Before I begin this entry, I want to share with you a little tidbit my grandma told me growing up, just as I was starting to date. She told me, "Kimmy, when you are on a date, remember one thing: don't look at the way your date treats you, look at the way your date treats the waitress or waiter. Of course he is going to be nice to you - you are his date. If you really want to know what kind of person he is, watch how he acts when he thinks you are not looking."
Probably some of the best advice I've ever received (and yes, Brian is exceptionally lovely to all wait staff). I feel like I need to email or tweet Ben that same advice. Except this time, it's a little too late for that.
And he probably won't believe me anyway. "Tread lightly, Kim," he would say.
And by this point, all of America knows that he picked Courtney. I'll skip over the boring stuff - Lindzi shakes her head a lot, Juliet sorely let me down by not seeing through Courtney's bs, Ben's mom is really sweet - to get to the good stuff. Like, why were both girls wearing capes? Was Courtney intentionally channeling her inner Cruella DeVil or was she really about to steal some dalamatian puppies? How cool does Switzerland look? (my only gripe: where were the yodelers?)
Then there is the REALLY good stuff - um, Courtney and her totally sociopathic behavior. Yup, I'm slapping the "sociopath" label on her. She is a masterful manipulator. She played this game perfectly, from start to end, from teeny-white bikini to skinny-dipping to busting out the sweet-but-cheesy-scrapbook o'memories. She was feminine with her super-high little girl voice ("Who, me?") and killer wardrobe/figure/amazing skin, but "down-to-earth" enough to play with spiders and shun make-up, like in Belize. This is like the perfect man cocktail. I only wish it had been football season so she could have impressed Ben with her fake sports knowledge. As Emily so smartly put it, she was down right "irresistible."
Once she locked Ben in her high beams (pun intended), the poor man never stood a chance.
Even before the final rose, she was working him. She asked him how his mom and sister knew "all that bad stuff" about what happened in the house and why they brought it up again. Ben defended himself, she pouted, and he caved immediately. The whole "Men just take and take from me" and "It was so hard for me in the house with those girls" - wah-waaaaah. She is such a VICTIM! I cannot stand it! I have absolutely no patience with that kind of behavior. Yes Courtney, I know. It's so incredibly difficult being gorgeous and a model that people just walk all over you. I half expected her to break out the "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" speech. I mean, where's the accountability? What is SHE doing to make the situation right, aside from acting like a huge martyr and making plays for more sympathy? She is the one who treated these women horribly. There is no defense for that.
My suspicions were confirmed in "After the Final Rose." Ben stated clearly that he was upset with her behavior and shocked to see this other side of her on TV. Yes, the other girls had warned him. Yes, he ignored them. ("They didn't give me specific examples," he groused weakly.) Yes, he was mortified that he was played for a fool and ended up proposing to The Girl America Loves to Hate. He looked sad, unkept, and vaguely homeless. I actually felt a twinge of pity.
And then Courtney came on stage after Ben exited and somehow, through her fake tears (um, she never actually shed a single drop of water), managed to redirect all of America's attention not on her deplorable behaviors, but on the fact that Ben "abandoned" her. Dropping the 'a' word, huh, Court? Pretty strategic. Chris Harrison shifted gears and you could feel the mood of the audience change slightly - now, instead of talking about she called other girls "Fattie" and "Horsie" and talked about the "kill shot," Courtney was asked if she could ever trust Ben again. She sniffed a little, looked forlorn, and replied with a stiff upper lip, "I'll try."
Well played, Courtney. Well played.
Ben was then dragged back on stage and the two attempted to convince the world that yes, they still are together and yes, Ben is very, very, very sorry for "abandoning" her. (She even tried to call him during the abandonment! And he didn't respond! The horror! She should get points for trying so hard!) Ben, continuing to be played as a fool, put it all on his shoulders. He muttered something about "being a man" and engagement means they are 'in this for life" and looked sincerely contrite and stated he hoped they could make it work.
I'm sorry, I'm just not a romantic. I think when you've worked in my line of work, you know that love doesn't really mean a whole lot to the success of a relationship. There's love, there's lust, there's attraction...it's a broad spectrum. And the heart is a fickle creature. Marriage takes work and humility and compromise, and quite frankly, I told think Courtney is capable of loving anyone but herself. We've seen ALL sides of her (literally) this season, and Ben needs to understand that not only is he engaged to the sweet, but also to the "sass" (if that's what she wants to call it).
My prediction: with her reputation now repaired in the eyes of America (she secured the "Girl-Done-Wrong" title again), this relationship will limp along for another few months. However, in private, fuming and still humiliated by the bad press, Courtney will knife Ben in the heart (figuratively), claim publicly she never was able to trust him after the "abandonment" and then trade up for a B- or C-list actor.
And she'll keep the ring.
Obviously, I am very anti-Courtney. My friend Nieva, however, is not. She likes Courtney and is rooting for her and Ben. Since I love a good discussion, I've invited Nieva to write a counter to my little rant about. If she wants, I'm happy to post it once it's ready. If you are like Nieva and feel strongly on the other side, please know, I'd love to hear your thoughts as well. Shoot me a message.
While I hate this show, I do like the conversations it brings up. It's always fun to chat about, whether it's one-sided (on here) or two-sided (on the playground, where we spend most of our time.) So yes, I will likely be back to blog about Emily Maynard's experiences.
But no Bachelor Pad! :-)
Here's to next season -
Editor's Note: After posting this review yesterday, I may have confused Nieva's empathy for Courtney as actually liking her. Nieva was quick to point out that she, too, acknowledges Courtney's horrible behavior on the show and does not condone it. She hopes, however, that the show was a wake-up call for Courtney and hopes she will become a better person because of it. I would like to point out that Nieva is a much nicer person than I am, and I give her serious credit for seeing the positive in a person like Courtney.