Apparently there's not a lot of overlap between Bachelor Nation and the classical music world. Opera singer Sharleen Joynt hit all the right notes with Juan Pablo Galavis on season 18 of ABC's The Bachelor, but now that she's back among the masses, she's having a difficult time separating her real life from reality TV life. Resuming her career as a coloratura soprano has been especially challenging, the New York City resident said in an interview with WQXR.
"I think that the opera world is very wary of me at the moment. It's not easy," Joynt, 29, shared. "Everything I've done so far in my life has been for that career. And so to be suddenly taken less seriously because I spent two months filming a reality show is a little heartbreaking in a way."
She added, however, that she went into the show "with no career expectations" and intentionally tried to keep her life as a singer separate from her life as a reality star. (She's currently an understudy for a production of Richard Strauss' Arabella at the Met.) "I realized that it would make me some sort of a D-list celebrity, but in no way did I think at any point that it would really help my opera career," she explained.
"That's why the entire time I was even on the show, I made a point of not singing. They wanted me to sing at every turn," Joynt said. "I made it very clear -- I was like, 'I don't want to sing in interviews. I'm not singing when I get out of the limo...' Even the time I did sing [on a one-on-one date with Galavis], I said no...but then when Juan Pablo himself asked me, he was super insistent...He wouldn't take no for an answer."
Joynt, who was one of Galavis' top contenders (if not the top contender), left the show of her own accord in the third-to-last episode of the season, saying she didn't have enough of a "cerebral connection" with the sometimes linguistically challenged Bachelor. She still looks back fondly on the experience, though -- even if signing up for it started out as a joke.
"It's the kind of thing that is like brain-meltingly and numbingly glorious," she joked of watching past seasons of The Bachelor with her sister, and adding that she just happened to be in the neighborhood when producers were holding a casting call in New York.
"You know the term FOMO? Fear of missing out? I would say that's what it came down to," she explained. "Honestly, it started out as a joke and sort of snowballed. When something like that is in your hands, and you know that it's once-in-a-lifetime, even if it's not highbrow once-in-a-lifetime, you still have a moment where you're like, "I could really look back on this and regret [not doing it]."
"I would be lying if I said I didn't have moments where I was like, 'Maybe this was a huge mistake,'" she told WQXR. That said, "it was a fun experience. I'm a 29-year-old girl. It was a really cool experience that I'll tell my grandchildren about someday...I only have good things to say about it overall."