‘The Bachelor’: Seoul Deadening

The Bachelor
January 27, 2014

Before we get to this week’s episode, I have a few points of order to take care of. As you probably know, ABC tried to make “Juanuary” happen, “Juanuary” being a month of additional Bachelor material that they aired on Sunday nights. I managed to catch the first special, and I learned a few things (21 to be exact), but all the other specials have been scheduled against something I’d rather watch: the Golden Globes, the Grammys, paint drying. Still, it nagged at me that I hadn’t watched them, and so this weekend, in anticipation of Dallas Sean and New Age Girl’s big garish wedding, I went back and watched the other two Bachelor specials: “The Bachelor: Behind the Scenes” and “The Bachelor: The Love Stories,” and this is what I learned:

The Bachelor: Behind the Scenes

  1. Chris Harrison and that stupid party bus are still terrorizing people who are just trying to hate-watch The Bachelor in the privacy of their own homes.
  2. There is a very sweet, but very gullible 13-year-old girl out there that either truly believes that The Bachelor is “real life” or was just willing to say that she believes it is to appease some jerk Producer.
  3. Before the “winter wonderland” date, Juan Pablo took his daughter to see the snow. She was only wearing a tank top and leggings, or, as I call them, “blogging pants.”
  4. The women do not move into the Bachelor McMansion after the first rose ceremony, but rather the next morning. (I legit did not know this! I don’t know why I find this interesting — it makes sense after all, it’s not like they show up in the limo with their suitcases — but I guess I had never thought about it one way or the other.)
  5. Our illiterate prosecutor talks earnestly about how the Bachelor McMansion represents “hope” because so much “love” has happened there. Replace “love” with “STD swapping” and “hope” with “existential despair,” and you’re right, Percy Mason!
  7. The reason the second episode just jumped right into things with no Chris Harrison, no first date card, just a bunch of blonds giggling about how excited they were, was because all that preliminary nonsense happened in this special.
  8. Victoria, the Brazilian Jacqueline Bisset, was married once before and apparently often recieves the very specific pickup line, “Wow, you’ve been through so much, you’re so pretty, we should sleep together.”
  9. Elise wears very high heels with very short shorts, should have her dressing herself privileges revoked.
  10. I still haven’t learned how to spell the word “privileges” without the assistance of spell check.

We also met Lucy, who likes to be naked, and Niña de Papá, whose father died, but we already knew those things so I’m not going to include them on my list of things I learned.

As for The Bachelor: The Love Stories:

  1. This aired before this episode of The Bachelor, which Chris Harrison describes as the “most exciting yet.”
  2. Princess Desiree and Mr. Second Best are living together in Seattle, where she makes custom designed dresses despite not knowing what draping fabric means. (Note, Princess Desiree: draping is not tying a piece of fabric around your “boyfriend’s” waist like a sarong.)
  3. That one Bachelor, Jason Whatshisface and Mrs. Second Best have a really cute baby.
  4. That Deanna Lady married the twin of a guy who was once on The Bachelorette, but who was not actually on the show himself, but the Producers still count this as a “Bachelor Love Story,” because it is a super low bar, y’all.
  5. Dr. Tube Socks and J.P. are still married.
  6. That Tara Lady and the firefighter she married are still married 10 years later.
  7. Someone thought it would be “cute” and not abjectly terrifying to make Dallas Sean and New Age Girl put on giant bear heads and ride around on a tandem bicycle. They took pictures of this and used it as their Save the Date card.


  8. You really, really should not search Tumblr for “bear costume.” Please, for the safety of your eyeballs, this is not a challenge.

Which brings us to this Sunday’s big event: Dallas Sean and New Age Girl’s big expensive teevee wedding. Which my DVR did not record. I realized this in the last 30 19 minutes of the special and managed to catch the exchange of vows in which New Age Girl compared herself to a “bug.” And let me just say that the word “bug” really should not appear in any wedding vows, metaphor or no metaphor. And then Dallas Sean cried like a big sentimental ape-baby and then they were married and I’m just going to go out on a limb and say I didn’t miss much. I suppose I could watch the whole thing on abc.go.com, but I’m not going to. SORRY NOT SORRY. The bottom line is they went through with it, and Dallas Sean and New Age Girl are the first Bachelor* contestants who got engaged on the show to actually get married. So mission accomplished, guys! Let’s go ahead and shut this whole operation down!

Instead, we’re taking this nonsense on the road, packing up the 13 remaining chicas and imposing them on the good people of Seoul, South Korea, as if they don’t have enough on their plates worrying that Dennis Rodman is going to slip across the border.

