First off, since I missed this on Monday, I’m watching the Tivo’d version…which tells you right in the description who gets the one-on-one date! C’mon, Tivo. Although it’s convenient for me. And then, the previews of the night’s ep actually spoil that info as well, so I guess I can’t be too upset at Tivo.

Tonight JP takes his bevy of bride-wannabes to Seoul! We first see him saying farewell to Camilla, while a voiceover says “It’s sad for me to say goodbye to someone that I care about.” There is no way that line was actually uttered about his daughter, whom he presumably LOVES, show. You know that was part of a kicking-to-the-curb speech for some unlucky bachelorette. Anyway, JP goes on to say that it’s his turn now, and he has to do him, and yada yada me time.

At the Manor of Shattered Dreams, the 13 remaining bachelorettes are assembled so Chris Harrison can come address them. He comes out, and you can tell who’s watched the show by how excited they are–they know it’s time for the real travel. Sure enough, he says, “It’s time to pack your bags and grab your passports” because they’re going “to the home of K-Pop…Gangnam Style…”. At this point, about 2/3 of the women are overjoyed, while the remainders still don’t seem to know where they’re going. He finally tells them: it’s Seoul, South Korea! Yay! They have an hour to pack, and some of them are just losing it. “Korea?” Clare squeals. “I don’t even have a kimono!” Well, don’t worry about that, Clare, because that’s Japanese. But do you own a hanbok?

In a flash, they’re on the streets of Seoul and rushing to meet JP while K-pop plays in the background. That’s going to get super-annoying really quickly, so I hope it winds down soon. They’re sitting in a hotel lobby while JP casually wanders the night market eating food on a stick. As the ladies get ready to read the group date card, Nikki talking-heads about how she’s only had group dates, and she “doesn’t thrive in that setting,” so she wants some one-on-one time. So who’s going on the group date? Chelsie, Cassandra, Elise, Danielle, Kat, and Nikki (surprise). The only hint to the date’s contents is the single word “pop.” I smell a music video.

The women are in a van speculating stupidly on what “pop” might mean, and discard both popcorn and bubble gum as possibilities. Nikki is still grousing about having to share. The girls are all in candy-colored workout wear. (Do you think that’s provided for them?) In fact, they’re touring YG Entertainment, home of K-Pop’s mega-group 2NE1 (which is pronounced “twenty-one,” not “to anyone” as I had assumed). They come in and watch the group rehearsing in a dance studio, and you can see the look on Cassandra’s face: “Step off, bachelorettes, I GOT THIS.” (You may recall she’s a Laker girl or some such.) The group leader welcomes them in excellent (American-accented) English and cranks up the music, telling the ladies to show them what they’ve got.

JP starts and seems goofy, and then Kat jumps in and looks good, if aerobicize-y. Nikki’s all, “I can’t really dance,” so I assume she’ll get grouchier. Kat insists that she’s crushing it, and perhaps I called out the wrong ‘ette before? No sign of Cassandra. Nikki says in a talking head, “If there was a sign that said ‘I am the best at this,” I’m sure she would put it over her head.” OK, heh.

After the girls dance for a while and learn a routine, 2NE1 comes back in and tells them that they’ll be backup dancers onstage tonight! JP asks if Nikki’s excited, and she says no–so I assume we’re building up to the “Faced My Fears and Did It Anyway” routine. Don’t worry about it, hon, no one’s going to remember you two minutes after your routine’s over. (Do they have the Bachelor in SK?)

In hair and makeup, Nikki is still freaking out, which is even more hilarious now that she’s wearing a t-shirt with a pink kitten on it. Frankly, she should be thanking her lucky stars they didn’t put her in the black-and-white striped leggings that are making the willowy Cassandra look chunky. Turns out they’re in a mall, and people are surrounding all the levels looking down on them. Don’t worry, guys–that’s how Tiffany got her big break!

 

The music starts, the crowd goes nuts, Kat is eating it up and now all the bachelorettes are just club dancing, not worrying about the routine they “learned.” Kat is trying to upstage the actual stars, and the other girls begin to turn on her in their talking heads. And then it’s over, and the ladies can shed their 80s wear for cocktail dresses and regret.

