Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelor: Episode 5—PLUS New Video!

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

We all know that scene in Mean Girls where Regina George says to Cady, “So you agree? You think you’re really pretty?” Corinne’s Olympic-level word-twisting feat eerily reminded me of that. Let’s rewind: Corinne accused Taylor of being both fake for not addressing her issues with the girls in the house (I’d go with non-confrontational, but okay), and a bitch for “ignoring” the women in the house (in addition to “emotional intelligence,” Taylor should school Corinne on the definition of the verb “ignore”). Taylor responded that it’s only natural that some ladies will connect better than others (exactly what I was saying on the blog last week) and that she thinks what would be fake is forcedly greeting all the women when she doesn’t feel it’s necessary. Then Corinne, having trapped her prey like whoever gets to make the first move in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, takes Taylor’s (incredibly reasonable, in my opinion) reasoning, twists it, and turns it back on her: “So you agree with me. You are genuinely ignoring people in the house.”

Rachel and Nick share a kiss in New Orleans on episode 5 of The Bachelor

Things heat up between Nick and Rachel in New Orleans (© 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. )

Let’s dissect this “ignoring” thing since it played a substantial role in Corinne’s issue with Taylor. As I mentioned in my Morning After video, it would be pointless to say “hi” to every girl in the house whenever you saw one. Imagine living in your house with your family; just as you might have something to say to your sister in the living room, you could also just as easily quietly sit in the kitchen next to her without saying “hi” when you got there. At least, I know that’s how things would work in my family. I get that family’s family; you can’t compare most relationships to that level of comfort. So here’s another example: my first opera season out of college, I was in a young artist program (sort of like an internship in the opera world) where I lived in a house with five other singers for about seven months. I promise you, we were able to come and go from communal living spaces without greeting each other. Some of us warmed to each other more than others, and thus had more to say to those people, but it didn’t mean we disliked or ignored the others. Not actively greeting someone was not “ignoring,” it was simply co-existing.

Related: Bachelor in Paradise 2017: Who Should Speak Up & Hook Up

Corinne’s manipulation of Taylor reminded me a lot of a moment from my casting experience. If you’ve done any reading on the Bachelor casting process, you know the final round means being flown to L.A., filling out a lot of paperwork including questionnaires and psyche quizzes, getting some medical tests done, speaking with a background check guy, and finally, doing a test ITM followed by a chat with a room full of producers. I will never forget the conversation I had with one producer in that room. For the record, I think very fondly of this producer and we’ve since learned a lot about each other and bonded in many ways, which perhaps further etches this moment in my memory. I was being asked several questions by several producers about myself when I was asked what people usually think of me when they first meet me. I answered that people usually assume that I’m either a ditz (because I’m quite girly and am often judged for being dressed up, and I also have a tendency to fill awkward silences with nervous conversation) or a snob (because I can be shy when I first meet people and I’ve learned it can come off as standoffish). This one producer then asked me, if I had to identify only as one or the other, a ditz or a snob, which I would say I am. I responded, “Neither, because I am neither.” He pressed, “But if you had to identify as one or the other. You have to pick one.” We both remained stubborn until I grew exasperated, insisting that I am neither, but that if I had to pick one, I guess I would say I’m closer to being a snob than a ditz. His response: “So, what things are you snobby about?” Before I even knew what happened, I felt myself becoming defensive for “being a snob,” when my focus should have been on the fact that I’d been completely—and wrongfully—manipulated into that corner.

Corinne accused Taylor of being two very unflattering things—being fake and a bitch—forcing her to defend herself. Unfortunately, her defending herself would always result in the same mindf-ck. Taylor chose to explain why she wasn’t fake, which Corinne twisted into her thus being a bitch. Had Taylor explained why she wasn’t a bitch, Corinne would have turned that into her being fake. This was no choose-your-own-adventure story, but rather a maze where all options lead to dead ends. The ONLY way to win with Corinne (not only in this confrontation but all)—not even win, really, but just re-emerge unscathed—would have been to do precisely what that 2-on-1 tarot card reader advised: not engage. Not participating in Corinne’s game would have been the only path to not giving her what she wanted and falling victim to it. Unfortunately, Taylor saw red and did engage (I don’t blame her for this and am not sure I’d have had the self control to rise above it, either), ultimately giving Corinne both the ammunition (and, ugh, the satisfaction) to think she’d “proven” the validity of her accusations. For the record, she didn’t. She’s just more manipulative and better at dominating arguments than Taylor, the ultimate evidence that, with Corinne, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It says a lot about Corinne that clearly this fight wasn’t her first rodeo.

My frontrunners this week are…

1. Vanessa, 29: Hardly a peep (seen!) from Vanessa this week (though she was very sweet on the haunted house Group Date and I’m glad she stuck with her guns of not participating in the Ouija board), but, despite Rachel’s solid 1-on-1 this week, I’ve yet to see a connection that I feel compares to Vanessa’s. She stills sits pretty at the top of my list.

2. Rachel, 31: Yay for lovely 1-on-1s which justify you getting through an otherwise painful episode! Rachel is just great. She’s sharp but minds her business, and I love how drama-free she is. Way back in her intro video she said she doesn’t believe in love at first sight, and this week she said she’s “so not a butterflies type girl.” This lady is a real pragmatist who keeps it real, making her evident feelings for Nick all the more convincing and interesting. Nick said his chemistry with Rachel is probably the most “explosive” out of any woman there, and when giving her the 1-on-1 rose, said, “When I’m with you I really don’t think about anything else.” Rachel isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Raven, 25: Raven and Nick have such easy and fun banter, so much so that, despite Raven accidentally slipping the “L” word this week, I’m starting to wonder if I’m getting borderline platonic vibes from these two. For now at least, I still feel like Nick is drawn to and bonds on a mental level with Raven in a really natural, known-each-other-for-years kind of way. I’m standing by for “explosive” chemistry.

4. Danielle L, 27: Conversely with Raven, I feel like physical chemistry is the main thing keeping Danielle L in my top 4. I just… don’t know what these two TALK about, other than their ability to picture falling in love with each other. Yeah, yeah, I know we only see a fraction of the conversations had, but to me there’s still a formality to their interactions that keeps me from really buying them together. Nonetheless, these two have chemistry. No denying that.

For more from Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelor, visit her blog, alltheprettypandas.com.Then come back to FLARE.com/themorningafter every Tuesday for a fresh recap!

Tune into The Bachelor Mondays on Omni at 8:00 EST/PST—and catch up on past episodes at www.omnitv.ca/the-bachelor.

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