While Juan Pablo wanders around some sort of South Korean street fair by himself, the chicas arrive and are locked away in a Hilton where they receive the first of two group date cards: “Chelsie; Paula Abdul; Elise; Danielle who shall now be called Nurse Ratched; Kat; and Nurse Nikki: POP!” Nurse Nikki, who had just been whinging about how much she deserved a one-on-Juan date, IS DISPLEASED, and threatens that her head is going to explode. If only.

And then everyone gets into a limousine and wonders what they’ll be doing on the date, despite Chris Harrison having explained to them earlier that South Korea is the home of K-Pop. “Popcorn?” they wonder, dimly. “Bubble gum?” Yes. You’ll be doing “bubble gum” in South Korea. Makes sense. Too much sense, really.

Juan Pablo explains that he is taking the chicas to YG studios which has produced some of South Korea’s most popular K-Pop groups (LIKE THE GANGAM STYLE SONG, GRANDMA, YOU KNOW, THAT “OPPA” SONG WITH THE LITTLE FELLA WITH THE SUNGLASSES? YOU SAW HIM ON THE TODAY SHOW? TURN UP YOUR HEARING AID, GRANDMA. ~aaaaand scene~). They will be dancing with 2NE1, which is not actually supposed to be read as “Two Neon One” but instead, “21;” and who, as we are reminded some two neon one times during the course of the date, are one of the most popular K-Pop bands in South Korea.

The ladies of Two Neon One introduce themselves to the chicas, and explain that they are going to teach them some choreography, but first they need to know what they are working with and force Juan Pablo y las chicas to show them their “moves.” Juan Pablo goes first and I can’t tell if he’s joking or if he’s serious? If he’s joking, that’s fine! This is a silly situation, there’s no harm in infusing the situation with a little humor to make everyone comfortable. But if he’s serious … Oh, Juan Pablo, no, mi amor.

Who is serious, muy muy serious is Kat, who reminds us that she is a medical sales rep dancer and this is her challenge to lose. She flings herself around: lots of high kicks, lots of hair flinging. Here Nurse Nikki offers an impression:

It really was this good. (http://mattsgifs.com/)

Nurse Nikki, however, is aware that she is a terrible dancer and proceeds to do the sprinkler. She’s not happy about it, and she spends A LOT of interview time telling us exactly how unhappy she is, but she is determined to be a good sport in front of Juan Pablo.

Two Neon One teaches everyone some choreography to a song that I assume is called “Bum-ra-ta-ta-ta.” It mostly involves some hip shaking and hand waving, all of which flummoxes Nurse Nikki but delights Kat, because, in case you weren’t aware, she is a medical sales rep dancer.

The one Two Neon One singer who can speak English then informs the group that they will be serving as their backup dancers in an upcoming performance. Kat CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING IS THIS A DREAM, whereas Nurse Nikki threatens to bust a move…ment in her pants. Which is a performance I’d be willing to stand in a crowded shopping mall to see, no lie.

After everyone has their makeup and hair done and are squeezed into their 80s’ fever dream lycra costumes, they are driven to a shopping mall for their big Two Neon One performance. The group eventually arrives, Juan Pablo y las chicas are herded onto the stage, and then everyone proceeds to flop themselves around in a vague simulation of the choreography they learned earlier in the day. Contrary to what Kat might say about it later, they are all uniformly terrible. So terrible! Even Paula Abdul who formerly did this exact sort of thing for a living, she, too, is terrible! And then everyone is dismissed so that Two Neon One can continue their mall concert without a bunch of American savages ruining their performance.

Juan Pablo y las chicas move this mess to some museum, where Juan Pablo very methodically takes each chica aside to chat with them. First up: Kat, who is desperate that Juan Pablo know that she’s more than just some good dance moves.

She’s also the daughter of an alcoholic and was raised by a single mother, so, you know, she’s deep.

While Kat is away trying to convince Juan Pablo that she’s special because her dad had 7 DUIs, Nurse Nikki proceeds to tell all the other chicas that Kat is a total fake who acts one way around them and gets REALLY EXCITED ABOUT GUACAMOLE around Juan Pablo. This makes all the other chicas muy uncomfortable, but just leaves me hungry for some table-side guacamole.

