bachelor juan pablo countdown special 'Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo': Gia Allemand honored, bachelorettes introducedIn case the two-hour premiere of “The Bachelor” airing Monday, “Juan-uary” 6 is not enough for you, Sunday (Jan. 5) ABC brings fans a special preview episode, which host Chris Harrison informs us is “affectionately” subtitled “Countdown to Juan Pablo.” Speak for yourself, C-dawg.

The Casting Process

The montage of casting footage is kind of hilarious — sticking your whole fist in your mouth or playing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” on the trumpet is sure to get you picked. It’s interesting that they do highlight both Sharleen (the opera singer) and Nikki (a blonde nurse), who are our two early favorites.

Gotta love the girl who really wants “charismatic” guys. As opposed to all of us other women who like boring dudes.

Harrison then informs us that this year, the show is pulling a “Big Brother” and surprising the lucky bachelorettes with a rose to tell them they’re on the show. The first girl he talks to is Lucy, the “free spirit,” who apparently does not do very well on the show because she’s been Instagramming pics of herself and the Snapchat CEO canoodling in various places.

One girl is apparently going to swim to Juan Pablo, while another finds out she’s on the show and starts accosting random elderly couples on the street for tips on how to do well on the show. Hmmm — that makes us think of “Geriatric Bachelor.” Why is that not a show on TV Land already?

Juan Pablo’s Bio

Harrison intros this segment with, “Who is this Juan Pablo guy, anyway?” Well, if you picked a previous “Bachelorette” contestant who had had more than 30 seconds of screentime, you probably wouldn’t have to ask that question.

We see JP’s job, footage of him playing professional soccer and then, of course, his adorable almost-5-year-old daughter Camila. She greatly favors her father, they are very cute together.

He then takes Camila to see his whole extended family, who seem like they’ll be terrific when it’s the final couple episodes and they get to meet the last ladies standing. His Isabel cousin and the aunts/uncles have a hearty laugh about how many different women JP has dated and a jolly-looking uncle calls him by the wrong name (“Juan Carlos”), then his sister Skypes into the reunion and reveals she’s pregnant! Fun family.

gia allemand bachelor suicide 'Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo': Gia Allemand honored, bachelorettes introducedRemembering Gia Allemand

Things turn somber when the show does a segment about Gia, the contestant on “The Bachelor” and “Bachelor Pad” who committed suicide earlier this year. She really grew on us on “Bachelor Pad” and always seemed like a sweet person. It’s a nice tribute, featuring clips of Gia saying nice or funny things and just generally being the happy and gregarious girl she always seemed to be.

They actually have a short interview with Gia’s mom, Donna, talking about the suicide and how there is help out there for people who need it. Donna’s voice breaks as she says how much she misses Gia, it’s very sad.

This Season on “The Bachelor”

There is the requisite montage of the upcoming season, which features shirtlessness, Sean Lowe, pretty women, drinking, tears, bungee jumping, helicopters, horses, fireworks, dancing, shirtlessness, snow, rappelling, boats, kissing, hugging, more kissing, still more kissing, a waterfall, more dancing, more kissing, more horses, more kissing and then — tears, tears, drama, tears, profanity, tears, cartwheels, more profanity, more tears, drama, drama, drama and a woman who actually wails, “Juan Pablo, I hope you die!” Goodness.

Can’t wait, gang. Tune in here Monday night for the two-hour premiere where we get to meet these women!

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."