At last it's time to storm the palace for a South Korean cocktail party! Juan Pablo knows the night could be tense, because the "ladies" are "gettin' a little uncomfortable with each other. I can feel it." And even though two of the three women who are safe -- Nikki, Sharleen, and Andi -- have made an agreement to let the other "ladies" get one-on-one time first, Nikki thinks that kind of courtesy is for suckers. She marches her pink-satin-miniskirted butt over to the bench where Juan Pablo is having a heart-to-heart with Clare. "There comes a point where you do have to be a little selfish," she explains. She muscles in to have a meaningful talk with Juan Pablo about how women avoid eye contact and men are great at staring contests, or something. (It's a proven fact, folks. Science.)
Everything's going fine until Juan Pablo makes a passing comment about how the women "might have your things in the house, or whatever." Immediately, Nikki's bitch radar begins pinging. "He kind of hinted that there might be some sort of problem in the house," she muses. "I can only think that he just came from time with Clare -- someone who doesn't really like me that much." Oh snap, it is so ON. Clare's already pissed about Nikki butting in on her time -- "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness," she fumes to Team Bachelor -- so clearly these two show ponies are about to get into a major dogfight. (Sorry, folks, but I'm too tired to unmix my metaphors.)
Unfortunately for all of us, the Nikki-Clare smackdown is more of the restrained, I'm-silently-hating-you-right-now variety than the loud, I'ma-cut-you-skank variety. The duo sits down on opposite ends of the couch (poor Kelly is trapped in the middle) and coolly dismisses the other's concerns. "Yeah there was a lot of drama in the house, but who ever chooses to bring that up in their time with him?" says Clare. Nikki counters with a baby-voiced plea: "I just feel like, keep it to yourself, you know?" Oh, Clare knows. She knows that and so much more, toots: "You're one way with the girls and one way with him," she tells Nikki sharply. "If you were to be how you are in the house around him, like, I don't see that warranting, like, a rose."
But as Nikki points out, it's not Clare handing out the roses. And tonight, Juan Pablo's really not looking forward to the task. "It's the first rose ceremony out of the country, and people will have to fly back home, 12 hours, feeling rejected," he sighs. "And that's not fun." (Well... it might be okay if they're in first class. Those seats recline all the way down!) Roses go to Renee, Chelsie, Kelly (we miss you, Molly!), Danielle, Cassandra, Ali, Clare, and Kat, meaning Lauren and Elise must board the Reject Plane to nowhere. But first, please take a moment and say your goodbyes. Also, Elise, could you please take a moment and explain whatever the hell it is you're wearing?
Well, rose lovers, we're on to Vietnam. Will Clare and Nikki finally come to blows? Will Danielle speak for a second time? Will Renee finally get a kiss? Post your predictions now! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison's exclusive blog over on PopWatch -- as well as my on-the-scene report from Sean and Catherine's wedding (featuring 84-year-old Bachelor superfan/occasional EW.com correspondent Nanny). Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to download 2NE1's greatest hits.