The Women Tell All special brings back familiar faces -- human and canine -- and Andi, Sharleen, and Renee all give Juan Pablo a "fair" chance
Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Keeping in theme with Juan Pablo’s wishes, I’m going to be really honest with you all: Your regular recapper, Kristen Baldwin, is traveling and unable to watch the show right now, so I will be filling in for her. And honestly, I know I’ll never live up to the expectations set by Kristen. I’m just going to close my eyes, picture Juan Pablo shirtless, and write, always keeping in mind his life motto: “It’s okay.”

So, the question is: Are you all ready to revisit “the most memorable women from the most controversial season in Bachelor history?” Well, sorry, because all we have tonight are the women from Juan Pablo’s season. I love you, Chris, but I think you’re over-selling the drama just a bit. But you do look good in your suit, so I’ll forgive you. Now, let’s talk about how America feels about Juan Pabs. Apparently, you either love him or are a little shocked by his actions. And tonight, “the debate rages on” … in a minute. First up, a reminder that this show can be successful. Look everybody, it’s Sean and Catherine in their first television appearance since tying the knot! Don’t they look happy?!

Sean and Catherine Lowe are the first to sit in the hot seat, where Chris adorably compares them to royalty — that tells you how rare it is that people on this show gets married — before he compliments Catherine’s “grown sexy” new haircut. In case you were wondering, yes they have watched the ceremony, and they love the fact that their entire journey as a couple is on tape so that they can show their kids. Yes, we get it, the show is great. But I’m already watching, so let’s get to the awkward wedding night talk, shall we? Chris quickly reminds us all that we weren’t invited to the reception before he asks the hard-hitting question: How was the wedding night?

Catherine tries — she really tries — to keep it clean by talking about the rose petals and the romance, but Sean chimes in with “Fireworks!” To which she takes her husband out at the knees with, “Quick fireworks.” Ouch, honey. Some things really can stay in the fantasy honeymoon suite. She quickly pats her husband’s leg and explains that, “He toots his own horn, so I had to keep him in place.” I’m not sure I want to know what she means, but I do love me some Chris Harrison humor: “Welcome to the club, buddy. You got 50, 60 years to figure it out, so don’t worry about it.” Poor Sean tries to hang on to his manhood with a final word on the subject: “We’re good.”

So what else did you two do on your honeymoon? (Please God talk about something other than sex!) They swam with stingrays! That’s totally nonsexual, right? Wrong. One of the stingrays latched onto Sean’s “manparts” — “This guy just sexually assaulted me” — which resulted in bruising that he had to “get over.” As Chris points out, of all the time and all the parts! But sexual catastrophes aside, the couple does plan on having kids. They want to start trying within the next 12 months, to be exact. Didn’t you hear? Sean’s old. He’s 30. “If I’m old, Harrison’s ancient,” Sean says. But let’s not dwell on all that Chris-is-old business. All that matters is that Sean and Catherine both look happy, so the show was successful. Did you guys get that? Okay good, let’s move on (right past that awkward Muppets movie promo)!

NEXT: “He didn’t say ‘Camila’ whenever he was in the ocean.”

Women, take your seats! Looking around, not much has changed. Lucy’s still as free-spirited as ever, Molly hasn’t aged a day, and the conversation immediately jumps to how handsome Juan Pablo is. And that accent? Ugh. Renee claims she doesn’t remember a thing from her first encounter, but Kelly says she was worried that Molly didn’t like him when she walked right past him. Oh, Kelly. Where have you been the past few weeks? Well, for one, a beauty salon. She’s looking glam.

Just like that, Chris gives us our first montage of the night: You might love him, you might not. But we can all agree that “Juan Pablo definitely has his moments.” And by moments, we mean he’s hot. He’s sexy. He has an accent. He plays soccer. He’s hot. He dances. He’s sexy. He kisses a lot of women. And he’s hot.

BUT, being attractive isn’t enough. As Andi puts it, “At the end of the day, those looks can fade, and you need something more than that.” The women seem to agree that a lot of the questions Juan Pablo asked them were “surface-level.” More specifically, he didn’t really ask them about, well, them. And for Cassandra, she claims that all they did was talk about their kids, and she wanted more. Okay, I’m going to stop there, because Cassandra is the definition of what Chris calls a “sour grape.” She got dumped, and now she seems to be all about being negative. It’s not a good look, honey. Neither is complaining about how he talks about daughter (no matter what she really meant).

