We’re six weeks in, rose lovers, and I know you’re all thinking it so I’m just going to say it: The more we get to know Juan Pablo, the harder it is to like him. Which is to say, he’s exactly like every other Bachelor ever. It’s just that we had higher hopes for “el Bachelor Latino,” but then came the intolerant comments about homosexuality; the raging Madonna-whore complex; and now the alleged slut-shaming of Clare. Still, it’s only the first thing on that list that bothers me. Are we really that surprised that a macho former athlete wants to sow his oats with a bunch of hot chicks before settling down with a “nice” girl? And all he did was tell Clare that they made a mistake and their behavior was not fair to the other girls. She needs to put her big girl panties back on and just get over it. Then again, what fun would that be?
This week’s “adventure” begins in Taupo, New Zealand, land of wild horses, fluffy sheep, and volcanoes. While the ladies soak in the heart-swelling natural beauty surrounding their room at Huka Lodge, though, Clare is still standing under a “dark cloud” that followed her from Vietnam. “I don’t know where we stand now,” she says of her relationship with Juan Pablo. “I want to feel like he wants me here.” Well, he may, but according to the date card he doesn’t want you right now: Andi, your one-on-one has finally arrived! Clare isn’t the only one who’s bummed; that night, Cassandra has a tearful heart-to-heart with Renee about how hard it is to date as a single mom, and how rare it is to find a single man as family-minded as Juan Pabs. “And it makes you want it that much more,” says Renee, wiping away her own tears. But after a good cry, Renee and Cassandra shake off their doubts, hug it out, and continue pining for the same guy.
In case you missed it, rose lovers, Taupo is the “land of volcanoes,” which is fitting because everyone’s emotions are “bubbling up” and “building” and “ready to explode.” And while Andi’s date card says she and Juan Pablo will feel the “heat,” the first part of their date involves riding a speedboat to a place called… the squeeze. Everybody off the RiverJet! Time to wade through cold, waist-deep river water through ever-narrowing crevices. Is this a date or rebirthing therapy? Andi tries to make the best of the situation, grasping on to Juan Pablo’s acts of common courtesy — like helping her over slippery rocks – and saying, “It feels good to be taken care of.” Once they make their way to a secluded hot springs pool, both Andi and Juan Pablo are feeling good; she wraps her legs around his waist and they make out under the roaring waterfall. (Now that’s being taken care of, honey.)
Dinner takes place in front of a steaming geyser, which proceeds to erupt and spray a mood-dampening rain all over their romantic moment. So they hike out of the moisture’s radius and try to have an in-depth talk about relationships. “If I didn’t have a job, if I didn’t have nice things in life, I would be okay just having love,” says Andi, which elicits an approving “Mmmmm!” from Juan Pablo. Her romantic single-mindedness earns Andi the date rose. Or maybe the Bachelor just wanted to get them the hell out of the freezing dampness.
NEXT: Out of the geyser spray and into the shire