I know I spend every Bachelor/ette Canada season raving about how much more humane a show it is than its American counterpart. I hate to be a broken record, but it really bears repeating. This show is simply nicer. Okay, so you could argue that the contestants themselves are less willing to trade their dignity for airtime, and thus are perhaps less able to exploit overall. And I’m not claiming there are no bad edits. But even with the villains this (and every) season, there’s enough onscreen evidence of bad (or questionable!) conduct to feel like the show is playing messenger more than it’s playing God.
I’m fairly certain this season’s two distinct villains (so far), Shanti and Brittany M (and their families), would beg to differ with me. But I swear: on the American show, it’d be a LOT worse. Shanti’s issues, which clearly should be worked on in a far more private setting, would have been milked for all they were worth until she was recognizable in day-to-day life as “the crazy one from Bachelor Canada“. The way I see it, the show letting her go in Episode 2 was a display of compassion. Conversely, Brittany M seems far more in the driver’s seat with her villainy. She has an affected, actor-y way about her that obviously puts the other women off. But that aside, there have been enough examples of manipulation (her consoling and manipulating Shanti last week), multiple women voicing irritation with her, as well as erring on obnoxious (wearing her Group Date rose in her hair to talk to the other women—how Courtney Robertson-esque) for me to think it’s not just puppet strings painting her unflatteringly.
However, one thing I cannot take away from Brittany M is the fact that she is good television. There’s a knowingness to her that suggests she’s almost steering her own edit, like she’s 100 percent in on it. Most importantly, her behaviour feels decisively competitive and doesn’t come across bully-ish to me, which as a viewer doesn’t make me feel icky to enjoy. There’s a purity to a villain of this breed that I appreciate.
My frontrunners based on this episode are…
1. Lyndsey, 23: It may be surprising that I bumped Lyndsey to the top position just now and not last week when she had her (strong) 1-on-1, but let me explain! Observing Chris with Lyndsey SINCE that 1-on-1 has been very telling. As he watched her on the mechanical bull, he looked like the laughing-crying and heart-eye emojis rolled into one. He is clearly super attracted to her and has mentioned how hot he thinks she is more than he he has about any other woman. He also called their personalities “the same,” has said they “just vibe,” and that “it’s so easy” to be with her. The connection these two share seems way ahead of the others and there’s a way Chris looks at Lyndsey that has me finally putting her first this week. I still might find her too young for what Chris has said he’s looking for, but alas, this isn’t about me! This is about predicting Chris’ wants, and right now it seems like he wants Lyndsey.
2. Mikaela, 28: The more we get to know about Mikaela the more I think she’s not what I imagined she’d be like based on her bio and intro video. She’s a bit less polished and more vulnerable than she seemed, all in a very good way. When she revealed to Chris that she was overweight in high school, I was surprised but it also explained a lot. She’s an interesting mix of seeming like someone who marches to the beat of her own drum but who also has a slight but endearing streak of insecurity, of possibly being a people-pleaser. I was a bit disappointed when she aggressively sought out time with Chris at the Cocktail Party where she already had a rose (this is ALWAYS a no-no in my books!), but I couldn’t help but suspect that was made worse by Noah Cappe’s too-well-timed entrance. (I strongly suspect he was sent in to end the 1-on-1 times and make Mikaela’s transgression seem worse.) All that aside, Mikaela and Chris seem to have a great compatibility, he’s mentioned being attracted to her several times, and, well, she got that Group Date rose! She continues to be a frontrunner.
3. Cait, 29: Like Mikaela, Cait’s another woman about whom I’d formed a first impression that is rapidly being proven wrong. It’s not that I didn’t like Cait from the get-go, but the combination of her occupation (or rather, the wording of her occupation) and her suggestive kimono-shedding limo exit had me suspecting she was playing things up for TV. On her 1-on-1 this week, we learned that doing this show is actually very uncomfortable for her (yay, a little 4th wall breakage!), that she is clearly highly intelligent and wants someone who can challenge her, and that she is damaged from a past relationship. She came across as strong yet vulnerable, cultured and very, very classy. The more I saw of Cait, the more I liked her, and clearly Chris feels the same way. The way he kissed her on this date was not run-of-the-mill.
4. Catie, 29: I debated putting Stacy in this spot as she pulled ahead quite a bit this week (with Chris calling her “obviously stunning”, and with a kiss and everything!), but I am still convinced Catie will be going very far and refuse to bump her from my Top 4. Not a lot of development on the Catie front—in fact, a word search for “Catie” in my notes amassed zero results!—but we all know a 1-on-1 date card is coming her way any day now. I remain steadfast!
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.