And when Lauren — who were you again? — tries to jump in by saying that Juan Pablo wasn’t genuine, Kelly calls her out on how she was “very into him” while they were at the house. And yes, Kelly does think there are some sour grapes in the room tonight. Andi delivers the closing argument by saying that she thinks Juan Pablo did want to find someone, but “his version of what he was trying to find was different than ours.” According to her, Juan Pablo wanted a girlfriend, and they all wanted a husband (but not the same one; well, not at the same time).

Things quickly progress to the besitos talk. Once again, Kat is very vocal. Is someone making a ploy to be the next Bachelorette or something? I think so. And no, it’s not working. Kat mentions how Juan Pablo kept talking about trying to be “fair,” right before he’d change “every rule that he makes.” For lack of a better word, that statement seems fair to me. However, when Kelly mentions using his daughter as an excuse, Chris warns her about being careful with the kid card. Kelly’s comeback: “He didn’t say ‘Camila’ whenever he was in the ocean.” Damn, this girl is good.

After the kid card’s played, Renee discusses how she was treated differently, which is when Kat strikes back! She too loves “our two moms,” but it was hard to hear him call them his “special ones.” If he wants to be “fair,” he should cut the word “special” out of his vocabulary. I see what you’re saying, but please, don’t cut any English words out of Juan Pablo’s vocabulary. (Except for maybe “awesome.”) So why did he kiss Cassandra but not Renee? Well, because he was sexually attracted to Cassandra, says Kelly. And Chris uses that to allow the elephant in the room to let out a mighty roar — do elephants roar? What do the girls think about Clare and Juan Pablo’s swim in the ocean?

Kat and Andi were her roommates, and they had no idea. Nor did they really care. The women seem to agree that the dip in the hot tub from earlier in the night was “way more disrespectful” than the ocean swim. But does anyone approve of how Juan Pablo handled the post-swim situation? NO. “I think he had a case of buyer’s remorse,” Sharleen says. “He didn’t man up the way he should have.” The women agree that he was just as much to blame, or in Sharleen’s case, “I think more.” And once again proving this might be the sanest house of women this show has ever seen, no one blames Clare. As Andi puts it, “Clare went out on a limb. He willingly participated. If it was our opportunity, and I had the connection that Clare had with him, I would’ve done the same thing.” Can someone get me a glass of wine water? I’m not used to this kind of normalcy.

NEXT: Sharleen’s in the hot seat!

Wait, nevermind! Sharleen is in the hot seat! Chris sits down with “the most intriguing person we’ve had” — a.k.a. weird — to take a quick trip through the highlights of Sharleen’s journey. Poor, poor Sharleen tries to cover her eyes during video of her first kiss with Juan Pablo, but there’s no escaping that one, honey. We all saw it. Although, sadly, Chris does not ask her about it! You’re off your game here, Harrison!

But he does ask her about her decision to leave. “I knew that he wasn’t the one for me, like, ultimately.” Sure, he’s someone she would date, but, “We weren’t airtight. We didn’t get each other completely.” With that, Chris brings up the “cerebral connection.” What did she mean by all her talk of sometimes wishing she were “dumber?” Sharleen chalks it up to her thinking too much, even to the point where she can’t sleep because she can’t turn off her brain. Bottom line: They had great chemistry, and Sharleen will defend him. “It’s not like our conversation was non-existent. I found him very curious. He wanted to know about me and other people and other lifestyles and about my experiences — like, we had something to relate on.” That being said, she was surprised to learn that she was one of his top girls throughout the entire process. (Spoiler: No one else was.)

Sharleen does not regret leaving. “I have a lot of respect for him, actually, and I thought he was very kind to me, and I didn’t want to hurt him, and that’s why leaving was that hard.” Most interesting part of this entire show: Chris jokes about how Juan Pablo will be coming out soon and asks if there will be any besitos? Will she be able to maintain her distance? “I’ll do my best,” Sharleen says in that voice that I still can’t read. Is she serious? Are these two going to make out? If so, please don’t make me watch it.

