The Bachelors Star Krystal Deserves A Lot More Than Felix’s Shallow Attention

We may be halfway through this season of The Bachelors, but even though the cast is dwindling, it doesn't necessarily mean the female contestants are getting more attention from the bachies themselves.
Last night's episode of the dating show threw a true spanner in the works when Felix Von Hofe came face-to-face with contestant Jessica's real-life boyfriend, Damien. It's undeniably a strange situation to meet the current partner of someone you're dating without warning, but it's not too far removed from the concept of the show itself, which revolves around men dating several women all at once.
Putting the Jessica and Damien drama aside for a moment, when the bachelors were then asked to choose one woman for a single date, it was Krystal who was actually selected to spend one-on-one time with Felix. This time is considered extremely precious in The Bachelor mansion, and can make or break your chance of furthering in the competition.
As a fellow woman of colour (WOC), I was thrilled to see Krystal going on this date, especially since there are only two WOC left on the show. Reality TV has historically failed to give WOC air-time once they're cast, and of course, like every other woman in the mansion, Krystal deserves the chance to form a genuine connection with Felix if she wants to.
But as Krystal prepared on-screen for a sunny lunch date with the basketballer, I was taken aback by Felix's reasons for choosing Krystal. The 27-year-old admitted he still had Jessica and Damien on his mind, and that a lighthearted date with the bubbly Krystal was a perfect distraction.
"The easiest way to get away from the stress of everything that’s going on is to take someone on a date who I know I’m going to have fun with no matter what," Felix said in a voiceover.
"So, I invited Krystal for a drink at Surfer’s Pavilion because I’m hoping that she can just help me take my mind off this whole Jess and Damien mess."
Image courtesy of Channel 10
While Krystal expressed that she "really wanted to have time [for] just us — no distractions", Felix still brought Jessica up in conversation and admitted to producers he was preoccupied thinking about her.
"It is bloody hard to not be distracted because right now Damien is getting half the attention that should be on Krystal," he admitted in a piece-to-camera.
When Krystal hinted on the date that she hadn't been back to the bachelor pad yet for more intimate one-on-one time, Felix responded, "I know, Jessica's been back there three times and she's got a boyfriend."
While it's understandable for Felix to be frazzled by one contestant being interested in another man (though as I mentioned earlier, he's doing the very same thing), it's unfair to choose Krystal simply because he's keen for a good time sans meaningful conversation. The date lacked the opportunity for, and intention to, truly build a connection beyond the "fun" he perceived Krystal could bring to "take [his] mind off" Jessica.
And while race is never mentioned, and I shouldn't presume Felix's preferences, I can't help but observe what I admit could merely be a coincidence — this is another example of a WOC on a dating show getting less than what she deserves. We so often see these women feeling tokenised, paired with a white man who isn't attracted to them because of their cultural background, or eliminated early on in the show.
In Krystal's case, she's been portrayed as the fun, flirty and outspoken contestant from the very start, and it appears Felix hasn't taken her seriously. We only need to recall her steamy date with Felix in episode 1 where the pair painted each other with their bodies (no hands allowed) while she wore a bikini. All power to Krystal for rightfully owning her body and sexuality, but the contrast to some of the more 'wholesome' coffee dates, meditation sessions or romantic boat ride dates with other women signals this could be another example of the hyper-sexualisation of Black women in the media.
Whether you look at this from the perspective of race or not, what's certain is that Krystal was robbed last night A rose at the end of the episode was not enough, and as another fan reminds us on Twitter, she definitely "deserves better than this".
The Bachelors airs Sunday to Wednesday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play.
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