If you were to look at “The Bachelor” like it was “Survivor” and a game based on strategy rather than romance, you’d have to give Courtney an A. Is she particularly likable? No, but there have not been many people on this show who have managed to get the bachelor eating out of their hand so quickly — and all while manipulating / terrifying the other women in the process. (We personally are loving the “Be Nice” shirt she had on at the start of the episode in a sadistic sort of way.)
We could really look at Courtney’s success this episode as built up of many components:
1. First and foremost, Courtney is excellent at reacting. Rather than being upset about Kacie B. getting a rose on the group date over her, she decided to chin up, steal Ben away immediately from the group, and start to talk about the prospect of dropping trou and jumping in the ocean. In other words, she planted the seed for later on.
2. Courtney then followed through on her plan by showing up following Ben’s second one-on-one date (more on that below), and the two did a series of things that we cannot even fathom to describe here in great detail. (Two words — blurred screen). The best line of this whole incident? “I don’t think he’s ever skinny-dipped with a model before.” Does doing it with a model somehow turn into something different?
3. Courtney then made the smart decision to not tell the other women about her “swim session” with Ben in the ocean, knowing that this would probably create so much resentment that she would have more women than just Emily saying some terrible things to the guy behind her back.
Even though Courtney was not given a rose until the end of the episode, she really received far more from an airtime — quite possibly the most-discussed moment of the entire season. This is all made even more dramatic by neither party fessing up to it — which is strange since Ben claims that he feels bad about it happening, but not bad enough to try and right it.
As for Elyse…
Does anyone else feel this week that Ben really did not seem to be into his dates too much? While he seemed to be somewhat engaged during his discussion with Nicki (which was far too snooze-inducing to possibly write about her), he seemed to be decided before he even took out Elyse that she was going to be headed home.
If you look at Ben’s body language during the date, he seemed to barely be listening to what Elyse was saying — and he also really wasn’t too interested in talking. Elyse started to become more and more of a disheveled mess as the evening went along, and Ben started to question her about various things that she was trying to say — which she was obviously just saying to fill up the conversation. At one point, we were sure Elyse could have mentioned being the first astronaut to Mars and Ben’s mental image would still be filled with pictures of Courtney, Kacie B., and that ridiculous white outfit he had on during his first date with Nicki.
Ultimately, our #1 memory of Elyse is still going to be her angry “who is she?!” exclamation after Shawntel walked into the house — but we still wish she had a happier exit than leaving in a teary boat just minutes before Courtney jumped into the same waters with Ben without a swimsuit on. (On a random note, does any else loathe the symbolism of Elyse going from a luxury yacht to a dingy the moment Ben eliminated her?)
As for the other women…
Blakeley – We really are starting to feel a little differently about Blakely than we did earlier in the show. At first, we just thought that she was someone who was overly aggressive — and now, she really seems like someone who is trying so hard to work with Ben that she overcompensates with it. After she lose the baseball game group date, this really came out. Then, it came out even more during the cocktail party when she showed a vulnerable side.
Kacie B. and Lindzi – Are these two red herrings, or is everyone just so far behind Courtney at the moment that it’s hard to pick out any other favorites? Lindzi was named the “MVP” of the crazy-competitive game, and Kacie B. received a rose on the group date.
Emily – For a Ph.D student, Emily seems to lack some common sense from time to time. Emily started out the conversation by saying that she wasn’t going to focus on Ben and forget about Courtney … and then, she proceeded to bash Courtney before.
We’re happy to report that we will no longer talk about Emily and Courtney … but we would like to say that Emily is routinely shooting herself in the foot and while we agree with her, we still think that she is going to be gone sooner rather than later for bringing this up. Emily and Courtney. Emily and Courtney. Emily and Courtney.
Pretty much all of the other women – After what happened with Courtney, it’s hard to even watch all of the other women talk with Ben. It’s even more uncomfortable that, once again, Ben hasn’t come clean about it to any of them — which, regardless of this being a show where you date multiple women, just seems wrong. They deserve an opportunity to know something like this.
Then again, we’re not the moral authority on reality TV — and it’s also possible that Ben ‘fessed up and we just haven’t seen it. Remember, these shows are edited — just ask all of the past contestants who claim that they were made to look bad on TV (see Michelle Money, Rozlyn Papa, Bentley Williams if he ever decides to speak out).
The biggest stunner this entire episode was seeing Jennifer — who was once labeled the “best kisser” of the season — eliminated at the Rose Ceremony over Emily and some ghost known as Jamie without any explanation at all. Their conversations have gone pretty well, and it’s rather strange to see a woman sent home for no reason at all at this point.
Do you think that Ben should disclose what happened with Courtney, and does it make him a bit of a heel if he doesn’t since these women are getting so close to him? Take our poll below — and just like countless shots of Ben without a shirt on, you know that we’ll be here next Monday with another article.