the bachelor finale nikki ferrell juan pablo 'The Bachelor' reunion: Chris Harrison won't accept that Nikki and Juan Pablo are doing OK if he won't say 'I love you'We kick things off for “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” with Chris Harrison saying that the “I like you a lot” part of Juan Pablo’s non-proposal to Nikki got quite the audience reaction. Um, what’s wrong with that?

Honestly, all the crappy Juan Pablo stuff aside, what is wrong with saying that? Why does this show have to end with a proposal? Why do we act like after seven weeks couples are going to be madly in love season after season? If Juan Pablo hadn’t been such a cad, the ending of this season would have been awesome. It was refreshing to see, at least.

Clare’s Hot Seat

Clare is still hurt about what happened and she still won’t repeat what Juan Pablo said to her in the helicopter (though she kind of said it during the finale). This is where Clare loses a little — she should have kicked JP to the curb then and there. Instead, she kept wanting him to prove to her that they were made for each other. Um, if you were made for each other, he wouldn’t have said something like that to you.

Thankfully, Harrison asks her why she stayed after that date and Clare says she should have left, her gut was telling her to leave. Well, at least there’s that. It seems like Clare really grew as a person on this show, so at least there’s that, too.

Clare’s pretty proud of herself for what she said to Juan Pablo when he dumped her and says that was her closure. In the grand scheme of Clare’s life and personal arc, she probably thinks she really told him off. We think she could have gone father and really laid into him, but hey, you go, girl. Move on with your life, you seem like mostly a nice person who is discovering herself. Yay for Clare?

Juan Pablo’s Hot Seat

After a shout-out to Venezuela (not to belittle what is happening there at all, it’s just not germane to this reunion special), Juan Pablo says he still doesn’t have any regrets and says his relationship with Clare was a roller coaster. He also says he doesn’t want to talk about “his private things.”

Harrison keeps pressing the helicopter comment issue and JP says it was a private conversation and it’s between the two of them. He also says he has nothing bad to say about Clare. Does it seem as though Juan Pablo has no idea what Harrison is even talking about? It really seems that way. He is … so weird.

Nikki’s Hot Seat

Nikki says she’s still in love with Juan Pablo and that their relationship is going strong, which is kind of surprising. Harrison asks her if JP has told Nikki he loves her and she says, “Not exactly.” Now, stop gasping in surprise, audience.

As we’ve said, Juan Pablo’s jerky stuff aside, the ending of this show was FINE and he doesn’t necessarily have to have said “I love you” yet. They knew each other seven weeks and then had to go into hiding and sneaking around. They haven’t had a chance to have a real relationship.

Do we think Juan Pablo and Nikki are forever? Probably not, honestly. But it’s not some huge scandal that he hasn’t said “I love you” yet, gang. Let’s all be adults.

This is probably all a big set up for a live, on-air proposal, you know?

Nikki and Juan Pablo Hot Seat

Juan Pablo says they’re going strong, they weathered the four months of secrecy, and everything’s great. He also then says there’s no big surprise. Um, what? Huh. We honestly thought the proposal prediction was spot-on.

Harrison keeps at Juan Pablo with telling Nikki how he feels and then point-blank says, “So, you love her?” OK, stop that, Chris Harrison. You are better than this. Stop making me be on Juan Pablo’s side. JP is exactly right — he doesn’t have to say “I love you” for “The Bachelor” reunion special.

Harrison is still at it like five minutes later, asking Juan Pablo, “So you’re not going to tell her you love her?” and then Harrison goes to the “Bachelor” alums for support, saying that this is what the show is about and we’re all on the journey together.

Um, no. He doesn’t have to say it! Harrison is acting like he’s mad that Juan Pablo the trained monkey won’t perform his tricks now. Geez. Back off. JP is not there and it’s kind of nice to see someone on this show stop pretending.

Harrison then says that people are dying right now, they’re throwing things at their television. Wrong again. My TV is still perfectly intact. Why does he have to say it, Chris Harrison?! And why are you being so weird about this?! Let it go, dude.

Nikki rightly points out that couples on this show before have sat together at the reunion special and have said they’re in love even when it’s not there. Yes! She says this is a real relationship and it’s not realistic to sit there and pretend, especially considering the short amount of time the show tapes over and the fact that he was dating other women at the same time.

Is this a double-secret probation thing where Chris Harrison is haranguing Juan Pablo in order to make Juan Pablo look better? Because it’s totally working. Juan Pablo and Nikki are coming off looking like mature, sane people and everyone else is harassing them.

When we come back from commercial, Harrison wants to know how long Nikki will give Juan Pablo to say “I love you” to her. Oh. My. God. Dude! Give it a rest!

Then Juan Pablo cryptically says their plans changed drastically a couple weeks ago — hmmm — and that they are starting their lives together but they’re keeping things private. OK, then.

Harrison once again goes back to the “Bachelor” alums for help, asking Catherine what she would do if she were Nikki. Catherine says this show is about love and don’t bite the hand that feeds you. WHOA.

Are you serious with this? Was Juan Pablo contractually obligated to tell Nikki that he loves her? Why do we have to pretend? Why is it not OK to just be adults and say we’re figuring things out?

I don’t know about you guys — and lots can be said about Juan Pablo — but I am totally on his side here. He absolutely does not have to blurt out “I love you” on live TV just to make ABC happy here.

Do you know what would have been a lot more interesting? If Harrison and the show had embraced the idea that for this couple, they need more time and they aren’t going to BS the viewers and pretend they’re in love. But God forbid.

What do you think, fans? Was this the weirdest, most awkward “After the Final Rose” ceremony ever?

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."