Cocktails are being held at the Korea Furniture Museum, and as we approach, one of the girls says, “Oh, cool, look how the writing is, it’s so different.” I don’t know if it’s more concerning that she didn’t anticipate this before leaving the States, or that she’s only noticing it now after having been in Korea for 24 hours. In the center of the museum is a lovely grassy courtyard, and tea waiting for all of them (though two girls have opted for champagne–maybe it was sake, not tea?). Kat is trying to press home her advantage in one on one time with JP, and we intercut that with Nikki talking to the other girls. Nikki’s launching into a “someone’s not here for the right reasons” speech about Kat while Kat is gearing up for “one of the other girls is fake,” which as any veteran Bachelor-watcher can tell you, is the kiss of death. Don’t do it, Kat! Oh, maybe I’m wrong, because now Kat’s giving JP her sob story–parents divorced when she was quite young because her dad was an alcoholic, and he wasn’t really part of her life.  Because of that, she doesn’t like to be vulnerable.

Cassandra is next to have some one on one time, and she says that Nikki’s negative and catty…and so does Danielle, in a talking head. And so does Elise, saying she’s the most negative person in the house. OK, I’m now hopelessly confused, because we’ve just cut to JP talking to a blonde. What happened to Cassandra? Did she go furniture shopping? In fact, all the women seem to vanish after their one-on-ones. IS JP KILLING OFF BACHELORETTES?

It’s time for Nikki’s private time, and she tells JP that it was a challenging day, but she was happy to rise to the occasion (of course). She says she loves kids, would love to meet Camilla, and “is a great diaper-changer” which JP seems to like. I think Nikki might be too smart for the room.

Back at the ranch, it’s time for the one-on-one date card, which reads: “Sharleen, are you my SEOUL mate?” One of the girls says, “What do you think that means???” Sharleen calmly says, “I think we’re probably going to explore Seoul together.” Then in a talking head, she basically says, “Yeah, I’m not sure how connected we are, but we’ll see.” I’m telling you, this girl is going all the way to the finale, people! Clare, in her own talking head, has a touch of the crazy eye as she says she doesn’t think Sharleen feels strongly enough about JP. And the rest of the girls observe that they’re the second group date together.

Back at Kofum, it’s time to hand out the date rose, and Nikki thinks it belongs to her. JP picks up the rose, and then says, “Nikki, can I talk to you for a second?” As they walk away, Elise in a talking head goes, “Eccch.” Heh. Nikki, in her own interview, is chortling: “I got. A rose. On the group date. AGAIN.” Easy, girl.

Oooh, preview of Sharleen’s date just got interesting! JP asks her, “How many kids do you want?” and she goes, “Me?” Then we cut to an interview where she says, “I’m sure most of the girls here are all, ‘I wanted 3 kids, like, yesterday.’…but if I tell him the truth, I could be going home.” I would love to see some bachelorettes that don’t want kids! But I assume this is going to peter out into, “I’m not ready for babies yet, but I love older kids…”

JP comes to pick up Sharleen and they begin their day of wandering around. They start through a market, shop for hanboks (which I totally know are called hanboks now!), and eat things they can’t identify. Sharleen is kind of hilarious as she tastes something and her face instantly expresses this:

nope nope nope

Then JP hands her a can of something to wash away the taste, and she doesn’t like that either. But they’re laughing about it (cut to slightly annoyed Koreans staring at the Americans with the cameras following them).

The women who went on the date yesterday are sitting around the hotel doing their nails. (Can’t they go out and explore? What’s the point in coming to Seoul if you don’t see any of it?) They’re talking about Sharleen, and Chelsie says she can’t see them together. In fact, she says Sharleen’s said she’s bored by JP and they have dull conversations. I actually believe that’s true, but it doesn’t change my opinion that Sharleen is playing him like a fiddle.

Back on the one-on-one date, JP and Sharleen go to a beautiful tea house (it’s here) for the “let’s share our feelings” portion of the date. She talks about her singing a bit, and tells JP he’s “cheeky, not bland.” She has to teach him what bland means. In a voiceover, she tells us that JP “surpassed her expectations” by being curious about the world and open minded and more fun than she thought. Basically, till now, she thought he was just a pretty lunkhead, but this sounds like, “I can work with this.”