Elise uses her time with Juan Pablo to warn him that some of the chicas — she’s not saying which ones  — are so negative and would not be a good madre for Camila and she just hopes he’s not getting the lana pulled over his ojos. Oh, Elise, haven’t you seen enough seasons of The Bachelor to realize that you just pushed the ejector seat button, la estúpida?

Nurse Nikki takes her turn with Juan Pablo, and meow meow vulnerable and shy and a shrinking violet and she loves niños and she can change diapers and so Juan Pablo gives her la rosa while the other chicas seethe with hatred.

At the hotel, the only one-on-Juan date card arrives for Maria Callas: “Are you my Seoul mate?”

As her name is read, the other chicas are all:

Maria Callas, she admits there’s not much chemistry between them, and is curious to see how this date goes. Cheers for self-awareness! But boos for wearing black pantyhose with shorts. No. NO. Nope. No.

Juan Pablo showers, paying extra attention to his nippluar area, before collecting Maria Callas and leading her on an exploration of a Seoul marketplace where they try on hanboks and drink interesting drinks and eat interesting eats. Juan Pablo then brings her to a tea house where he asks her about her opera background. Maria Callas opens up that her parents put her in singing lessons when they noticed that she was harmonizing with Disney songs which is a true fact and not something she said to win favor with Disney/ABC. Eventually she earned a Bachelors and Masters in voice performance, and now she sings opera in Germany. Juan Pablo teases her about singing for him, and she decides that this makes him “cheeky” and not bland. “¿Que is BLAHHND?” Juan Pablo asks, and she assures him that the fact that he is not bland is a very bueno thing. Maria Callas seems to have turned a corner at the tea house, and affirms in an interview that Juan Pablo is open-minded and muy curious about the mundo and other people’s lives (as long as they are not “more ‘pervert’ in a sense”).

That evening, Maria Callas takes off the shorts and the black pantyhose and puts on a much more acceptable cocktail dress. The two then go to something called “Korea House” which is never explained, and Juan Pablo demands that she sing for him. Maria Callas initially refuses because she does not sing for men on the first date, but eventually gives in, of course, and sings a few bars on the condition that he not look at her. And she’s good! I mean, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the professional opera singer is good at singing opera, but considering all of Kat’s big talk about being a “dancer,” you can’t take anything for granted. Still, it is rather surprising that the well-educated opera singer with “mundo” doesn’t know that “bella” means beautiful, but I guess she does live in Germany, not Spain.

They proceed to use each other’s faces as amuse bouches.

Over dinner, the two bond over their experiences as ex-pats, and Maria Callas begins to warm to Juan Pablo just as he lowers the boom: “How many kids [does Maria Callas] want?” he not unexpectedly asks. Maria Callas stalls for time, asking how many Juan Pablo wants, before coming clean: She dated a guy with a daughter once, and she just couldn’t deal with the fact that she would never be able to share the experience of being a parent for the first time with him. Also: kids, gross.

But much to the chagrin of the other chicas back at the hotel who are just CERTAIN Maria Callas is being sent back to the opera house, Juan Pablo offers her la rosa in part for her honesty. ¡She is diferente! ¡She has elegancia! ¡She’s read a book or two! ¡She’s not constantly trying to impress him by talking about changing diapers!

The final date is a group date with the remaining chicas: Niña de Papá; Cesar Milan; Abbie Carmichael, Esq.; Lauren (who? exactly); Allison; and Momma: “Let’s get Krazy in Korea!” And you know it’s going to be crazy because of the cacographic “k.”

Juan Pablo first leads las chicas to a karaoke house where they don’t sing along with some K-Pop songs because they don’t know the songs and they don’t speak Korean.

Next, they buy some lemonade at a stand. KRAZY!!!!!!

After that, they ride around in little swan boats for a while, which is when Niña de Papá starts to fray. It’s been sooooo long since their first date! What if he’s forgotten about her? LOOK AT ME, JUAN PABLO!! PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEE!

So when they go to their next stop, “Dr. Fish Zone,” which is TOTALLY MY NEW DRAG NAME, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT STEALING IT, and get fish pedicures, Niña de Papá shoves the other chicas out of her way so as to sit next to Juan Pablo. This is met by the other women with a mixture of irritation and pity.

As they make their way to the next stop, Niña de Papá cloyingly begs Juan Pablo to not make her eat octopus, because EWWWW, OCTOPUS, HOW WEIRD. So, of course, Juan Pablo takes them to a stand where they buy some octopus because oh, octopus, how pedestrian. All the other chicas nom up their octopus, but Niña de Papá refuses until Juan Pablo puts her piece in his mouth. Cesar Millan, who is quickly becoming my favorite rolls her eyes as she notes that she just knows Niña de Papá has swallowed bigger things than that.


