After the commercial break, it's clear something is very wrong. For one thing, Juan Pablo's already in his suit, staring gravely at a black velvet Neil Lane box that contains an appropriately gaudy ring. If Team Bachelor didn't even bother to include the traditional consultation between the Bachelor and the "jeweler to the stars," well that can only mean one thing: They've got way better material. And Juan Pablo does, indeed, look pretty solemn as he stands at the proposal platform waiting for the first "lady" to arrive. Are any of us surprised that the woman who steps off the boat first and loops her hand through Harrison's arm is none other than… Clare? (I suppose this means we're really not going to see that DVD message from her dad. Why is life so unfair??)
For whatever reason, Clare talks first, telling Juan Pablo that though there were times that she "wanted to bolt" and times that she would "question things," in the end she believes they have "something special." The Bachelor takes his turn next, and it's all perfectly down-the-middle, could go either way stuff about their "ups and downs" and how "unbelievable" and "amazing" she is... and then comes this: "I wish the earth sucked me today, because this is the hardest decision." (Unlike that whole "pervert" situation, God willing this malapropism really is due to a language barrier -- otherwise this dude is into kinkier sh-- than any of us could imagine.)
Clare's eyes go black, and she rejects Juan Pablo's goodbye hug. (Cue the applause!) Watch out, buddy, because Mistress BabyVoice is angry -- and she needs someone to punish. She begins lashing out with her verbal riding crop: "I've saved this moment for the man of my dreams -- and I thought that was you!" THWACK! "I'm not done!" SMACK! "Sharleen, she didn't have the feelings for you... Andi did the same thing." SNAP! "What you just made me go through -- I would never want my children having a father like you!" CRACK! With that glorious exit line, Clare marches down the packed-dirt trail into Harrison's waiting arms. Back at the Proposal Platform, Juan Pablo reels from the beating he just took but tries to shake it off for the cameras. "Whoo! I'm glad I didn't pick her," he says loudly, with a shrug that's too strained to be genuinely casual.
As she angry-cries through her exit interview, Clare seethes about Juan Pablo's duplicity ("Don't tell me how much your family loved me!") and his dirty mouth ("Don't tell me you love f---ing me!"), and sends an anguished cry into the universe for the soulmate she deserves: "Where's the man who makes me feel like I'm worth it?" Hmmm... maybe try your local church?
Okay, blondie -- it's time for your "dream" to come "true." You're about to hear Juan Pablo say he loves you. Oh, wait... sorry, we're getting some new information here... You're actually going to hear him say he loves a bunch of things about you. "I love how much you care about other people. I love your honesty, so much... I can see you as a good stepmom for Camila." And now for the big but: It turns out Juan Pablo really was listening when Nikki's dad Tom politely asked him not to propose if he wasn't feeling it 100 percent. "That made me think a lot," he admits. "Honestly, I have a ring here in my pocket, and I'm not gonna use it. Um-mm." Nikki, who's been turning redder and redder and nodding faster and faster as her excitement builds during this prelude, blinks twice -- hard -- and then just keeps on nodding, nodding, nodding.
NEXT: "Don't get cranky now"