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Sharleen Joynt on the Bachelor in Paradise Finale + Plus New Video!

Sharleen Joynt—FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her insider’s POV on last night’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise

The Powers That Be deserve credit: That was a damn good finale episode. Disproportionately good, considering what a tedious season this was. Last night miraculously had a bit of everything yet not too much of anything: predictable break-ups, surprisingly happy couples, several entertaining twists and turns, a live segment that was actually interesting and welcome, and yes, an engagement so sweet and sincere, it made everything about this crappy season somehow alright and worthwhile. Oh, and I’m consciously not discussing Dean and his stubborn love triangle, because we all know he royally screwed up this season and there’s nothing more to say.

I’m not sure I’ll ever understand how one person in a couple can be contemplating marriage one day while the other deems them acquaintances, but it made the final conversation and break-up between Christen and Jack pretty amusing. I have to wonder if Jack is a bit in his own head when it comes to romance because, wow, that is some of the worst signal-reading I’ve ever seen. Even when the conversation was underway and Christen’s response was clearly not only unreceptive, but cold and almost mocking towards him, Jack still kept trying to word things differently, repeatedly asking for a “do-over.” In some ways it’s sweet how determined he was to win her over but I can’t help but think if the gender roles were reversed, we would’ve been calling him desperate.

Bachelor in Paradise Finale Review

(Photo: ABC)

A surprisingly engaging storyline was Amanda and Robby’s. Perhaps because the two of them are so “on” and perfect all the time, with never without a hair (or word) out of place, it was fascinating to watch them nearly argue during the live segment. And it was particularly satisfying to watch quiet Amanda (of course with the support of her cheerleaders, Emily and Hailey) stand up for herself and call Robby out for (allegedly) cheating on her. Whether or not it’s true (he of course vehemently denied it), it made for some Paradise finale-worthy gossip fodder, and I may or may not have googled to see which photo it was they were discussing. For those of you who click on that link and read the saga for yourselves: I agree with Amanda; once he brought her kids into the mix (via a retweet), it was a free-for-all.

I felt a similar rah-rah moment for Lacey, who, after a season of being interested in just about any man who deigned to show interest in her, showed quite a bit of strength and self-worth at the live aftershow. Turns out Daniel wasn’t willing to change his Facebook relationship status (does anyone still use those??) and was just stringing her along for… I don’t know, Fantasy Suite time? Airtime? A place to crash in New York? At any rate, it was great to watch someone who started out so needy-seeming march off decidedly—and proudly—single.

Now onto the good stuff: For awhile now I thought there was something really meaningful blossoming between Raven and Adam. Watching it continue to grow, slowly but surely in a world that’s very 0 to 100 in the love department, it’s easy to not only root for them, but also have faith in them. Raven’s own hesitation and cautious optimism is what adds credibility to this relationship; you know she wouldn’t be in a relationship just for the hell of it, for Bachelor Power Couple status, for Instagram followers. This girl is no fool and she knows her worth, which in turn just makes me trust in her judgment.

Finally, the cherry on top of not only this finale but the entire season is the beautiful Taylor and Derek love story. I love how Taylor went against the odds in going on Paradise and found what she did. Think back to Nick’s Women Tell All, a mere six months ago, where Corinne verbally brutalized Taylor, took her apology and pettily refused to offer one in return. Most people would run far and fast, yet in going on Paradise, where Corinne was sure to be, Taylor was knowingly walking right back into the lion’s den. But that courage, that listening to her own gut instead of the warnings of others, paid off big time. If that isn’t a thrilling outcome, I don’t know what is. Congratulations to one of the most mature, mutually understanding and supportive couples I’ve seen on this franchise. I truly believe in these two.

And that’s a wrap for Bachelor in Paradise, thanks for following along with us! Hit up if you need to catch up on any episodes from the season (or if you just want to watch them again, we won’t judge) and we’ll see you back here in a few weeks for Bachelor Canada! 

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