The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 6 Recap: Balls and Birthday Busts

After last week's tumultuous ending (did they or did they not sleep together? did he or did he not kinda sorta slut-shame her?), the group's trip to New Zealand is done so with a bit of tension cloud over it, at least when it comes to Clare and Juan Pablo. Going into the next phase of the show has made Clare a little uptight (moreso than usual) about where she stands with JP and whether or not they're moving forward. While Clare was hoping for the first one-on-one date as a chance to clear the air, Andi, the only Bachelorette who hasn't had her own date with JP, finally gets the date card and some time alone with Juan Pablo. 

The moms Cassandra and Renee had some time together talking about dating as single parents and how Cassandra is feeling a little jealous that Andi got the first date. Not, of course, in the way that Clare feels jealous with her crazy eyes and such, but more in the sense that she needs to be sure if she's going to be on the other side of the world from her son, it needs to be for a really good reason, and some alone time with Juan Pablo would determine that (unless of course, JP is still on this no-kissing-but-really-kissing-everyone kick, in which case we're right back to last week's episode). Starting all snuggled up on a speedboat, Andi and JP head to "The Squeeze," which is a super narrow tunnel in the water in between caves that led to a gorgeous waterfall (because kissing under a waterfall is obviously a requisite for this show). The little rendezvous under the waterfall was followed by dinner in front of a geiser (is that safe? I can't help but wonder) and once they get all snuggly and cute again, JP pulls out the rose reserved for Andi. 

On the group date with Sharleen, Chelsie, Renee, Nikki, Kat and Cassandra (which means Clare gets the last solo date of the epsiode), the clan meets up in a field for a little picnic before getting into these OGOs (giant see-through balls that you go inside and roll down a hill) and it seemed like all of the girls were having a blast (especially Nikki who stole a couple of smooches while going down with JP). Later in the night, the group headed over to Hobbiton (yes the actual Hobbiton seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies—excuse me while I nerd the hell out right now) for some dinner and a little cocktail party. Renee got a moment alone with Juan Pablo, which of course led to some more kissing and a selfie in front of Bilbo's place. Nikki was next to steal some time and she opened up with JP again, telling him she's really falling for him. When Sharleen had some time with him, intending to actually speak to Juan Pablo, he immediately locked lips with her for a pretty intense kiss fest, though not really answering to any of her issues. Cassandra's 22nd birthday fell on this group date and what did she wish for? A rose from Juan Pablo, of course. She definitely got some time alone with him to tell him how much she respects him and wants to be around him. Well, Cassandra's birthday wish didn't come true. Actually, she'll probably hate her birthday from now on. After giving Sharleen the rose, JP pulled Cassandra aside again to tell her that even though she's one of his "special ones," he's not feeling quite the same and he wanted to send her home back to her son (ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!). While we give him mad props for sending her home now instead of leading her on, IT'S HER BIRTHDAY!! Poor girl. 

On Clare's second one-on-one date, Juan Pablo and Clare finally had a chance to clear the air with the whole ocean debacle. While JP's apology was a little weak, he did explain that he didn't mean to hurt her feelings, though he admitted the only reason he went into the ocean with her was so she wasn't embarassed. Clare followed it up with explaining how she didn't think she did anything wrong (kinda sorta answering our question of whether or not they did more than kiss in the ocean—it seems like they did not). Once they were on the same page, they proceeded to kiss next to a body of water, proving that the line of being inapprpriate whether or not you're in the water when doing the kissing. Good logic to follow. After she opened up to Juan Pablo and gushed about how great a man he is (she's very forgiving) and how much she loves just hanging in a casual atmosphere, he grabbed her a pair of sweats and the two just hung out (but in his solo interview he was getting a little hot and bothered thinking about her in—or out, rather—of her sweatpants), which warranted the date rose and some more kissing and a bit of dancing (but no romp in the ocean!). 

Before the cocktail party, JP and host Chris sat down for a quick chat about sending another one home (in addition to birthday girl Cassandra), leaving the Bachelorette count to six. Juan Pablo opened up saying that he needs to see who opens up to him and makes a connection with him to determine who is going to stick around. Once the cocktail party got under way, Juan Pablo took Nikki first for some time alone (which, naturally, involved more kissing) and more chatter about how she wants her happy ending and blah, blah, blah (we keep hearing the same lines from the same girls). When Renee got her chance with JP, she still seemed confident despite Cassandra no longer being around. JP chatted with Chelsie, putting her mind at ease, followed by Kat who pulled out the emotional stops by recalling some bad memories with her dad, but now facing her fears of deadling with insecurities with men. While both Kat and Chelsie were confident the other was going home, someone had to go home and there were only three roses on the table. Alas, it was Kat that got the boot, once more feeling the sting of rejection. Even though Sharleen got a rose at the group date, she began getting emotional and feeling guilty because she's confused about her feelings. Giving it another week to be sure about her connection with Juan Pablo, Sharleen and the ladies are headed to JP's hometown of Miami for some fun on the beach (and more romps in the water?) and the promise of a catfight. 

Coming up roses: Andi, Sharleen, Clare, Nikki, Renee and Chelsie

Bachelorettes to watch: Nikki and Clare—fight to the death? 

Cry count: Episode- 4 (Cassandra, Juan Pablo, Kat, Sharleen); Season Total – 24

Kiss count: Episode- 5 (Andi, Nikki (a few times), Renee, Sharleen, Clare); Season Total- 17

Catfight count: Episode- 0; Season Total- 1

Tags: Juan Pablo, the bachelor, The Bachelor Episode 6 recap, The Bachelor season 18

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