Ever since she hesitated over receiving the first impression rose, viewers have watched the opera singer vacillate between knowing Juan Pablo is not the guy for her and giving in to her attraction to the single dad. Ultimately, it was the prospect of bringing Juan Pablo home to meet her folks that made Sharleen pack up once and for all.
As the four remaining women head into hometown dates, host Chris Harrison shares his views on Sharleen's exit, Nikki and Clare's showdown and previews Juan Pablo's rough meeting with one of the girls' parents.
At the beginning of the episode, Juan Pablo actually tells his friend that Sharleen is "the one." Were his feelings really that strong for her?
Chris Harrison: Sharleen was at the top of his list from the moment she got out of the limo. We talked about this during deliberations that you didn't see. I kept asking him and pushing him about Sharleen and whether he felt that the level of chemistry and respect was being reciprocated because I never saw it. He was just so captivated by her and I just think he liked the fact that she was so sophisticated and talented and had so much to offer. He was blinded by that and really wanted it to work.
Were you surprised when she finally pulled the trigger and left?
Harrison: I was surprised it lasted this long. She would convince herself to leave, but then somehow when they were together she would lose her words and be into it and make out with him again. Finally, I think she just thought enough is enough and it's time to rip the band-aid off. She also started feeling guilty because then she's taking a spot and you're bringing families into this next week and it's a lot more serious. She rode this as far as she could in good conscience and did her due diligence to see if something was there and I respect that.
I can't believe Juan Pablo took Nikki to meet his family and the mother of his child! Was it unfair to the other girls?
Harrison: Talk about a huge cultural difference. I thought it was a huge deal that he took Nikki to see his parents because that's something you save for the final stages. When I said that to Juan Pablo, he laughed and said, "Meeting someone's parents and family is not a big deal. You guys [in the U.S.] put so much pressure on meeting the family. In Venezuela, we usually stay with our parents through University and sometimes after and if you're with somebody of course you'll know their family. It's not a big deal." Was it a big deal to Nikki? Maybe so. For him it wasn't a huge step, but the natural thing to do since they were in Miami. Is it fair that Nikki met the family and the others didn't? I have to defer to the rules which are ever changing.
How terrifying though to meet his gorgeous ex.
Harrison: She is beautiful and a posing figure, but she's around quite a bit. She's a part of his life and that's what you marry into. Is it right to meet her on one of your first dates? Lord no. But maybe that's a huge cultural difference. And also it could've been her saying, "If you're going to have Camilla on the show and meet one of the girls, I want to be there."
The season hasn't been too catty, but we finally got a big fight between Nikki and Clare. Was there tension you could see in the house?
Harrison: Definitely. It's going to happen when you have a bunch of girls and they're travelling together and dating the same guy and I'm surprised it's taken this long. At this point in the show the girls are going to feel like if he likes a girl like that, how can he like a girl like me. They see each other as very different although they're really not. They're both really sweet girls with a big love for family. People don't get to see the sweet side of Nikki, but Juan Pablo sees that. If Clare and Nikki really took the time to get to know each other, they might find they're more similar than they think.
What can you tease about next week's hometown dates?
Harrison: The ladies have obviously had their cultural differences with Juan Pablo, but now you're dealing with families ... and some of these parents are not as excited as the girls are. Clare's family, people will see, are a little skeptical and aren't as apt to just give their blessing. They want to see more and don't have that much time with him.
The Bachelor will air on Monday and Tuesday next week at 8/7c at ABC.