This has easily been one of the most intriguing seasons we’ve ever had on this show. Because of this, I’ve really been looking forward to the “Women Tell All” and “After the Final Rose” specials. Most of the time we roll into these specials and deal with a few issues, but it doesn’t often revolve around our actual Bachelor like it did this year. The ladies really didn’t have any major issues with each other this season. It wasn’t about that this time. It was really all about Juan Pablo.

The show started off with a sit-down with Catherine and Sean in their first interview since the wedding. It’s always good to see them, but to see them so happy and madly in love was just out of this world. They absolutely crack me up with how carefree and comfortable they are with everything. It makes my job much easier as I just get to sit back and have fun talking with two friends. When I sit with them, it never feels like an interview but more like a chance to catch up with a beautiful couple. I’m really happy for them and excited for what the future holds. After that, we went to a fun little bit we did with the Muppets to promote their new movie. We have done a few of these with different actors and movies, but it was amazing the amount of people who showed up to the shoot with the Muppets. It was a fun day with all the families and kids showing up to meet Kermit and Miss Piggy. My acting skills can clearly use some work, but it was an absolute blast to shoot a scene alongside these iconic characters.

After the fun and games were taken care of, it was time to face the ladies and talk about this season. I was immediately struck by how the women felt about Juan Pablo. I also thought it was interesting how their opinions have really seemed to change in watching the show back and seeing how all of the women were treated this season. The women weren’t full of venom and they weren’t exactly mad, but I think the overall feeling was Juan Pablo just wasn’t on the show looking for the same thing they were. But a few of the ladies were more than happy to disagree and stick up for Juan Pablo and defend him. It’s only natural that the girls who were sent home earlier felt a bit slighted and felt like maybe Juan Pablo didn’t really care about them. But the women who went much further, like Sharleen, Renee, and even Andi weren’t very negative at all and ended up defending him a bit. Sharleen really defended him the most, saying she felt like he truly tried to build a bond with her. Renee also had a great relationship with him, but I knew there was no way a classy woman like that was going to come in and rip on Juan Pablo even if she felt like it.

It’s always difficult to write a blog about this particular show because we really do a good job of showing you exactly what went down. When Juan Pablo came out, the reception from the crowd and the ladies was warm and welcoming. I didn’t really hear anything negative at all. I did find it interesting that he has absolutely no regrets at all after not only living through this but watching it back as well. He seems to understand that his honesty can come off sometimes as rude at times, but he’s okay with that. The women were pretty clear with their thoughts before Juan Pablo came out onstage, but when he was there it was odd how they focused on less relevant things, like calling Cassandra and Renee his special ones. I found it interesting that a few of them were so hung up on that.

One of the most interesting moments came late in the show, when Kelly made reference to Juan Pablo’s remarks about homosexuality. Juan Pablo naturally got very defensive — I didn’t think he was going to really respond at all, and I would’ve been fine with that. I didn’t feel like that was the time or place to really get into it because I didn’t have the time to really have an in-depth discussion. I feel unless you really have time to give somebody to respond, it’s not really fair. But Juan Pablo did open up and give some real insight and emotion as to how he feels. As disappointing as all of this has been, whether you agree with how he responded to Kelly or not, I appreciated seeing what seemed to be sincerity and true raw emotion — which has been hard to find with him at times when he gets defensive. I appreciated seeing that side of him.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m sure a few of you noticed that our little free spirit Lucy ended the show the way the season began for her. When I surprised her by revealing she was accepted on the show, she got so excited she jumped on me and gave me a hug. So she thought that’s how this should all end — hey why not?

So, how will all this end? Next week we have a special three hour LIVE finale event. The first two hours will be a mix of the show and live in-studio appearances and interviews. Then we will go right into a live “After the Final Rose” special event. This has been a wild ride up to this point and it’s only going to get wilder. This will be a night of live TV you absolutely don’t want to miss. I look forward to seeing you next Monday night!

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