Big week for the GRTFL: Real World finally ex-ploded, Vanderpump Rules ended with a bang (fine, a confession of a bang), and The Bachelor gave us a controversial plot twist that we’ll forever refer to as “Bachelor Watergate.” Let’s get right to it.
Clare (The Bachelor, 80 points): The events that unfolded Monday evening on television screens across the world have divided the Grantland office into two distinct camps: one full of rational human beings and the other full of aqua-coitus truthers. Before you decide which camp you’re in, though, you need to know the facts. Bachelor Watergate needs a thorough investigation, and if there’s anything you can count on the GRTFL to deliver, it’s a detailed, objective, thorough exploration of alleged ocean coitus.
First, I think it’s important to dispense some basic background information on the people involved. The first is Bachelor Juan Pablo, a handsome fella, professional autograph seeker, and man with limited command of the English language. Juan Pablo was selected to have a couple dozen women compete for the right to exclusively coitus him, and only him, for the rest of their lives. The other person is Clare. Every season of The Bachelor gives us a Clare type, the one woman the rest of the flock turns on because she “acts differently when the cameras are around” or “isn’t here for the right reasons” or is simply prettier than the rest of the women and gets more attention from the dude as a result — and usually all three at the same time. Now that we have that crucial background, let’s explore the events of Bachelor Watergate.
Act One: The Group Date
Juany Pabs and his harem arrive in Vietnam, and the dates are doled out. Renee and Nikki get one-on-one dates (more on them later), relegating Clare and eight other women vying for Juany Pabs’s forever-coitus rights to group-date status. The group-date draw doesn’t go over well with some of the women who’ve yet to go on a one-on-one date, but since Clare has already had that privilege, she’s in good spirits. Juany Pabs ushers the ladies to a body of water and asks them to pair up so they can row around in circular little boats. Since all the women hate Clare, she ends up without a partner; then, Juany Pabs announces she’ll share a boat with him. One of the women resnarks, “For the first time in anyone’s life, having no friends is an advantage.”
Once on the water, Juany Pabs and Clare are in their element. Surrounded by boats filled with women who don’t like her but wish they could trade places with her, Clare could not be happier. Getting the attention of the guy you’re after must feel good, but stealing it from the women who loathe you must feel better. Everything gets even more wonderful when Clare and Juany Pabs get swept under the cover of some trees, and he gives her a sneaky besito. Here’s the moment, captured by ABC’s latest technological advancement, the Crotch Cam:
Post-besito, the group settles in for a meal at the home of a Vietnamese family we’re led to believe randomly invited the group in and happened to have the perfect amount of room and food to host 12 strangers. Of all the bullshit that happens on these dates that the producers ask the audience to believe, this was the most egregious. If I know FOUR people are coming over for dinner, it’s a full day of prep and stress, so the idea that this family is happy to have Juany Pabs, 11 scantily clad women, and a full production staff walk in and take a seat at the table without planning for it in advance is insulting.
After dinner, the group daters gathered back at the hotel and received cocktails with an INSANE amount of fruit in them:
A FULL APPLE? And Andi’s drink wasn’t the only one. The women all had a full serving of fruit on top of their cocktails:
THAT IS TOO MUCH FRUIT!
While the ladies were eating their cocktails, Juany Pabs grabbed Clare and brought her up to his suite. Somehow, she knew to wear a swimsuit, and before we knew it, the two of them were back in their element, the water:
Note a few things: They’re kissing. They’re in the water. Clare is straddling Juan Pablo. They’re doing this in front of the cameras, in plain sight. Remember that.
Afterward, Clare giddily reflects: “Our first night was in a Jacuzzi, the second date was in a cold pool. We keep ending up in the water in our bathing suits, and I’m not mad at that.” Fore-fucking-shadowing.
Act Two: Alleged Vietnamese Ocean Coitus
Once upon a time, there lived a woman named Courtney, the Bill Belichick of Bachelorettes. She earned that nickname because she so completely outcompeted, outhustled, and out-strategized the other women vying for the rights to forever-coitus Bachelor Ben a couple seasons ago on this very program. She architected the blueprint for generations of Bachelorettes to come. One of her signature moves was to sneak up to the Bachelor’s room late at night, knock on the door, and be all, “Hey, wanna swim in the ocean?” This led to a naked romp between Courtney and Ben, which led to them getting engaged, which eventually led to Ben dating Kris Jenner.