As night falls, they walk into some other beautiful ancient-looking courtyard, and JP presses Sharleen to sing for him. She demurs, telling us that she never sings for men this early in the relationship. Who knew that singing was the equivalent of putting out for opera singers? But of course, ultimately she does it–just a couple of runs (which he immediately interrupts with, “You’re good.” Shut up and just enjoy it, dummy!) and then it’s time for kissing. The kissing is slightly less awkward, and in a talking head, Sharleen says he’s a good kisser. She also says, “I think there’s a shot that we could fall in love.” Heh. Faint praise indeed.

They move on to have tea at a little table with The Rose, and Sharleen thanks him for the perfect date, saying she felt special. JP says, “You are special. You’re different.” And she replies, “But not weird-different?” He says, “Not weird different. Well, you are a little weird.” Heh. JP says that they have SO much in common, which I suspect Sharleen might doubt. They talk about living abroad and feeling like outsiders in foreign countries. And then it comes: “How many kids do you want?” Quick cut to women in hotel saying “you have to want kids.” Then back to JP saying, “Before you come on the show, they tell you that the bachelor has a daughter, so hopefully that means the bachelorettes also want kids.”

The hotel women say they don’t see Sharleen as motherly, because she’s too prim and proper. Renee, back at the ranch, says “her gut” tells her Sharleen isn’t coming home. But Sharleen is smart enough to talk around it, and tells JP that she’s been so career focused in the past, and had dated another man with a daughter before, and at the time wasn’t prepared for it. But then they move on from it, JP picks up the rose, sings her praises but adds a “but…I appreciate your honesty.” And gives her the rose! Ooh, the hotel girls are gonna be pissed.

It’s the next day, and the remaining women meet JP on the street. It’s Renee, Clare, Andi, Kelly, Alli and Lauren (who?), if you’re keeping score at home. They stop in front of a little house with curtains on the window, and people peering out…turns out this is a karaoke bar! Well, not a bar, I guess. They run into a room with pink floral wallpaper, and it seriously looks like your grandma’s house. They all dive in, but of course they’re singing along to Korean songs, so they have no clue what’s going on anyway. They just dance around and get silly, and we get more K-pop on the soundtrack. (Do you think it’s all 2NE1 songs?)

Then it’s time for all sorts of random stuff–shopping! Photo booths! Swan boats! (OK, those look cool.) Then it’s on to a place with a sign that says “Dr. Fish Zone.” I know what this is! Fish pedicures! Do it, ladies! Some of the women know what it is already, and some are baffled. Soon they’re all laughing and squealing (and Kelly does a funny fish impression). Renee is embarrassed because the fish are flocking to her. JP expresses surprise that the women aren’t freaked out–they already have this in the States, buddy. Ain’t no thing.

Clare makes a move–she’s always trying to be next to JP, and the other women are eye-rolling at it. Clare also hands JP a weapon by saying, “Please tell me we’re not going to eat octopus,” so of course that’s what they’re going to do. All the women eat it, and Kelly says in a talking head, “Clare’s piece is literally this big [tiny], and I know you’ve swallowed bigger things than that.” Heh. She eventually eats it, and then seems to spend the next twenty minutes trying not to hurl.

That evening, Renee is the first to get her one-on-one time with JP, and she thinks it would be great if JP kissed her tonight. But she won’t. Stop. Talking. Renee, put a sock in it! She finally says, “How would Camilla feel if she saw me kissing her dad?” JP doesn’t take the opening and instead lobs it back to her: “I don’t know, how would Ben [Renee’s son] feel?” In a talking head, he claims he wants to kiss Renee, but he’s already kissed six women and doesn’t want his daughter to see him kissing 20. Um, but six is OK? He says he’s not going to kiss anyone on this date, because he needs to take a step back. Renee thinks he’s respecting her because of her son, but really, it seems clear to me that JP’s not interested.

Next up is Alli, who also doesn’t get kissed. Meanwhile, the “Clare is possessive” meme gets a workout. Andi’s up next, and gets the plinky music of “comedy interlude.” I don’t think that bodes well for her long-term prospects. They talk about hobbies, and seem to have kind of a friend-vibe. That said, JP insists that he wants to kiss her, but since he promised himself he wouldn’t on this date, he’s holding off.

