"This Is the Season of Rumours and Gossip:" Sharleen Joynt on Episode 7 of The Bachelor

The former contestant shares her insider’s POV on last night’s episode

Sharleen Joynt

On last night’s Group Date, Colton asked four of his girlfriends: “I’m hoping we can use today, especially before Hometowns, to be sure that if you’re going to introduce me to your family, that you feel confident in where we’re at.” Am I the only one who finds it hypocritical that Colton wants complete and utter assuredness from his group of ladies? (Yes, his GROUP of ladies.) He wants to know that each and every one of them is 100% ready for marriage, 100% dedicated to him and 100% going to say yes to a proposal at the end of this, yet, given how many women are left, this is something he cannot even come close to providing in return. Further, his ongoing fear about anyone being there for less-than-sincere reasons has gone from sad and a bit painful (in his insecurities and inability to trust his own instincts) to truly laughable: I find it rich that any lead could be so butthurt that their contestants might have opportunistic inclinations given this entire season is one giant opportunity for him. He of all people knows the advantages that come with coming on—and lasting on—this show. It’s sanctimonious of him to hold it against anyone seeking those same perks.

But where Colton really misses the mark is he assumes anyone with any intentions other than love is automatically there for the wrong intentions. This simply isn’t true. In my day, you went on this show for the experience, some travel and adventure, and maybe love. The mindset commonly was and still is: “Love would be great, sure.” Nowadays, the desires aren’t so different among contestants-to-be, but there are the added factors of social media followings, fame that lasts a hell of a lot longer than 15 minutes and the potential to truly change one’s career. But while Contestant A could have love and love alone as their reason for going on this show, and Contestant B could have 20 reasons, one of which is love, that doesn’t make Contestant B’s readiness, worthiness or sincerity any less than Contestant A’s. In fact, I would argue Contestant A is probably a little off his or her rocker—I’ve said before that you’d have to be legitimately crazy to go on this show solely for love. (The odds are so NOT in your favour, after all, and hell, you haven’t even met the guy!) And let’s get real: there’s no way even Colton himself went on Becca’s season solely for love, either. (Remember when he kinda sorta dropped Tia for a spin on TV? Twice?) And that’s NORMAL. That makes him SANE.

The right mindset to maintain here is the one Rachel Lindsay—the reigning champion in model lead behaviour—had on her season. She knew not everyone there might be completely gung-ho about, or ready for, or solely seeking love. She knew it would be unreasonable to expect that kind of blind dedication and affection of her whole flock of men. All she wanted was their open-mindedness, their being truly open to the possibility and experience of finding love with her there. It would serve Colton well to adopt this mindset. It would serve him to let the relationships unfold naturally (or as naturally as humanly possible given the circumstances)—not by desperately seeking intel on each woman (only to promptly report that intel back to the woman in question), constantly fearing being taken advantage of, being distrustful to the point of paranoid, and generally white-knuckling his way through every hurdle.

As for this week’s hurdles, if there has ever been a case for The Bachelor becoming a hidden-camera reality show (à la Big Brother or even Bachelor in Paradise), I think this episode was it. Right now it feels like I’m meant to recap a blank Bachelor-themed Mad Libs…

  • When Katie warned Colton about women not being “ready,” she was referring to _____ and ______. 
  • Though Katie isn’t there to confirm anything, she heard Caelynn and Cassie talk about _____, becoming _____ and going to _____.
  • Tayshia deems Caelynn not ready for a proposal and marriage based on ______. 
  • Kirpa believes Cassie doesn’t have anything to back up her denial of ______.  

We were clearly not given a MASSIVE piece of the puzzle here, or crucial, necessary details to know which “she” in this week’s edition of She Said, She Said is telling the truth. What, exactly, did Katie hear Cassie and Caelynn say? What are these oft-cited but never actually described red flags of theirs, as “observed” by Tayshia and Kirpa? There was a glaring lack of specificity overall, and we simply don’t have enough information to pick a side in The Great Who’s ‘Not Ready’ Debate. And that’s annoying.

What’s really annoying: this is THE season of rumours and gossip. Never in my many years of watching this show and its spinoffs have I witnessed this level of contestants pouncing on and wielding the dirt they’re acquired—whether directly or indirectly—on one another. What makes it all so frustrating is that the vast majority of this so-called information is hearsay. Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but if I don’t hear something from the source, I don’t consider it official. In general, loose lips do sink ships—rarely do you regret opting to keep your mouth shut when it comes to gossip.

Sharleen Joynt’s Top 3 Following The Bachelor: Episode 6—and Who She Thinks Is Going Home

A photo of Bachelor season 23 contestant Cassie (Photo: Courtesy City)

1. Cassie Randolph, 23: “I can’t imagine Colton picking someone over her”

If Colton didn’t care so much about the women in question, I don’t think this week would have been so difficult. In my eyes, it’s the fact that Colton clearly cares about Cassie A LOT (and arguably the most) that made him such a mess. And yet, in the face of all these rumours, he not only gave her the final rose of the week, but upon doing so, even said “come here” with a grin, pulling her to him like it was never even a question. The way these two just are when they’re together has Cassie back up to my top spot. I just can’t picture Colton picking someone over her.

A photo of Bachelor season 23 contestant Tayshia Adams in a peach romper (Photo: Courtesy City)

2. Tayshia Adams, 28: “It’s clear he relies on—and trusts—her”

There’s no denying the ease and compatibility between Colton and Tayshia. Their day spent eating, drinking, and grocery shopping in and around Denver felt very natural and boyfriend/girlfriend-like, and it was by far the most feel-good date of the episode. I still think Colton finds a lot of comfort in Tayshia, and I also think him choosing her for his first Denver 1-on-1 was as much for his mental state as it was for their relationship. I personally wish Tayshia hadn’t spilled any beans to Colton about which ladies aren’t “ready,” but he actively sought that from her, so it’s clear he relies on—and trusts—her.

(Photo: Courtesy City)

3. Hannah Godwin, 23: “I don’t want her going anywhere”

The facts that, a) Hannah G didn’t get her own date this week, and, b) we weren’t actually shown Colton giving her this major Hometown rose, give me pause about Hannah G “winning.” That said, she was truly an island of respite in a sea of gossip and heated exchanges this week. It’s so nice to at least have one frontrunner NOT involved in all the drama. So truthfully, while I’m not sure if I see Hannah G at the very end of all this, I’ve got her up high on this list because, thinking wishfully, I don’t want her going anywhere. But Colton is crazy attracted to her, too, so I can’t see him letting her go just yet.

A photo of Bachelor season 23 contestant Caelynn (Photo: Courtesy City)

Going home next week: Caelynn Miller-Keyes, 23: “We hardly saw Colton and Caelynn this episode”

I could be wrong, but I just had a feeling, watching Colton freak out about Tayshia’s words about Cassie and Caelynn, that he was more distraught about Cassie. Caelynn still got one of the very few second 1-on-1s to go around, however, the sweet and sentimental parts that might’ve supported the telling of a beautiful love story felt completely skimmed over in favour of showing drama. We hardly saw Colton and Caelynn in moments of togetherness or romance this episode, and given how long it’s been since her 1-on-1 date and how little quality airtime we’ve seen of them since, I can’t help but think Caelynn’s time in the running could be nearing an end.

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