Since it is now the 11th season of ABC’s The Bachelorette, it is not a huge surprise that they have chosen to throw as many curveballs into the show this time around as possible. From the very beginning, this season was unlike anything we have seen before on the show.
This season began with two potential bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. While both women share the experience of being on season 19 of The Bachelor, there doesn’t seem to be much else these two ladies have in common.
Kaitlyn Bristowe is a 30-year-old dance instructor living in Vancouver. She is outspoken, sarcastic and can either be found cracking a joke or laughing at one. On the other-hand, Britt Nilsson, a 27-year-old waitress in Hollywood, California, is much more soft-spoken and seemingly more serious when it comes to interacting with potential partners.
Both women were present as 25 male bachelors arrived in various modes of transportation – including limos, hot tub cars, and cupcake mobiles – as they introduced themselves to not one, but both of the bachelorettes. Filled with plenty cringe-worthy moments, the men had to walk up to each one of the potential bachelorettes one at a time as they stood a few feet a part in front of the bachelorette mansion’s entrance. One particular hard-to-watch scene was when one of the contestants decided to use the same spiel of admiration to both ladies, who were obviously in hearing distance of each other.
After many expressed opinions from both men on #TeamKaitlyn and #TeamBritt, the second episode revealed that our full-time bachelorette for this season would be Canada’s very own Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Just when we thought we had said our final goodbyes to Britt, the producers decided to throw in another twist. Brady, one of the bachelors who initially voted for Britt, decides that it is best he leaves the bachelor mansion and goes after Britt, as he feels she is the one who “has his heart.” Throughout each episode there have been some glimpses into the status of relationship of Britt and Brady, including an introduction of Brady to Britt’s mother.
So what other twists and turns does this season of The Bachelorette have for us? Well for those of you who watched Andi Dorfman’s season and are familiar with the titled villain Nick Viall, he is back for more. Nick Viall joined the cast in week 4 and definitely caused some upset amongst the remaining men. Kaitlyn reveals that she had connected with Nick over social media and text message and felt she needed to give him a chance when he approached her looking to have a shot at her love. Nick continues to rock the bachelorette boat, when it is revealed to the audience that he and Kaitlyn had sex in the sixth week of shooting. Although it is not unheard of for contestants to have sex on the show, it is a first to happen outside of the established rules of doing so within the fantasy-suite.
This rebellion against The Bachelorette norms has put Kaitlyn under much scrutiny, with media, fans and even contestants shaming her overtly sexual ways. Contestant Ian even decided to leave based on his observation that it seemed as though Kaitlyn was “here to make out with a bunch of dudes on TV.” The scandal has brought up much discussion about whether the show is “slut-shaming” Kaitlyn by presenting her in such an excessively sexual way, in order to gain media attention and shake up the show. Nevertheless under all this scrutiny, I find it quite impressive how Kaitlyn continues to she so reassured of her actions and herself, despite all the upset. She chooses to be very open with her decisions and refuses to feel guilty for exploring the physical aspects of her relationships with the bachelors.
At the end of episode 7 (week 6), contestant Sean is taken back by Kaitlyn’s choice of giving the group date rose to another man, as he felt so sure of the connection they had. He decides to confront Kaitlyn in her hotel room. His intense demeanor confuses Kaitlyn, which leads her to assume that he found out about her and Nick’s time behind closed doors (at this point only the audience knows). The show leaves us waiting till next episode to see if Kaitlyn and Nick’s secret will be spilled to all of the remaining contestants, as well as how Sean will resolve his frustrations towards Kaitlyn’s choices.
Kaitlyn Bristowe is definitely a unique bachelorette, which when tied in with the unique set-up of the season, makes for some good reality television.