Whoever said you only regret the things you don't do never looked for love on reality TV. Episode five of The Bachelor's 18th season kicked off with Juan Pablo waxing optimistic about his "aventura" with the remaining ladies in Vietnam — and ended with both him and frontrunner Clare in tears. It was a rough week, to say the least.
"I am excited. I've never been to Vietnam. I can't wait to see what this country has in store for me," Juan Pablo says in the opening minutes of the first hour. "This place is just gorgeous. I have 11 girls left, and it's been great. I'm keeping my eyes very open right now and making sure that I make the right decisions at all times." (Famous last words, Juan Pablo. Famous last words.)
Anyway, the ladies are super excited to be in Vietnam. Nikki, in particular, is hoping that a change of location can change her luck, too. "Last week was really hard for me. There was a lot of tension in the house, and I feel like I was probably, like, the root of all of that," she admits. "But honestly, I'm really looking forward to putting last week behind me…I want a one-on-one so bad."
Alas, the first one-on-one goes to Renee, who is still eagerly waiting to be kissed by the Bachelor. She meets up with Juan Pablo in Hoi An, where they hop in a pedicab and head to a little clothing shop in the center of town so Renee can get a custom-made dress. "She deserves something very nice to make her feel a little special," he explains. Renee does indeed feel special, but it's not just because of the dress. At one point, when she mentions to the tailor that she's sweating, Juan Pablo thoughtfully runs out to get a fan. He also suggests that they pick out gifts for their kids — a dress for his daughter, Camila, and a hat for Renee's son, Ben — which nearly makes her cry.
"I really want to kiss this man," she says over a couple of beers by the river. "I want to kiss Juan Pablo bad." He wants to kiss her, too, as it turns out, but as he explains in a confessional after giving her the date rose at dinner, he's worried what her little boy will think. "He's old enough to understand. He's 8 years old," Juan Pablo says. "'Mommy, what are you doing? Why are you kissing this guy? Is he gonna be kind of my stepdad?' You know, those kinds of things. And I want to take my time. So tonight — not gonna happen."
The next day, Sharleen, Chelsie, Kat, Cassandra, Clare, Kelly, Alli, Danielle, and Andi join Juan Pablo for a little boat ride down the river. Each bamboo boat holds two, so the ladies — except Clare, who has no friends in the group — split off into pairs. Being unpopular in the house works in Clare's favor, though, as she gets the honor of riding with Juan Pablo. He thinks he's being stealth by making out with her when no one's around, but he should by now that someone is always watching his every move.
"I've had a really great date today, but thanks to Clare, my date has been with Alli," Chelsie quips. "Juan Pablo's been, like, around my date, but me and Alli have had a really romantic morning." Adds Andi: "I was frustrated even just coming here this morning to this date, and seeing another one-on-one date happen right in front of my eyes, basically, [I'm] annoyed, pissed…yeah."
After the boat ride, Juan Pablo and his ladies head to a local family farm, where they're put to work harvesting their dinner from the fields. Andi uses the time to tell Juan Pablo how she's feeling, and he assures her that he wants her there. Her fears are assuaged — but only temporarily, since Juan Pablo once again favors Clare at the cocktail party that night. "Should we just take the rose down there and give it to her?" Kelly jokes when Juan Pablo takes Clare to his hotel suite for some one-on-one time in the pool.
An indeterminate amount of time later, Juan Pablo returns to the rest of the group and grabs Sharleen for a little makeout session on the beach — and not a moment too soon. "I guess I'm questioning the connection we have," she says. "I need to believe that he sees me as a panda in a room full of brown bears." Andi's doubts are back, too. "Literally, it is gut-wrenching at times to see these girls have one-on-one time with Juan Pablo. In what reality does that actually happen? It's crazy," she says. "It's bizarre, it's awkward, and it makes you question everything." Thankfully, she doesn't have to wait long for answers, since Juan Pablo takes her down to the shore and kisses all her fears away. "Sucking face again!" she quips. "Sorry, Mom. Another episode you can't watch."
Andi's flying high after that, but her happiness is short-lived, as Clare gets the date rose. And that's not all she gets. Back at the hotel, Clare tells the rest of the ladies she's going to bed — but instead she sneaks back to Juan Pablo's hotel and propositions him with a little late-night dip in the ocean. "Oh my gosh, Clare. She's on fire," Juan Pablo says. "Ay ay ay. The waves were wild. And we got a little wild, too, because obviously there's this thing that we have that I don't have with anybody else right now in the house."
"I just want to have that special moment together, so I'm just gonna let go of all my fear and let myself be vulnerable," Clare adds, as the camera shows them getting hot and heavy in the water. "We just went for it. And I don't regret it. Pure bliss in every way. Hands down, one of the best nights of my entire life."
The next day, it's Nikki's turn to monopolize the Bachelor's attention. After walking through Marble Mountain, they come to a cliff — where Juan Pablo reveals that they'll be rappelling down to a cave called Hell. Nikki is less than thrilled. "I feel like I can't form sentences right now, because all I can picture is myself, like, plummeting to the bottom," she says fearfully. "I don't do stuff like this. I am willing to take risks for love, because if I wasn't, I think I'd be walking back down this mountain right now. So I either live or I die or I poop my pants."
She lives, of course, and is rewarded with a kiss and a romantic dinner. The rest of the night is relatively uneventful, unless you count Nikki talking about her career an event. "There's nothing I'm more proud of than my job," she says of why she became a pediatric nurse. "Every day, I'm helping people, but when I look back, I realize they're helping me, too…I think I'm super-compassionate, and I think I have, like, a huge heart." Juan Pablo agrees, especially after she tells him she's ready to embrace his daughter. "I like Nikki the nurse," he tells her, before asking her to accept the date rose. (She accepts, obviously.)
The next night, at the cocktail party, is when things get a little sticky. After Juan Pablo announces that he's sending home three, not two girls at the end of evening, everyone's nerves are on edge. Clare breaks the ice with a toast — "Cheers to finding love, being loved, and making love" — but the ladies are worried, and so is Juan Pablo. The one high point of the night is when he throws caution to the wind and finally kisses Renee. ("Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!" she squeals, as music swells in the background.)
That moment is followed by a much less joyful one with Clare, during which Juan Pablo tells her he regrets their little tryst. "Maybe I made a mistake the other night, taking it too far with Clare," he says in a voiceover. "Was I fair going with Clare to the ocean? No, I wasn't fair to the other 10 girls in the house." Clare doesn't really care if it's fair — "it's about how you feel, and it's about your heart," she reasons — but Juan Pablo says he's worried, too, that he's not setting a good example for his daughter.
"I feel stupid. And I'm embarrassed," she says through her tears. "It's not okay, or else you wouldn't have brought it up to me." Later, in a confessional, she says she was "blindsided" by the conversation. "I knew when we were in the ocean that it was a mutual feeling," she explains. "There was no miscommunication, there was no misunderstanding. He was on board with everything. It's confusing, and I don't know where we go from here."
Where they go is to the rose ceremony. Sharleen, Cassandra, Chelsie, Kat, and Andi join Renee, Clare, and Nikki in the "safe group," leaving Kelly, Alli, and Danielle out in the cold. "It's hard to say goodbye to good people," he says tearfully. "But I'm gonna have to."
Tell Us: Do you think Juan Pablo should have handled the situation with Clare differently?
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