example of groupthink run amok. Andi set the narrative last week and others ran with it. These early losers heard Andi's complaints and all went, "Hmm, come to think of it, he never asked me any questions, either!"

Ladies and gentlemen, the Kangaroo Court is now in session. Here are the various cases against the defendant, Juan Pablo:

Prosecution: Juan Pablo is superficial. Danielle was the first to level this charge, at least as far as his interest in her went.
Defence: He had next to no interest in Danielle so guilty as charged, I guess. But surely one isn't expected to have a deep interest in all 27 women. Danielle was basically an extra this season. She's in no position to make such accusations. He may very well be superficial, but hearing it from a bit player is hardly compelling evidence. And we'll get to Andi later. Also to this point, isn't it kind of a prerequisite for this show?

Prosecution: All he talked about with Cassandra and Renee was their respective kids. This was more a complaint from Cassandra than Renee, who actually liked talking about her son.
Defence: The man loves his daughter and appears to like other children, be they offspring of women he's "dating" or random kids in marketplaces, whom he buys juice for and takes part in impromptu soccer games with. Besides, conversations are two-way streets. Did Cassandra try to talk about other subjects? I think we can all imagine that heady conversation may not be her strong suit. She's 21. It's quite possible they don't have much to talk about. For her part, Renee put a more positive spin on it, saying their connection actually stemmed from their kids. He gave her confidence in the dating world to the point where she now finds herself in "a situation" – her word for relationship. Give her a break, English is her first language.

Prosecution: Juan Pablo used his daughter as an excuse to not kiss every single woman in attendance. His personal rules were in constant flux. Lauren, the piano pusher, brought this up and others agreed, mostly on behalf of Renee, although it should be noted Renee had no problem with it. They said he was fine to kiss Cassandra, who had a child, but he used Renee's Ben as an excuse to not kiss her.
Defence: Juan Pablo told Lauren and the others that he didn't go on the show to kiss 27 women. This is where he's different from most Bachelors. He also told how one conversation with Renee was left on the editing room floor: She'd told him Ben had been crushed by her last break-up. At that point, Juan Pablo knew he had to take his time. But he eventually got around to it. And what should have been noted, but wasn't, is that Renee stuck around a lot longer than Cassandra. Not exactly the actions of a shallow man.

Prosecution: If he truly cared about Ben's feelings, he shouldn't have included Renee on the hometown date, according to Cassandra.
Defence: Juan Pablo was perplexed by this charge, as was I. Unless it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to dump her after the hometown visit, he had to include her. She might have been the one. That she didn't end up with a rose isn't his fault. Well, I mean, technically it is, since he was the one who handed them out. I'm just saying he probably legitimately considered her. One might question why Ben was included in the date when he could have been spared, but we don't know whose idea it was for them to meet. Probably Renee's since it seemed the women came up with the date ideas. Juan Pablo said he introduces anyone to his daughter. He just calls them his "friend."

Prosecution: He slut-shamed Clare. This phrase wasn't used in the episode but I've read it elsewhere. Chris Harrison said, "He seemed to put that shame on Clare."
Defence: At no time when it first aired did I ever construe his comments to Clare to be shaming. He had regrets about what they did in the ocean and he conveyed them to her. She may have taken it the wrong way, but even that's doubtful since she's still around and still very much into him. As Sharleen put it, perhaps inelegantly, he had "a case of buyer's remorse."

Prosecution: Juan Pablo is self-consumed, according to Andi's account of her night in the Fantasy Suite. He talked about his soccer playing, travelling, people he knew. Everything but her. And we all know she's the most important person. She also said there was a lot of negativity from him about the process.
Defence: We weren't there so we don't know if Andi tried to bring up her own stories. One charitable interpretation is that he was allowing Andi to know him better. We could just as easily interpret the situation as Andi being self-obsessed and not caring to learn about the man she might have been engaged to. As for the negativity about the process, I think we can all agree the process is pretty ridiculous. Even Andi would have to admit that.

Prosecution: Juan Pablo thinks he was a great Bachelor.
Defence: When Andi revealed this, she paused with a smirk as if to suggest something more. To his credit, Chris Harrison said, "I don't get it." I didn't, either. What was her point? She seemed to be saying that the whole world would find this notion laughable. I thought he was a lot less annoying than most of his predecessors so in that regard, yes, he was "great." Maybe she found it unbecoming for him to utter such words, but once again I remind the jury we're just getting her interpretation of what went on.

Prosecution: Juan Pablo callously reminded Andi that he had another woman sleep over the night before.
Defence: Andi knows all about the others; she just doesn't want to be reminded of it. Fair enough. But if she didn't have sex with him, why does she assume he had sex with Clare? And if she did have sex with him, and knew she was sloppy seconds, why did she consent to it?

Prosecution: Juan Pablo was "entirely inappropriate and rude," said Andi.
Defence: "But not mean," Andi continued. There was "no intent" on his part to be rude or inappropriate. I would think that's a pretty big mitigating factor and speaks, perhaps, more to the subjective nature of what she considers inappropriate and rude.

Prosecution: Juan Pablo constantly says, "Ees okay." – Andi.
Defence: Mocking an accent is suddenly acceptable? If we're all good with it now, Rosie O'Donnell can take back her apology for the ching-chong Chinese accent she did on The View a few years ago. If it's not the accent that's bugging Andi, maybe it's the words. I honestly never noticed the "It's okay" thing until she brought it up. My ears were attuned to the overuse of "literally" that was like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. So each of us has our own pet peeve phrases. You don't like something, fine. But you can't fault the speaker for it... unless it's used completely incorrectly, as in "literally." Then it's fair game.

