Buckle up, amigos. I smell crazy and it’s coming from my TV.
Like most TV that’s worth watching, we open on a beach and span to the scantily clad Juan Pablo, who makes running shirtless for the camera look regular, even doable. We’re in Miami to get a look at Juan Pablo’s daily life. Open on Juan Pablo driving his Jeep. Cut to Juan Pablo working picking up a bat for a Venezuelan museum. (Can no one on this show have a real job?) And over to Juan Pablo…breakdancing under a freeway? I’ll allow it.
Next Juannie invites us along as he picks up Camilla from school, but his bulging biceps need no assist in lifting her into his embrace, as sweet Spanish love declarations spill out of his boca. So this is what’s it’s like to be La Mujer in J.Pablo’s life.
Back at the car, Juan Pablo has una cancion española he wants to play sing over for Camilla. (Again, I’ll allow it.) Camilla bobs her head along and waves to the camera all the way to grandma’s house, where we meet the rest of the fam. Juan Pablo’s family is among the most laid back we’ve met on this show. His family pokes fun at him for being the family charmer and no one cries or gives serious advice on how to fall in love on a TV show. To them, this “journey” seems like the latest aventura in Juannie’s vida loca.
At this point, the only thing left to do before meeting the 27 women was to have a man-chat with former Bachelor and now happily-married man, Sean. His advice was simple: 1) Explain to the ladies right away that he’s bad with names, and 2) Kiss every woman he can, BUT—and this is a big but that Sean learned the hard way—don’t let the other girls see you. Can you feel yourself getting smarter, yet?
Next, we’re introduced to a series of lovely señoritas, shown reflecting on life and love while enjoying the beauty of their local flora and fauna. I, too, find that I do my best reflecting when coated with a fresh spray tan, so I get it. The standout of the first montage is Amy J., flying her freak flag high and proud and rocking a rather blunt set of bangs. We meet Amy while she is going about her daily business of practicing yoga on a massage client’s back. Why wouldn’t she be doing that?
We also meet Lucy, “employed” as a “free spirit” and a self-proclaimed “hippie.” In case you’re new and don’t speak Bachelorese yet, that roughly translates to “Someone else is financially supporting me and I use their money to buy loose and flowy designer clothes.”
Cue the “Chariots of Fire.” It’s limo time, betch.
The limo introductions go rather smoothly, albeit awkwardly at times. Juan Pablo is adorable and charming in his interactions with each of the ladies, which is more than I would be able to say if I were in his shoes. The second I touched the pillow-fetus under Clare’s gown, I would have thanked her for her time and escorted her right back to that limo. Ladies of the world, when has pretending to be pregnant ever had a happy ending? JP politely smiles through all the chemistry jokes, unconventional entries (looking at you, girl who drove a piano to the cocktail party), and “Spanish” speaking. What a sport.
The cocktail party is business as usual, if your business usually involves a grown woman greasing up your suit jacket with essential oils and cooing at your feet while you get to know each other. It wouldn’t be a Bachelor premiere without at least one emotional breakdown, and Lauren H volunteers as tribute, dragging her emotional baggage from room-to-room like an IV. Girlfriend was clearly not ready for this show, and wastes no time making that painfully and awkwardly clear to Juan Pablo and America. Once they show you gazing wistfully at your never-used wedding dress in your intro, there’s only one place to go and it’s not a helicopter or hot tub.
In a surprise twist, Sharleen snags the First Impression Rose. Too soon to tell if Sharleen is an ice queen who will do the Mexican hatdance on JP’s heart or if she’s just playing hard-to-get.
The rose ceremony is a bit of a blur—feels like roll call in a crowded classroom—until we witness our first particularly cringe-worthy moment of the season. JP clearly calls out “Kat” but Kylie mishears him and steps forward to claim her rose, wearing a ball gown from Pepto Bismol’s new evening wear line. Head desk.
While Bachelors past have never shied away from una senorita loca, Amy’s particular brand of crazy is weird enough to get featured on the premiere, but ultimately not to stick around for more shenanigans with Juan Pablo. We also say adios to Lauren H, Kylie, Alexis, Lacy, Valerie, Maggie, and Christine.
May the roses be ever in your favor,
B, K, J