I’ve been known to defend a villain or two on this franchise. Certainly not all of them (you never saw me defending Corinne or Chad… I’m not crazy!) but those who I felt might’ve just lacked a little social grace and thus got beaten with the Villain Edit stick. Now, Brittany is clearly the least popular woman in the house, and since I believe in “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” there’s no doubt she had her villain status coming. But, I truly don’t think she’s all that bad.
First, what is the big deal about her having snuck a note to Chris? Seriously. Out of all the rules when filming this show, that is hardly a big one to break. I get that, in general, it’s annoying when people behave like the rules don’t apply to them, but that’s really the biggest and only complaint to be had here. Brittany passing Chris a note isn’t her “disrespecting” the other women; it has nothing to do with them. As Brittany correctly stated, “Chris is gonna end up with who he’s gonna end up with.” Whether her note is two sentences or two pages long, if he wasn’t going to pick her, a note isn’t going to affect that. Also, it’s not like note-passing is a first on this show. Didn’t Catherine Giudici famously pass Sean Lowe notes during his season? This was not a major transgression on Brittany’s part, and the hoopla surrounding it was disproportionate.
Second, it’s interesting how Brittany must’ve trusted Lyndsey enough to have told her about the note, yet Lyndsey betraying that trust and telling all the other women wasn’t even a blip on the radar. It’s clear that Brittany was already unpopular (while Lyndsey clearly was well-liked) and the note was pounced on as ammo against her. All previous arguments were just that she’s fake (and thus likely there “for the wrong reasons”), which is a hard thing to pinpoint or prove.
Third, as I mentioned last week, Brittany is never mean to anyone. At least not from what we’ve seen. You could argue she’s fake, and “fake nice” can certainly feel patronizing, as though the fake person doesn’t think you’re smart or perceptive enough to see through it. This is how it felt with Megan, like her intelligence was being sorely underestimated. But if you consider villains of seasons past, where there were bullies and true meanness, Brittany isn’t bad at all.
Finally, note how certain things about this season exacerbate the negative perception of Brittany. It’s awfully convenient that she would be the one to receive the Michael Hill-sponsored, hyper-romantic 1-on-1, when tensions were already high regarding her. Notice how all the women (except for Kait) bombarded Brittany regarding the note, the argument being that perhaps the note was the reason she got said 1-on-1. (Convenient, right? Remember, had the powers that be not nudged the date in Brittany’s direction, this whole note saga might not have been such a big deal.) The climax of that confrontation was Brittany saying, “Our date was f-cking amazing”, then straight to commercial break. Yet, after commercial, Brittany appeared with a new date card and they were all cheering about it. It was as though peace had been made yet was never shown. Later, at the Rose Ceremony cocktail party, Brittany wanted time with Chris despite already having a rose. Several women, particularly Mikaela (never mind that she did the exact same thing two episodes ago), were freaking out since they weren’t sure they’d get time; Brittany’s move was seen as potentially taking time from one of them. Again, the climax was Mikaela saying, “If I don’t get time tonight I’m literally going to lose my mind”, then straight to commercial break. But then, after commercial, it was suddenly the Rose Ceremony. It’s very possible—likely, even—that all the women got their 1-on-1 time, but of course that resolution wasn’t shown, because it makes Brittany more of a villain.
Of course, I always believe that if enough people have a problem with one person, there’s something amiss. The common denominator factor can’t be ignored. But Brittany isn’t mean to anyone. In fact, at worst, she was probably just annoying to live with.
This is the week where we, the “celebrity” team leaders for the fantasy draft, had to pick our final four with no more changes to go. Gahh!! I was a bit frustrated to have to make my final predictions without having seen a major piece of the puzzle, Mikaela’s 1-on-1, which we know is coming. I submitted the following list, but just know that in these recaps, and armed with new information every week, it may switch around…
1. Mikaela, 27: We didn’t really see any 1-on-1 time between Mikaela and Chris so I’ll admit this is a bold decision based on this episode. I’m betting Mikaela’s impending 1-on-1 will be a 2.0 version of last week’s Group-Date-turned-mini-putt-outing. Last week Chris said Mikaela “just gets me,” he said that being with her is “perfection,” and that when he looks at her, it’s “magic.” These statements go beyond physical attraction and basic compatibility. I’ll put it this way: if another woman “wins” this whole thing, she would likely not be thrilled to see him saying those things about Mikaela. Mikaela’s time with Chris always shows a lot of substance, with her asking about how he feels rather than generic, surface talk. Chris pointed out last week that Mikaela asked about how it felt to play baseball, what life was like (as opposed to the glamour), and he noted that most people don’t care about that. (I also give props to Chris for noticing this.) These two have something very real. Now let’s have that 1-on-1, please?
2. Lyndsey, 23: This race is clearly between Mikaela and Lyndsey. There may be a dark horse somewhere, but that’s for a top four spot, not a proposal. One of these two women will win. Chris’s massive (and understandable) misgivings about Lyndsey’s age are what’s holding her back, and I think he’s right to hesitate as much as he is. You could argue that Chris’s 23 is not Lyndsey’s 23, and that she’s very mature and grounded for her age while perhaps he wasn’t. But I, as someone who was a mature 23, and who dated older men because guys my age felt too immature, and who too was living in NYC to pursue my career, I have a strong opinion on this. I thought with certainty I would marry the guy I was dating at that time. I am now 33, and A LOT has happened in that decade. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want in life, that in some ways my 23—as mature for my age as I was—was a completely different person. Perhaps Lyndsey is ready for marriage and kids, but that would make her a very rare exception to the rule. I think Chris is super attracted to Lyndsey and that the banter is fun and easy, but I think that based on her age alone choosing her would be a real gamble.
3. Kait, 29: This wasn’t the most flattering week for Kait. Nothing she did bothered me, but the music during her Group Date cocktail party conversation with Megan painted her as a subtle, secondary villain. Honestly, I saw it as her trying to make conversation with someone with whom she had nothing in common, but there was a word here or there that made the tone condescending: “Tell me about your town, where you live. What kind of things are actually there?” Funny how the word “actually” somehow makes the entire question sound rude. But I like Kait. I think she’s interesting and very intelligent and probably can’t relate to Megan at all. Meanwhile, I think she and Chris can relate on something none of the other women can relate on—living out of a suitcase for most of the year and wanting to put roots down. Based on her screen time I am certain Kait won’t “win,” but I still think she’ll make final four.
4. Catie, 29: It was the kiss of death for Catie this week. When you tell someone you’re excited about a future with them and the person they are, and that you think coming to meet them is destiny, and all they respond with is a vague and noncommittal, “I believe you’re here for the right reasons and I do believe there’s a reason why you’re here,” it’s game over. In his ITM, Chris called Catie “intense,” which is not something I see as a good thing. This bumped Catie to the fourth spot for me, though I still do see her making final four.
Watch The Bachelor Canada Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on W Network. Then, head on over to FLARE.com/themorningafter for Sharleen Joynt’s always on-point recaps.