Clare decided to adopt this strategy. However, she added her own little twist. Before heading up, she revealed in an interview that she’d never been in the ocean. “There is one thing that has been on my bucket list that I have never had the chance to do, and that is swim in a warm ocean. I have dipped my feet in before, but I have never swum in the ocean, and I kind of want to do it with Juan Pablo.” WAIT … WHAT? Clare has never swum in the ocean? WHAT? She’s from Sacramento, which is 90 miles from the ocean. I don’t believe this bullshit for a second, but she went right up to Juan Pablo’s room and was all, “I wanted to see if you wanted to do one more first thing in Vietnam with me … swim in the ocean.” Next thing you know, the two of them are straight making out in the Vietnamese surf:
Clare broke it down as follows in her interview: “In the middle of the night, running into the ocean, holding hands, waves of hot, warm, like, bath water all over us. How much more romantic can you get? Like heaven on earth.”
Juany Pabs offered his version of the events as well: “Oh my gosh, Clare, she is on fire, en llamas, en llamas. Ay ay ay. The waves got a little wild and we got a little wild, too. This thing that we have, I don’t have with anybody else right now in the house.” Some important things to note:
1. Super-warm ocean water that feels like a bath sounds fucking amazing.
2. We could barely see what was happening in the water, as the crew didn’t have lights powerful enough to illuminate the proceedings.
3. We did see some kissing.
4. We did see some straddling.
5. We saw them enter the water.
6. We saw them in the water.
7. We saw them leave the water.
This might not seem important now, but stand by.
Act Three: Juan Pablo, What the Hell Are You Talking About?
The rose ceremony came a couple days after Clare’s virgin saltwater swim. All the ladies got cocktails (suspiciously sans fruit), and Juany Pabs took each lady aside to have a chat. When Clare’s turn came, things went WAY left:
Juany Pabs: We snuck out the other night. It was good, but at the same time it was a little weird for me. The whole situation.
Clare: What do you mean?
Juany Pabs: Well, because I am too fair with people. There are 10 other people, and I have to dedicate some time.
Clare: I get it.
Juany Pabs: And there is other people.
Clare: No, I get it.
Juany Pabs: So maybe it wasn’t right, but what happened happened already, and, you know … why are you looking at me like that? Tell me.
Clare: I just feel silly because I look at it as us, like, I’m not the one giving out roses. What would I do if nobody else was around? What would I do if there were no cameras around? Or no anybody was around? What would I want to do if it was just me and you? I understand being fair, but it’s not about being fair, it’s about your heart and …
Juany Pabs: But also it’s not only about being fair, it has got more to it. For example, I have a daughter. You see to me, it is hard, this whole situation, and I don’t want her to see what happened and if she sees it, I don’t think it will be that nice.
The best part about what happened next is that Juany Pabs seemed genuinely shocked that Clare was upset. As she, very understandably, started to crumble into tears, all he did was repeat a combination of “Don’t cry,” “It’s OK,” and LOTS of this chin-grab, “Look at me” move:
JUAN PABLO REALLY WANTS YOU TO LOOK AT HIM, CLARE. After what must have been 10 minutes of “Don’t cry. It’s OK. [Chin grab.] Look at me”–ing, Clare was mercifully allowed to rejoin the group. When asked if she had been crying, she responded with, “Bad allergies, girl.” When the producers asked her what happened, she responded with, “That conversation blindsided me. I knew that in the ocean, that was a mutual experience. There was no miscommunication, there was no misunderstanding. He was onboard with everything. It’s confusing and I don’t know where we go from here.”
I feel you, Clare. I’m confused, too. However, I do know exactly where to go from here. I need answers. Answers to questions like, “Is Juan Pablo upset about the fact that Clare went to his room unannounced late at night, and that wasn’t fair to the other women? Or is he upset about something that happened in the water? If she straddled and made out with him in the pool, well lit, in front of the cameras, why would he be upset about the same exact thing occurring in the cover of night and ocean waves?” That last question really stuck with me and led to the following thought: “Did they have Vietnamese ocean coitus?” When faced with such problems, it’s helpful to work at a content farm like Grantland, where experts on such matters always surround you. So, in search of truth, I reached out to some specialists for their theories on what happened between Clare and Juany Pabs in that delightful-sounding warm Vietnamese ocean.
Emily Yoshida, Senior Vietnamese Oceancoitusologist: I think intercourse happened in what probably seemed like a lucky, sleep-deprived accident of physics, kind of like when you drop a jar of peanut butter on the floor but it lands right side up. Though, make no mistake, both involved parties were angling for such an accident to take place. Whatever consummation occurred probably only lasted for a couple seconds before the hot, salty waves dismantled the tenuous coupling. A lot of saltwater was probably consumed; both Clare and Juanny Pabs probably felt a little bloaty the next day.
