Every season I say it: Don’t talk shit to the lead! It never, ever works in a contestant’s favour. It instantly makes them look petty, not focused on their romantic relationship and incapable of getting along with others (not a trait anyone wants in a future spouse). And if you absolutely MUST, for Pete’s sake make sure you have specific examples. Merely hinting at unsavory behaviour but shrugging when an example is asked for instantly delegitimizes everything you’re saying. Furthermore, it always has and always will bewilder me when, in these shit-talking situations, those who strike first are somehow surprised when their opponent retaliates. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate in hypocrisy to clutch one’s pearls in horror at what’s indisputably a counter attack.
Last night’s main course was the exhausting pageant queen drama between Hannah B and Caelynn. Hannah B’s disbelief that Caelynn would defend her own character and fight back—calling Hannah B manipulative and deceitful, the very things Hannah B had suggested Caelynn was—was mind-blowing to me. Caelynn’s words were obviously retaliatory. If anything, up until that point she’d been careful to a fault over what words she used for Hannah B. When Hannah B pulled Colton aside only days after her 1-on-1, choosing to waste her time with him talking shit about someone else (ALWAYS a terrible move!), not only was she ensuring having shit talked about her in the near future, she was also putting the final nail in the coffin in terms of their relationship. What was Hannah B expecting? For Caelynn to just accept it? She practically forced Caelynn’s hand, which was a bad move considering Caelynn is far more sophisticated a shit talker and Colton clearly likes her better.
As an aside, it’s a real shame these two ladies have nearly become the ultimate pageant girl stereotype, just shy of cartoonishly ripping crowns off each other’s heads. Look, I’m not huge into pageants or anything; if anything I fall into the “in the days of #MeToo, are these still a thing?” camp. BUT, I recognize the good in them; I get that there’s a lot of charity work involved, they strive to empower women (even if swimsuit competitions are a head-scratcher to say the least), there’s a focus on talent, charisma, well-roundedness. So with that said, in the face of the many arguments for pageants to go the way of the dodo bird, this Bachelor showing is a pretty huge step back for them. Like, if I were a pageant enthusiast, I would see more tragedy than entertainment in these two accomplished ladies proving so incapable of coexisting. Not a great look for the bigger pageant picture.
There was a side dish last night in the counter-attack category, and that was Tracy’s transparent dig at Demi, where she insinuated that a 23-year old (a.k.a. Demi) wouldn’t know what she’s looking for in a partner yet, or her true “type.” Look, I get what Tracy’s saying—while I don’t think my “type” has changed much since my early 20s, I do think the traits I value and look for in a partner have—but it is ALL about the delivery. Tracy’s condescending diatribe was, as Demi was quick to point out, textbook passive aggression. Most people would pick up on it (it was not subtle), inwardly roll their eyes, suppress a snide response, and quietly categorize this person as deeply annoying. (I know this is what I would do.) But not Demi, who doubled down and fought fire with gasoline. I’m not saying Demi’s considerably harsher response—that she’s glad she’s not an “older” woman (I will forever use quotations when referring to 31 as “older”)—was called for. Two wrongs definitely do not make a right here, or ever. But that further proves just how tone deaf Tracy’s jab was—did she really think that statement was worth her breath to make, or that Demi, with her personality, would ignore it? Part of truly being mature (to use Tracy’s word) is recognizing you’re the oil to someone else’s water. We can’t all get along. Live and let live.
Sharleen Joynt’s Top 4 Following The Bachelor: Episode 3
1. Caelynn Miller-Keyes, 23: “She’s at the top of the pack”
Colton giving Caelynn that Group Date rose this week shot her up to my first-place spot. It says a lot that, even in the face Hannah B’s attempts to take her down a peg or two, Colton still showed his preference for Caelynn. (Most past Bachelors would have not given the rose to either of them.) Caelynn has both fragility and strength, and you can tell she’s well-liked by the other women. She has a natural, easy chemistry with Colton and thus far, he hasn’t been afraid to make it clear she’s at the top of the pack.
2. Elyse Dehlbom, 31: “She’s on fire right now”
Elyse is on fire right now. She got a Group Date rose only last week and got a particularly notable 1-on-1 this week. (You know a date involving kids from Colton’s charity wouldn’t go to just anyone.) Elyse is refined, elegant and self-assured, and I LOVE that Colton recognizes and is attracted to that. It says a lot about him. If Elyse doesn’t make it to at least Hometown week I will be shocked.
3. Cassie Randolph, 23: “A major player this season”
Urgghh, I still think Cassie could win this whole thing but I am seriously confused by how little airtime she’s been getting. If she does win, how is it acceptable that their first kiss (assuming this was their first kiss!) was practically hidden in a montage of Colton discussing his connections with various women? At any rate, Colton called Cassie “cute and sexy at the same time,” which from what I hear from men is THE combo. He calls her quirky and (endearingly) awkward. He said that she gives him butterflies, that they have natural chemistry, and that he can be comfortable and himself around her. Regardless of the insufficient screen time, Cassie will be a major player this season.
4. Hannah Godwin, 23: “We always see her 1-on-1 time”
No date for Hannah G this week but I’m still not thrown off the scent. We always see her 1-on-1 time with Colton and we all know a date card with her name is in the pipeline, likely shooting her back towards the top of this list. Any day now.