Dating For Eternity
12:30 pm, January 7th | by Sarah Devlin
I was surprised again at The Mormon Bachelor‘s similarity to The Bachelor, which in recent years is usually derailed mid-season by a “shocking twist” — usually a contestant’s former flame is revealed to still be in the picture, or gossip from fellow contestants about a frontrunner not being “in it for the right reasons” becomes impossible to ignore. These speed bumps necessitate a somber audience with host Chris Harrison mid-episode. The Mormon Bachelor followed this model nearly to the letter, having Sharla meet on-camera with a producer to talk about why her relationship with Chris was falling apart.
To The Mormon Bachelor’s credit, there was no dramatic confrontation with Chris, just a conversation with the producer in which Sharla gently and obliquely suggested that she didn’t want to advance on the show since Chris had fallen out of contact with her after their second date. While on The Bachelor this information would be the engine for two hours of weeping, leaning despondently over balconies and lingering shots of roses lying on silver trays, on The Mormon Bachelor Sharla explained her reasons for wanting to leave, the producer said “All right,” and she did.
We never saw how Chris was given the news of her departure, and he didn’t even seem to realize she had left the show when he wrote about the rift between them:
I guess I turned into the “typical guy” – we went on our dates, and we held hands, and I kissed her and enjoyed every second of it. But then I didn’t call. I didn’t text…There are a lot of reasons why — I was busy thinking about one of the other girls on the show and it was definitely distracting my ability to show Sharla affection…
I would be the first person to tell you that I thought Sharla and I would be standing at the end of this hand in hand and preparing for our future…I am not sure how my last date will go but I still have hope that Sharla will change her mind and reconsider if there is an opportunity. I was glad that Devin, the Producer of TMB, was able to spend time with her since I didn’t but I don’t think I can shut the door on Sharla. She is a such a great girl.
Though Chris admitted his feelings for another girl (presumably Courtney) were the reason for neglecting Sharla, it was she who drove the action by leaving the show. By the time Chris was going on his second dates he appeared rather clueless about what was going on.
“This is the last date before I have to decide who I will choose to be my girlfriend and hopefully more after that and I want to make sure the feelings are real on both sides [sic],” he wrote on his blog. He didn’t seem to realize a lot of choosing had already happened without him.