Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor Canada: Episode 1

The smart, sexy former Bachelor contestant from Ottawa shares her thoughts on last night’s premiere

Sharleen Joynt, opera singer, former Bachelor 18 contestant and FLARE columnist

Sharleen Joynt, opera singer, former Bachelor 18 contestant and FLARE columnist

I confess: I never saw the first season of The Bachelor Canada, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Watching last night unfold, I was surprised by a few things. First, I was amazed by how physically varied the selection of girls was—there’s definitely a stringent theme in how the girls look on the American show. Second, what was with that crazy long catwalk of a driveway those poor women had to teeter up?! Third, I realized just how similar the show is to its American counterpart. Other than this iteration having been filmed in British Columbia—and a few mentions of being Canadian and therefore able to handle cold weather—the format was more or less identical. Even host Tyler Harcott’s hand gestures and vocal cadence were eerily similar to Chris Harrison’s. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; the formula obviously works.

I can see why the execs selected Tim Warmels. He’s got that studly quality that you’d have to be blind not to see, but beyond that he is gentlemanly and gracious, proven when he laughed over and over again at the girls’ (sometimes bad) jokes. Natalie, the school teacher, called him “kind-hearted.” Based on his giving the First Impression Rose to Christine after she sang (oh dear), I would say that’s a very fair assessment.

A few girls stood out to me…

My personal favourite of the night was Jenny, 26, the Hong Kong-born personal trainer from Vancouver, who coincidentally was also my best-dressed. I liked her banter with Tim upon the limo exit. She managed to give him a taste of who she was in the span of a minute without a shred of conceit or phoniness. Unfortunately, the lack of aired one-on-one time doesn’t bode well for her. (That said, we didn’t see Juan Pablo and Clare’s one-on-one time on Night One of their season, so there’s hope!)

My least favourite was April Borgnetta, the “Vagician.” She first rubbed me the wrong way when April Brockman said she was hot next to the fire. Borgnetta brought up the “metal” elements in the fireplace and declared, “You’re the beauty, I’m the brains.” It was such a sore and transparent display, her own insecurity causing her to patronize her peer like that. Then, her one-on-one time with Tim was painful to watch, put on like a performance. Girl needs to chill and stop pretending.

Honestly, based on this episode I really liked Lisa, 25, the spicy redhead. First, I’m sure the drink spill was an accident. Second, her time with Tim felt authentic; she was real and there was a sense of her not being quite sure what she was doing there, which I can obviously appreciate. I could relate to feeling like an outcast that first night, but based on the previews she’s the season’s villain? Hmm…

It was also impossible not to like Jennifer, 26, the “Joyologist” who was truly a kind and giving person. What she said upon departing made me shout out “YES!” at the television: “If he doesn’t appreciate me, I wouldn’t want to be with him anyway.” Seriously, Jennifer, keep up the motivational speaking. Go talk to young girls and pay forward this sense of self worth.

All that said, my top picks are as follows. I predict these four girls will either make the Final 4, or at least go quite far:

April Brockman, 27: The Ontarian realtor is pretty. Like, really pretty. And the producers know it. She gets the seduction music every time she’s on screen. But beyond that, she seems very together and easy-going. Tim is obviously attracted and there’s palpable chemistry there.

Sachelle, 24: The seashell was a memorable but tasteful Limo Exit move, and Tim gave her his third pre-Ceremony rose of the night. He called her sweet and legitimately wanted to see her smile. This bodes well.

Natalie, 27: I get the teensiest bit of “crazy” from Natalie. She called Tim, moments after meeting him, “everything I look for in a man.” Also, something about her way of speaking seemed so radio/television-ready, it put me off. (She speaks exactly like Sandra Lee. Seriously, google it.) That said, she is very beautiful and seems upbeat and good-hearted. She also snagged the second pre-Ceremony rose of the night.

Kaylynn, 26: I’m torn on this girl and will admit she’s in my top picks based on airtime alone. She seemed so cool early on but then in her one-on-one time immediately delved into her rough upbringing. I know this is possibly producer-driven, but it’s still a no-no in my mind. The first meet is for light getting-to-know-you banter—not torrid pasts—and the producers can’t force you to say anything. Then, she seriously lost her cool as Tim handed out his pre-Ceremony roses. Perhaps it was the champagne talking, but either way it’s a red flag. After her meltdown, Tim once again showed how kind he was by calling her name first in the Rose Ceremony.

Missed this episode of Bachelor Canada? Watch it here. Otherwise, tune into Episode 2 next Thursday on City, then watch for Sharleen’s blog on FLARE.com.

For more from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas