Miami is a darn steamy city, so it was the perfect setting for hometown gal Nikki Ferrell to heat things up on “The Bachelor” Monday night.
Nikki, a nurse at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, and fellow bachelorette Clare Crawley can’t stand each other and that made-for-TV bitterness erupted into a bleep-filled argument over Clare’s perception that Nikki had somehow disrespected her.
This was our takeaway after all was said and done in Monday night’s episode:
Clare thinks Nikki is a beeotch: “I want to hang out with Nikki like I want to get stung by a jellyfish.”
Nikki thinks Clare is a dog: “She peed on him first ... she claimed some territory that might not be hers.”
Clare thinks Nikki is a brat.
Nikki thinks Clare is crazy – and her family must be, too.
But the high drama came when opera singer Sharleen left on her own after
catching up to the rest of us and seeing that Juan Pablo just isn’t smart enough for her.
The visit started off with sunny promise. “We’re in Miami, man!” Juan Pablo enthused as he arrived. “The first thing I want to do is go see my family.”
Next we see Juan Pablo surprising his young daughter, Camila, who hasn’t seen her daddy in three weeks since he left for California to make that TV show where he’s looking for a new mommy for her.
It was important for him, he says, to bring the six remaining women to Miami, where he and his family live, “and see if there’s a right fit for me. It’s getting real.”
The women check into a gorgeous penthouse at the beachfront Loews Miami Beach Hotel, where waiting for them are – surprise! – bathing suits.
Two women will go home this week before the remaining women take Juan Pablo to their own hometowns. Sharleen makes it clear that she needs one-on-one time with Juan Pablo to “flesh out how I feel. The reality of what next week means is beginning to set in.”
Poor, confused, too-smart-for-this-show Sharleen.
“I just feel like I’m still missing this cerebral connection that I so need,” she says ad nauseam during this visit.
Reality, apparently, is setting in for Juan Pablo, too, who is bubbly like a schoolgirl as he tells his cousin about “sexy, classy” Sharleen. “She could be the one,” he reveals.
At the hotel, in front of all the other women, Juan Pablo awards Sharleen a one-on-one date.
Sharleen looks shocked.
Nikki looks super-ticked off.
Later, the women talk about Sharleen behind her back, wondering what she sees in Juan Pablo since she claims to like intellectual, nerdy guys.
Whew. It’s not just us.
A lot rides on their date that begins on a stunning yacht. “If by the end of today I can’t see that mental connection, I would be wasting both his time and my own to stay,” Sharleen promises.
As the two snuggle together it becomes clear that the connection between them has nothing to do with anything “mental.”
She just likes to kiss him.
There’s just something about Juan Pablo, lying so close to him, looking into his eyes, feeling his breath on her face – she’s fighting it – that makes her want to inspect his dental work.
“When Juan Pablo and I kiss,” she says, “all the issues in my head just disappear. It’s hard not to stay focused ... he is ridiculously sexy.”
(At this point, we’re thinking: Oh lawd, we’ve lost her!)
As the date winds down, Sharleen confesses to having a “flicker in my heart,” but she’sstill
confused. (And we’re yelling: “Just walk away!”)
“Why can’t I stop kissing you,” she asks him as they make out more in front of the glittery, Miami skyline.
“It’s OK. I’m fine with that,” he tells her.
It disturbs her, she says later, that she can’t avoid kissing him when she’s close to him. Is that all there is to this relationship, she needs to know.
Back at the hotel, a note arrives with the news that Nikki has also scored a one-on-one date. “Listen to my heart beat,” the note reads.
“Do I have to dance again?” Nikki worries.
The date is important to her because “I’m absolutely falling in love with Juan Pablo,” she shares. “But I’m not ready to tell him yet. I want to do it when it feels right.”
This time, Juan Pablo’s daughter does the dancing at a recital. There, Nikki meets Juan Pablo’s parents and the other important woman in his life – his ex, actress Carla Rodriguez, Camila’s mother. (Remember that name.)
“I just met this beautiful little girl that could be part of my life forever and the reality of that is kinda sinking in,” says Nikki.
Later that night he takes her to the MLB ballfield, Marlins Park. As they sit on a blanket on the field, Nikki asks where Carla Rodriguez fits into his life.
Juan Pablo describes a friendly, “just normal” relationship with her and Nikki reassures him that she’s OK with that. (Oh, really?)
By the end of the date, Nikki is ready to say yes to anything Juan Pablo would ask of her. “I want the rest of my life,” she says. “I want a forever and I want it with Juan Pablo.”
But first she has to get past five other women.
Make that four.
Sharleen reveals to her fellow bachelorettes, first, that it would not be fair to potentially rob one of them of a rose while she’s still conflicted about her feelings for Juan Pablo.
“So, with that said, I am going to be leaving tonight,” she says.
No one jumps up and yells, “No, Sharleen! Don’t go.”
Next she breaks the bad news to Juan Pablo as they huddle on his hotel-room sofa and she whispers so low that ABC actually has to flash subtitles on the screen.
“The only thing that pisses me off is that you didn’t sing enough for me,” he says, breaking the tension.
She leaves in a cab.
Juan Pablo, clearly shook up, reveals that he had planned to visit her hometown.
In the end, he gives roses to Nikki, Andi, Clare and Renee, meaning they all get to take him home to meet their families.
Chelsie is sent home.
As she leaves, Clare whispers to Renee: “Such a mistake ... a huge mistake.” She throws a look at Nikki and shakes her head.Next week:
Juan Pablo eats barbecue in Kansas City with Nikki.