On The Bachelor, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to travel all around this beautiful globe of ours. We’ve had some interesting long travel days before but this trip from Da Nang, Vietnam to Lake Taupo, New Zealand is one for the record books. We had a nice long buggy ride from the hotel in Da Nang. Then we hopped our first flight up to Ho Chi Minh City. After some pretty good noodles in the airport we jumped on a nice long overnight flight to Sydney, Australia. We all got off and enjoyed a little lunch before getting on a flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Once we finally landed in Auckland, thirty hours after we left Da Nang, we were happy to hear that none of our luggage had made the trip with us. So after everybody took their turn at filling out luggage claim forms we headed out on a nice two-hour bus ride to our final destination, Lake Taupo. The first morning was spent shopping for clothes and necessities before getting ready for another week of dates. We’ve been to New Zealand before, and I was happy to be back. Lake Taupo and the surrounding area is just stunning. The ladies stayed at the famous Huka Lodge and if you’re ever anywhere near this area you have to at least book a dinner at this lodge. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Once we all got settled the date card arrived and Andi finally got her first one-on-one date. The date started with Juan Pablo and her walking through a section of rocks called “the squeeze.” As tough as it was for them, you have to imagine how insane it was for our camera and audio crews to make it through while shooting. They did an incredible job in some difficult conditions. The walk and the climb might have been difficult but the chemistry between Juan Pablo and Andi is nothing but smooth and easy. They seem to really enjoy and understand each other. She easily got a rose and is safe to move on to the next week.
The group date was next and with it came two very cool things, Ogo balls and a trip to Hobbiton. Last time we were in New Zealand we got to bungee jump off the original bridge where it all began. This time Juan Pablo and the ladies got to roll down the hillsides in massive Ogo balls. They loved it and were all giggling like little kids. Later, they headed to Hobbiton, where they shot part of the Lord of the Rings movies as well as The Hobbit. At night while at Hobbiton, Juan Pablo had some alone time with some of the ladies. Over the last two weeks he really seems to be building a strong connection with Nikki, who he shared a nice long intimate kiss with. Then came the interesting time with Sharleen. I say interesting because she didn’t get two words out before he started making out with her. Their relationship intrigues me the most — at times they seem to have such great chemistry, and then at times it couldn’t seem more distant and awkward. Sharleen unexpectedly got the rose on the group date.
Cassandra, one of the single mothers left (along with Renee) got a nice surprise for her birthday on the group date: A flight home back to the United States. In Juan Pablo’s defense, he really had no idea it was her birthday. He knew she would not end up as his wife and decided not to keep her away from her son any longer than necessary.
Clare got the other one-on-one date this week. It was important after the blow up last week in Vietnam that these two had a chance to spend some time together and hash out their differences. They immediately started discussing the events of last week and they seemed to both feel good about it when all was said and done. Then they proceeded to make out by the side of the river. This poses yet another interesting question which is popping up a lot this season: Is there a difference between making out in the ocean, or a pool, or on a park bench? Anyway you look at it, Clare seemed satisfied and she got a rose then they made out again. They weren’t in an ocean, so hopefully things will settle down for a while.
The cocktail party was held at a spectacular property called Poronui Lodge. To say the vistas from the Blake House, where we shot, were stunning would be a gross understatement. You finally got to see one of our deliberations. We did these each week and I found them really interesting as I got to candidly ask Juan Pablo about these ladies and really try to find out where he was in all of this. That night, Chelsie had figured correctly that the elimination was down to her and Kat. Despite sharing a heartbreaking story about her past and really opening up, Kat was sent home. I think the most interesting part of the night was the emotion Sharleen showed when it was all over. She also left us with some rather ominous words about how she’s really feeling. So with only six women left it’s back to the United States and a stop in Juan Pablo’s hometown of Miami. The tension has been building between Nikki and Clare, and next week it will finally boil to the surface.
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