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Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode 8 PLUS New Video!

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

For as long as I’ve been watching this show, I’ve struggled to wrap my mind around the concept of the lead truly falling for multiple people. But Rachel is so grounded and realistic, the fact that even she struggled as she did last night (with still two more cuts to go!) speaks volumes. It goes to show that under unique circumstances (i.e.: The Bachelor bubble) even the most level-headed minds can develop some form of love for multiple people at the same time. Yay for social experiments!

Any pragmatists who, like me, tend to watch this show critically, certainly—also like me!—really enjoyed last night. There was a generous dose of realism to satisfy even the biggest skeptics’ tastes. First, I love how Rachel made a point of mentioning that she was wary of Bryan’s too-good-to-be-true vibes from the get-go. So many viewers still criticize his smoothness and tendency to say the right thing at the right time, but we know Rachel’s no dummy and she has emphasized she doesn’t want to get played. Even in this fantasy world, her feet seem firmly planted on Planet Earth, and something tells me no man could play her for a fool. Second, Peter’s doubts are darn refreshing. I feel like it’s been awhile since we’ve had a male contestant this far along express such doubts; as I mentioned on my Morning After video recap, the last to come to mind is Brooks. When I watch Peter, I see myself had I stuck around for Hometowns, and I’m sure most of you critical-thinking viewers see a bit of yourselves, too. There’s also a Becca (circa Chris Soules’s season) vibe to his logic: He likes Rachel. A lot. He could see himself dating her, committing to her, naturally seeing where it goes. But an engagement…? It’s too all-or-nothing, and I think we can all feel Peter’s pain. Third, Rachel axing Dean made it clear that she means business about getting married and starting a family. I completely believe that she meant that she was falling in love with him (or at least, that she felt a strong affection for him), but her ultra-practical side kicked in and she knew he simply wasn’t ready for what she’s ready for.

Sharleen Joynt shares her thoughts in her The Bachelorette episode 8 review

Speaking of Dean, I felt SO BAD for him this episode, especially when he was finally confronting his father. For someone as enlightened and intuitive as his father claims to be, he certainly comes off as maddeningly defensive. I appreciated how emotional he became when speaking of Dean’s mother, and the meaningful feather gifts were a sweet gesture, but the man can’t seem to stomach an ounce of criticism—even when he agrees it isn’t off the mark. Yet, he dishes criticism freely in the form of passive aggressive comments; in what world was that line about Dean loving beautiful women and it coming from some chakra not a dig? At any rate, I felt for Dean big time and he will be sorely missed on my television.

My predictions based on this week are…

1. Bryan, 37: Despite the fact that previews made it seem like Bryan’s mother might be a dealbreaker, his Hometown just solidified my belief that Bryan will be the last man standing. Exhibit A: Rachel called him “baby” when greeting him in Miami. Exhibit B: she appeared to win over his hyper-protective mother and you could tell this REALLY mattered to her. Exhibit C: the look on Rachel’s face when Bryan said he’s in love with her. I know I sound like a broken record but at this point I just can’t imagine a scenario where Bryan doesn’t win.

2. Peter, 31: As long as I’ve known him, Andy has never been wrong about relationships between men and women (watching this show with him and his decidedly male perspective is very interesting) and he is 100 percent convinced Peter is not that into Rachel. My opinion is not quite as harsh (nor as strong), but I do have to admit that I can kind of see Peter leaving on his own accord (again, à la Brooks). I believe he likes Rachel a lot and that he wants to see where it could go, but preferably sans the pressure of an engagement. This will come to a head, of course, but even without the risk factor that Peter represents, I don’t think it’ll matter because I’m so convinced she’s picking Bryan.

Going home next week…

Eric, 29: If you’ve been reading my recaps for awhile, you know that when it gets down to so few contestants I start pulling out and referencing my little black book of season-long editing analyses. As such, this prediction is partly due to the fact that Eric’s Night One 1-on-1 time was barely shown. It involved a voiceover of Rachel’s while Eric put his jacket over her shoulders, and from their actual conversation all we saw was Rachel answering Eric’s question of what love means to her. Don’t get me wrong: I adore Eric (I’ve been having regular Eric lovefests over on my blog) and love his strength and resilience, his self-awareness, the fact that he’s curious and he listens. These are all fabulous things. I just don’t see his relationship with Rachel being anywhere close to as strong as Bryan’s, and I can see Rachel letting him go sooner than later to protect him and his virgin heart.

Watch The Bachelorette Mondays at 8:00 p.m. EST on City. Then, head on over to for recaps from Vicky Mochama and Sharleen Joynt, plus loads of other Bachelorette content!

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