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The Bachelor Canada Panel: Under the Tuscan Spotlight

It’s not making out with the pub server that gets you, it’s the cover-up


 

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The Maclean’s Bachelor panel: One bachelor, three critics, countless possibilities.

The Bachelor Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Citytv. You can catch this week’s episode here.

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Sonya Bell

Sonya Bell:
Colin, Aaron,

The Bachelor Canada had one wild night in Tuscany, but the cameras weren’t there to catch it.

What we saw on-screen this week—Tim present Trish with diamond earrings and a necklace, Tim eat an apple wearing nothing but a towel, Tim confess he’s scared of rejection—wasn’t half as exciting as what happened behind the scenes.

On their one night off, Trish, Lisa, Sachelle, April and Kaylynn hit the town in Tuscany. But Lisa hit it off with someone else: the pub’s server. Through a series of interviews, we learned Sachelle saw them kissing and pulled Lisa away, but, “two seconds later,” Lisa was back at it.

“I feel disrespected,” said Kaylynn, because she feels a lot of things.

“If she doesn’t [own up to it], one of us will,” Sachelle vowed the next day.

There’s no harsher insult in the Bachelor universe than saying someone else is “not here for the right reasons.” The right reasons being, to give oneself over, heart and soul, to the pursuit of true love. The wrong reason being anything less than that.

Now, in Lisa’s defence, Tim has been kissing multiple women every week (with the suspicious exception of this week), so why can’t she do the same thing? It’s not a monogamous relationship at this point. It’s more of a polygamous marriage, really.

But there are other reasons to think Lisa might just be here for a laugh. She herself admitted, “I didn’t come into this thinking I was going to find love.”

The Tuscany tongue-action, however, has allegedly made Lisa realize she has real feelings for Tim. When they had some time alone, she confessed a sanitized version of the night’s events and pleaded, “I am sick about what happened. I am absolutely crazy about you.”

It’s easy to imagine the other bachelorettes high-fiving each other after Lisa’s little indiscretion: So long, sucker! No rose for you!

But Tim, citing his “gut,” decided Lisa deserved another chance. He sent Kaylynn packing instead. Poor Kaylynn. She’d probably assumed not making out with a different guy would have secured her a rose this week.

Since we have to live with Lisa for at least another week, I’m curious, Colin and Aaron, if you sympathize with her situation at all. Is she, as she tends to portray herself, the only normal bachelorette on the show?

There are reasons I’d like to like her: She’s a little counter-culture, she has great style, she had the incredible gall to make out with someone else while she’s a finalist on a TV show where the end prize is an engagement ring.

But just when she does something cool, like show some artistic talent in her portrait of Tim, she sets womankind back a decade, calling everyone on the show catty and unsure of themselves, capping it off with this gem: “They are the epitome of why I don’t like females. Simple.” (All females? Female cats? Hamsters?)

I still don’t know which girl is best for Tim. But I’d definitely advise him not to choose someone who considers herself at war with half the animal kingdom.

Colin Horgan

Colin Horgan

Colin Horgan:
Aaron, Sonya,

In the end, literally, April had the most prescient observation. The short clip that played at the end, after the preview of next week’s hometown visits, showed us more of Tim’s art-critique date. April’s voiceover kicked in, noting that, in painting Tim, Lisa had neglected to give him a face. I’m not sure if we can count that as Freudian, or simply revealing of subconscious, but, given what we learned this week, it seems fitting anyway that Lisa may see Tim as just another man-shaped thing in front of her.

Once again, Sonya, we asked similar questions while watching this week. (For the record, my other two major thoughts were: 1. Could Tim ever top the date he had with Trish? If their entire lives were to pass together, could anything ever be that good, that perfect, again? Maybe not. 2. Did we just see the Horgan Dating Show Doctrine fully realized in Tim’s art challenge? Maybe!)

But I digress. Back to the question at hand—Sonya’s: Is there anything sympathetic about Lisa?

Early in this episode, the answer was yes. The truly bizarre, double-pronged, passive-aggressive attack Sachelle and April launched at Lisa when they got to Italy was ridiculously childish stuff. If the person you’re talking about is standing right next to you, acknowledge she is standing right next to you. As for Kaylynn? We were led to believe she just sat there in agreeable silence, perhaps afraid she might incur further wrath if she were to speak up, but, in any case, allowing her apparently most hated of all things—bullying—to take place in front of her to someone else.

So yes, perhaps Lisa deserved some sympathy—at that point.

Over the weeks, I’ve found myself torn as to how seriously to take Lisa’s bravado and dismissal of others. Mostly, I’ve figured it’s pure posturing. Or maybe a coping mechanism. But now I wonder.

It’s quite the statement to claim someone with whom you’ve now spent many weeks in close quarters means “nothing” to you, as Lisa said of the other women. And, if that’s true, perhaps the others, and Tim, have every reason to be concerned.

I return to the face, or the lack of one.

About a year ago, Louis C.K. popped up on Conan O’Brien’s show to deliver a bit about why he doesn’t like his kids to have cellphones. I won’t ruin it all, but part of it came down to a point about empathy: Kids cyberbully because they don’t have to see the other person’s face, which means they don’t experience, or build, empathy.

Maybe faces are difficult to paint, but April and Kaylynn tried, and each of their renditions of Tim’s face revealed something they saw in him. Some part of his character came through, as ridiculous or poorly executed as it was. I guess what I’m saying is that faces are important. Maybe it means nothing that Lisa left that bit out. Or maybe it explains a lot.

Surely, Aaron will tell us.

Aaron Wherry

Aaron Wherry

Aaron Wherry:
Colin, Sonya,

I really, really want to be on Lisa’s side.

Viewed the right way, her making out with the pub server was a mighty attack upon the inequity of this show’s set-up. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to make out with the pub server? Why should Tim be allowed to make out with other women during his “relationship” with Lisa, but she be barred from making out with at least as many other dudes? Why should she have to focus entirely on him if he is not entirely focused on her?

Tim, I think, has very little room here to be outraged or offended. And I think even the other girls, having seemed to learn to forgive Tim his myriad make-outs, need to think about why they’d be upset that Lisa kissed someone else.

(Note: Lisa was offended last week by Kaylynn making out with Tim in view of the other women on a group date, but Lisa, at least, had the decency to make out with the pub server where Tim couldn’t see her.)

So Lisa didn’t do anything fundamentally wrong, I say.

At least not until she decided to tell Tim about what she’d done.

Here’s where I maybe lose my subversive hero. If we believe Sachelle’s version of events, and if Lisa’s version of events were limited to the suggestion that, after a couple of cheek kisses, the pub server grabbed her and kissed her, then Lisa’s not quite owning her act. As they say in politics, it’s not the kissing the pub server that gets you, it’s the trying to cover up the kissing the pub server that gets you.

Is Lisa mean to the other girls? Maybe. Are her comments about hating other women problematic? Probably. Is she as enthusiastic about the show’s premise as the other women? Maybe not. Did she make out with some guy at a pub? Yes. Does she maybe not know how to draw a face? Possibly. Are faces hard to draw? Definitely. Did she subconsciously exclude Tim’s because she doesn’t really know Tim as a human being? Conceivably.

But none of that necessarily disqualifies her as a potential life mate for Tim.

The maybe not being truthful about the circumstances of the pub make-out? That’s trouble.


 
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