So basically, this whole group is the “non-kissed” group. Lauren actually has the gumption to ask for un beso, and is denied. He says he has a daughter, and doesn’t want her to see Daddy kissing. Lauren accepts it graciously in the moment, but in a talking head she’s in tears, because she’s done the math. Daddy had no problem kissing plenty of other women, so he’s obviously just not interested. Now we’re back in the moment, and Lauren is crying to JP himself while the other women watch. They’re sympathetic to Lauren’s sorrow, which means they don’t think she has a chance.

Now Clare’s up, which means the other women get to talk about her behind her back. And I am kind of in love with Andi and Kelly as they do a hilarious recreation of JP feeding Clare octopus. Cut to Clare in her tete-a-tete with JP, saying, “Oh my God, I ate octopus!” Heh. And then she confesses that she threw up in her mouth a little, but she swallowed it. Um, super-romantic, there. She also explains to us that after their first date, she told JP that she wanted to lay off the kissing until their connection was more secure. And then she says, “Why did I do that!?” But JP remembers it, and tells her he appreciates it. He figures hopefully this means one less weeping woman to deal with. Or…it means he’s a sucker. She eats some chocolate sexily, and he kisses her anyway. The other women are going to be mental.

So, who gets the rose? JP picks it up, tells all the women it’s been a great night, and gives it to…Andi! Cut to Clare, who’s doing the “favored Oscar nominee who just heard someone else’s name announced” face. It’s delightful.

And finally, finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony. It’s pretty amazing, actually–they have it in a palace that could be the backdrop for an amazing movie. JP greets them for the pre-rose cocktails–there are ten women still scrapping for a rose, and Sharleen says there was a sort of agreement among the women that those who already have a rose should “be respectful and not try to sabotage the others’ time.” But of course, she follows that with, “We’ll see who sticks to their word,” suggesting she knows that this agreement is worth the paper it’s printed on.

First to slip away with JP is, of course, Clare. While they’re talking, Nikki decides she’s going to go see JP anyway. This part is practically shot like a horror movie, as Nikki’s shadowy figure rises up the staircase behind the couple. Run, Clare, run! But it looked like they were breaking up anyway, so JP escorts Clare back and sits with Nikki, who’s flirting like mad.

Sharleen, talking with Lauren and…Andi? discuss whether he notices that Negative Nikki disappears when he’s around, and of course they all think no. Because Boys are Dumb. Or are they? JP drops a hint that maybe there’s trouble in paradise? It genuinely seems like he might just be fishing, but Nikki’s on the “it’s not paranoid if they really are out to get you” train. And speaking of awkward, Kelly is sitting in between Nikki and Clare…and immediately makes it more awkward by telling them what JP said. Which opens the floodgates! Nikki’s all, “What drama?” and Clare decides to tell her that everyone thinks she behaves differently with JP than with the girls. Nikki bristles, but also takes it as a sign that Clare’s threatened.

Roses! At last! JP points out that to add insult to injury, anyone not receiving a rose tonight has to “fly home 12 hours feeling rejected.” Yes, adding the 12-hour flight really is unfair. I hope they at least get business class.

We jump right into roses, and the first up is Renee! Then Chelsie, Kelly, Danielle (how? has he said more than 2 words to her?), Cassandra–at this point I must observe that each rose is interspersed with a shot to Sad Lauren, who appears to be wearing a Members Only jacket over her cocktail dress–Alli, and Clare. We’re down to our final rose, and we still have Kat, Lauren and Elise without a rose. Who’s it going to be? Party girl Kat!  Cue the tears from Lauren. Elise seems to be holding it together better…hope her late mom isn’t too upset that she didn’t win. I guess not, because Elise says her mom wouldn’t have wanted her to stay around such “negative, ugly people.” As she totters out of the palace on her heels, I must observe that her skirt has hiked WAY up and they should have let her fix that first.

Lauren regrets going in for the kiss, but I don’t think that was what sealed the deal. She’s convinced she made mistakes, but I think JP just didn’t like her that much.

Among the women, JP tells them that their next destination will be warmer. It’s…Vietnam! And it’s clear that the “no kissing” rule is off the table.

Until next week!