‘The Bachelor’ recap: Juan Pablo and 27 women kick off Juanuary

Good morning, and happy Juan-uary to you all!

That’s right, my friends, Juan-uary: ABC has deemed this first month of the year be devoted to our Venezuelan former pro-soccer-playing new Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis.

If you didn’t watch Desiree’s season of “The Bachelorette” (if you tuned out before the in-suh-ane final two episodes, I forgive you), here’s a little primer on JuanPabs. (Yes, that is how I will be referring to him this season, so just accept it now.)

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He is, as ABC has already reminded us about 3 zillion times, the First! Latino! Bachelor! Ever! He has a sexy accent. He is a single dad with a 4 1/2-year-old daughter named Camilla. He spent a few years playing professional soccer in Venezuela, and then spent a season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Since 2008, however, he’s been a sports and entertainment “consultant.”

He also tweets A LOT. That’s right, he ENJOYS capitalizing random WORDS in HIS tweets. Sample tweet:

“Just WOKE up and had a DREAM that@OrlandoCitySC offer me a CONTRACT so I can COME back and PLAY...#interesting.”


Anyway, the 27 women we met on Monday’s premiere obviously didn’t care about his affinity for caps-lock. In fact, per host Chris Harrison, the reason ABC allowed two extra contestants on the show this season was because viewers were so taken with his accent, which “makes everything seem just a little bit sexier.”

Fortunately, the women kept the cheesy opening-night gimmicks to a minimum after pulling up to the Bachelor mansh in their limos. Lauren S. -- duh, there are two Laurens! -- a music composer, rolled out a piano and awkwardly played a piece for JP, which was only minorly tragic.

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Another woman, Clare, pretended to be preggers, but her fake belly was so big it was an obvious giveaway.

The worst was masseuse Amy J. -- yep, two Amys as well, and I’m not one of ‘em -- who rubbed JuanPabs down on a massage table in the driveway. In summary: “Amy J. is very nice,” he said later, “but the massage was pretty awkward.”

Of course, there were women with unconventional name-spellings, such as Chelsie and Andi. And there were the women with no jobs, such as Lucy, a “free spirit” who actually works at a high-end clothing store in L.A. but wore a Coachella-ish flower headband and no shoes on the first night, so she’s like a Woodstock-level true hippie, guys. There was also Kelly, a professional “dog lover.”

Oh, and then there’s Lauren H. -- dear, sweet Lauren H., a “mineral coordinator.” I am sure this is a real occupation, but I’d like to stick with my fantasy of her organizing crystals on a shelf or something.

I knew Lauren H. wasn’t quite emotionally prepared to go on “The Bach” when, in her introductory video, we saw her longingly looking at the engagement ring her ex had given her before abruptly dumping her. She was crying. She cried again when she got to the mansion and didn’t get her “time” with JuanPabs. She cried again when she did sit down with him and told him about how her ex abandoned her. She cried for a final time when she didn’t get a rose.

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So, yes, Lauren H. returned to her treasure trove of amethyst in Oklahoma, and then Juan let about half of the other crazies go too. Which means it’s time to get down to business. Here’s who I think has a shot at a Neil Lane sparkler:

Sharleen: That’s right. I know. BOLD. Sure, it’s clear JuanPabs likes Sharleen -- he gave her the first impression rose. But like a true G, Sharleen, an opera singer who actually seems to have a brain, admitted in her private interview later that her interaction with him “felt a little forced.” Someone actually had a legitimate reaction to the falsehood of the situation? Someone was actually able to look past the superficiality of a hot dude with an accent? Clearly, I’m obsessed with her. And even though she’s not feeling the chemistry now, I think Sharleen could emerge as the Brooks of this season -- someone who isn’t sure of her feelings but sticks around anyway until the last minute, only to break poor JuanPabs’ heart!

Alli: This is the girl who rolled up in some Sambas, ready to kick a ball around. She’s a nanny from Illinois, so she’s probably good with kids -- plus, she looks like Jordana Brewster.

Nikki: On Twitter, everyone is already comparing Nikki to past Bachelorette and current E! host Ali Fedotowsky, and I completely see the resemblance. But they also share a similar voice cadence and down-to-earth vibe. Plus, she’s a pediatric nurse -- “like, a baby nurse,” she explained -- so she could totes save Camilla’s life if necessary. And in her bio, she describes her preferred type of dancing as “Is drunk dancing a type?” WIN!

Andi: The obvious front-runner. OK, first of all, she has a real job, working as an assistant district attorney in Atlanta. Also, she’s drop-dead gorgtown. And the dress she wore on her first night didn’t seem like it was purchased at Cache. There were minimal sparkles. I appreciated that, and I support you in your endeavor to be the JUAN standing at the end, ladyfriend.

Speaking of the end: Did anyone else notice that the season trailer was suspiciously missing a final proposal scene? This was how ABC played it last year -- even though Desiree ended up happy. So maybe the producers are working the same angle this time around, or maybe JuanPabs doesn’t end up with a final lady. No, I can feel it: The network is totally going to get the happy ending it wants this time around.


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