Why, Clint, why? You were in a very good position. That Chris-Harrison-atop-a-Triceratops drawing and the very first one-on-one date (followed by a solid make out)? You were basically guaranteed to stick around for awhile as long as you didn’t screw things up. My advice to Bachelorette contestants: DO actively pursue the woman of the hour. Every Bachelorette wants to be pursued. DON’T suddenly act like you’re too cool for school, especially if you’re mainly in it for the free booze and friendships. Speaking of friendships…
For the first several weeks of filming my season, I refused to cry on camera. That doesn’t sound like much of a feat but at the time it felt like an accomplishment worthy of a trophy. One of the first times I finally cracked down and cried it had nothing to do with jealousy or even with the Bachelor at all; It was when my closest friend in the house, Kelly, went home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—every day you are not on some sort of date (read: almost every day), you are at the mansion with each other. You come to despise some women while becoming very, very close with others. Add to that several interviews a day where, when not discussing your feelings for the lead, you’re dissecting the mansion’s social cliques and dynamics. Now, throw in a villain edit (a very willing JJ) and a guy who is passive and therefore doesn’t seem very interested in the lead (a real death sentence, obviously Clint). Sprinkle a generous dash of creative voiceover editing and voilà, now you’ve got yourself a “Brokeback Bachelor” romance, insinuating the men are gay and hot for each other. It’s clearly a ridiculous case of creative editing and, with all the drama that naturally seems to be occurring this season, I question the need for it. But am I the only one who would have been thrilled for two men to actually find love—with each other—while on the Bachelorette? Based on the amount of time they spend together in the house I feel like they could have a better chance of making it than the final couple. Just sayin’.
The two group dates were really out there this week. I loved the sumo wrestling date; How neat to have the current world sumo champion on the show! As for the sex-ed class… Um. Once I did some googling on the age at which children should and do receive sex education, and once it was revealed those children were actors and the whole thing was an off-colour prank, it became hilarious to me. All the bleeping and black boxes had me in stitches. But, considering how holier-than-thou this franchise can be about sex (despite encouraging it at every turn), this was an interesting choice of activity. I sense a palpable and intriguing shift in the season with Kaitlyn as Bachelorette. It’s hard to imagine a sex-ed group date having happened with Britt at the helm.
1. Ben H., 26: This tall glass of water was this week’s golden boy. His lesson on reproduction was downright adorable and earned him the hard-won group date rose. In general Ben H. seems like such a good sport. I watched the episode with two girlfriends and we were all cooing at how cute he is. (Therefore, his ranking this week may or may not be biased.)
2. Shawn, 28: Shawn is unobtrusive but has a masculine presence that I think is not lost on Kaitlyn. Wherever she is, you get the sense that he’s nearby and has an eye out for her. He received the other group date rose this week and my Spidey sense says we’ll see a one-on-one for Shawn soon. The chemistry between these two is off the charts.
3. Ben Z., 26: Ah, the requisite fear-driven date, where the man must show how brave and protective he is. The producers weren’t going to waste Kaitlyn’s curious phobia of birds, after all. (On Andi’s season, she and Marcus were made to rappel down the side of their hotel despite Andi’s acrophobia. Of course.) Ben Z. passed with flying colours and got the one-on-one date rose, so despite the fact that I don’t totally buy the chemistry between them, it’s safe to say he’ll be around for awhile.
4. Jared, 26: Jared’s a bit of a dark horse for me. I confess I didn’t really see it with them in the beginning, but their kisses practically jump out of the screen at me. A one-on-one is in order for further research.
Correction: An earlier version of this story noted that the first time Sharleen cried in the Bachelor house was when Kelly left. That sentence has now been amended to read “One of the first times…”
For more on this season of The Bachelorette from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on City.
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode One
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Two
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Three
The Ultimate Bachelor Match-up: Who They SHOULD Have Picked
Quiz: The Bachelorette—or Chris Harrison’s Romance Novel?
Ask Sharleen: Your Dating Conundrums, Solved!