Juliet Litman, Adjunct Vietnamese Oceancoitusologist: I don’t think they had sex, because this franchise does not shy away from implying that sex occurred. I think there were some off-camera discussions with Juanny Pabs and the producers that gave him pause.
Bill Simmons, Senior Vietnamese Oceancoitusologist: My theory: They are making out in the water and things are getting heated. He’s treading water, she’s straddling him. He is under the assumption that it’s still some innocent fun. But no! She grabs his Juan Pabloner and tries to single-handedly (pun intended) escalate this little water dalliance from a double to a home run. Juan Pablo cancels the request, and then, much later, realizes that he isn’t crazy about the attempted escalation and thinks less of Clare for being so aggressive. Personally, I support the attempted escalation. Whatever happens in Vietnam stays in Vietnam.
So, that leaves us with two votes for Vietnamese Ocean Coitus and one against. Allow me to offer my theory:
David Jacoby, Associate Vietnamese Oceancoitusologist: My theory is that Juan Pablo has no idea what he’s doing at any time. I’m not even sure Juan Pablo knew he was in Vietnam, which girl he was with, or that he’s being filmed for TV. So they went in the ocean, made out, and got a lil’ handsy, but nothing crazy, and then called it a night. Then, the day of the rose ceremony, the producers ginned up this whole, “I want to be fair, I have a daughter, that wasn’t right” bullshit, fed it to Juan Pablo, and told him to confront Clare with it. Think about it. Nothing he accused her of really made any sense. If his concern was not being fair to the other women, that’s his job to police, not Clare’s. If she pushed it to a place he wasn’t comfortable with in the water … first of all, ’chea right … second, it’s also his job to police that. I can’t imagine what she could have done to elicit that reaction. If the producers did tell Juan Pablo to do this, though, it backfired, because now he looks like an asshole, Clare is never going to kiss a man for the rest of her life, and we Vietnamese Oceancoitusiologists are out of work. Everyone loses.
That’s all The Bachelor I can handle for a minute, so let’s turn our attention to Real World for a bit.
The Backfiring Ex-Plosion
The Real World Producers (Real World, 38 points): I just want to say up front how happy I am with this Real World season. The format change has gotten all the attention, but the real innovation I’m enjoying is the demolition of the fourth wall. Finally, a reality show that isn’t pretending it’s anything else. Finally, cast members talking about the fact that they’re being filmed for TV. Finally, we get to see and hear the producer/talent relationship. Finally, we get to hear the two women in the bathroom talking about how (I’m paraphrasing here), “They will never use this right? It they did it would be dumb, they would just show the door or something and subtitling it” while the producers do in fact show the door and subtitle the dialogue. Brilliant. I also thought the introduction of the exes was brilliant. However, it backfired a bit.
Introducing the exes was clearly intended to spark a drama-filled kaleidoscopic of love triangles, but it quickly turned into five couples and some chick named Hailey. It went down like a game of musical chairs. Jay got with his ex, Arielle got with her ex, Jenny got with her ex, and Cory got with his ex. Thomas and Jamie were the only “new” couple that stayed together, making Tom’s ex Hailey the 11th wheel. That isn’t the producer’s fault, however, and hope is not lost. With an eye toward the future following this week’s somewhat of a letdown of an episode, the GRTFL Top Five is: The Top Five Things That Are Exciting About Real World’s “This Season On …” Preview Bit, Listed From “We’ve Seen That Before” to “No Way, That’s Fake, Right?”
Looks like this season is going to stop being polite and start getting real. Real real.
We’ve reached the part of the column where I take a breather and pass the mic to GRTFL Super-Scorer Caitlin Mangum to get her thoughts on this week’s Bachelor one-on-one dates. Caitlin?
Caitlin Breaks Down the Other Dates
Renee (The Bachelor, 5 points): The first one-on-one date this week went to resident house mom Renee. Juan Pablo said he couldn’t “wait for her to see the culture and eat some weird stuff,” because nothing says “great first date” quite like indigestion.
Juan Pablo and Renee then had one of the most numbingly boring dates in Bachelor history. The only highlight was when they went into a tailor so that Juan Pabs could
get a look at Renee’s bra size buy her a custom-made dress. I have nightmares about falling, losing all my teeth, and being forced to wear 100 percent silk in 100 percent humidity. Luckily for Renee, she got to live out one of those nightmares on national television.
