Be careful what you wish for, America. Bachelor fans swooned for Juan Pablo Galavis when he competed on Desiree Hartsock‘s season of The Bachelorette in 2013 — so much so that ABC felt compelled to pick him to be the Bachelor in 2014. But the more viewers got to know the former soccer stud, 32, the more they disliked him. By the time the season 18 finale aired on Monday, March 10, Juan Pablo had been labeled the “worst Bachelor ever.”
Plenty of drama unfolded onscreen, of course, but much of the backlash is in response to things Juan Pablo said or did after filming. For example, many fans and Bachelor alum took issue with his dismissive behavior on the post-finale After the Final Rose special, prompting some to wonder what his chosen winner, Nikki Ferrell, could possibly see in him. Get the answer to that and four other burning questions about Juan Pablo’s disastrous season below!’
1. What mysterious event made Juan Pablo and Nikki change their plans for the future?
Monday’s After the Final Rose special was a very tense affair, with lots of awkward moments between host Chris Harrison and Bachelor Juan Pablo. One of these moments occurred when Harrison questioned Juan Pablo about his plans for the future with Nikki, 26. “Where is this relationship headed?” he asked. “I’m sure that you guys have talked about what’s next.”
“We had plans. They had to change drastically two weeks ago when we taped Women Tell All, and now we’re going to figure it out ourselves in a private light,” Juan Pablo replied. Pressed to elaborate on what happened to make him change course, he added, “Just something. It’s private, like I just said…It was before Women Tell All. It was some information that I got from some people — from production — and, you know, that was it.”
The information he got, reports say, concerned his role — or lack thereof — on Dancing With the Stars. Like Sean Lowe and other Bachelor/Bachelorette grads before him, Juan Pablo was considering (and being considered for) the ABC competition show. He and Nikki planned to stay in L.A. for DWTS — but when he wasn’t chosen, they had to reevaluate.
“He is still confused as to why they didn’t ask him to do DWTS,” a source tells Us. “He doesn’t seem to get how the public feels about him.”
2. What was the “big surprise” Juan Pablo promised for the After the Final Rose special?
After Juan Pablo’s lukewarm “I love lots of things about you” speech to Nikki on the finale, fans were eager to see whether the couple’s romance had picked up any heat offscreen. Things seemed promising at first — especially when Chris Harrison announced that the Bachelor had promised an unnamed “ABC executive” in St. Lucia that he had a “big surprise” planned for the After the Final Rose special. But when it came time for Juan Pablo to reveal the said surprise, he played dumb.
“No surprise,” he told Harrison. “This is my secret: Nikki. We’re very happy…You’re talking about a surprise? No.”
Some reports claim that Juan Pablo had hinted at a possible proposal for Nikki, and that he had a ring on standby. In the end, though, the only surprise was that there wasn’t a surprise.
3. What horrible thing did Juan Pablo say to Clare in the helicopter in St. Lucia?
Clare Crawley and Juan Pablo had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, but their lowest point came in the March 10 finale, when they took what was supposed to be a romantic helicopter ride over St. Lucia. During their flight, the two had a “rare moment” of privacy without any cameras or producers, Clare revealed once on solid ground again. She thought it would be the perfect chance for Juan Pablo to tell her he loved her — but he had other things on his mind.
“What I thought was going to be sweet, kind, loving words was not what came out of his mouth, and I’m shocked,” she said. “He chose to tell me something that no woman wants to hear — that he doesn’t know me, and some sexual thing I don’t want to repeat. It was insulting and it was offensive.”
So what, exactly, did Juan Pablo say that was so appalling? “He said, ‘I love f—ing you, but I don’t know you,'” a source confirmed to Us. Charming, no?
4. Why is Nikki still with Juan Pablo?
The simple answer? Love is blind. While many have labeled Juan Pablo the “worst Bachelor ever” — including one show source who described him to Us as “arrogant and disliked by everyone” — Nikki is still very much in the honeymoon period with her man.
She’s “totally into him,” a source tells Us of the Kansas City, Mo.-based pediatric nurse. “She believes they’ll get married.” Adds another insider: “Nikki is obsessed with him.”
The 26-year-old blonde beauty did indeed seem smitten when she reunited with Juan Pablo on After the Final Rose. “We’ve been really happy. It’s been great,” she shared, adding that she is “absolutely” still in love. But is he in love with her? “I don’t know,” she confessed. “But, you know, it’s not that he doesn’t tell me. I know that he does [love me]. I know that he cares about me a lot.” (In fact, Juan Pablo showed his affection for Nikki on Twitter by dedicating a video, “Adventures in Loving You,” to his chosen lady. And as Nikki shared on Instagram, they had their first “real” one-on-one date this week.)
5. What is Juan Pablo’s relationship with Bachelor host Chris Harrison?
Chris Harrison’s frustration with Juan Pablo was all too evident on Monday’s After the Final Rose special. The host repeatedly grilled the Bachelor about his plans for the future and his feelings for Nikki — mostly to no avail. At one point, Harrison said, “I would like to say you guys are in love, but it’s so awkward. It’s like we can’t have a conversation!” He later wrapped up the show by saying, “Another season of The Bachelor has come to an end. I’m not going to lie — I’m okay moving on.”
Fans have speculated that the host clashed with Juan Pablo throughout filming, citing a lack of Harrison’s usual heart-to-hearts with the Bachelor. And an insider tells Us that the tension was “palpable” between the ABC regular and Juan Pablo on ATFR. The two wouldn’t even stay on stage together during commercial breaks. “[Chris] didn’t want to be near him,” an onlooker says.
Harrison insists, however, that he feels no animosity toward the Venezuelan former soccer pro. “I want to start off by saying I’m not mad about how the season ended, nor am I angry with Juan Pablo,” he wrote in a blog for Entertainment Weekly. “For some reason, I feel that there is some notion that I dislike him, and that’s just not the truth. One of the many things I love about this show is every season is different because every Bachelor or Bachelorette is different. They bring in their own culture, background, issues, and baggage.”
That said, Harrison had reservations about Juan Pablo very early on. “From the beginning, something just didn’t seem right and something didn’t fit,” he admitted. “This has easily been the most polarizing season we’ve ever had.”
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