Kendall L. & Grocery Store Joe's Body Language On 'Bachelor In Paradise' Vs. Leo D.'s Is So Different
This week on Bachelor in Paradise, viewers were introduced to a new love triangle between Grocery Store Joe, Kendall, and newcomer Leo. Kendall and Joe have been "together" in Paradise since the first week, and steadily getting to know each other despite not yet going on an actual date. When Leo arrived in Mexico and asked Kendall on a date, she said yes, and told Joe she wanted to take the opportunity to get to know other people. But despite a great date, Kendall L. and Grocery Store Joe's body language differs greatly from hers with Leo. To decipher who would be the better match for Kendall, I asked Traci Brown, body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language And Speech For Influence, and body language expert Lisa Mitchell, to break down the differences between the two relationships.
If you watched Tuesday night's episode, you'll remember that right before Kendall leaves for her date with Leo, she sits down to have a chat with Joe. He says he hopes the date doesn't go well, and when she leans in to hug him goodbye, he goes in for a kiss. Joe asks her why she had to go and "make it awkward," and they lean in again to kiss goodbye before her date with Leo. Joe says he's not sure he would've accepted a date card from anyone else, saying he's only really interested in pursuing Kendall.
On their date, Kendall and Leo pose for a photo shoot for former Paradise bartender Jorge's new romance novel cover. The shoot requires them to lean into their physical chemistry, getting very close and ultimately making out right then and there. It really seems like they can't stop touching each other, and like there's a clear spark between them.
But based on Kendall's body language, Brown says she's actually more into Joe.
Brown points out that here, on the day bed, Kendall's shoulders are pointed away from Leo. "He's fully facing her," Brown tells Elite Daily. Plus, she says, the pillow is "a little barrier between them."
"With Leo, Kendall is much more reserved in how she is using space, even blocking him a bit by having a large pillow in between them when they are laying down," Mitchell tells Elite Daily. "She's intentionally creating distance between them. She also is only slightly turned toward him with her legs while keeping her torso more outward facing and you can see the fake smile on her face (just her mouth is activated, no eye activation at all indicating the smile is forced) as opposed to a genuine smile that she displayed in her time with Joe."
The viewer (AKA me) may think, "Oh, well, they have their arms wrapped around one another here — that could mean something!" But Brown says that could be just for the show.
"Their arms around each other are just for the camera," she says. "It’s a nice look and all, just not a ton of emotion in it."
"She’s resisting just a bit when [Leo] dips her in the kiss," Brown says. "Her arm isn’t all the way around him." Maybe she's resisting because she just met the guy, or perhaps she's missing good old Grocery Store Joe.
Mitchell also notices Kendall resisting with Leo. "Leo is leaning way into her territory which appears to make her uncomfortable as exhibited by her effort to space between their torsos and putting her hands on his shoulders as she leans back and away from him during the kiss, which is totally different than how she leaned into Joe during their kiss," Mitchell says.
"Her hand is on [Joe's] face and then in the other shot, on his chest," Brown says. "That shows ownership."
"Kendall is comfortable claiming space and moving into Joe's personal territory as seen by her leaning in and putting her hand on his chest," Mitchell says. "She's leaning in or toward him, either with her whole body or with her arms at least and her legs are pointed in his direction or directly only him."
Mitchell also agrees that this shows ownership or "claiming" him. "Joe reciprocates her affection by keeping his body turned toward her and making moves to claim her space as well," she says. "They both display genuine smiles and happiness indicators throughout their interactions and there are no cues of discomfort visible, such as distancing or blocking behaviors. That tells me that they are both open to the continued and deepening connection."
"Their energy matches when they’re on the bed," Mitchell says. "[They're] laughing with the same intensity."
Fans of the show may remember that Kendall tells Joe she feels like her and Leo are similar, and that Joe responds he and Kendall are complete opposites. "As far as [Kendall and Leo] being more similar... remember opposites attract," Brown says. "I’d be surprised if she ends up with Leo." Mitchell agrees, and also thinks that Kendall will choose Joe.
"My guess is that this isn’t a love triangle at all," Brown concludes. "It’s made-for-TV drama that we can see right through." Since the previews for next week's episode show Leo lashing out at Joe, that could definitely make an impact on Kendall's decision. Since, according to Brown, she's more into Joe anyway, Leo's anger issues may be what prompt his departure from Paradise. Only time will tell!