Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Five

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

the bachelorette

Kaitlyn and Doug E. Fresh set up the rap battle date (Photo: The Bachelorette/Facebook)

I personally believe that anyone who signs up for The Bachelorette thinking—knowing!—he will be the last man standing is quantifiably insane. It’s one thing to be optimistic about “finding love” but it’s something else entirely to be delusional. After all, the odds are most definitely not in your favour. For that reason, and having been through it myself, I can confidently say that most people go on this show for the experience. It’s not that you’re not there to explore your romantic potential with the lead—you’re open-minded about that—but you’re hopefully keeping your wits about you and realizing there are two dozen others in your shoes.

That’s why I honestly don’t see the fuss about Kaitlyn letting Nick join her posse of man meat. I don’t see it as disrespectful to the men at all. How is it less disrespectful than going on a group date and kissing several of the men in the same vicinity, the very same evening? Let’s be honest, these are not normal circumstances where normal rules can be applied. It’s a wonky universe where it’s totally acceptable for the lead to be “exploring her options” while her suitors must remain loyal to only her. The richest part of all is that there are still 14 men remaining. They can’t all be the last man standing, and I guarantee you most of them know that.

We haven’t seen much of Justin so far but he did say it best at the rap date cocktail party: “With the connection that we have, and the connection you have with other guys, my gut reaction is, honestly, what’s another one? This is your journey, we’re taking part in this, if one more person is going to impede upon the connections we’re all developing—that I’m developing with you—it’s not necessarily a threat.”

The men who don’t really stand a chance never stood a chance anyway. The addition of another guy won’t change that. And I assure you, these men know who they are. (You think Corey, JJ, Joe, Jonathan, Ryan B, or Tanner actually think they’ll end up engaged to Kaitlyn? Come on.) I’m not denying their good intentions and open-mindedness and attraction to her, but their Bachelorette experience—in addition to their chances with Kaitlyn—will not be affected for the worse by the arrival of another man. Now, as for the guys who are really falling for Kaitlyn: They should want their relationships with her to be challenged. Wouldn’t you rather end up engaged to someone who had a plethora of options? Someone who had been around the block and was making as informed a decision as possible? I would never want to be with someone who was with me by default because they simply didn’t like anyone else better. Since Kaitlyn is clearly intrigued by Nick, any existing frontrunner who is really there for her (and not just there to “win”) should welcome Nick with open arms. They are all different people, after all, and not interchangeable in any way. She will end up with whomever has the most potential, and if you get bumped because of another guy, that’s information you should rather know sooner than later.

My frontrunners this week…

Nick, 34: The mere fact that Kaitlyn kept Nick spoke volumes about her attraction to—and investment in—him. (If she wasn’t interested it’s safe to say, based on her actions the last few episodes, she would have no qualms about turning him away.) Kaitlyn has gotten a lot of flak for this decision, so there’s got to be something powerful there. And frankly, that “something” seems like a whole lot of chemistry.

Shawn, 28: It’s clear Shawn feels very strongly for Kaitlyn. He’s had a laser-sharp focus on her since Night One. He took her letting Nick on the show personally, which makes him either insane or the true frontrunner. His brooding this week wasn’t lost on Kaitlyn; in general she seems very responsive to him. I’m still waiting for this one-on-one.

Jared, 26: I honestly believe this might have been the most enviable one-on-one date I’ve ever seen. The Met Museum, completely shut down for private perusing, dinner by the Temple of Dendur and a helicopter ride over New York City! Just, WOW. As for Jared, I’m into these two together. He’s bright and quick, as is she, and their time together seems effortless and full of playful banter.

Ben H., 26: Not much airtime for Ben H. this week, and one might expect Chris “Cupcake” to be on this list. However, Kaitlyn’s time with Ben H. last week was still more memorable to me than last night’s time with Chris, which felt forced and not at all romantic. (And while I did enjoy Chris’s wonderfully hammy rendition of “A Whole New World,” what was the point of auditioning with singing and dancing if the actual performance entailed no singing or dancing??) Ben H. has “one-on-one date material” written all over him, so I predict we’ll see more of him soon.

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

The Bachelorette airs Mondays on City.

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