'The Bachelor': Clare's wrong, it's slim pickings now

clare-nikki-the-bachelor.jpgBienvenido a Miami, "Bachelor" fans. The previews at the top of the show make it look as though we're in for a real treat this week. At least two girls are crying, while Clare and Nikki are ready to throw down. Are you Team Clare or Team Nikki?

Family Time

While the girls open their teeny bikini presents at the hotel, Juan Pablo tells his cousin about how Sharleen is so different from the other girls and how he thinks she might be the one -- as Sharlene voiceovers that she's not ready to introduce JP to her family. Ruh roh.

Sharleen's Date

And speak of the devil, Sharleen gets the first one-on-one date. She's caught off guard a little because they have to leave right away, and naturally Clare takes this to mean that Sharleen wasn't excited enough -- "just be thankful, be grateful ... why is she even here?" Um, Sharleen is giving JP a tryout too, lady. Plus, it seemed to us that she was more just flustered that they had to leave immediately and she wasn't ready.

Ugh. Obviously, with the whole romp-in-the-ocean incident, we were totally in Clare's corner, but there are a lot of other facets to her personality that are kind of irritating, like how desperate she seems. There's a reason that Juan Pablo is totally into Sharleen, sweetheart.

As soon as Sharleen and JP are gone, the other girls sit around and wonder why he likes her so much. They find it weird that she likes intellectual types and that she doesn't open up to them about how she feels about JP. You know, not being well-liked by the other girls is sometimes a red flag, but in this case, we can see how Sharleen just doesn't fit in with the rest of the girls. She's a lot different than most of the women who come on this show.

Even Sharleen admits she's conflicted about Juan Pablo. What it really boils down to is that they have some major sparkage but there's no mental connection -- and that's important to have. The physical attraction will only sustain things for so long and Sharleen knows that, deep down.

The footage of her leaving is probably not a tease this week. We think we're in for her leaving the show.

How do you guys feel about her as the next "Bachelorette"? We would be surprised if she said yes, but we would be kind of excited about it. She seems like a neat woman.

Meanwhile, Andi and Nikki talk about how Sharleen is a terrible match for Juan Pablo because she travels the world for her career -- and they're right, but guess what? There are six of you left, he hasn't had to propose yet, so why wouldn't he keep someone around who he likes to spend time with? It's not do-or-die time, ladies. It really just smacks of jealousy.

However, back on the date, Sharleen says she's been working as a professional opera singer for a while, but she has different priorities now than she once did and that change is good. See, she's open to stuff! Also, the setting sun lighting this scene is amazing. They look beyond gorgeous, what a perfectly-framed camera shot.

JP and Sharleen frolic in the ocean and make out, and we sense this is going to end in tears because, like we said, the intense spark can only last so long. There has to be something else going on there and we don't think there is with these two.

sharleen-juan-pablo-the-bachelor-miami.jpgThat night, Sharleen has on the most fabulous cream-colored dress with sheer panels in places. Lord in heaven, she is a knock-out. So elegant and still sexy. Ooofta.

They make out some more because it's what they do best, but JP says in an interview that he's excited to meet her parents. Hmm. When he brings it up, she says she thinks it can work but it's hard to wrap her mind around taking him home with him. With the other guys who have met her family, Sharleen has had more time with them before that step than she has had with JP, which is a very honest answer.

You know what is kind of heartbreaking about this? JP is obviously smitten with her and he clearly loves how smart she is -- and that is rare in a coupling where the girl is more intellectual than the guy. He loves her intellect, but he doesn't match it and eventually Sharleen needs a man who challenges her in that way.

She, of course, is not out-right saying this or anything. It would make her sound snotty even if she didn't mean it that way. Juan Pablo's not dumb or anything, but there's a disconnect there.

When she gets back to the hotel, Sharleen talks to Renee about how she's not sure JP is the one and she feels guilty taking a spot from someone who is sure.

Nikki's Date

The girls' smiles become very, very fixed when Nikki gets another one-on-one. Nikki laughs when the date card makes her think she'll have to dance again (which she doesn't want to do) and Chelsie's mad that Nikki is so negative all the time. Well, she's a bad dancer. She's too self-conscious and stuff. We're not necessarily back to being Team Nikki all the way, but we found that comment harmless on Nikki's part.

nikki-juan-pablo-the-bachelor-miami.jpgIt turns out, Nikki ends up getting the jackpot of dates when Juan Pablo takes her to his daughter's dance recital -- and his parents and Camila's mom Carla are also there. Oooh, the other girls are going to be so jealous. Nikki is also (understandably) super nervous.

JP's parents are very nice, which we assumed they would be, but Carla gives Nikki a small hug and kiss on the cheek. How sweet! Then the recital is adorable, with Camila hamming it up and doing a big solo. What a cutie patootie. Nikki is pretty blown away at what a precious thing it was that she just got to experience.

For dinner, they picnic on the field of the Marlins stadium. Nikki wonders how she would fit in with his family and with Carla, and he reassures Nikki that Carla understands that he has a life and they have a good relationship. Did Nikki not get that today at the recital? We totally got that vibe from Carla.

Anyway, she is reassured and then voiceovers that she's in love with Juan Pablo. She also says he "hit a home run" with this date, drink!

The Confrontation

Sharleen has decided she's leaving, but before she talks to Juan Pablo, she tells the women that she has to leave because it's not fair to them. She's right, because you know that Sharleen has a hometown date in the bag, so one woman will definitely get one who was not going to before this.

Sharleen goes to JP's hotel room and tells him that she doesn't want to take the spot of someone who knows she's in the place where she could say yes to JP's proposal.