Prosecution: Juan Pablo wasn't interested in getting to know any of the women. This was brought up last week when Andi said he didn't know such important information such as her religion, political affiliation, etc.
Defence: As I suggested last week, Juan Pablo isn't concerned with such details. He goes deeper than the minutiae. On this episode, he confirmed just as much, saying he "wasn't going to go and ask them a gazillion questions; I just wanted to see how they interact." The always reasonable and rational Sharleen was seemingly the only woman in attendance with a mind of her own, daring to go against the grain. She said, "I feel like he did ask those questions and was interested... We got to know each other." Maybe this was a subtle shot at the others, like they weren't as interesting as she is. And that would be true.

Prosecution: Kelly and her pool-peeing dog even brought non-show related news to the attack. A few weeks ago Juan Pablo got in hot water for comments on whether there should be a gay-themed seasoned of The Bachelor. He said, "they're more pervert in a sense." Kelly revealed that one of her parents is gay and she was hurt by his statement to the point of tears. Juan Pablo apologized at the time, writing on his Facebook page, "Everyone knows English is my second language and my vocabulary is not as broad as it is in Spanish and, because of this, sometimes I use the wrong words to express myself." Some back-row person named Victoria pleaded with him to "please stop using ESL as a copout."
Defence: Juan Pablo insisted he is not homophobic. "I love gay people," he said, adding that "they were born that way." We need to look no further than his original comment to know English is his second language. "They're more pervert" is clunky and grammatically incorrect. So we should maybe cut him some slack on the language thing. He has since apologized so we should take him at his word unless there's other evidence he doesn't approve of gay people, which there doesn't appear to be.

He claimed the comment was taken out of context. Once again, the clear-thinking Sharleen spoke for the defence. She called Juan Pablo "very open-minded" and added, correctly, "We have all said and done things that if you pluck it out, it sounds completely different than if you had it bookended." She even got applause on it. The show itself illustrated this point. Last week they had us believing that Andi closed her eyes during sex with Juan Pablo, waiting for it to end. They took a comment she said on this episode out of context and we believed something that didn't (necessarily) happen. What she said was totally innocent. She remembered being "ready to go to sleep and just kind of closed my eyes and just waiting to wake up and be done." In the moment, there were no snickers from Chris Harrison or the crowd, but the editors knew they could paint a different picture. See how that works? I'm not saying even if taken in context, he was right; I'm saying I don't know because I didn't see the in context statements. So without more evidence that he's a homophobe, let's not run to our torches. Accept the apology.

In fact, the show illustrated another point in Juan Pablo's defence, albeit unintentionally. While Victoria, and others, feel like he's using his ESL as an excuse, the blooper reel showed it's a legitimate issue. During the season, while talking to the camera, he was telling us whoever was chosen would have to accept "me and my little package." He said it twice before an off-camera producer explained to him it meant something other than his 4-year-old daughter, which is what he meant by it.

So there you have it. The cases against Juan Pablo and his defence. This court rules for the defendant. Not guilty. I thought he handled himself great. But I know many people out there thought otherwise. They thought Andi was the winner. What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Oh, forgot to mention the newlyweds, Sean and Catherine. What a sweet, blushing bride Catherine was, ready to embarrass her husband on national TV. Chris Harrison asked how the wedding night was. Tacky, but they kind of made it tacky by revealing that Sean was a virgin, waiting for his big night, so the question had to be asked. Sean said there were fireworks. Catherine snarked back, "Yeah, quick fireworks." They said they'd start trying to have children in about a year. I'm not convinced their marriage will last that long.

And what the hell was up with that awful Muppets segment to shamelessly promote their new movie? They lost all the goodwill they'd built up over the past 40 years with that.

And where do you think they're going to go with the new Bachelorette? Renee is now off the market and Sharleen is too smart to be a part of this circus again. I feel like they were priming us for the return of Andi when Chris Harrison asked her about three times in a row if she was ready to find love again and hadn't given up. If they do choose the hardened Andi, I'll watch but I think I'll have to sit the blogging portion out just as a personal protest, except maybe to dash off a sentence saying, "I told you so!" after each episode. I wouldn't mind seeing them go to either a completely new face or bring another fan favourite back from another season who never got the chance before.


Anonymous said...

I am also assuming Andi will be the next Bachelorette, and I also wish they would go back in the archives for a different choice. Well, who knows, maybe she will change her attitude when she is faced with the task of hurting someone every week!

Kelly said...

I guess gone are the days of picking an unknown commodity to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette...I rule for the defense.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have missed a big story on why Andi skipped out on the show:

God, I love the Bachelor.

Anonymous said...

This is the best blog or any writing I have read about The Bachelor. You are a terrific writer and I love the humor as well as the format of this entry.

I was against Juan Pablo until I read this blog and I now see him from a different perspective. I will be disappointed if you do not write about Andi's season and I hope your audience grows.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely. I think this man was used as a piece of meat. And if girls complain about things, they should complain about ABC, i.e. leading girls on until the very end is what they encourage a lead to do, even if they feel otherwise. This show is weird and unnatural so hopefully afterwards some do find love, if that was their intent.

Juliette said...

Had all these thoughts so there must be many who see through the smokescreen of the show politics.I would do exactly what they are doing and see what happens in real life, no publicity. Catherine was hilarious commenting Juan Pablo was slapping the hand that fed him. That hand feeds her not Juan Pablo. 1 of the women at WTA commented we just wanted to be noticed, The women had major issues.

Anonymous said...

When you get rejected, it is never good to criticize the other person for not having an interest. (snicker) What has to be done is to realize there is no interest and have some class about it. Don't make a public sneering venomous speech like Andi did. Don't go public to embarrass the person. Handle it privately with some dignity and class like Juan Pablo did when he got rejected by Desiree. I don't want to watch Andi castrate her next man when she is the Bachorelette. Not after how she acted.