There was a moment in the season premiere of “The Bachelor,” which aired in an excruciating two-night event, where Juan Pablo Galavis, the 32-year-old Spanish single father and 18th season stud, said “I look ahead and see something good.”
Since “The Bachelor” first aired in 2002, ABC’s reality program has attempted to pair 17 other square-jawed gentlemen with life-size dolls. They too, looked ahead to better days.
But, in those 17 seasons of rose ceremonies, hot tub parties and canned reactions shots, “The Bachelor” has produced 13 relationships that have lasted less than one year, two that continue in 2014 and dozens of former contestants that insist they remain “close friends,” which, loosely translated, means they daydream about each other falling down flights of concrete stairs.
That means “The Bachelor,” a show whose proposed goal is matchmaking, has an 84 percent Relationship Failure Rate (RFR), with only seasons six, 13 and 17 producing anything resembling a stable couple. That’s a Larry King level of romantic bungling. (King, who has married eight times, is narrowly beating “The Bachelor” with a RFR of 87.5 percent).
In the first, largely worthless leg of Juan Pablo’s aventura, we meet a member of the prestigious 16 Percent Club, former bachelor and born-again-virgin turned polygamy enthusiast Sean Lowe, who dropped in for a casual afternoon game of Lose the Shirt. Sean’s advice? Don’t let the other girls see you making out. Well done.
If you were busy Sunday night, here's what you missed on “Countdown to Juan Pablo:” JP is an American-born, Venezuelan-raised former soccer player who now does something with sports memorabilia. He is also a former contestant on “The Bachelorette,” from which he was tossed by Desiree.
JP has a daughter, Camila (Cameeela), who he loves and for who he swears he’ll do anything, except shield from media attention.
The end. (Oh, and one girl who didn’t get cast could stick her whole fist in her mouth. Why didn’t she get cast?)
Aurora residents were also treated to a special surprise during the premiere, which included hometown hottie Christy Hansen. We first meet Christy at her Aurora home, where she tells us, upon receiving her invitation rose, “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” It is Aurora.
A big thanks to Insomniac Ramblings, who mined social media for info on Christy, leaving us a little more informed. For example, she kisses dogs on the mouth, may have a naval piercing, looks good in a bikini, has taken at least one family photo, and has met Jaleel White (still known to everyone outside the White family as Urkel on “Family Matters). Good stuff.
The second half of the premiere of “The Bachelor: Subtitled,” which aired Monday night, was less worthless. It included one well-acted scene that approached entertainment, one epic meltdown that might not be entirely over, and a handful of some of the most terrifying and awkward first impressions of all time. In reverse order, here we go:
Worst First goes to… Clare! Cassandra was a strong candidate as she decided to try the say-nothing-and-stare approach as she exited the limo and met Juan Pablo for the first time, a bold choice, but Clare clearly one-upped her by pretending to be pregnant, a clinically insane choice.
Creepiest First goes to…Lacy Faddoul!, who presented Juan Pablo with a bottle of prescription drugs from “Cupid’s Pharmacy.” Note to self: Adult supervision required on all dates with Lucy F.
Best First goes to…Sharleen! A Canadian born opera singer who just flew in from Germany, this girl’s got game. Throughout the episode, she seemed a step above the rest in taste and sophistication. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami. Compare that to Amy L.’s Dr. Seuss. Juan Pablo was immediately swooned by her more conservative (i.e. cleavage-covering) dress. “It’s so different,” Juan Palbo mused. “She has mundo, she has world.” Yes, much world.
Worst Self-Description goes to…Kelly! Who listed her profession as “dog lover.”
Favorite sound bite: “I don’t really like to read that much,” said Andi, the LAWYER, proving Legally Blonde right, looks can get you through law school. (Note to ABC: How about a courtroom spinoff with Andi? A lawyer who won’t read, in a world full of words. Think about it. Could be a good opportunity to promote the merits of illiteracy and dependence on television.)
Biggest Freakout: Lauren H. hit rock bottom in Monday night’s episode as the gals clawed for time with Juan Pablo. “I think tonight is the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt in my life,” a sobbing Lauren revealed. “I would be so heartbroken if I wasn’t able to show Juan Pablo what I could offer him.”
First Impression Rose: This shouldn’t have been so surprising. Obviously it had to be Sharleen. But the way it played out was so…bueno.
Juan Pablo tells Sharleen to wait on the patio couch. Her reaction says she just stepped in dog crap. He beelines for the rose. All the girls track him. He gets back to Sharleen.
“I think you’re very elegant. Will you accept this rose?”
“Sure,” Sharleen shrugs. “Yes.” WHAAAT? Sure? YOU’RE ON THE BACHELOR. You’re supposed to be sure you want to marry this dude. “Perfect. I was really not expecting this.”
“Me neither, there you go,” Juan Pablo says. There you go. Sharleen and her shoulder-shrugging, whatever attitude prevails.
Elimination: Sad sack Lauren, gone. Weird massage girl, out. Kylie, who stepped forward when Kat was called, E-liminated. Valerie, Alexis, Christine, Maggie, all who we didn’t even know were there, history. Gypsy girl who doesn’t wear shoes, sadly still hanging on.
What we learned: Two things:
1.) The girls may also have to adjust their game plan, as Juan Pablo seemed more taken with Sharleen’s fish-out-of-water story and aloofness than with the status quo fawning.
2.) Juan Pablo was serious when he said he wanted to find someone for Camila as well as himself. He gave roses to Renee, who has a son; Nikki, who is a pediatric nurse; and Kelly, who brought her dog. Research tells us kids like dogs. Unlike many of the previous bachelors, JP has reasons to make his relationship last longer than a Snapchat.
But most surprisingly, after just one episode and in spite of its dreadful track record, “The Bachelor” again has us wondering if Juan Pablo can beat the odds and join the 16 Percent Club. Still not likely, but we'll watch.