That's an interesting way to phrase it because I personally think JP would be amenable to Sharleen saying that she wants to try with him without getting engaged so quickly. There's no rule that says the show has to end with a proposal and he might like her enough (I suspect he does) to say there's no rush.

Now, would she stay anyway? Don't know. There are more specific things going on here that she's not enumerating. She could spend years with JP and still never feel that mental connection, you know?

Anyway, JP reassures her that she didn't waste his time and he tells her how wonderful and unique she is. They part on nice terms, with a big hug and a kiss on the forehead. It's all very mature and lovely. Sharleen for "Bachelorette"!

As she leaves in the cab, both Sharleen and JP are pretty broken up, but she knows it was the right decision.

Group Date

Andi, Clare, Chelsie and Renee are the ones left for the date, where there will be a rose handed out. Love it. Having something to compete for always makes group dates much more fun.

Chelsie gives an interview pre-date that because Sharleen is gone, they all feel that much closer to the hometown dates. Well, you should in particular because we would bet money that if Sharleen had stayed, it would've been Renee and Chelsie going home.

Clare is, once again, glommed onto Juan Pablo in the plane ride and during the picnic like she might die if she's not touching him. Chelsie then interviews that the rose is "staring at us in the face." She means "staring us in the face," because we don't think they are yet putting googly eyes on the roses, though that would be a fun thing to do.

Andi gets her one-on-one time and she's all, like, vulnerable and, like, she's nervous and, like, she wonders what is her family going to, like, think about him?

During Clare's alone time with JP she tells him about the DVD her dad made before he died for her future husband. Not to belittle that (because if that happened to me, I'd love it if my dad did something like that), but she's mentioned it several times on the show, so will she whip it out if she makes it the finals of this show? That would be so hilarious because now you just wasted your special dad DVD on a reality show for a guy you probably aren't going to end up marrying. Hee.

juan-pablo-andi-the-bachelor-miami.jpgAnyway, Clare's connection with JP over the DVD is short-lived because she doesn't get the rose -- Andi does. Clare is maaaaaaad.

Andi and JP go dancing in South Beach and JP's got some moves, so that's a lot of fun. But back at the hotel, the fireworks start between Nikki and Clare and that is way more fun than dancing.

What happens is the girls tell Nikki how only one of them got the rose and the rest had to traipse back to the hotel. Renee and Chelsie are smiling in a resigned sort of way, but Clare is still obviously mad, which Nikki points out.

But then as Clare says she's not going to pretend to be fake and that she guesses Andi needed the reassurance, Nikki weirdly says, "That's so stupid" and walks away very abruptly. It's odd for sure, but maybe Nikki was mad that Clare was kind of short with her when she said, "I'm not going to sit here and be fake."

Clare then says in an interview that Nikki always gets away with "being a b****" and goes to confront her upstairs in Nikki's room.

Here's where things turn fun. Clare claims that she came upstairs because Nikki was upset (that's what she claims later in the argument). But really Clare was just offended that Nikki walked away from her pity party and Clare is spoiling for a fight after not getting the rose.

Nikki says she walked away because she thought they were going to start talking smack about Andi (which ... Clare probably was) and she didn't want to be a part of it. We're Team Nikki on this one. She could have exited the situation more gracefully, but she wasn't mean to anyone and her sense of the situation feels valid.

Nikki then says she has nothing to say to Clare -- they don't like each other, they aren't friends, who cares? -- and "excuses" Clare from her (Nikki's) room. Clare doesn't like this (obviously, because it was a well-placed zing), but she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and the only comeback she can think of is that it's not Nikki's room because Nikki didn't pay for it.

Um, what? Clare calls the suite communal space, even though there are clearly bedrooms. We're sure she'd be delighted if Nikki decided to go into her (Clare's) room and just hang out on her bed. It's kind of awesome how childish Clare is -- "Did you pay for it? Did you pay for it?"

Now that Nikki has dismissed her, Clare changes tactics to say that she thought Nikki was upset and wanted to know why, but we all know that's total B.S. Clare wanted to pick a fight with her.

Clare finally leaves and Nikki talking-heads that she never acted like Clare is acting when she didn't get a rose, which is false, but Nikki correctly says that Clare acts like a dog -- I peed on Juan Pablo first, he's mine now. That is 100 percent correct.

When do you think Crazy Eyes Clare is finally going to snap?

Cocktail Party


In the wake of the big fight, Nikki is kind of immature hanging out with the girls who aren't Andi. Nikki says she just wants to be "away from [Clare] for a very, very long time." That sums up how we feel about the lot of you, honestly.

Clare says in an interview that she could understand why JP would like Nikki if it was "slim pickings," but it's not. Agree to disagree. With Sharleen gone and Renee (most likely) on her way out, the pickings seem pretty slim -- especially for next "Bachelorette." Sigh.

Then there's an amazing shot of Nikki and Clare sitting together with no other girls, not talking and it lasts for like 60 seconds. Ha! If only they had started a hair-pulling fight that ended up with them crashing into the pool a la "Dynasty."

The Rose Ceremony


The roses go to Andi (already had), Nikki, Clare and Renee. Whoa! Thought she was leaving, Chelsie has gotten way more attention this episode. Either way, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other with the two of them. If Sharleen had stayed, Renee and Chelsie would've both gone home.

Also, Clare's witch-face when JP calls Nikki's name is perhaps unparalleled in the history of this show. Then as Chelsie leaves, Clare snots, "Such a mistake. Huge mistake," with Nikki standing right there. Ugh, they can both go jump in a lake.

Is Renee interesting enough to be the next "Bachelorette"? Because she's the only one left who we even remotely like.

Next week: A special two-day event, y'all! Clare pulls her witch-face again when her sister says they can't give her their blessing yet. And Andi is upset about the fantasy suite, what do you suppose happens?
Photo/Video credit: ABC