Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelor: Women Tell All

The savvy former Bachelor contestant shares her take on last night’s episode

(Photo: Courtesy of Facebook/The Bachelor)

(Photo: Courtesy of The Bachelor/Facebook)

It’s no secret that the Tell All episode has always been my favourite of any given season. I love observing the social dynamics between the women after they’ve been back in the real world for several months. I love seeing who is different from—or the same as—how they appeared on the season, particularly after having watched themselves on television. And, of course, I love the fashion statements.

Women Tell All is also a gift of sorts from the producers to the more controversial contestants (Britt, Kelsey, Ashley S.). It’s their opportunity to show some self-awareness and an ability to laugh at themselves, and above all, it’s their opportunity for redemption. Also bear in mind that every girl is coached by producers on what they can expect to be asked and how they wish to respond.

Speaking of which, I would have liked to see Carly extended that same courtesy. Carly was absolutely a controversial character and has plenty of haters. It was obvious that Britt was lobbying hard for Bachelorette more likability, but what was aired of her exchange with Carly was FAR too one-sided for my liking. Britt asked for answers from Carly but interrupted her every time Carly attempted to give them. The only opportunity Carly was given to speak without interruption was during Britt’s hot-seat time. She was told to describe a specific example of Britt saying one thing and doing another. This only made Carly look worse. She was never given five minutes of her own to defend her actions throughout the season. They granted that respect to Ashley S., lover of pomegranates who left in Episode 4, and twice to Kelsey, if you include the Chris Harrison interview two weeks ago. So, why not Carly? She stayed until Episode 8 and people were (and still are) saying horrible things about her on the Internet. Let her have her five minutes.

My top three most memorable ladies this week…

3. The Class Clown

Was anyone else laughing throughout Ashley S.’s entire hot-seat segment? I watched with a girlfriend and my fiancé, and we were all in stitches. It was clear she was and had been making relentless fun of the show the entire time. To explain why she had wandered into and around off-limits Bachelor Mansion grounds (and yes, there were plenty of off-limits areas), she said simply, “I was so bored, honestly… With all the cameras around it’s hard for me to not be silly. So, while all of them were getting upset and crying, I was outside picking pomegranates.” That is kind of amazing. First, I completely understand the boredom; during filming was the only time in my life I’ve been able to commit to journaling. Second, the way she explained everything was hilariously shrugged off and matter-of-fact. Oh, and when she said, “It’s so weird… that we’re on TV,” was she really wrong? Ashley S. is very, very funny.

2. The Outcast

Remember when I said Women Tell All is an opportunity for the controversial ladies to show some self-awareness? I would say Kelsey failed in that department. When asked why she thought the women didn’t like her, an actual reason she gave was, “I use big words.” She then proceeded to say things like “that dislike for me was amassing” (one of many examples of her over-the-top yet impractical fancy speak). She obviously didn’t learn anything watching herself on television, or at the very least, didn’t implement those lessons. All that said, I don’t think Kelsey is a bad person. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, and I think everyone can relate to not fitting in in some way, at some point (I know I can). I hope Kelsey has a circle of friends who think and express themselves the same way she does and for whom her foibles aren’t… well, foibles.

1. The Homecoming Queen

Not only was Kaitlyn an absolute vision, she was a paragon of class. She never interrupted or raised her voice at anyone. She spoke when spoken to, was eloquent and concise, and though still hurting from her onscreen dumping, never ate up screen time by wallowing in self-pitying tears. (Take note, Britt.) She spoke her piece to Chris, saying if Becca was given the opportunity to be taken aside for a conversation, she too should have been given that courtesy and not have been made to wait through a Rose Ceremony. Kaitlyn is a woman, not a girl. Any man would be lucky to have her, and I hope the powers that be bear will that in mind when choosing their next Bachelorette.