Chris Harrison really enjoys speaking in hyperbole, but it was easy to believe him when he said that Monday night's "Women Tell All" episode of The Bachelor was "unlike" any he had ever hosted before. Why? Because for once, all the women had banded together to hate the Bachelor, not each other.
Usually the "Women Tell All" episode is a great opportunity for the women who fought in the house to bring up all that drama again. But since this season of The Bachelor has been so much more about the mistakes Juan Pablo has made and not the issues between the contestants, the episode ended up featuring almost no fighting between the women. Instead, all the vitriol was aimed at a man that miraculously, none of them is interested in anymore.
Many of the women had clearly learned a lot about Juan Pablo since the season finished filming, and what they'd learned, they did not like. None of them had seen what had happened with Clare and Juan Pablo in the ocean — when he decided after the fact that going swimming at night with a woman wasn't appropriate because of his daughter and then made Clare feel like shit because of it. And none of the women were there for Andi's confrontation with Juan Pablo after her date with him in the Fantasy Suite, where he apparently told Andi that she had "barely" made it into the final three. He also told Andi about his Fantasy Suite date with Clare, which is like trying to woo a girl by talking about sleeping with another girl and expecting her to be like "DAMN I want you so bad."
The women of the show have definitely formed cliques, as is the case during most seasons of the show; Sharleen, Andi, Renee and Kelly the Dog Lover are noted fast friends, and, along with some others, consider themselves Team Nikki. But all the women showed an incredible respect for their fellow contestants. They demonstrated sympathy for Clare, giving her none of the hate that previous contestants (like Courtney during Ben's season) had gotten when they'd had similar sneaky liaisons. "I would have done the same thing," said one. "Good for her for going for it, we just didn't think of it," said another. The women were also supportive when Sharleen described why her profound sexual attraction to Juan Pablo had confused her, nodding when she said she thought "every" woman had experienced a similar scenario.
No, most of the criticism was directed to Juan Pablo. The women said he didn't really ask them anything about themselves, that he was negative, inappropriate, overly honest and self-involved. While it's hard to believe that previous Bachelors haven't been the same way, there's clearly something about this Bachelor and this season that has empowered these women to feel confident enough to hate the player, not the game (or themselves). Only a few said had wholly positive things to say about him, like "favorite" Sharleen, who said the two bonded over how difficult it was to live in foreign countries.
On that note, the whole episode wasn't a complete Juan Pablo Sucks festival. After Kelly the Dog Lover cried about how much Juan Pablo had offended her with his anti-gay comments because she has a gay parent, Sharleen stood up for him slightly, saying she thought everyone had said things they regretted or didn't mean. (Juan Pablo actually said "I love gay people" in his blabbered defense of himself. I LOVE GAY PEOPLE = the best way to convince gay people you love them.) Many of the women seemed to bear Juan Pablo no ill will, but they also didn't think much of him, sort of like a puppy dog you feel sorry for once you realize it's more trouble than it's worth.
The whole episode was so fixated on what a jerk Juan Pablo is that whether or not he ends up with Nikki or Clare seemed like an afterthought, perhaps because no one has any confidence that, even if he chooses one of them, that the relationship will last. Andi got plenty of screen time because, as we know, she's the new Bachelorette. Though Sharleen would have been a fascinating candidate for that show, Andi is a good second choice. Her District Attorney-style of laying into people will make for good TV and she might actually give whatever walking pieces of wood they bring on for her season a run for their money.
Since Nikki and Clare are the two women from the house who got along the least, next week's "After the Final Rose" special will probably be way more cat-fighty than this episode. While waiting together for Juan Pablo during the Final Rose ceremony in last week's episode, they didn't speak at all. So the finale's aftermath will likely be fraught with tension.
In other Bachelor news, Juan Pablo is still tweeting...
...and Lucy the Free Spirit released a beautiful "Bachelor Reject Anthem" to celebrate the season called "Ess Okay."