Twenty-three down, three to go! The seventh episode of The Bachelor's 18th season whittled the field down to four, and all but one of those ladies will be going home before this whole "aventura" is over. With just a few weeks to go before the finale, things are getting serious — and seriously ugly in some cases. Let's review!
The episode kicks off with Juan Pablo heading to surprise his daughter, Camila, at his parents' house in Miami. There, he talks with his cousin about his frontrunners for the season — namely, Sharleen, whom he describes as "elegant," "so classy," and "sexy." She "could be the one," he says. Meanwhile, back at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Sharleen is talking about Juan Pablo, too — but she's not quite as effusive. "I don't introduce a guy that I'm dating to my family very lightly," she says. "At this moment, I'm not ready to introduce Juan Pablo to my family."
That could make this week's first one-on-one date kind of awkward. After leaving his parents' house, Juan Pablo heads to the penthouse to present the date card to Sharleen. "I'm very confused right now," she says. "Sometimes I just feel like, yes, it's obvious why I'm here — he understands me, and we can relate on a lot of things, and we have amazing chemistry, but I just feel like I'm still missing this cerebral connection that I so need." With that in mind, she sets out to have a great conversation with Juan Pablo. Just kidding! She makes out with him on the deck of a yacht for basically the whole afternoon. "He is ridiculously sexy," she admits.
Later, on the beach, they have a super-vague conversation about Sharleen's priorities. "I like change. I can deal with change. I have dealt with change many times," she says. Juan Pablo, at least, seems satisfied with her explanation, which means it's time to make out again! There's really a lot of kissing (and not much else) going on during this date, and Sharleen is concerned. "It disturbs me," she confesses. "I should be able to have a conversation [with him]."
Back at the hotel, she confides in Renee about her doubts. "I am not sure,and it's not fair to take that spot from someone who…is sure," she says. Renee, in turn, advises her not to make any rash decisions. "Think about what you really want, and what you'd be giving up, and what you would regret if you left here," she tells Sharleen. "That would probably haunt you forever."
The next day, Juan Pablo takes a big step and introduces Nikki to his family — including Carla, Camila's mom — at his daughter's dance recital. "I'm flattered, I am," she gushes. "This is not what I expected today. And I don't know, I really think it kind of shows me how much he cares about me." She's nervous (and rightfully so), but everyone greets her warmly, and the recital is pretty adorable. Camila even gives Nikki a Cheetos-tinged goodbye kiss.
Dinner that night takes place at Juan Pablo's "office," a.k.a. Marlins Park. "This really is his hometown date. He's really showing me what being with him would be like," Nikki says. After a few rounds of catch, they settle near second base for a picnic and a conversation about Juan Pablo's ex, Carla. "She's totally okay [with all of this]," he assures her. "It's good for you to understand that. Because if the moon and the skies and everybody wants us to be together, obviously this is how it is." Okay, then! "I'm in love with Juan Pablo," Nikki says. "I want the rest of my life — I want a forever. And I want it with Juan Pablo."
Sharleen, on the other hand, does not. After a lot of soul-searching, she gathers the remaining ladies in the living room to tell them she's leaving — just as soon as she breaks the news to Juan Pablo. Once in his room, she literally whispers her goodbye speech…perhaps hoping that the cameras won't be able to pick it up? No such luck, Sharleen. "I just don't know if I can get to the place that I'm supposed to be at in three weeks' time," she tells him. "I don't want to take the spot of someone else who, like, knows that they're at that place and can be at that place for you."
Juan Pablo, to his credit, takes the news well and tells her he's glad he met her and got to know how "wonderful" she is. After she leaves, though, he gets a little emotional thinking about how he planned to give her a hometown date. "You have to have guts to be honest in this situation," he says, wiping away tears. Don't worry, Juan Pablo! As Annie says, the sun'll come out tomorrow.
The next day is indeed sunny, perfect for a trip on a pontoon plane to a secluded little beach with Renee, Andi, Chelsie, and Clare. This is not the time to relax, though. There's a rose at stake, and only the bachelorette who receives it will get to go on to the second part of the date. Chelsie uses her one-on-one time with Juan Pablo to endear herself to him with silly letters from her mom and dad, while Andi — who seemed so tough and confident when she stepped out of that limo on the first night — immediately breaks down, telling the Bachelor she feels "super vulnerable" and is afraid of things not working out between them.
Clare sheds a few tears during her one-on-one, too, but only because they start talking about her late father and the video he recorded for her future husband. "I would love it if Juan Pablo would be the man that's watching that video," she says. "I know that the girl that gets the rose today is a frontrunner, and I'm feeling really good about it. I'm feeling confident with it."
Alas, the rose goes to Andi, not Clare. "I deserve something amazing and wonderful. Like, I've been opening up and putting myself out there, and at this point, literally all I've been doing is watching every single person go on their dates," Clare complains, apparently forgetting that she was the first person to get two one-on-one dates, and also that she's on a reality dating show. "Let's f—ing wrap this s–t up and go home!" she fumes once she's back on the plane.
Back at the hotel — while Andi is dancing the night away with Juan Pablo — Clare wonders out loud whether Andi got the rose because she "needed that reassurance." Nikki retorts, "That's so stupid," before storming upstairs, where she and Clare have a confrontation that involves both of them interrupting each other and then sniping about being cut off. "I feel like Nikki always gets away with just being a bitch," Clare complains. "I'm not okay with that."
Things get even uglier from there. "Clare, I have nothing to say to you. Let's be honest. I don't like you. We're never going to be friends," Nikki snaps. Later, in a confessional, she adds, "Clare is like a dog. She peed on him first. She claimed her territory. And the fact is, she claimed some territory that might not be hers."
Tensions are still high at the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party the next night. "I'm really ready to be separated from most of the girls in the house, and get this night over with so I can take my boyfriend home to meet my family," Nikki sneers, after bragging that she "pretty much" has a rose locked up. At one point during the evening, she's left alone with Clare, and the cameras show them sitting in silence for nearly a full minute of airtime. Thankfully, Chris Harrison interrupts the awkwardness by announcing that it's time for the moment of truth.
Andi already has a rose, so the remaining three flowers go to Nikki, Clare, and Renee, leaving Chelsie the odd woman out. Juan Pablo actually seems more emotional about her exit than she does; he starts tearing up as she's saying her goodbyes to the girls, then goes full Mesnick (crying on the balcony, a la former Bachelor Jason Mesnick) after she leaves. "I cannot be happy right now," he says.
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