I actually do like Renee. She’s one of those nice, normalish PTA moms who claims she is 10 years younger than she really is, but up until now, we really didn’t know that much else about her. This week we learned that Renee got married at 21 years old. (Side note: I was doing a lot of things at 21, but getting married wasn’t one of them.)
Well, it seems that getting hitched that young has stunted Renee’s dating game. The woman can’t stop waxing on and on about getting her first makeout sesh with JP. Of course, Juan Pablo’s Rules of Getting Physical are as arbitrary as Wi-Fi in Sochi, so he tells Renee they shouldn’t kiss out of respect for their kids, even though he turns around and has (alleged) Vietnamese ocean coitus with Clare the next day.
Juan Pablo finally lays one on Renee at the cocktail party days later, and she, in turn, presumably goes back to the hotel and starts doodling Juany P + Re Re = 4 Eva on her Trapper Keeper.
Nikki (The Bachelor, 10 points): In addition to Clare, Nikki is the other chick no one in the house likes, meaning Juan Pablo is clearly going to end up with one of them. On their one-on-one date this week, Juan Pablo revealed that they were “going to Hell,” which coincidentally is the perfect metaphor for this season as a whole.
Nikki is afraid of heights, plunging to her death … you know, all the normal stuff, but says she’s willing to take risks for love.
Risks like wearing this ridiculous headband:
Juan Pabs talked Nikki into taking a leap of faith in the name of love, and they went on to lower themselves into the Hell Cave and make out a couple times (5 + 5 points).
A Plea From Grantland’s Bachelor Enthusiasts
Dear Bachelor producers,
How many times do we have to watch the same rappelling/bungee jumping/spelunking date? We’re here for you. Hit us up. We’ll have these girls doing a spelling-bee challenge while suspended over a pool of piranhas in no time.
Jacoby, Juliet, and Caitlin
Questions About Vanderpump Rules That No One Will Understand Because No One But Jacoby Watches This Show
Me again. Here is your GRTFL Questionable Moment of the Week:
Why did we not get to see Kristen tell Tom she fucked Jax? Why is Stassi so concerned with breaking up Kristen and Tom? Have you seen Katie’s reel? In what workplace is it OK to be all up against each other, naked? How is that legal? How do they find so much time to argue while they’re serving tables? Do they really put triple sec in everything? How is there going to be another season when Stassi lives in New York? How have I not eaten there yet? Why doesn’t that hot brunette get any story lines? Is it really necessary to do a photo shoot every year? How could Tom not see that his girl was lying to him when everyone in his life was telling him the same thing and she is a shitty liar? What is it about this show that I like? Who cares, when does Season 3 debut?
Back to The Bach for a Quick Finish
Andi (5 points): The Hot Lawyer is obsessed with getting a one-on-one date, to the point where whenever she gets a little bit of alone time with Juany Pabs, all she does is complain about not getting a one-on-one date. Guess what Juany Pabs does to resolve this conflict:
Yep, he grabs her face and repeats, “Look at me” a bazillion times. Juan Pablo has conflict resolution DOWN. OK fine, that’s her hand, but I swear he said, “Look at me” six or seven times.
Sharleen (10 points): Last week I predicted that Sharleen would leave the show, but not by way of the rose ceremony. She is not the type who lets some dude with flowers decide her fate. Based on the “next time on” preview, it looks like we have limited time remaining with the only cast member in the history of the franchise with self-awareness. Who else is going to give us quotes like, “I need to believe that he sees me as a panda in a room full of brown bears.” You will be missed, Sharleen. See you on the opera circuit.
The Most Amazing Thing I Discovered on Real World
THEY HAVE TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET SING-ALONGS IN SAN FRANCISCO??!?!!??!?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!!??! How did I not know about this? Who knows all the words to Trapped in the Closet? Is this a one-off or a weekly? Fuck it, I’m driving to San Francisco to investigate.
Anyway, you can find this week’s Bachelor tallies below. Enjoy the weekend.
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (on the boat)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (in the pool)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (in the ocean)
25 points: Juan Pablo erection enticement
25 points: Coitus
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (on beach post-coitus)
5 points: Female crying (when Juan Pablo makes her feel like shit)
5 points: Female crying (again, when Juan Pabs makes her feel like shit)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (on beach)
5 points: Female crying (at end of episode)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (on beach)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (while rappelling)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (after getting rose)
5 points: Open-mouth kissing (finally)
5 points: Female crying (after not getting a rose)