Sharleen Joynt on Bachelor in Paradise: Episode 1

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

Oh my. Everyone refers to this show as Paradise, but I have yet to consider one feature about it paradisal. Not the housing arrangement, not the unlimited booze, nor eeny-meeny-miney-mo approach to finding one’s soulmate. I can’t help but wonder: what good is a resort full of attractive singles if there’s intense pressure to couple up in order to stick around to enjoy said resort full of attractive singles? I laughed at Chris Harrison’s early speech about how “the way this works best is if everybody is sincerely here to find love.” He describes Paradise as having “no catch,” yet if the premise really was for all these folks to find love, wouldn’t they have them all show up on day one and let them just mingle for a few weeks? Or how about when Chris Harrison explained that a rose for one of the twins meant a rose for both of them, and NO ONE FLINCHED? What is normal anymore?? All that said, as an outsider and viewer, boy is it entertaining. As Lace would put it, on a scale of 1 to 9, I’m a 9 entertained.

Sharleen Joynt Bachelor in Paradise recap

Why are these girls always a two-for-one special? (Photo: Courtesy ABC)

I was happy to see some particular faces this season. I happen to adore Sarah; she’s even more stunning in person than she is on TV, and she’s both sweet and sharp as a tack. I really want her to find happiness. Nick is a good friend of Andy’s and mine (he’s a fabulous third wheel) and seeing him back on TV made me realize I’d missed his frank ITM commentary. Although I’ve never met her, I’m a huge Amanda supporter. I love the dichotomy of how petite, soft and sweet she is while being so quietly strong. I also do believe it’s harder for parents to date in the real world, so if this works for them, fantastic. Last but not least, I’m so happy Jubilee is in the mix. There isn’t a contrived or fake bone in that girl’s body, so I look forward to her injecting some of that authenticity into this very contrived setting.

Once again, there is little to discuss without discussing Chad (which is frustrating because, believe me, it feels like a waste of my word count). Chad’s drunken stupor aside, I appreciated the greater lesson that was learned, which was that where there is smoke, there is almost always fire. Notice how we were shown much of the men’s and women’s curiosity about him in the beginning. I think that curiosity and openmindedness nicely represented the opinions of many viewers who have somehow become fans of Chad’s. (Remember, #TeamChad and #Chadchelor shirts were made and worn to Men Tell All.) Many of us appreciated Chad’s real moments and chose to focus on those rather than the fact that the people who lived with him universally despise him. (Alright, save Daniel, but I credit that more to Daniel being an agreeable Canadian than any amiability on Chad’s part.) I wanted to join Carly’s slow clap when Sarah spoke out calmly but strongly against him. I also loved the point Nick made to Chad, about how they had all been curious and keen to meet him. It effectively portrayed just how lost an opportunity this was for him, in not only missing out on a (nationally televised) redemptive story and the possibility of romance, but also on many platonic friendships—easily the coolest part about being in the Bachelor Family. Your loss, Chad.

For more from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, alltheprettypandas.com.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on City.