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Sharleen Joynt on Bachelorette Canada: Episode 9

Sharleen Joynt—FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her take on last night’s episode of Bachelorette Canada

Sharleen Joynt Bachelorette Canada

(Photograph: Courtesy W Network)

I never talk about politics on my social accounts but I’ve never had a harder time sitting down and writing one of these than this morning. As I think about the task at hand, writing about something relatively frivolous, flipping through Instagram’s perfected photos as though nothing has happened, I feel sick. This is a dark day, the worst I can remember. I am deeply sad and anxious and cannot stop crying. But what I can also say is, I have never been prouder to be Canadian. New York has become home but it hardly represents the country, and it’s hard sometimes when you struggle to see eye to eye with so many people. When I’m back in Canada, I feel that kinship, even with strangers. I feel some sort of understanding, reason, innate goodness, humanity. The ability to agree to disagree and do so with respect and kindness. Just in Vancouver last week, I felt connected with people I’d never met. In October I was in Orlando for three weeks for an opera and I flew straight to Toronto afterwards, and was so overwhelmed by how lovely the people at the airport were that I Skyped my parents to tell them about it. I get homesick all the time but today it’s overwhelming.

I’ve gone on before about how I love the Bachelor/ette Canada, how I find it more classy and humane. Though obviously frivolous, I feel a scintilla of happiness that it’s this particular show I’m writing about right now. Your comments have been so eloquent and thoughtful and have felt like friends’ words, even when they’re not agreeing with mine. Jasmine herself is curious and bright and as relatable as a viewer like myself could wish for. An Indian man has made final two and very well might win and it’s been hardly a headline, which says so much about us as a country and a culture. (Just try to imagine this happening in the States.) When I met the producers, I found them brilliant yet every bit as human as you’d hope people in their position would be. And FLARE, my beloved digital workplace, has been a dream in its trust in me and the freedom it has allowed me. I will tackle this recap, but really must thank all of you. You’re a true ray of hope for me on this dark day. We’re all very lucky to have our gorgeous country, in whatever capacity, and to share with each other our empathetic, open-minded hearts.

Related: Are Jasmine & Kevin Still Together? Who Knows—But They’ll Always Have Cuba

 

On to last night’s episode, the Mikhel cliffhanger struck me as another skimmed-over storyline, similar to the others I’ve vented about. Last week we were left with Mikhel saying he wanted out. This week, we were shown him rolling up to this Cuba digs and him chalking that moment up to his nerves getting the best of him. Sure, we got the conversation with Jasmine on the catamaran (where, truthfully, nothing was solved, but it was still nice that it was discussed) but what happened in the interim? Who, as with Kevin W in Episode 6, talked him off that cliff? Perhaps it was out of respect for Mikhel that it wasn’t shown, but as a viewer I felt a bit robbed of details. Again.

The overriding theme to this episode was without a doubt that Mikhel, despite that cliffhanger, is unwaveringly devoted to Jasmine and a perfect match for her. Meanwhile Kevin W, with his terrifying mother, his good looks and charm, and his lesser ability to stick through tough times, seemed pushed on us as the “riskier” choice. Now, I know gave Jill a hard time last week, but I do think the fact that Jasmine kept Kevin W around despite that Hometown says a lot. After all, if she were already on the fence about him, a scary potential mother-in-law is the perfect, blameless alibi for axing him. Next, Kevin’s looks and charm kept being brought up as some sort of danger factor, which is amusing because JUST LOOK AT MIKHEL. Also, it’s not like Jasmine isn’t every bit as beautiful and charming and likely to attract the opposite sex’s attention; they’re all on equal footing in this regard. Lastly, the most relevant concern, which is Kevin W’s questionable steadfastness. I’ve long believed that one of the most important ingredients in a successful relationship is to suppress giving into the knee-jerk, punishment-driven “escape” button when things get rocky. We really didn’t get much intel on Kevin W peacing out on his Fantasy Suite and coming back to apologize, but the fact that it happened combined with the fact that he threatened to leave after their fight in Episode 6, does strike me as a red flag. Nonetheless, though this might not be the popular opinion, I still think…

…Jasmine will pick:

(Photo: Courtesy W Network)

(Photo: Courtesy W Network)

Kevin W, 32: I’m reminded of every other Bachelorette in recent history. Josh was deemed too similar to Andi’s exes, while Jordan struck JoJo’s family as a player… none of that ever stopped them from picking who they felt most attracted and best connected to. There’s been an interesting arc to Kevin W’s overall storyline, like he’s gotten less jealous over time, versus Mikhel’s sudden jealousy spurt. Kevin W’s “journey” (there, I said it) has been an evolution of sorts and his confidence never feels misplaced, like he’s too confident. If anything, his confidence instills confidence in me about them as a couple. I also enjoy Kevin W’s brutal honesty; it adds strength to his feelings for Jasmine because he shows he’s not one to sugarcoat anything. This in particular shone through when he met Jasmine’s family. As jarring as his “50 first dates” may sound, it means a lot for a man who has had those experiences to want to settle down with someone; that decision is based on trial and error and knowing what he doesn’t want. (I sometimes joke that Andy dated half of New York City before ending up with me, but truthfully I’m glad he had his fun and to me his feelings for me are more powerful knowing he certainly had means of comparison.) Above all, just look at Jasmine with Kevin W together. She admires and cherishes him, just as he does her. There’s this je-ne-sais-quoi to these two that jumps out of the screen at me. I know many of you don’t agree, but despite the heavy, scent-throwing, pro-Mikhel edit, I stand by my prediction and believe Jasmine will pick Kevin W.

As for Mikhel, there is frankly nothing not to love about this guy (or his family for that matter). I really liked how he came out of his shell when he met Jasmine’s family; to me this was his long-awaited “take control” moment that we never got on his 1-on-1 in Episode 4. He is absurdly good-looking, affectionate, effusive and, as far as the viewer can tell, would be an indisputably fantastic choice for Jasmine. I simply feel she is more drawn to Kevin W in that “the heart wants what the heart wants” sort of way, which is great for them as a couple, and great for us because Mikhel would make a dreamy Bachelor. Just sayin’!

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