Next up, Renee! The single mother says she wouldn’t have done anything differently other than maybe tell him that she loved him during hometowns, even though she doesn’t think it would’ve made a difference, because their problem wasn’t about how she felt, but rather how he did (or didn’t). So why were they so “slow-paced” as a couple? Does Renee think he used the kids card as an excuse? She’s not sure. But, she does know that after telling her he wasn’t kissing any women, “Twenty seconds later he was making out with Clare.” Yeah, there’s no way around that one. And sadly, there’s also no way around the fact that Renee probably won’t be our next Bachelorette, considering she’s in a “situation” right now. “I am in a situation now where I’m very happy, but that’s all I’m gonna say. I don’t want to jinx anything. It’s good,” she says, to which Chris responds with, “The only way you might jinx it is if you call it a situation.” Is anyone else secretly hoping her “situation” (and rumored engagement) involves Chris Harrison?!

From my first Bachelorette pick to my second, Andi’s next in the hot seat. So what happened when the doors closed on the fantasy suite, and the camera crew left? I’ll let her kick this one off: “It was fine for a little while, you know, we talked and we laughed and we kind of both breathed a sigh of relief, and it was nice to be away from the cameras a little bit, so I’m not going to take that away. I mean, we definitely had some fun times and laughed, and then everything was about his soccer and his traveling and who he knew. It was all about him. But there was just a lot of negativity. I felt like he was being extremely negative, and there were times where I felt like I was kind of getting sucked into that negativity.”

What was he being negative about? “The whole process. I felt like he was being negative and not really grateful for the opportunity that he had. I think he thinks he was a very good Bachelor. I think he actually thinks he was a great Bachelor.” And no, she’s not being sarcastic. But in terms of what comments sent her over the edge, “There was a comment basically that I was barely here, that, you know, I had just barely beaten out Renee, something to that effect. I think he said ‘default,’ obviously that’s an issue.” And then when Juan Pablo mentioned his overnight date with Clare, Andi had a change of heart. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘This will never work.’ I remember just being mentally done at that point.”

“For him to bring that up, I was just so shocked and so appalled by it. I really was.” No, she didn’t tell him that, and that was on her. But the important thing here is the little tidbit Chris seems to have gotten from someone: Andi pretended to fall asleep in order to escape the date! Suddenly, the idea of being stuck in a fantasy suite sounds like a great horror film.

NEXT: Andi defends Juan Pablo’s “special ones”

However, Andi is not going to leave without also clarifying some things: “The things he said were entirely inappropriate and rude, but he wasn’t mean to me. I think that should be made very clear. He was never mean to me. The things he said made me feel cheap, and I think sometimes it’s just, he doesn’t think about it. So it’s not that the intent is there, it’s just that there’s no filter there.” She adds, “You can’t just say whatever you want to say without someone having their feelings hurt.” And, as we all know, the day after the date, she felt like he wasn’t listening to her, but rather repeating “It’s okay” over and over. (Note: Her impression of his accent is amazing.)

All this aside, Andi is still looking for that great love that she knows exists. Yes, Chris, she still believes. And yes, she will continue to search for it. But will she do it on your show?! (You’re welcome for picking up what you’re putting down, ABC.)

And finally, send in the Bachelor! Andi takes a deep breath when she sees the handsome fella, but the rest of the girls seem calm and collected. Juan Pablo believes he “can have some friends here,” and that “it’ll be fine.” Then he looks over and gives Andi a special “Hi.” Chris wastes no time asking Juan Pablo if he would change anything. Not surprisingly, the answer is no. Juan Pablo says he’s been realistic, mature, and of course, honest since day one. “Sometimes that happens to seems a little rude and yeah, sometimes it happens to be that way, but at the same time, I’d rather not being appreciated being honest than being appreciated not being honest.” He adds, “When you’re honest to somebody, it’s definitely going to hurt.” And, with a cute (?) nod toward Andi: “And it’s okay.” Yes, he knows he says that a lot.

Lauren tries to call him out on using Camila as an excuse not to kiss her, but Juan Pablo doesn’t budge on his position. He wasn’t there to kiss 27 women. Specifically, with Renee, he talks about a deleted scene where she told him about how crushed Ben was when Renee broke up with her last boyfriend, and that story is what made Juan Pablo so cautious with her. So yes, he had two “special ones,” and one of them would like to speak now. Hey Cassandra! “If you were caring about Ben’s feelings, then you wouldn’t have done the hometown and met Ben and then just to send Renee home … If Renee wasn’t for you, then you should’ve never met her son.” Once again, Juan Pablo isn’t budging. He introduces his daughter to people on the first date, he says, but as a “friend.” (We know, we’ve seen it.) And by playing the culture card, he seem to have won that battle.

