The Bachelor Juan Pablo: Can he really fall in love?

So another season of The Bachelor is upon us and I am slightly more excited than usual when it comes to this male version of the franchise. I think I’ve made it clear before that I believe the chances of an actual marriage with a man who is exposed to 27 women who want him is rare (Jason and Sean being the exceptions!).

From the way the show is editing and presenting Juan Pablo, I can maybe see him falling in love. He seems genuine, playful, and charismatic. He is absolutely himself, no hiding the way he checked each lady out on her way into the house, and seems like a good guy and dad. The question hiding beneath this hope, however, is whether or not he’s capable of a sincere monogamous relationship with one of these ladies, not whether he wants one.

He seemed overwhelmed. Like, how do I choose from 27 ladies that are all beautiful? And, as he met with them individually he seemed to like each one more than the next. What really threw me for a loop was his first impression rose. Sharleen is a beautiful, intelligent, elegant opera singer, but she wasn’t the most vivacious, beautiful, or even engaging woman there. She herself admitted to lacking that initial spark with him – almost to the point where she turned down the rose.

What’s more worrisome than her lukewarm feelings? He seems absolutely clueless to her disinterest. I guess that’s what a good ego can do for a man. I don’t think he’s thought about the fact that there could be a woman that might not want “Juan Pablo”! Anyway, previews with Sharleen seem odd. Maybe she stays around a while for drama, but she won’t be the one.

One thing Sharleen has in common with another woman that seems to be a front-runner is her intelligence. Juan Pablo seems to like his ladies smart. Is he smart enough for them, though? He seemed really smitten with Andi, a prosecutor from Georgia. Andi is fabulously attractive and obviously sharp as a tack. I couldn’t help but feel like she was humoring him some. Is Juan Pablo more looks and charms than brains – or is it the language barrier that causes doubt?

Some other girls that he seemed to like and my thoughts:

Twenty-four year-old Chelsea seems smart, cute, and fun. She made a “chemistry” joke when they met because she’s a science teacher. You could tell he thought she was attractive and would be good for Camila (his 4 year-old daughter). I think she’ll be around for a while.

Alli, the soccer-playing nanny from Illinois seems to have the most in common with him. They’re introduction was natural and seemed comfortable and real, while also showing a spark!

Clare, the hairstylist from Sacramento that hopped out of the limo pretending to be pregnant also seems to be on his list of favorites. Sure it was a silly trick, kind of like Lindsay’s wedding dress in Sean’s season, but Juan Pablo seemed to be looking past what she said and did to how pretty she was. I have a feeling, like with Lindsay, that we have a Bachelorette contender in Clare. She won’t win though.

Nikki, the pediatric nurse from Missouri took the Twitter love title last evening. Most people loved her and compared her to ex-Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky. She is a doll. She seems real and down to earth, as well as smart and sweet. He likes her and she’s a possibility for sure.

To me he seemed most physically attracted to Christy, the marketing manager from Illinois. He gave her a rose but we didn’t see any conversation. This probably means she goes home next episode or that we’ll see a slow reveal of them getting to know one another.

The final rose of the night went to Amy L., a news reporter from Clermont, Fla. They had chemistry and she’s smart. She wants to be there and I think we’ll see a lot more between them.

Finally, there was single mom Renee who is beautiful, down to earth, and smart. Things look promising but is she just someone he connects with as a parent or is there more there? We will see.

So – what about the train wrecks?

It’s hard to imagine that they brought Amy the massage therapist on for any other purpose than to have her be the “you’ve got to be kidding” moment of the show. Red headed Kylie stepping forward for a rose when he called out Kat had to be the cringe moment of the night. When she said, “Can you keep us both?” and he stayed silent? Ouch! Another crazy that he kept was free spirit Lucy. She’ll be entertainment for sure.

I want to say one thing about the “Crier” of the night, Lauren H. I liked her. I liked her a lot. My take is that she was genuinely surprised by her emotional reaction to the experience of being there. As it happened, it seemed like she was intelligently processing her feelings and had identified her trigger. Maybe she wasn’t really ready to be there. Maybe she shouldn’t have explained her rough night to him when she first met him. I do not think, however, that she deserved the responses from people on Twitter or in blogs that she has received.

I get that people watch for the disasters. I get that it’s fun and good TV to talk about the crazy girls as I just did above. It seems to me, though that for real fans of the show, the focus on the craziness detracts from why we really watch. We watch to see a connection and see two people fall in love. Fans that have stuck with the franchise since the beginning enter each new season hoping for a Trista and Ryan, a Jason and Molly, a JP and Ashley, a Sean and Catherine – even an Andrew and Jen that was real despite not working out. That’s what I’m still a little worried about this season with Juan Pablo…I’m not totally convinced we will see him fall in love and if that hope isn’t stoked in the next few episodes, I may not finish this season.

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