Monday night’s finale of “The Bachelor” sent shock waves across the country. Social media sites were flooded with criticism towards Bachelor star Juan Pablo, and his decision-making.
In the shocking ending to the season, Juan Pablo decided not to propose to either of the two remaining women, but chose instead to start the dating process with Nikki Ferrell, a pediatric nurse from Kansas City.
What made fans even angrier, was what happened during the live TV event held after the finale, where Bachelor host Chris Harrison brought both Juan Pablo and Nikki out in front of a live audience to interview them. Despite his best efforts to get Juan Pablo to say that he loved Nikki, Juan wouldn’t say it.
Juan Pablo went on to say that now that they are back in the real world, they can start their dating journey together, in a hopefully more private setting.
If you’re hoping for me to start tapping my boxing gloves together and proceed to throw hay-makers at Juan Pablo, then stop reading now, because Juan Pablo’s season of “The Bachelor” may just be the most realistic there has ever been.
To start off with, I want to make it perfectly clear that there is in fact a big language barrier here. Coming from someone who speaks a foreign language, it is extremely difficult to put your thoughts to words when you’re not speaking in your first language. Juan Pablo’s vocabulary was extremely limited, and therefore couldn’t express his feelings as eloquently as many fans wanted.
Next, let’s think about the process for a second; One man sets out to find his one true love among a dating pool of 25+ women. Over the following few months, women are eliminated down until only two remain. Then the man is expected to propose to one of the women, while sending the other home.
The show itself is laughable, as out of the 18 men in Bachelor show history, only one (Sean Lowe) has gotten married to the woman he chose in the finale. Without a doubt, the process is flawed.
So it’s no surprise that Chris Harrison repeatedly flaunts Sean Lowe and his wife around as the poster-children of Bachelor nation, because in reality, they are the show’s only success. Whenever criticism comes knocking at the show’s door, Chris and company can merely toss Sean and Katherine out there, and say, “See? Look how in love they are!”
Juan Pablo didn’t follow in the normal footprints of the men that came before him. He blazed his own trail, one that as it turns out, was extremely logical.
When it came time for Juan Pablo to propose, he simply wasn’t ready to do so. He had the ring, he thought about it, and decided that it wasn’t the right time.
In reality, Juan Pablo knew that up until that moment, there had always been between one and twenty five other women that he was also considering for his future. He knew he hadn’t been fully invested in his relationship with Nikki. How could he have been?
Many of the past men on “The Bachelor” proposed, got engaged, and then proceeded to begin their dating process. For Juan Pablo, this didn’t seem right.
In the real world, when two people get engaged, shouldn’t their goal be to get married? Why start your dating process while being engaged? Shouldn’t the engagement come after the dating process?
For Juan Pablo, it only made sense to date before getting engaged. Perhaps that decision was a little to “realistic” for a “reality TV show”. But like Juan Pablo said Monday night, ” I’m sorry the show didn’t end up the way you guys wanted it to.”
He shouldn’t be sorry for what took place. It’s his life, and his future. No television show can take away his ability to choose. He isn’t a zoo animal for all of America to gawk at, he is a person. And a person that made a very logical relationship decision.
Many fans continue to ask: “Why didn’t he say he loved Nikki?”
Perhaps for the same reason people everywhere don’t say it; because they just don’t feel it. Juan Pablo wasn’t able to be fully invested, and concentrate solely on his relationship with Nikki until the finale. But even after the finale, their relationship had to remain a secret for months. They weren’t allowed to be seen together, and had to stay in hiding. That’s a tough way to start a relationship. Is it really that surprising that he doesn’t love Nikki yet? It shouldn’t be.
Starting now, they are finally allowed to have a relationship as normal people. There aren’t cameras stuffed in their face at all times, and they don’t have to keep the relationship a secret any longer. They are free.
What I’m trying to say, is that Juan Pablo hasn’t had much of an excellent opportunity to fall in love with Nikki. It’s clear he cares about her, and “likes her a lot”, but until now, there have always been complications and obstacles in the way of his progression towards love.
Of course, many would ask, “Then why did Nikki say she loved him?”
The answer is simple. Juan Pablo had to share himself with 25+ other women. Nikki only had to share herself with him. It’s a unbalanced scale that is only now starting to even out. Nikki was able to be fully invested in her relationship with Juan Pablo, and she did so. For him on the other hand, it was impossible to do the same.
Because of the honest and realistic approach Juan Pablo took, it made for an extremely fascinating season. Perhaps it wasn’t good for television. Maybe the only way for Juan Pablo to have been well accepted by the fans was to masquerade around as the typical Bachelor robot, fabricating intelligence along the way.
But for Juan Pablo, he seemed to treat this experience as if it was real life. Having been married previously, he seems to realize that in order to commit to something as big as marriage, the love and investment has to be there first. Maybe he learned from prior mistakes, can’t kill him for that. Maybe he doesn’t want a marriage that ended premature, he has already experienced that.
If and when Juan Pablo does finally tell Nikki the words “I love you”, it might just be the first time in Bachelor history that those words actually mean something.