That's What She Said: 'Bachelor' advice
Look out, ladies ... Juan-uary is here.
Monday night's two-hour premiere of "The Bachelor" introduced former professional soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis as the show's latest love-seeking lothario. Despite getting limited screen time while battling for Desiree's heart in last season's "The Bachelorette," Juan Pablo won over viewers with his athletic physique and exotic accent.
When I first learned that Juan Pablo would be the Season 18 stud, I was disappointed. He's a dreamboat, for sure, but he struck me as boring and depthless. Even he seemed a little worried -- he said in Sunday's preview to the premiere that he had been working on his English and speaking more slowly so people could understand him.
Two hours into this season, I may have judged him too soon. Right off the bat, Juan Pablo comes across as charming, down-to-earth and honest. And when he gave the first-impression rose to Sharleen, the most elegant, sophisticated woman of the bunch, he earned the benefit of the doubt -- at least 'til Episode 2.
However, this is the group of show editors that somehow made crazed lunatic Jake Pavelka, hotheaded Ken doll Brad Womack and smarmy prince Lorenzo Borghese seem like real catches until they were set free into the world to reveal their true colors. (I bet I'd seem pretty charming, too, if I had someone to edit out all my F-bombs, belches and butt scratches.)
I get the feeling Juan Pablo might eventually slip up and forget to put on his carefully crafted "good guy" mask, revealing himself to be your standard fame-seeking man-whore. (I can see it already: "Welcome to 'Sports Night in Miami.' I'm your host, Juan Pablo.")
The end-of-show season preview hints at some serious drama, and Juan Pablo's lascivious ways may be to blame. Judging from just a few minutes of footage, it appears this season might feature more make-outs and breakdowns than any other. And this is definitely the first time we've heard a contestant yell, "I hope you die!" to the bachelor.
Juan Pablo's assurance that, "I'd definitely rather end up with nobody than having my daughter not be proud of her dad" leaves the viewer wondering if he does end up alone.
I am sure spoiler specialist Reality Steve has already posted the answer to that question, but I prefer to watch the heartbreak, catfights and hot-tub make-out seshes play out week by week. I also choose not to use my (considerable) Internet stalking skills to research Juan Pablo and the ladies. I prefer to judge them solely on what we're presented with on the show.
Speaking of the ladies, here are a few stats and predictions to take away from Episode 1:
Episode 1: The Rose Ceremony, by the numbers
• Criers: 3 (Amy J., Kylie and Lauren H.).
• Cleavage: 13 (Amy L., Cassandra, Christy, Christine, Nikki, Kat, Chantel, Elise, Alli, Renee, Kelly, Lacy and Andi).
• Sequins: 14 (Amy L., Cassandra, Christy, Victoria, Lauren S., Chelsie, Elise, Ashley, Alli, Amy J., Maggie, Lacy, Alexis and Kylie).
• First-meeting stunts: A bracelet for Juan Pablo's daughter, Camila; a teddy bear; a stethoscope; a piano; science supplies; a gold star; a fake baby bump; a fishing hook; a dog; a soccer ball; prescription "red hots"; a massage table; and a puzzle.
Front-runners: Who to pick up in your "Bachelor" fantasy draft
Sharleen: The recipient of the all-important first-impression rose, she made Juan Pablo swoon right from the start. He complimented her dress twice, noting that she seemed more elegant and worldly than the rest of the women. Sharleen seemed unsure at first, admitting, "I guess I thought that I would feel more of this instant chemistry than I did. … [We have] a connection that, honestly, if I'm being honest, seems totally forced." The good news for Juan Pablo? Judging from the season previews, she sticks around for a while.
(Note to single women: Out of all 27 women, Juan Pablo finds the one not throwing herself at him to be most appealing.)
Andi: The Georgia-based district attorney was drop-dead gorgeous in a long, backless, navy gown, and it was clear Juan Pablo had a thing for her right away. Smart, smooth and outspoken, she'll give Juan Pablo the challenge he seems to be looking for.
Clare: Despite a cheesy stunt involving a fake baby bump, hairstylist Clare seems to make a great first impression.
Renee: A real estate agent and mother of an 8-year-old boy, Renee feels like a real-life, long-term choice for Juan Pablo. They have easy conversation and share a lot in common. Plus, she's adventurous and athletic, two qualities Juan Pablo needs.
Nikki: A pediatric nurse and admitted drunk dancer, she's got a cute-and-dangerous thing going on. She and Juan Pablo seem to have an instant chemistry, but this one could be trouble down the road.
Gone in 120 minutes: A few of the one-ep wonders who already got the hook
Amy J.: A massage therapist who likes dramatic, Juan Pablo-induced swoon pratfalls and feeding food to grown men using the "Here comes the plane!" swoopy method.
Lauren H.: A mineral coordinator (this is a job, I'm told) who brought enough baggage with her to hold all of Shayne Lamas' on-air outfits. She cried before even talking to Juan Pablo and lost any chance at a rose when she overshared about her recent broken engagement during their one-on-one time.
Valerie: A crossbow-wielding personal trainer who said of herself, "Not only am I pretty, but I'm not scared to file [my fingernails] down and scratch some eyeballs." Bullet dodged, Juan Pablo, bullet dodged.
Red flags: Watch out, Juan Pablo!
Lucy: Went without shoes and listed "free spirit" as her occupation.
Kelly: She said in her bio that she takes an hour and a half to get ready for a big night. YOU'RE WASTING YOUR LIFE AWAY APPLYING MAKEUP, KELLY! Also, her occupation is "dog lover." That's not a job, sweetie.
Cassandra: The former Pistons dancer, now a makeup artist, reportedly has a 2-year-old son with Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey. A 21-year-old with a pro-athlete baby daddy? Ain't nobody got time for that.
Elise: Believes in love at first sight, and believes she's found it with Juan Pablo. RUN, JUAN PABLO. RUN NOW!