How is it not disturbing for a man to give six girls bikinis as his welcome-to-Miami gift?
Sharleen looks justifiably conflicted as she's looking at Nikki's teeny bikini bottoms:
Anyway, after giving herself a day to clear her head, Sharleen decided to go home in the company of a weird gerbil sachet.
Nikki had the next solo date, which found fresh ways to make me squirm. Please explain to me the scenario in the normal world in which a single dad shows up at his daughter's dance recital, where his parents and the daughter's mother are already seated, plops down just before curtain time with one of the girls he's been dating in a whole flurry of dating that has the whole family talking, and it isn't horrifying. I quite liked this face from the ex:
Plus I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable with the daughter's role in this show, and with the entire family's willing participation in her commercial use. "I'm going to surprise her," JP said upon his return to Miami. Really? With cameras already in the house for no particular reason, watching her play with her grandparents? "Hey look! It's Daddy!" Yeah, no foolin'. And I can promise you that she's going to HATE that her six-year-old dance recital was on television, preserved for anybody to call up on YouTube, when she's twelve, or fourteen, or sixteen...or anything up to about forty, without her having any power to control it.
Nikki gushes quite a bit about what a great dad Juan Pablo is. Note to girls everywhere: There's a lot more to judging whether a guy will be a great dad than whether he interacts well with children. A guy can be playful and still completely irresponsible, shallow, shiftless, unfaithful, abusive, undisciplined... Easy, now. I'm not saying Juan Pablo is any of those things, but just because a guy doesn't automatically know how to clown around with a four-year old doesn't mean he won't be kind, wise, and put the child before himself. Separate skill sets. Y'all be careful out there.
The group date with the remaining four girls devolved into a solo date with Andie that assured her of a hometown date. I'm pleased to still see Andie around, but with Sharleen's departure only one other would leave, and that put Chelsie clearly in the back seat. A nice girl with a bright future--despite feeling overlooked at 24--but without the intensity each of the others seemed to have. However, I do wonder whether Juan Pablo has any idea of how demeaning of every other relationship it is for him to talk about how hard it is to decide which one to cut. Silly. Of course not. What he's saying is that what he can "no be happy" if doesn't get to have ALL of them.
The net result is that Juan Pablo has assembled a puzzling final four: Two high-maintenance girls and two low-maintenance girls. Unsurprisingly, the two high-maintenance girls finally blew up at each other. This time I can't put the blame squarely on Clare. Nikki's decision to just walk out of the room when she didn't like a fairly innocuous comment of Clare's (though we can't know the whole context) was as much of an attention-grab as anything prior, showier divas have pulled. Ah, but then Clare's move to FOLLOW her and CONFRONT her, because she's "not going to let her get away with it" sets up a classic Battle of the Drama Queens. Cue finger pointing. Cue eye-rolls. Cue folded arms and pointed chins. In one corner, Clare the Entitled, who came home hurt from the group date because she "deserved" the rose. In the other, Nikki Snotty, who loves to crow about all the roses she's gotten in the past and can't wait to get away from all these beneath-her girls. The outcome? A REALLY silent cocktail party, in which Juan Pablo the Cad seemed oblivious to what might cause all that tension. They ought to put magazines on the table so the girls have something to do when they're not speaking to each other.
I have reason to hope for some just desserts next week on the hometown visits. I enjoyed seeing a woman I inferred to be Clare's sister saying, "I'm not going to let you manipulate Mom." What? Clare has a known history of manipulation? And might we be seeing Andie turn on Juan Pablo? Given those teasers, and the fact that the Norwegian curling team just got knocked out of the medal round, maybe I'll be sticking around a little longer after all.