When Chris Harrison unveiled his devious, coldhearted plot to pit fan-favorite heir apparent Kaitlyn against the silken-haired, unshowered villainess Britt, there were no illusions about the process. With a cruel smirk, Harrison explained:
“For the first time in Bachelorette history, we’re gonna have two bachelorettes. The 25 men on Night 1 are going to have the ultimate say about who they think would make the best wife.”
Thus, the two dozen basic-bros of Night 1 (a group that apparently includes a former investment banker, a male stripper, a junkyard specialist, and an “amateur sex coach”) were given a very important choice to make: Kaitlyn or Britt?
But the question is really much bigger than that, isn’t it? As one reality TV critic put it, ” It isn’t so much a choice between Britt vs. Kaitlyn as it is a choice between ideologies.”
However, as enthusiastic viewers of the Bachelor and Bachelorette tradition, here at syvology our question is quite different. Even a casual viewer of the show understands that it’s never, ever about the destination of marriage; it’s about the journey. As such, ask not who will “make the best wife.” Ask instead who will make the best Bachelorette.
Those are two entirely different inquiries.
The Case for Kaitlyn
BK: Let me start by saying how glad I am to be talking about a truly powerful television program. I feel like there hasn’t been anything else important happening on TV since we watched Chris and Whitney ride off into the Iowa sunset on the back of Chris Harrison’s Great Eagles last season.
The case for Kaitlyn is simple. She’s a normal human person with actual human person thoughts and feelings. She will probably even act the way a normal person would act for a couple episodes, which was really the point of reality TV in the first place. She doesn’t sleep in her make-up and make up a fear of heights only to miraculously overcome that fear in the next scene. No way. She’s Canadian. She’s too busy eating Poutine and curling for that nonsense. (I see you, Canada. Go hockey!)
And if you’re sitting there thinking ‘Normal people? No thank you, sir. I’ll take my chances with the giant ball of crazy that’s lurking just beneath the 4 layers of bronzer on Britt’s forehead,’ to you, good reader, I say: Kaitlyn is probably crazy too! She just got dumped by a sweaty farmer in a jungle in Bali! She is going BACK on a show produced by this guy. Voluntarily! Britt’s whole (lame) schtick is that she was the (lame) calculating, (lame) manipulative, (totally) pretty one… and I’m already bored. Like we haven’t seen that on every episode of Vanderpump Rules. No thanks, thats not what the Bach is about.
The difference is that with Kaitlyn we get to see just how full of shit she is, little-by-little, throughout the ‘journey’, and I’m willing to bet she’s way full of it, we just do’t know it yet.
With Britt, we already know. She is the most full of shit. (And she doesn’t even shower. Ew.)
The Case for Britt
syvo: OK, I get it. Kaitlyn is the cool girl. She has a great personality. She’s down-to-Earth. She has an amazing sense of humor. She’s pretty and cute and casual and fun. All those things are characteristics that’d lead me to believe that Kaitlyn, perhaps, would “make the best wife.” But as we said, this show is not about who is the more interesting subject while in a state of satisfaction; rather, this series is about exploring human behavior while in a state of desire.
Britt is desiring subject par excellence, utterly consumed not with the attainment of a concrete future goal (i.e. marriage, family, committed relationship) but rather with the phenomenological experience of finding those things. Last season, she was decidedly uncharmed by the concrete idea of living in Arlington, Iowa. But driving back, she was arbitrarily struck by the beauty of the sunset over the cornfields, which left her overwhelmed by an ecstatic vision of raising a family there. This kind of sign-seeing irrationality is precisely the language that The Bachelor/ette speaks, ready at any moment to turn on a dime with romantic proclamations or dramatic collapse. For Britt, there is the journey and only the journey, and that is why she will make the perfect Bachelorette.