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'The Bachelor' recap: Juan Pablo, Clare wade into dangerous waters

Did they or didn’t they?

That, my friends, is the eternal question that plagued me in the hours following Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelor.” Actually, I slept for solid eight, but whatever: I still spent more time than I care to admit debating with my roommates whether or not Juan Pablo had sex with Clare in the ocean.

I’m aware I need help. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning, this week’s arrival in Vietnam, where the ladies were put up in a pretty amazing hotel overlooking the countryside. Almost all of them were wearing scarves, for some reason.

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Renee, who has spent the first few weeks lovingly stroking the hair of every crying girl in the house, was the first to get a one-on-one date. Their day of romance began with Juan Pablo pedaling Renee around in a pedicab, which unfortunately looked like a big stroller. Then the pair went to a dress shop, where Renee was measured for a custom-fit Vietnamese dress she’d wear later that evening. Juan Pablo was very interested in the measurement of her breast size. Of course I’m not kidding!

Clad in her special dress, the pair went to dinner, where Renee was desperate for JuanPabs to lay one on her. He resisted, citing the fact that they are both single parents. This dude’s rules about physical interactions are so arbitrary. Last week he says he won’t kiss more than six women, and now because Renee has a son he wants to “respect” her by holding off? Because little Ben is such a hardcore fan of “The Bachelor”?

So poor Renee — who P.S., seems like a genuinely awesome chick who needs to run away from JuanPabs, stat — didn’t get a smooch, but she did get a rose.

Then it was time for the group date, which like most group dates was insufferable. To begin, everyone paired up and hopped in these cool circular bamboo boats. Lo and behold, Clare — who has no friends in the group — was left without a partner and was therefore teamed up with JuanPabs. The moment the couple’s boat began to drift slightly off course, Juan took the opportunity to kiss Clare. Which made total sense, according to his handbook o' love. Rule No. 58: It is acceptable to kiss one girl in front of many other girls, but not to kiss one girl in private who has birthed a child.

Later that night, during the portion of the group date in which everyone goes to a hotel with a view of a skyline and gets wasted, Juan Pablo immediately pulled Clare away for some more intimate time. He whisked her off to his suite, where they stripped down to their bathing suits and kissed in a hot tub for what must have been 30 minutes, minimum. It was rude, to say the least. 

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Finally, he returned to the group — at this point, likely three sheets to the wind and ready to pounce. With his juices flowing from his make-out sesh with Clare, he next took Sharleen away for a little kissy-kissy. Poor Sharleen. All she wanted, she lamented, was to know that Juan Pablo sees her “as a panda in a room full of brown bears.” And isn’t that what we all want, ladies? I, for one, know that if my future husband does not call me his panda during his vows, I shall not wed him.

Even though Sharleen has doubts about JuanPabs — duh, she’s basically the only rational one on the show this season — even she was not immune to the handsome charmer’s ways. Her checklist, she said, flew out the window when he kissed her.

Andi too — next up on the make-out circuit for the evening — was able to forget her worries after just a few reassuring words from Juan. Literally. Once he told her to “trust him,” she melted. It’s all very tragic to me, really. The show is set up to exacerbate insecurities, and then when the knight in shining armor tells you you’re pretty and kisses you, everything is rainbows and unicorns.

But why dissect what “The Bachelor” reflects about our flawed society when instead we can spend time questioning whether or not Clare and JuanPabs consummated their relationship pre-fantasy suite.

So, here’s what happened: Clare got the rose on the group date. That put her on such a high that she decided to sneak out of the hotel to Juan Pablo’s room and ask him to fulfill one of her lifelong dreams: “Swimming in a warm ocean.”

Aim higher, my friend. 

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Anyway, so she rolls up to JP’s place at 4 in the morning and he’s totally giddy to see her. She tells him she wants to go swimming and he doesn’t hesitate at all, running into the waves with her. This is where things get questionable. Listen: I could get into the nitty-gritty of what went on in the ocean, but this is a family newspaper/website, and also I actually respect myself. So let’s just say that I don’t think Clare and Juan Pablo had sex in the ocean. Physically, it would be quite a feat — what with those huge waves and all. Also, even though this dude is clearly not the brightest bulb, he does have a little girl already, and I want to believe he wouldn’t have unprotected sex that readily.

And yet the next day, Juan Pablo pulled Clare aside and told her that the whole situation was “a little weird” for him. Why, you ask? Because he is “too fair” with people. He spent too much time with her. Which was, to say the least, a bizarre excuse. You can only assume that he realized he wasn’t that into her, because there’s no reason he’d go out of his way to go on some long spiel about fairness if he didn’t regret the ocean rendezvous. It seemed like he was trying to let her down easy.

But he didn’t. At all. In fact, it got worse, because then he pulled out the “I have a daughter” card, saying he didn’t want little Camila to see what happened on TV. Of course, Clare began crying, saying she felt horrible if she’d made the young girl's father look bad on national television — as if he had no culpability at all in the entire situation. Maybe you should have stopped to think about wee Camila when you were eagerly running into the crashing waves half-naked, JuanPabs.

This guy is not cool. Also not cool: Nikki’s headband. The one she wore on her one-on-one date. Yes, she got a date too, but I don’t really want to talk about it because the Clare situation was far more exciting. All I’ll say is that Nikki wore a shiny silver headband that even a Coachella concertgoer would have been embarrassed to put on her head. She wore it while rappelling down into a massive cave with Juan Pablo. She was very scared. The headband, despite its glean, did not give her magical powers to overcome her fears. She had to do that on her own.

She made it to the bottom of the cave. She said she really liked Juan Pablo and was so happy she felt as if she’d stuck her finger in a light socket. BRB, going to find an outlet so I can remember what it feels like to be in love.

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amy.kaufman@latimes.com

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