“The Feel-Good Date of the Season:” Sharleen Joynt on Episode 6 of The Bachelorette

Sharleen Joynt—FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her insider POV on the sixth episode of Becca Kufrin’s season

Oh, Chris. Dude. No. Throughout this whole episode all I could hear were his own words at last week’s Rose Ceremony, how he felt the other guys were playing victim. A bit rich coming from the guy who’s shown us his default mode is victim—when he’s not in aggressor mode, that is. Throwing Lincoln under the bus in front of an audience of hundreds was something I still can’t make sense of. (I want to peer into Chris’s confusing mind and learn how he saw that going down in his ideal world.) Regardless of whatever Lincoln had said to provoke him, it doesn’t matter; it’s what Chris did with that rage that showed the person he is. It was so frustrating to watch how he could never see the bigger picture of his actions. He was constantly chasing each accusation like some game of Whack-A-Mole instead of growing up, putting down the whacker (by giving his overactive mouth a rest), and behaving like a man by proving he’s capable of taking responsibility for once.

Perhaps even worse, for all of Chris’s talk about focusing on Becca and making his relationship with her a priority, we didn’t hear anything about what he felt he was exerting so much energy fighting for. (I touched on this last week but it got so much worse than I could have imagined!) Some actual quotes of his last night:

• “This is my time to shine. This is redemption. I’m gonna have some tricks up my sleeve. And I just, like, literally gotta go all in, guns blazing.”
• “This is do or die for me. I’ve been in this situation many times in my life, back against the wall. But I hope that I’m able to come out victorious.”
• “I’m a fighter. I don’t give up. And in previous situations in my life, I always find a way to win.”

For real, though… what is this guy even talking about?? Is he talking about getting along with others (which is sad), or is he talking about his relationship with Becca (which is even sadder)? There was not ONE WORD—and believe me, I was listening!—about what makes Becca special, why he couldn’t lose her, why he even likes her. He said at one point that actions speak louder than words. Of course I generally agree, but a few words would be nice, too. For a guy whose mouth is running a mile a minute, you’d think he’d have at least one or two adjectives to describe Becca and how he thinks she’s good for him.

Above all, as I say every season: Where there’s smoke there’s fire. The guys’ collective aggravation with Chris (and interestingly, NOT Lincoln) tells us that Chris is the fire in this metaphor. I thought it was interesting that the usually quiet and drama-free Blake actually semi-defended Lincoln at the debate, expressing that Chris’s description of Lincoln’s so-called verbal attack was taken out of context. When Garrett returned from what was supposed to be his 1-on-1 time with Becca, he reamed out Chris for putting Becca in a bad “head state,” not Lincoln.

Becca, for her part, continues to prove as sharp as a tack. NOTHING is lost on this woman. I loved how, instead of getting distracted by the accusations Chris made during his “debate,” she focused on the fact that he was making those accusations at all, with a mic and in front of an audience. It would have been dangerously easy to put stock in Chris’s claims and take the bait, questioning the guys’ “genuininity” (sorry, can’t help myself!). But she got to the heart of the problem instantly, rightfully calling what Chris did “embarrassing,” “stupid drama” and “airing dirty laundry out for everyone to see.” I imagine you guys got the same thrill I did when she finally sent him home! He came over to her place so smug, thinking he would emerge “victorious” (again, whatever that means), and for every half-baked argument he had, she had a mic-drop response. My favourite: When Chris—playing victim, of course—said, “I’ve been attacked for the last week and a half,” and Becca interrupted with: “You’ve also done some attacking.” BRAVA, GIRL. I love a strong, no-BS, intuitive lead and that’s exactly what Becca is.

I wonder what it’s like to watch this episode back if you’re Chris. Does he take his appearance on this show for the (sometimes painful) look in the mirror that it is, or does he still think he’s in the right?

Sharleen Joynt’s Top Four After Episode 6:

Bachelorette season 14 episode 2: A photo of contestant Garrett in a Blue suit jacket and white shirt

(Photograph: Courtesy City)

1. Garrett, 29: “His frontrunner status remains a given”

I like that Garrett generally avoids the drama but when he does choose to involve himself, he has purpose, is concise and clear, and above all, fair. I appreciated that he took up for Wills in the Chris saga last week, and how this week his irritation was with how Chris’s behaviour was taking a toll on Becca, not himself. His intentions with Becca—and concern for her—seem very sincere. There’s an established rapport and comfort there that goes beyond just chemistry; their 1-on-1 time shown is never just the two of them making out. Despite not getting to “open up” to Becca in the way he’d planned (THANKS, CHRIS), Garrett still continues to be omnipresent and his frontrunner status remains a given.

Bachelorette season 14 episode 2: A photo of contestant Colton in a black leather jacket and light pink t-shirt

(Photograph: Courtesy City)

2. Colton, 26: “I just don’t know what they TALK about”

Colton getting the Group Date rose, on a date that had heavy-hitters Garrett and Blake, is HUGE. It’s especially huge since he just had his 1-on-1 last week, and he previously received the Episode 3 Group Date rose, making him the first two-time Group Date rose recipient of the season. It’s huge enough to inch him up to my second spot and officially bypass Blake. I confess I still feel in the dark as to what these two share—it feels like the conversation we’re shown between them is usually the two of them recapping whatever activity they’ve done, Becca telling Colton she’s happy he’s there, it being established and agreed upon that their relationship is building/developing/growing, and then they make out. I just don’t know what they TALK about. Their chemistry is super strong, though, and it’s at the point where I trust Becca’s judgment so implicitly that, if she likes him, I assume there’s great banter on the editing-room floor.

A photo of Bachelorette season 14 contestant Jason Tartick in a grey stio and qhite shirt

(Photograph: Courtesy City)

3. Jason, 29: “The feel-good date of the season so far”

Jason’s 1-on-1 was the feel-good date of the season so far for me. The two of them together feels so easy and fluid and authentic. There’s a mutual excitement that left me so hopeful for this particular relationship. I think it says a lot that Becca ended up sharing her story to Jason about spending time with her father before his death, when we haven’t even seen her even mention it with anyone else so far. She said in an ITM, “it was easy to open up to him” (which is how it SHOULD be), and to him, before pinning that rose on his lapel, she said, “There’s just something about being able to fall into you and to open up that I haven’t been able to do in a long time.” Jason is without a doubt this season’s token dark horse. I sadly don’t see him “winning” based on his lack of Night One airtime, but I love these two together so much that I’d gladly be proven wrong.

A photo of Bachelorette season 14 contestant Blake in a maroon short-sleeved shirt and grey pants

(Photograph: Courtesy City)

4. Blake, 28: “He just didn’t have the momentum”

I sadly had to slow Blake’s roll this week. I like Blake a lot, and he did get that Group Date rose last week, but last night he just didn’t have the momentum that the other guys on this list had. Crucially, his Group Date 1-on-1 time with Becca wasn’t shown, while it was with fellow major players Garrett, Colton, and Wills. (Why isn’t Wills in this line-up? He told Becca he was falling in love with her but she still gave that Group Date rose to Colton, who made no profession. Not a great sign for Wills.) I dig Blake and like him and Becca together, but the fact that we didn’t see that bit of development this week gives me pause.

Want to attend the Men Tell All taping for Becca’s season? Enter this awesome contest from our friends at City.

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