Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode 5

Opera singer Sharleen Joynt—fellow Canuck, FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her take on last night’s episode of The Bachelorette

Sharleen Joynt
Sharleen Joynt Bachelorette recap
(Photo: ABC)

Yesterday the following conversation took place between Andy and me…

Andy: “What are we doing tonight?”

Me: “It’s Monday! We’re watching The Bachelorette.”

Andy (confused): “Wait, what? The season’s over.”

Me: “What are you talking about? It’s not even halfway.”

Andy: “Ohh, never mind. It just felt over because Chad left.”

Chad‘s departure did feel like an ending of sorts, and his bizarre non-apology conversation with the guys after his elimination felt like his exit was being milked. Part of me thinks the producers led him back to the guys’ Nemacolin digs in secret hopes of more threats and possibly an actual fight. (Screw safety, it’s RATINGS that matter.) After all, an eliminated contestant is always whisked away in some sort of vehicle, not allowed to return and converse with his former housemates. It’s ironic how a well-liked contestant in this situation would never be allowed to return for hugs and tearful goodbyes—a worthy reason, in my eyes—yet a universally despised one is.

In the wake of Chad’s real departure, without the “common enemy” as Wells put it, it was amusing (and satisfying in terms of social experiment results) to watch how the men all began to turn on one another. I never saw it coming that anyone would have a beef with Derek, and frankly I still don’t. Since when is a reassurance rose anything new (I’m pretty sure half of all Group Date roses are handed out for reassurance), much less anything offensive? It struck me as rich for Alex to call Derek’s Group Date rose a “pity rose” considering Derek has a) actually had a 1-on-1, and b) didn’t get a rose basically by default just last week. Don’t get me wrong; I think Alex is a nice and handsome guy, if not a bit righteous (he is the common denominator in a lot of house conflict at this point), but as an actual candidate for JoJo? I don’t see it. There is zero chemistry there. And Alex’s strange irritation with Derek’s insecurity—in an environment designed to breed insecurity—reeks of the sour grapes of a person who frankly has much more reason to be insecure. Pomposity and over-confidence are traits worthy of irritation, not modesty and insecurity.

Now onto the elephant in the room, that In Touch “article.” Make no mistake, it was a waste of time, though I do give the producers props for inventiveness. Based on experience I think gossip mags (In Touch included) aren’t to be trusted, so I have complete faith in JoJo and don’t trust her ex, nor the rag to which he spoke. Second, as an aside, I don’t see the big deal about rekindling with an ex after the show. Hell, nearly everybody, myself included, runs back to their exes—whether for the long term or a short tryst—after the show. It may not be right or healthy, but after the contestant experience, it makes complete sense to seek out the comfort of familiarity and that feeling of being understood.

When the gossip rag was conveniently stacked for the guys’ perusing pleasure in Vinny’s (adorable!) barbershop, I think we all knew something was up. After all, as contestants we weren’t allowed to even peek at a magazine in an airport shop, much less would we be given one to read in its entirety. (At one airport, a few of us tried to visit Reality Steve with one of the display iPads at an electronics store; alas, we got caught.) So, yes, the whole thing struck me as obviously producer-puppeteered, but again, we’ve never seen anything like it so I give points for creativity. (Although, why can’t we trade that sort of manufactured drama in for more clips of the funny house antics, like Luke’s “B cups”? Those are the best parts!)

My frontrunners this week are…

1. Jordan, 27: Jordan is such an obvious frontrunner it’s almost boring. The only thing that makes me second-guess him making it to the end is the fact that the previews show guys accusing Jordan of being there for the (wait for it) WRONG REASONS, never a good sign for longevity. But on their 1-on-1, JoJo was easily appeased by Jordan’s answers (especially the more pointed ones about his past) and these two have (and have always seemed to have) a strong natural chemistry and rapport. I’m not wavering. Jordan stays!

2. Luke, 31: I feel like the chemistry JoJo and Luke share jumps out at me the most. I like that since their 1-on-1 there’s been something of a transformation in Luke. He’s more assertive and confident. I firmly think Luke will be sticking around for awhile.

3. Derek, 29: Every season I discuss the curse of the first 1-on-1, and Derek is proving no exception. I didn’t quite agree with him pulling the “clique” aside at the start of a cocktail party, but that aside, the subtle, controlled, carefully expressionless way in which Derek reacts to the drama around him makes him a favorite of mine. Plus, I just think JoJo really likes him.

4. Robby, 27: Arghhh, Robby. I’m so torn about this perfect specimen of a man. There’s nothing to not like about Robby. He says the right things at the right time, isn’t involved in any drama, comforts JoJo when she needs it. But. If you’ve been reading my recaps for awhile, you had to know I’d take issue with Robby’s telling JoJo he’s in love with her on their first 1-on-1. Like, it’s their first real date. Either he’s saying it because he knows which show he’s on, which makes him a bit too calculated, or he’s saying it because he really does believe he’s in love with her, which makes him a bit too impressionable and easily swept away. Either way, his admission made me a bit wary of him, whereas I was a big fan before. Further research must be done.

For more on this season of The Bachelorette from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on City. Catch up on past episodes at citytv.com.

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