Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelorette Finale

Opera singer Sharleen Joynt—fellow Canuck, FLARE columnist and former Bachelor contestant—shares her take on the last episode of the season

kaitlyn-bristowe the bachelorette finale

Kaitlyn, waiting for Nick (those clenched hands give away just how hard it was!)

Has there ever been as heart-wrenching a breakup on this show as last night’s? Love or hate Nick—though I truly believe anyone in the latter category is clinging to a first impression borne of judgment and misunderstanding—one would have to be incapable of empathy to not feel for him. His delight at seeing Neil Lane at the door, the carefully chosen words in his proposal speech, even his hurt but civil demeanour at being rejected… All this after a turn as unwitting villain on Andi’s season? His entire journey has been like a prettily-wrapped gift on a storyboard producer’s doorstep. And as someone who considers him a friend and has some idea as to what he’s been through, I found last night’s finale very bittersweet—it was the ultimate redemption of character, by way of brutal heartbreak.

I have to wonder: had we not already been so exposed to reality television and gradually desensitized to these real people’s real emotions, wouldn’t we would be horrified by what we saw last night? The gentle cracking open of a person’s already reinforced shell, his heart extended like an offering, with the words, “If you’ll have me.” Watching her tearfully interrupt him, his soft face grow hard with realization…how many years ago would this have been massively upsetting to watch? Was there a specific point along the way when it became an excuse to drink wine on Monday nights, or was it more of a slow burn?

After The Final Rose was standard enough and, thankfully after this season, there were no curve balls. The one segment I could have done without, however, was the interview with Nick and Shawn together. Two people who have never seen eye-to-eye (and likely never will) were made to flesh out their differences—as though those differences were past-tense—under the guise of “closure.” I understand and appreciate the sentiment of two grown men admitting to having behaved immaturely. Unfortunately, the effect was negated by the palpable tension and subtle sparring throughout every second leading up to that admission. The result felt forced and like a waste of time. After The Final Rose often feels rushed enough and I think those minutes could have been put to better use. How about outlining how Nick has come to terms with and recovered from feeling “like a fool,” or to hear what he now seeks and values in a partner? Or how about where Kaitlyn and Shawn intend to live and what the short and long of their future looks like to them?

Speaking of which, Kaitlyn and Shawn were positively glowing. They are adorable together (that goes without saying) but what I particularly liked was how they don’t seem any different now than they did while on the show. How they beam at one another, the sweet way they watch each other speak, how they always seem intertwined… It was not dissimilar to any romantic one-on-one time we’ve seen of them all season. They’ve been through the ringer and gotten out alive—stronger, surely, but also wonderfully unchanged. Did anyone else feel this way? I’m not sure if I can explain it, but I like it. A lot.

All in all, and in spite of my gripes, that was one very compelling season. Congratulations to the beautiful, happy couple! As for Nick, he handled himself incredibly well at After the Final Rose. While no person should ever have to withstand what he did, something tells me he’ll be just fine:) Thanks for following along with me, folks. That’s a wrap!

For more on this season of  The Bachelorette from Sharleen Joynt, visit her blog, All the Pretty Pandas.

And don’t forget: if you have a romantic dilemma that you’d like Sharleen’s take on, please let us know! Email your queries to editor@flare.com, leave a comment below, tweet us @FLAREfashion or post on our Facebook page using #AskSharleen. Then look for her reply in FLARE’s October issue.

All Things Bachelorette:

Read All of Sharleen Joynt’s  Recaps of The Bachelorette
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Quiz: The Bachelorette—or Chris Harrison’s Romance Novel?
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