I have to admit, when I heard we were going to visit Vietnam this season I was a little surprised and more than a little intrigued. Vietnam is a mysterious country that we obviously have a tremendous amount of history with. I was looking forward to seeing for myself what this land and its people had to offer. I’m happy to say that what I found far exceeded any expectations I had. From the moment we landed, the people couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming. Our crew did have a slight problem at the airport trying to bring walkie-talkies into the country, but other than that it was smooth sailing. We stayed at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. It’s about a 20-minute drive past what used to be known as China Beach. I don’t say this flippantly and I think our crew will agree: this was easily one of the nicest, most luxurious resorts we’ve ever stayed in. From the beach all the way up to the ridiculous breakfast buffet, that resort has it all.
Renee got the first date this week and they spent it in the small town of Hoi An, which was about a 45-minute drive from our hotel. I went into this quaint village with some of our crew several times without cameras or fanfare and we felt comfortable there. We had amazing experiences shopping, dining and just getting lost in the city. Renee and Juan Pablo also found it easy to get lost in this village together. Renee just makes life easy for everybody. The fact that she’s a single mom is part of it, but it also has a lot to do with the woman she is. These two obviously connect because they’re both parents, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that.
I’ll be very interested on how you guys feel about several issues this week. Firstly, I want to know what you think of the way Juan Pablo treated Renee, supposedly because of her son. He didn’t kiss her and continued to say it was because of her son Ben. But then he would proceed to grab other girls like Clare or Sharleen and make out with them like nobody’s business. Was this a good gentlemanly move, or should he let Renee decide what’s best for her? Should single moms be treated differently in the dating world or should they decide how they want to be treated? Later in the episode at the cocktail party Renee did finally get that kiss, but it wasn’t until she convinced JP that she wants to be treated just like the other women.
The first thing that struck me on Nikki’s date was her Xanadu headband. Doing her best Olivia Newton-John, Nikki really opened up and showed Juan Pablo she’s a lot more than just a pretty face. I think she really pleasantly surprised him by showing so much depth and compassion. Her love of being a P-E-D-E-A-T-R-I-C nurse really impressed Juan Pablo – even if he can’t pronounce it. She easily got a rose and moved up the list of favorites for Juan Pablo.
The group date led to what is easily the most interesting, bizarre, confusing and dramatic moment of the season so far. First off, it really just seemed to be a one-on-one date between Juan Pablo and Clare with a few other girls along to watch. JP is very attracted to Clare and they have insane chemistry. The two of them can barely keep their hands off each other, and most of the time they don’t. Clare got the rose on the group date, but that wasn’t enough. Feeling confident and frisky after the date, Clare decided to go to Juan Pablo’s room and grab him for what seemed like a fun little midnight dip in the ocean. This wasn’t the skinny-dipping episode with Ben and Courtney – this was a fully clothed late night dip that did get a little physical (or maybe a lot physical), and that could be why Juan Pablo felt so guilty. Either way, both of them mutually consented to be there and both of them really seemed to enjoy themselves. However, something drastically changed from the time Juan Pablo toweled off and the time he showed up at the cocktail party. He was feeling guilty and he decided to let Clare know he was disappointed in himself and somehow in her as well. So my question to you is, was it fair how Juan Pablo treated Clare? Was it okay for him to make her feel bad because he felt guilty for agreeing to do something he apparently later regretted? All of this and Clare’s response made for a very interesting and confusing night for all of us. Much like last week when Juan Pablo decided to restrict his kissing, it appears that the rules are ever-changing here.
His emotion carried over into the rose ceremony where we said goodbye to three ladies, Danielle, Alli and Kelly. (It is my sincere hope that when Kelly returns for the Women Tell All she’ll bring my girl Molly with her.) Next week we’re off to New Zealand. We’re now down to just eight women. Juan Pablo is starting to really have feelings for several of these women, which only makes decisions tougher and tougher to make. He’s really struggling during the rose ceremonies, which was evident when he shed a tear when it was over. It’s not going to get any easier. The incident with Clare might have happened in Vietnam, but it didn’t stay there – the issue between the two of them is far from over. I look forward to hearing and reading your comments below and you can always find me on twitter @ChrisBHarrison.
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