Is Chris Soules The New Juan Pablo?

Being called on to become the next Bachelor used to be a benchmark for television: you were getting to be the main focus of a super-popular reality TV show, looking for love in all the wrong places. Now while these men are still looking for love in all the wrong places, we’re in Season 19 of The Bachelor. There is no romance to this formula any longer, especially because of the many iterations of the show that air year-round: The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad and Bachelor in Paradise, oh my! After a while, all of the mild-looking white dudes blend together. Jake Pavelka? Ben Flajnik? Brad Womack? Sean Lowe? I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup, much let them propose to me on national television. And now, Chris Soules is starting to remind me of Juan Pablo. Yes, really.

For the most part, America and the producers of the show are fine with this: They’ll keep churning out seasons as long as people will still watch them. It’s all a popularity contest, after all. But what happens when a Bachelor isn’t that popular? Last season’s Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, said some really stupid things about gay people before going on to treat all of his contestants like dirt. This season’s star, Chris Soules, is as animated as a garbage bag of chicken livers being made to dance. In my book, they're both the worst, but since they got to pit a group of women against each other, I'm going to do the same: Who really did worse as the Bachelor? Let’s take a look at the facts and decide.

The Look

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Chris and Juan Pablo actually look remarkably alike: I think it’s that haircut they both have. I thought that we, as a society, had banished the flippy front hawk thing, but apparently not. Maybe it's because of the way his finale went down, but I'm getting way more douchey vibes from JP.

The Attitude

Juan Pablo certainly seemed as if he came into The Bachelor thinking about how hot he was and how lucky these women were to be with him for the entirety of filming. How lucky indeed, sir: They got to watch you play soccer (which you did professionally, so kudos I guess), talk to them, ignore their feelings, and fluff your hair. Cheers! Chris started his stint as the Bachelor way too earnestly for my tastes, and he was a little misleading as to who he really is (but I’ll get to that later). So, because I think that Juan Pablo wasn’t misrepresenting himself, for better or worse, when he was who he was on the show, Chris nabs this round.

The “Game”

When Juan Pablo was the Bachelor, it was like he had literally never seen this show before, even though he was a contestant on The Bachelorette the season prior. He got really mad when the cameras were around, when producers would ask him questions, and basically when he was forced to make any sort of decision. It really seemed like he was just there for the attention. Juan Pablo refused to recognize any of the women’s feelings (he would just say “it's OK” to them, instead of, you know, actually having a conversation); he slut-shamed Clare Crawley when they hooked up in the ocean in Vietnam because it wasn’t something he would want his daughter to see (huh?); and he refused, literally until the day they broke up a year after filming, to tell winner Nikki Ferrell that he loved her. Oof.

On this season, Chris has such a one-tracked-minded about finding a wife to bring back to Nowheresville, IA (population: 7, probably) that he forgot to ask any of the front-running women what they want. Chris does the Juan Pablo “smile and nod” really well, but he's not really hearing them. Any time that one of the women would express any sort of misgiving about uprooting to the middle of nowhere, Chris shut down. Human emotion? Doubt? You must not love him enough, ladies.

So who was actually a worse Bachelor? Juan Pablo gets this one, as he was unapologetically awful during his season. Chris seems to genuinely not know what he's doing wrong.

The Wild Card

You have to have a suitable back story to be a Bachelor contestant: your arm was ripped off in a fishing accident and you’re looking for someone to be your right hand, you have a family inheritance that you won’t get unless you marry you're looking for someone with the ability to sign a marriage license, etc. Juan Pablo’s story (when it was convenient for him, at least) was that he wanted a mother for his daughter, Camilla. Juan Pablo used his daughter as an excuse the way I tell people I don’t want to date that my super strict parents won't let me (and I’m 27). JP cited Camilla when he didn’t want to kiss a girl (even though he swapped spit with everyone else); when he felt weird about having sex with Clare; and any time he didn’t want to do anything. As if your four-year-old would be okay with (and would even watch) you make out with eight women, but the ninth would put her over the top. Grow a pair, dude, and just say what you mean. Don’t drag the kid into this.

Chris, on the other hand, uses his hometown as an excuse. Now, Chris’ family is in the farming business, and they own a whole lot of land in a very small town. It’s expected that you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time in Tinyville if you are attached to Chris, and that’s fine. But in a normal, real-life couple, you would, I don’t know, talk about it? You’d talk about where you’d want to live and hopefully come up with a compromise using your hopes, dreams, and fears as markers. Chris takes any doubt about moving to his town as gospel that the woman in question doesn’t like him. He uses his town for an excuse when really Chris is only happy with the lady who is saying nice, pretty things to him. To have a woman who has extraneous thoughts outside of praising him is too much for Chris.

Using your location as a “sorry, I can’t do this” card is crappy, but using your daughter as an excuse? The worst. Thanks for making that round easy, Juan Pablo.

The “Worst” Winner

Wow, I didn’t think I’d come to this so easily because I really dislike Chris, but Juan Pablo, you are the worst bachelor in recent history. Congratulations! Please stay away from the franchise so I can enjoy at least a little bit of it. Thank you!

Images: Getty Images; Denton Hanna/ABC; giphy (2)