Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette: Episode Nine

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

Kaitlyn and Shaun have the talk

Kaitlyn and Shawn have the talk

In real life I’m all for honesty and transparency. It sounds cliché, but to quote the elderly local gentleman at Kelly’s Irish Pub, the secret to 36 years of marriage: “Trust. That’s the trick.” However, this being a reality dating show and not real life, I have a beef with Kaitlyn’s big confession. For sanity’s sake, the more in-the-dark a contestant is, the better.

I have the utmost respect for Kaitlyn confessing to Shawn that she slept with Nick. I get that it was coming from a place of wanting to be honest with him. What she did was difficult to watch, so I can only imagine how hard it was to do. However, to make that confession while Nick is still very much in the picture makes very little sense. Firstly, it contradicts her wanting to keep the relationships separate. Secondly, not only is Nick still in the picture, but it’s now Fantasy Suite dates; sex is not an abstract speculation but most likely a sure thing. For Kaitlyn to express guilt over sex with Nick only makes sense if it weren’t going to happen again. Otherwise, if she and Shawn end up together, that can be a conversation for when the cameras aren’t around and it’s been more or less established that she had sex with other people. At that point it would be in the past; what does it matter that she had sex with Nick a little bit sooner?

It’s not entirely dissimilar to Kaitlyn telling Shawn that he was “The One” halfway through the process. With that information, it’s impossible for Shawn not to observe the other relationships and compare his interactions with Kaitlyn to the other guys’. And now, with the information that she slept with Nick, Shawn is left to fester while Kaitlyn and Nick are on their Fantasy Suite date, where they will surely have sex again. Ignorance truly can be bliss. Kaitlyn has insisted that the relationships be kept separate, but by oversharing with Shawn she forces his awareness of them. Again, I get where she’s coming from; she wanted to reassure him and prove her trustworthiness to him. But the timing of this reveal didn’t do either of them any favours.

All that said, I would bet everything that the producers suggested and pushed for that confession. After all, it was guaranteed drama, and we know by now drama means ratings. I blame them and not Kaitlyn because, all season long, I really feel she hasn’t done one thing I disagree with. She’s impulsively sent men home in the moment, long before rose ceremonies, just because she didn’t want to draw things out. (Check.) She’s shown early preference for a few select men and has a hard time faking it with others. (Check.) She’s the first lead, in my opinion, to consistently demonstrate that her position is actually not all that enviable. (Check. I literally got goosebumps when she said, “Just one hard conversation out of the way. On to the next.”) I can’t see her wanting to suddenly—needlessly!—tell Shawn that she had sex with Nick weeks earlier without a producer’s persuasion. If they want you to do something, they will find a way to convince you to do it. (Speaking of which, have you seen UnREAL yet?)

Also, note to Joe: nothing makes a woman more confident in her choice to end things with you than when you show your Jekyll/Hyde side. Suddenly becoming cold and detached doesn’t save face; grace does. Study Jared’s exemplary breakup behaviour.

We’re down to three! My predictions…

1. Shawn, 28: There are a few clues that the last man standing is Shawn. First is the very confession that I’ve been harping on. As much as I disagree with it, Kaitlyn was trying to protect and preserve future them. Also, when Shawn said he wanted to talk before accepting her rose in this week’s ceremony, she looked like she might pass out. It’s just hard to imagine this level of investment if he isn’t the man she ultimately chooses. Lastly, their chemistry. Damn.

2. Nick, 34: I was thrilled that this week we got to see more of Nick and Kaitlyn than just physical attraction. Their Cork date was much-needed respite from an otherwise torment-filled episode. And, despite the “Morning After” scene striking me as strange—I don’t think we’ve ever seen one of those before?—I was charmed by it nonetheless. I love their banter. The easy compatibility between them is clear.

Going home next week:

3. Ben, 26: Ben is so drama-free that he almost seems of a different species at this point. He and Kaitlyn are cute together and certainly seem on the same wavelength, but I don’t see the electricity between these two that Kaitlyn shares with both Shawn and Nick. Plus, based on how adorable and gosh darn likable Ben is, he has “Bachelor” written all over him.

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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