Oh, the irony. Just last week I theorized that the men cast on The Bachelorette were the sort who spend a lot of time on their biceps but who tragically wouldn’t ever be permitted to put those biceps to use. In fantastic news for Ben Z, our resident real-life Incredible Hulk, the very first group date would entail sparring in a boxing ring. But to ensure the ambulance sounds and ominous “someone’s hurt” music that come with every competitive sport group date in the history of this show, they pit 225-pound Ben Z against 170-pound Jared in the final round, a move that outraged my expert-in-all-things-boxing fiancé, Andy. Andy trains and spars daily and said he would never compete against someone more than 20 pounds heavier than him. Some quotes thrown out during that date: “Floyd Mayweather would have a hard time against someone 55 pounds heavier!” and “That Jared guy could have DIED!” Good job, team!
The fight that had my sleeves rolled up, however, was the one between Kaitlyn and Kupah at the rose ceremony cocktail party. Believe me, I have some sense of the apprehension that comes with feeling like you’re in the ethnic minority, and certainly no one has ever given the Bachelor franchise any awards for diversity. But Kupah’s gripes reeked of early-Bachelorette-process insecurity, not of any actual evidence of discrimination. Speaking from experience and having been inside the Bachelor/ette world, let me be very clear: whether you’re short or tall, thin or curvy, Christian or Jewish, black or white, or any of the innumerable shades of grey…insecurity doesn’t discriminate. Unless you get the first impression rose or a date rose of any kind—meaning a direct and very literal form of encouragement—you’re wondering where you stand. Hell, even if you DO get one of those, you’re still not sure!
Kupah had neither made any effort to get to know Kaitlyn, nor given her any insight into what he’s about (other than having a chip on his shoulder). How about showing some curiosity about the woman you are supposedly pursuing, rather than opening with, “I’m curious if I’ve made any kind of impression…I haven’t really felt like whenever we’ve talked that there’s been any connection.” Smooth. Nothing warms a woman to you like putting her on the defensive from the get-go.
Can I also point out the fact that last week Kupah was very vocal about being #TeamBritt? It struck me as a bit hypocritical for him to advertise his attraction to and connection with another woman and yet, when said woman didn’t win the vote, still stick around and require hand-holding and validation from his second choice. This has nothing to do with colour and everything to do with quiet confidence and maturity (or lack thereof). Lay off the whiskey and grow a pair, Kupah.
Rant over! My frontrunners this week are…
Clint, 27: Who wasn’t won over by his fantastic drawing of Chris Harrison on a triceratops? Clint comes off bright and possibly to-a-fault modest, a combination I always look for and appreciate. He has a twinkle in his eye and sees the humour in everything around him, and I like that he doesn’t seem to thrive off the cameras. I spy solid chemistry with Kaitlyn, too.
Shawn B., 28: I’m not fooled by his lack of airtime this week. He got the F.I.R., and in true frontrunner form wasn’t on a single date this week. (I, too, received the F.I.R.-but-no-date formula.) We don’t know any more about Shawn B. than we did last week, but it doesn’t matter. He’s still a top contender.
Ian, 28: I really dig Ian and think Kaitlyn does, too. He’s warm and seems intelligent and really seems to have his priorities in order. Based on his recounting of his back story, you can tell he knows what matters and what doesn’t. Plus he’s just yummy to look at.
Jared, 26: Jared’s doing a lot of things right. I like that he doesn’t look like the prototypical Bachelorette jock. I like that he was so honest last week and admitted to Kaitlyn that he voted for Britt. (It amazed me that he was the only one to do this.) I like that he took his time with Kaitlyn to go for a walk and assertively—yet not aggressively—plant one on her. Let’s also not forget that he bravely stood up to a guy who could eat him for breakfast. Yay, Jared!
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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