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'The Bachelor' recap: Juan Pablo strips down for the animals

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So Juan Pablo’s season of “The Bachelor” began last week and slayed in the ratings. The show attracted more viewers than it had in three years, indicating America is pretty into JuanPabs.

But guess what, guys? I’m not. Like, if he gave me a rose, I’d probably pull a Sharleen and give him a reluctant “sure?” in reply. Don’t get me wrong. The dude is clearly smoking. A stone cold fox. I am considering placing a picture of him on my desk and staring at it lovingly whenever writer’s block strikes. But an attractive man does not an interesting “Bachelor” make.

Yes, he seems very sweet, and he’s refreshingly un-saccharine. You don’t get the sense that he’s masking his true personality behinda set of blindingly white veneers, a la Emily Maynard or -- shudder -- Jake Pavelka. But I’m not sure there’s much else, uh, going on up there.

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Let’s take his date with Clare, for instance -- the first one-on-one of Monday night’s episode. He picked her up in “his” Tesla -- love that ABC is going green this season -- and blindfolded her to take her to a surprise destination. On the ride, she impressively avoided getting car sick, instead focusing her attention on JuanPabs’ scent.

“All I can do is sit there and smell him,” she recalled in an interview later. “Heaven in a bottle.”

She also could have, you know, had a conversation with him. But moving on.

The couple finally arrived at this amazing winter wonderland the producers had set up -- a mini winter wonderland drenched in some kind of Hollywood-created faux snow. It was pretty cool. I mean, they got to go sledding in the hills of L.A. Jealz.

“Juan Pablo makes me feel like a kid again,” Clare sighed.

Um, are you sure it wasn’t the, you know, SLEDDING, that induced a sense of childlike wonder? Or maybe the lack of engaging conversation reminded her of the simple days back on the playground, when words weren’t integral to positive interactions?

When Clare began sharing the emotional back story of how her dad had died, JuanPabs cooed a lot and made other sympathetic noises. That seemed to be enough for Clare, because duh, he’s THE BACHELOR and she WILL find his redeeming attributes, damn it! She took his rose and smiled, a contestant from an old season of “The X Factor” proceeded to serenade them.

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Kat was up next, and her date was even better -- they barely had to talk at all! She and JuanPabs started off on a private plane, which, I’ll admit, was refreshing. All of those helicopters can get pretty tiresome, amirite? Anyway, the pair flew to Salt Lake City for the Electric Run, which is basically like a big dance party rave that seems to involve little to no actual running. In interviews with the press, JuanPabs has said that one of his main criteria for his potential wife is that she be a good dancer. If that’s to be believed, Kat is golden, because she totally got into the scene -- even dancing in front of a crowd of hundreds on a big stage at the end of the “run.” She too received a coveted flower. Hooray!

Then, in service of making the show watchable, nearly all of the remaining women were sent on a group date and forced to get naked. I’m only half kidding. The girls and JuanPabs showed up on the set of a photo shoot for Models n’ Mutts. What does this fine organization do, you ask?

“Each month we do a sexy photo shoot with a dog,” a company representative explained. I’ll take “Sentences That Should Never Be Uttered Aloud” for $500, Alex?

Most of the women had to wear lame dog-themed outfits -- one poor chick even had to sport one of those plastic cones they put around a pup’s head after surgery. But lucky Elise and Andi avoided that fate! Instead, they were asked to pose with only tiny cardboard signs covering their you-know-whats. Andi was nervous about this. She sends people to jail every day for a living! But then JuanPabs came over and told her not to panic because he wasn’t panicking. If you’re a naked bird, I’m a naked bird too!

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So Andi was down. But Elise was not. What to do? Why, just ask free spirit Lucy to drop trou instead! Oh, and check out this piece of gossip I read about Lucy this week. OK, so a report came out that on New Year’s Eve, Taylor Swift swapped spit with the CEO of the app SnapChat, Evan Spiegel. Why is this so scandalous, you ask? Because Spiegel was/is dating LUCY! Who is also apparently best friends with model Kate Upton? Did I just blow your mind? I DID.

Anyway. After the photo shoot, the group went to a hotel to get drunk. One woman, Victoria, got extremely intoxicated.

“If Juan Pablo is mine,” she slurred, “I’m gonna straddle him every day. Because that’s what life is about. Straddling people, and things.”

If someone out there hasn’t already turned that saying into a .gif and posted it on Pinterest, I’m ashamed of you.

Anyway, then Victoria was suddenly crying a lot. She curled up on the floor of a bathroom stall. Renee, a 32-year-old single mother who seems to be comforting everyone this season, crawled under the stall to comfort her. Which was admirable and perplexing on many levels, because you could not pay me to BELLY SLIDE on the floor of a public bathroom stall -- particularly for some wasted chick.

JuanPabs also tried to coax Victoria out of the bathroom.

“Victoria, can you please come out?” he asked kindly from outside. “Victoria? Vic-tor-i-aaaaa?”

He seemed to know what he was doing, what, having practiced urging his 4-year-old daughter Camila out of her room after tantrums. Alas, Victoria would not relent, and the next day she was forced to apologize to JuanPabs for getting so wastey-faced.

“I may have overreacted a little,” she said, in the understatement of the year. “I guess I’m sorry.”

Fortunately, JuanPabs -- who says he doesn’t drink -- just couldn’t deal and sent her packing before the rose ceremony.

Back at the mansh, Sharleen, one of the few ladies who didn’t go on a date this week, wanted some one-on-one time with JuanPabs. Shocker of all shockers, she’d had a change of heart! Remember night one, when she got the first impression rose and was like, “Umm, I’m just not that into you?” Yeah, ancient history. I knew this would happen, which is why I have Sharleen in my final four. Don’t underestimate the power of the Bach. Being around a group of women who are all obsessed with a guy makes you feel like you need to be too.

At the rose ceremony, Chantel -- one of the only women of color on the show -- and Amy L. were sent home. A shame too because Amy L. had just shared her dream of becoming a broadcast journalist with JuanPabs. She had even performed a painful faux interview with him. Shoulda gone to J-school, Ames. Then you could be writing "Bachelor" recaps, just like me! Which might, in fact, be preferable to dating this "Bachelor."

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Follow @AmyKinLA

amy.kaufman@latimes.com

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