Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Six

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

kaitlyn bach 5 bachelorette

(Photo: Facebook/TheBachelorette)

Much of this week’s episode was about honesty and just how important it is to Kaitlyn. During filming, the lead lives a very secluded life. What she has to go off is typically only what producers tell her (very little) and what the guys directly tell her, bearing in mind they rarely want to eat up their one-on-one time snitching. As a fellow rabid honesty-seeker, I understand her obsession with it. However, the honesty thing went very awry this week.

First of all, one of the most frustrating misconceptions about going on The Bachelor/ette is that people think you’re somehow desperate. They equate going on a reality television dating show with some personality flaw or assume you must be undateable in the real world. I’ve experienced it firsthand; the news that I had a boyfriend was met with “She finally found someone!”, not “Of course she found someone.” I understand and appreciate the kindness of the sentiment, but not I or anyone else on this show in incapable of “finding love” in the real world.

Secondly, a producer once told me that they receive many tens of thousands of applicants each season, and that the casting department immediately eliminates most based on looks alone. So, considering most of the contestants are cast because of their mainstream physical appeal, you’re also guaranteeing a healthy dose—and hopefully a potential clash—of egos.

This brings us to Ian, an excellent example. For all intents and purposes, Ian is a “great catch.” (His words.) He’s attractive and successful and has a moving backstory. But unless Ian is a frontrunner in Kaitlyn’s eyes—or unless he’s willing to be the cause of drama—he won’t receive much attention. For someone who likely doesn’t experience much rejection from the opposite sex in the real world, being consistently overlooked in the Bachelor mansion can be rattling. In Ian’s case, it was clearly very rattling, because instead of chalking it up to a lack of compatibility (which is all it was), he decided it was Kaitlyn’s fault for overlooking him. Since she wasn’t interested in getting to know him better, she had to be shallow and only interested in making out with lots of men. She was suddenly uninteresting and that was her fault. Most upsettingly, he came for the broken woman who left Chris’ season in tears over the vibrant woman who loves dirty humour. Ugh.

This is where the honesty thing went wrong. Kaitlyn demanded honesty and thus Ian felt entitled to speak freely. Ian thought he was being honest—he was certainly honest in his ITMs—but to Kaitlyn’s face he was only aggressive and mean. Honesty would have been him admitting he felt overlooked, that he felt silly and embarrassed pursuing a woman who didn’t seem to care for him. It would have been his admitting that he didn’t feel a connection with her either and that he knows some of the other men (of “poop joke” fame) could be a great fit for her. It would have been him respectfully bowing out and wishing her luck on the rest of her Bachelorette journey. But instead, under the ruse of “being honest,” he proceeded to insult her character and judge her actions. (And for the record, if he were Bachelor—something he’s clearly spent time fantasizing about—wouldn’t he be making out with lots of women? Just sayin’.) As Andi Dorfman famously said before leaving Juan Pablo’s season, “There’s a difference between being honest and being an asshole.” As with many a Bachelor/ette contestant, I suspect Ian will learn a lot from watching himself on the show.

My frontrunners this week are…

Shawn, 28: I was anticipating this one-on-one hotly and it didn’t disappoint. I love that Kaitlyn seeks Shawn’s approval and takes his opinions to heart. The chemistry and understanding between these two is off the charts. My favourite moment was on their one-on-one, after Shawn shared his car accident story. He began to tear up at the thought of never having met her and she, sensing his discomfort crying on camera, brought his face close to hers and shielded him from the camera. She said hearing Shawn say he’s falling in love with her, it felt like her husband speaking. Plus, she admitted she’s falling in love with him. It’s only Week 5. Should we all just stop watching now?

Nick, 34: Love him or hate him, Nick managed to dodge a lot of bullets with grace this week. When he arrived in the New York hotel, he was well-spoken and respectful. He defended his being there without coming off defensive. (Not as easy as it sounds.) I’d like to see an interaction between him and Kaitlyn that doesn’t just involve a whole lot of making out, but I suspect there’s more to it and their edit is playing up the lust factor.

Ben H., 26: Does anyone not find Ben H. adorable? He was a great sport on his one-on-one date and two-stepped like a champ. And what one-on-one would be complete without a conversation about “opening up”? Check.

Jared, 26: I like that Jared is not like the others yet still a frontrunner. He’s drama-free and quietly confident. There’s an ease about him and I like that Kaitlyn said he gave her comfort. I’m rooting for this one.

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
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Four
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Five
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