It’s fun watching this show with fellow former contestants because there are several more sets of critical eyes picking apart every detail. Last night it wasn’t uncommon to hear someone ask aloud, “Do you think the producers told him to give her that rose?” or “That looks like a staged girl chat to you, right?” Rachel Truehart arrived a bit late and asked what she missed. I replied, “Ben just bombarded the girls’ hotel suite at 4:20 a.m. and shined a flashlight in their faces.” Rachel rolled her eyes, “Right, because no Bachelor has ever done that before.”
I was very sad to see Jubilee go last night, and every person in the room agreed it was far sooner than any of us had expected. Ben was very ethical in being honest and not falsely promising her anything, but leading up to that bomb drop I just wanted to shake her. It was so clear Jubilee was sabotaging herself with her extreme jealousy and insecurity. And I truly mean “herself”—not her chances with Ben. Yes, she obviously cared about him and was struggling with feeling invisible and forgotten, but The Bachelor experience is as much about growth and learning about yourself than anything else.
You learn how to get along with others when you’ve never felt more alone and, sometimes, feel like you despise everyone around you. Your patience is constantly tested as you wait for many hours on every “date” you’re on, dressed to the nines and with only each other and cocktails as company—all for 20 minutes (if you’re lucky) with your “boyfriend.” (The waiting game is something I still don’t think comes across fully as a viewer. You spend the better part of every day waiting for something—anything!—to happen, but impatience is often mistranslated as anxiety onscreen. Chances are, you just don’t like feeling like your time is being blatantly disregarded and wasted. I assure you, this is one of the most trying aspects of the Bachelor experience.) You’re forced to navigate feelings of jealousy and competition towards girls who have become your roommates and friends. You learn to let your guard down knowing the odds are not in your favour that you won’t get hurt. Honestly, as cheesy as it sounds, it’s an opportunity for self discovery. I don’t think Ben had planned on sending Jubilee home last night or even anytime soon. It was Jubilee who cut her own journey—and thus those growing pains—short by dwelling in a state of inhibition instead of trying to enjoy the Bachelor experience for the thrilling, agonizing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it is.
My frontrunners this week are…
1. Lauren B., 25: These two! They can’t get enough of each other. On the cooking group date, Ben took her outside the designated “cocktail party” zone for a stroll because he remembered she’d said she wanted to see the city. He told her he hadn’t wanted his date with her to ever end, “a very uncommon feeling” for him. Their chemistry is through the roof and they made out all over Mexico City. Lauren B. is the steady frontrunner.
2. JoJo, 24: Jojo is an old soul and I think she and Ben share the ability to just “be” with each other. While it was an aggressive move for Jojo to steal him away right after he’d sent Jubilee packing, you know she did it because she cared about his well-being, not because she was looking for brownie points or extra time. She sees him for who he is as a person—his demeanour, his moods—and I think Ben recognizes that and is thus very relaxed with her. Jojo isn’t going anywhere.
3. Amanda, 25: There really isn’t anything to not like about Amanda. She’s gorgeous, mature, and gracious. The fact that she’s clearly close with girls in the house doesn’t go unnoticed, either. (Notice how her one-on-one dress was the one Leah wore to last week’s Rose Ceremony? Or how she and Lauren B. have worn each other’s dresses a few times now? You don’t lend or borrow dresses from girls you don’t get along with.) My favourite thing about Amanda is how non-dramatic she is. The way she divulged the story of her ex-husband was so honest yet matter-of-fact. She didn’t get caught up in her own sob story, but didn’t belittle her hardships either. My only concern is I don’t see a ton of chemistry between her and Ben. I feel like they get along well because they’re both super nice, super good-looking people who happen to be in the same place at the same time. Their rapport beyond that doesn’t strike me as unique. Nonetheless, I’m such a fan of this girl and expect her to stay for awhile.
4. Becca, 26: Becca received almost no airtime this week but I’m keeping her in my Top 4 based on her one-on-one last week. She and Ben connected in a way we haven’t seen between him and any other lady here and I can’t picture him eliminating her anytime soon, nor can I picture her leaving on her own accord. (She is much more invested than we’ve ever seen her.) Besides, flying under the radar is Dark Horse 101.
For more on this season of The Bachelor from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Omni 2.
All Episode Recaps From The Bachelor Season 20
I Tried It: Bachelorette Hottie Shawn Booth’s Weight Loss Plan
Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe Refuses to be Slut-Shamed
Bachelor Match-up: Who They Should Have Picked
Sharleen Joynt Is Also Our Dating Columnist! #AskSharleen