At the cocktail portion of the evening, Juan Pablo continues his practice of taking each of the chicas aside to talk starting with Momma, who is bound and determined to kiss Juan Pablo this time. HOWEVER. Juan Pablo has, for reasons unnown, decided that he has kissed too many mujeres and doesn’t want to be a peor example for Camila by kissing any more. Kissing seis women? Perfectly healthy parental example. Kissing siete? He might as well sign Camila up for a Norplant, and give her his blessing to date.

The point is, he uses this weak excuse that he doesn’t want to kiss Momma lest he set a bad example to his daughter to cover for the fact that he either doesn’t want to kiss Momma with all these other chicas watching or he just simply doesn’t want to kiss Momma. Who knows which one it is. It doesn’t really matter, the bottom line is it’s not a little insulting.

To his credit, he remains consistent and also does not kiss Abbie Carmichael, Esq. whom he has kissed before. Despite this, Lauren (who? exactly) decides that it is time to make her move, and awkwardly tries to get him to dance with her before asking for un beso. When Juan Pablo refuses, mostly because he forgot who she was, Lauren (no, really who is she? exactly) bursts into hot angry, embarrassed tears, realizing that she soon has one very long piano-bicycle ride back to Austin ahead of her.

Next up is Niña de Papá, whom Abbie Carmichael and my New Favorite, Cesar Millan mock in a reenactment of the Octopus Incident. “It’s the most I’ve eaten in two weeks!” Cesar Millan squeals as Niña de Papá.

However, they can mock all they want, because off alone with Juan Pablo, Niña de Papá is working it, batting her eyelashes a little too hard, laughing a little too loud, insisting that she threw up the octopus in her mouth and swallowed it back down. SEXXXXY. This revelation does not dissuade Juan Pablo, but, instead, makes him want to kiss her even more, which he does, which 1. EW, NO, GROSS but 2. ¡Good job keeping that vow to not kiss any more mujeres! ¡A+++ job at being resolute!

But, haha, in the end, he gives Abbie Carmichael, Esq. the date rosa, and, if you listen closely, you can actually hear the theme to Tracy Flick’s madness blaring out of Niña de Papá’s ears.

Finally, it’s the rose ceremony cocktail party, where the three chicas who already have rosas make a damas’ agreement to cede their Juan Pablo time to the chicas who do not have rosas. Juan Pablo takes them aside one-by-Juan, but when it is Niña de Papá’s turn, Nurse Nikki decides that despite already having a rosa, she doesn’t care about any damas’ agreement, she’s going to go talk to Juan Pablo. She lurks around behind Juan Pablo and Niña de Papá, until it makes everyone uncomfortable and Niña de Papá flees. Niña de Papá pouts and stomps her feet and insists that the other chicas shouldn’t mistake her kindness for weakness, but there’s no evidence to back this up.

Meanwhile, while Nurse Nikki chats with Juan Pablo, he mentions something about the growing tensions amongst the chicas — an idea that was planted in his cabeza by Elise — but Nurse Nikki is certain that he’s talking about her, and that it’s Niña de Papá’s fault. SHE MUST HAVE SAID SOMETHING. WHAT DID SHE SAY?

Infuriated, Nurse Nikki takes this information to Cesar Millan and demands to know what, exactly, Niña de Papá has been saying about her. And that’s when Niña de Papá plops herself down on the other side of Cesar Millan, who most certainly does not want to be sitting between the two of them, please and thank you, this is so awkward, where is Molly the Dog when you need her?

Instead, Chris Harrison arrives to break the tension and announce that it’s Rosa Time.

Rosa #1 Momma
Rosa #2 Chelsie
Rosa #3 Cesar Millan
Rosa #4 Nurse Ratchet
Rosa #5 Paula Abdul
Rosa #6 Allison
Rosa #7 Niña de Papá
Rosa #8 Kat

Adiós, Lauren (who? who cares now). The only surprise is that you lasted this long. And adiós, Elise! I’m sure you thought you’d be the first in Bachelor history to break the curse of the tattler, but, alas, it was not meant to be. I’m sure somewhere your dead mother is heartbroken for you, and she’s probably also cringing over this mini dress under a green bathrobe disaster you’re wearing tonight, you should probably just leave that mess in Seoul, hunty.


*Obviously, The Bachelorette has been marginally more successful at marrying people off. Who even knows why.

The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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