The Bachelor Canada Panel: A tale of four cities

The Maclean’s Bachelor Panel on the meaning of ‘I love you,’ and other semantics

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Bachelor Canada


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. Aaron Wherry will return to this panel next week.

Sonya Bell

Sonya Bell:

When the clock strikes a month-or-so on the Bachelor Canada, it’s time for the leading man to meet the folks. So Tim travelled to four cities to meet four different families of four different women he’s pursuing, much like a future movie starring Hugh Grant.

You haven’t been on an awkward date until you have to say: “Mom, Dad, this is Tim no-last-name. I’m three roses away from being his wife. Can you clear a place at the table to give the cameraman a good shot?”

In Lisa’s case, things didn’t get that far. Tim sat her down on a park bench in Calgary, and asked what really happened between her and the Italian bartender in Tuscany. She insisted she had already told him, 100 per cent, even though her version of events differs from what the other bachelorettes saw. Last week, Tim’s gut told him to trust her. This week, his gut had second thoughts.

“I just don’t know if I feel right taking it any further. I don’t think I could meet your parents in good faith,” he said, as the tension built through instrumental music.

Lisa, predictably, blamed the other women.

“I’m a threat to them, and they knew that. I think they were just waiting for something to come at me with,” she said. “I’m done.”


Why did Tim give Lisa a rose last week, only to ditch her within minutes this week? Maybe he would have forgiven her if she’d suddenly been more forthcoming about what really happened at the pub. Or maybe Tim just kept her around for an extra week because he was more afraid of leading on Kaylynn than leading on Lisa.

But this week’s bigger Bachelor bombshell is that Tim eliminated an additional bachelorette: Sachelle. I didn’t see it coming. I’m guessing that you didn’t either, Colin – so what went wrong?

Tim faced a tougher crowd than he’s used to when he met Sachelle’s family in Sudbury. Her dad warned him that he doesn’t believe in quick marriages. Her brother seemed pretty excited about the possibility of punching him in the face. His parting words to Tim were, “Don’t hurt my sis. That’s my girl.”

If Sachelle asks the men in her family to turn down the bravado going forward, I wouldn’t blame her.

Bachelor romances are famously likely to fail, and I think a major reason why is that the leading man can compare and contrast. He doesn’t have to learn to accept flaws – he can eliminate them. “I like Sachelle, but her brother intimidated me. Whereas April’s grandmother told me she loved me in German.” It’s a format that encourages the path of least resistance, which is rarely the path of real love.

Colin Horgan
Colin Horgan

Colin Horgan:

A point off the top, if I may: I think we should hold a national lesson on how to properly pronounce ‘Calgary’. Lisa’s done a lot of things wrong, but at least she had that right this week. (For the record, it ought to sound like you’ve swallowed the second ‘a’ – ‘Calg-ry’ – as opposed to Tim’s ‘Cal-GARY’.)

Anyway, it wasn’t the only point in the show where words seemed important.

Did either of you find it interesting that the only woman who told Tim flat out, “I love you,” was the one he eliminated? I can only think that by the time she said it, it was already too late.

After their date in Toronto, Tim described Sachelle as “that forever kind of girl.” I think the key word missing was “my”. Sachelle may be a forever kind of girl – whatever that means – but she’s not Tim’s.

Perhaps we’ll never know when he realized this. Given what we witnessed at Sachelle’s home in Sudbury, I suppose we could venture a guess her brother had something to do with it. It was amusing to hear Tim’s response to Sachelle’s confession that she loved him. “I hope so,” he said. Perhaps as in: I am hoping your decision to bring me to dine with a man bent on punching my face was made out of love, because otherwise….

But I personally suspect Tim had a feeling after Italy that Sachelle was not The One. Lisa was a major distraction in that episode, but thinking back, Tim’s date with Sachelle was really totally dull. Literally manufacturing a sponsor’s product as a date was obviously always going to seem contrived. But Tim and Sachelle’s interactions appeared equally forced – as if they really were just actors in some commercial, complete with a flour-on-the-nose ‘boop!’

It was a crap date, followed by a crap conversation centred entirely on a crap story about someone else. Maybe Sachelle was right, and one of the women had to tell Tim the truth about Lisa, but I’d wager it was a mistake for her to designate herself the messenger. Coupled with a bro-talk heavy on the face-punching subtext a week later, and the whole Sachelle picture could understandably begin to darken for Tim.

You’re right, Sonya, this show does allow for too much dismissal of flaws, rather than acceptance. It’s been a fundamental problem that the extent of Tim’s uncertainty about each woman has amounted to some throwaway line about depth, rather than serious consideration of what he dislikes about them. Does the Bachelor need to start making lists with each woman’s pros and cons? Likely to nobody’s surprise, I say yes. As George Costanza once said, “If there’s any doubt at all, I feel we should cultivate it.”

Unless, of course, it’s about how to pronounce ‘Calgary’. On that, there is no doubt.