Zak Waddell’s ‘Bachelor’ Recap: Overnight Dates



 Zak Waddell was a contestant on ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 9 // Follow on Instagram at @RealZakWaddell

There has been a loose, lingering thread in the mystery of Bachelor Chris? And from the moth infested closet it came from, I have been expecting that the old sweater Chris wears so smugly to unravel from its’ very thread. Why is Chris so patient and caring? Every week I come back to this nagging question. What is this thread, the undercurrent of every interaction?  A product of three sisters… has he softened over the years? A nurturing central mother figure… has he been protected from criticism and blame? Or is he a calculated politician, campaigning solely towards a positive characterization?

I have thought long and hard about this, letting the answer come to me like it did with Brit, Kelsey, Becca. Going through the experience of being on the Bachelor, I can say with full confidence that the way people are portrayed… is almost exactly who they are. Sure comments are taken out of context for the sake of hyperbole. And yet even those comments were volunteered by a willing participant. A participant, fully participating, in accordance with their better judgments, with a show that capitalizes on drama and futility. What you don’t volunteer by the way of drama, foregoes that portrayal to your character. The silent ghost never makes the campfire stories.

I think I have finally figured it out… Chris is a perfectly well adjusted, gratified human being. Like Thoreau at Walden Pond, Chris has found a state of grace and is openly satisfied with his life in rural Iowa. Able to happily entertain himself, fulfilled in his family life, and finding true joy in his occupation, his only fear is this: are Kaitlyn, Becca or Whitney capable of finding similar enlightenment there?

Like a Transcendentalist in nineteenth century New England, Chris never closes his eyes to the goodness of humanity, always giving contestants a second chance, the courtesy of explanation and the empathy of real tears. For Chris, this purity of heart comes by removing oneself from the corrupting influence of society, and finding equilibrium in the goodness of nature. The belief in a purifying power of self-reliance and freedom, this is the thread that defines Chris Soules. By separating himself from a distracted society, Chris has found happiness amongst a loving family and a community of like-mindedness.


Now that this has come to light, we are back to the same problem in Episode 1. Was Bachelor Chris set-up to fail? Is he the victim?

We still have 2 women remaining, but I don’t see Chris finding long-term compatibility with either one.  Sure, in a tailwind of emotion he might propose to Becca or Whitney. They will certainly try to make their relationship work in the real world… I just don’t see this happening.

It’s not Becca’s age that is problematic. It is her lack of life experiences and insight about the world. I can’t see Becca able to entertain herself in Iowa and find the same thoughtful enlightenment Chris has.

Whitney on the other hand, because of her trials, is perfectly capable of this. She is able, when willing, to change the context of her environment with her beautiful optimism. For Whitney, it comes down to sacrifice. Can she give up a career; something she says provides 50% of her fulfillment, for the dream of starting a family of her own?

It was sad watching Kaitlyn leave so broken. I think many viewers fell into a “bad first impression” trap after Kaitlyn’s limo exit. I can relate to Kaitlyn because we had the same strategy in mind – break the ice on day one! Chris certainly felt comfortable with Kaitlyn from that moment on. It was then up to Kaitlyn to open up emotionally, something she had difficulty doing. I hope Kaitlyn gets another chance at love.

Until next week..


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