On to all this “fair” talk! Some women want to know why Renee and Cassandra were “special.” All of them gave up stuff to be here! Okay, are we really bringing this up? They’re single moms, people! Andi steps in: “It’s not him putting Cassandra and Renee above us, I think he just saw them differently.” She mentions how he sent Cassandra home the minute he realized they weren’t meant to be. Andi continues, “I have parts that I’m gonna defend him for. There’s parts that I think he was a jerk and I have no problem saying that to him — and he knows that — but you know, I’m just honest about it, and there’s things that I liked and there’s things that I still don’t like about it.” His response: “It’s okay.” The two share a chuckle and I suddenly have a little bit of faith in Juan Pablo restored.

On to the things Andi doesn’t like. They were all looking for a husband and felt he wanted a girlfriend. This time, Sharleen is there to defend him. Chris asks her if Juan Pablo took this process seriously. “Yeah, but I’m getting the feeling that other girls feel differently than I did, but I just felt like he did ask those questions and was interested in where we’d traveled and what it was like to live in a foreign country and struggle with another language. We got to know each other, but you know, ultimately he can’t end up with all the women.” Or perhaps he was just more interested in Sharleen? Juan Pablo doesn’t really help anything when he adds, “It is what it is.”

Oh hey Lucy! Please keep your comments about each relationship being “unique” to yourself. We all know your relationship was one-of-a-kind.

NEXT: “Stop using ‘English is my second language’ as a cop-out.”

But if you thought Clare in the ocean was the bomb waiting to be dropped, Kelly has a surprise for you. Yep, she wants to talk about Juan Pablo’s “pervert” comment regarding a gay Bachelor. With a parent who’s gay, that comment hurt her, Kelly says. Juan Pablo tries to explain that it was taken out of context and that he would like to explain it to her backstage where they’d have more time, but she’s unconvinced that the word “pervert” can be taken out of context. “Tell me that in Spanish,” she says.

Do you guys remember drunk Veronica? Because she has something she’d like to say: “As somebody who has only lived in this country for 10 years, and up until the age of 15, didn’t speak any English whatsoever, please stop using ‘English is my second language’ as a cop-out. Pervert is pervert in English and Portuguese, and Spanish and Latin and French.” Somebody get Chris a gavel, because he’s ready to put a stop to this! It’s Juan Pablo’s turn to talk.

No, he’s not homophobic, he says. “I love gay people. I have no problem with them, because I respect them, because they were born that way.” Again, Sharlene is here to back him up. Apparently the couple did talk during their dates, and the subject of equality even came up. “From what I can gather, he’s very open-minded, and we all might’ve said and done things that if you pluck it out, it sounds completely different than if you had it book-ended.” So why did I have to watch them kiss for hours on end if they talked about things like equality? We need to talk priorities, Bachelor peeps: Top of the list is shirtlessness. Second: Equality!

Stepping away from the drama, Chris gives us a blooper reel, featuring the breakdown of that cool car-turned-boat that I knew would never work, producers telling Juan Pablo not to refer to his daughter as his “little package,” and a montage of him saying, “It’s okay,” during which Juan Pablo threw a smile Andi’s way. And let’s not forget the one time Molly peed in the pool. Needless to say, I’m sure she wasn’t the first bitch to do so.

Final thoughts: There seem to be more members on Team Nikki than Team Clare. Kelly is “always Team Nikki,” as is Sharleen, and when Chris asks Team Clare to raise their hands, she gets only a few. From what I can tell, Team Clare includes Victoria and Cassandra, among others. Andi, Renee, and Kat all kept their hands in their laps. And after one finale promo promising “something we’ve never seen before,” that’s a wrap on the Women Tell All!

What are your thoughts? Personally, I was surprised by how defensive Andi, Renee, and Sharleen were. It definitely felt like a house divided: The sour grapes who wanted to get a word in, and the women who actually felt that they knew the man they were talking to. All in all though, passions were running fairly low. Like I said, this was a sane(ish) house. Much less insightful thoughts: I think it’s clear that Kat wants to be the next Bachelorette, but it’s going to be Andi. Kelly is as great as ever, and it’s likely that Juan Pablo and Sharleen are hooking up backstage as we speak. Sound off in the comments!

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