Note: This story contains spoilers about Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelor.”
By LISA GUTIERREZ
The Kansas City Star
Ah Vietnam! A beautiful country where one contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelor” Monday night learned that if you have sex with the guy, he’ll turn around and make you look like a tramp on national TV.
Thankfully, we’re not referring to Nikki Ferrell, the Children’s Mercy nurse competing on the show. She and 10 other women traveled to Vietnam with bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis, but by night’s end three were sent packing.
Nikki hoped it wouldn’t be her after last week’s rather rocky episode.
“I feel like there was a lot of tension in the house and I was probably the root of all that,” she said. (Read the recap of last week’s show here.)
Renee, a Florida real estate agent who had been “waiting for weeks now to kiss Juan Pablo,” scored the first one-on-one date of the visit, a touristy romp through Hoi An, a popular tourist spot on the central Vietnamese coast.
Though her lips were eager, Renee didn’t get kissed by Juan Pablo, who didn’t tell her he was being careful out of respect for her young son.
On the group date we saw that Juan Pablo, in fact, has no trouble swapping spit with the childless contestants, which he did with Clare when the two paired up in a little bamboo boat for a river ride. “You like my stickiness?” he whispered to her as they made out in the heat.
“Yeah,” she said, breathlessly.
The rest of the women watched jealously.
At the end of the day, after a fake-spontaneous visit to a local farmer’s house for dinner, the group wound up at the hotel where – surprise! – Juan Pablo grabbed Clare’s hand first for a romantic walk on the beach.
“Well, it seems like we’re still sitting here on Clare’s one-on-one date,” griped Chelsie, who had little interaction with Juan Pablo on this trip.
How right she was, for the two didn’t stay long on the beach. Juan Pablo sneaked her back to his suite and in a flash Clare was in her bikini and with him in the pool, legs wrapped around him.
“Our first night was in the Jacuzzi,” Clare said. “This night was in the cold pool. We keep ending up in the water in our bathing suits. Not mad at that.”
Back with the group, Juan Pablo asked Clare to accept the second rose of the visit. The other girls threw daggers at her with their eyes. “I feel like an idiot for thinking that it was my time,” said self-aware Andi.
Clare was so giddy that she went to Juan Pablo’s room at 4 in the morning and asked if he wanted to take a swim in the ocean.
He didn’t say no. In fact, an excited Juan Pablo taught Clare the Spanish phrase for “on fire.”
“We just went for it. And I don’t regret it. Pure bliss. In every way,” Clare said, raising her eyebrows.
We get it. You guys had sex.
“Vietnam, Vietnam. I love Vietnam!” she gushed.
The next day, Juan Pablo – who admitted he was still thinking about Clare – took Nikki on a daredevil date.
At a place called Marble Mountain, he walked her to the edge of a cliff and told her they would be rappelling to the bottom to a cave called Hell.
Nikki, afraid of heights, looked terrified.
Nikki, afraid of heights, dropped an F-bomb and a few other words that got bleeped.
“This is scary,” she said. “I feel like I can’t form sentences right now because all I can picture is me plummeting to the bottom.”
“Should someone call my mom and tell her I love her?” she asked Juan Pablo.
“I either live or I die or I poop my pants.”
She put on her good-sport panties and made it all the way to the bottom, philosophizing that “this is a lot like falling in love because you’re kind of trusting that other person and you also have very little control.”
Juan Pablo, who slipped her a bit of tongue at the bottom for her troubles, later rewarded her with something even more precious: A rose.
He’s clearly smitten with “Nikki the nurse,” who told him that there’s nothing in her life that she’s more proud of than being a pediatric nurse.
“There’s an innocence about kids,” she told him. “And there’s a lot of hope that comes with sick kids. I’ve seen some of the sickest kids be some of the happiest kids.”
Juan Pablo liked what he heard. “I’m seeing good potential with her,” he said. “This is a potential wife right here.”
Drama struck at the elimination ceremony, where Juan Pablo shocked the women by announcing that not one but three would be sent home.
That shut everyone up, fast. Everyone except Clare, who raised a glass and offered a toast to “finding love, being loved and making love.”
Speaking of, remember how he refused to play kissy-face with Renee out of some gentleman’s concern for her young son?
That went away, fast, when he told her at the rose ceremony why he wasn’t kissing her and she reassured him that her son knows all about what mommy is doing with the nice ‘Bachelor’ man.
She got her kiss.
Next, he blind-sided Clare.
Turned out that Juan Pablo had second thoughts about having sex with her. He suggested that he didn’t want his daughter to see what had happened between them.
“That wasn’t my intention to disrespect your daughter,” a crying, embarrassed Clare told him.
When they were in the ocean, she said, “there was no miscommunication. There was no misunderstanding. He was on board with everything. It’s confusing and I don’t know where we go from here.”
Then, she asked the question of the night: Why didn’t he just say no?
We were wondering that ourselves.
The tense evening – which Andi dubbed the “craziest rose ceremony” – ended with Danielle, Kelly and Alli going home.