‘The Bachelor’ Women Tell All: Deciphering Courtney’s Breakdown

the bachelorS16E10: The Women Tell All episode of The Bachelor marks a very pivotal point of every season since it provides the perfect opportunity for rejected bachelorettes to vent. Forget clean, wholesome conversation, it’s time for some serious bad mouthing. And in this case, the ladies chose to focus their rants on one particular person: former bad girl and show finalist, Ms. Courtney Robertson.

But like the proverbial tree in the woods, the trash talk wouldn’t really count unless Courtney was there to hear it, which is exactly what happened. The bachelorette took the stage to face her biggest enemies in an attempt to apologize for her devious actions: a daring move that only Courtney would be gutsy enough to attempt. And while that in itself is reason enough to tune in, it’s also important assess what her presence actually signifies about the show’s finale. 

Within the timeline of the series, Courtney’s attitude has drastically changed now that there are fewer women around, and during this special episode she comes across as vulnerable and, dare I say, nice. And according to her, that’s the way she had always intended to act and she explained to the girls that she didn’t come on the show to create conflict or to hurt them. However, the facts aren’t in her favor. From the start, Courtney purposefully flaunted her strong connection with Ben and vindictively belittled the other girls along the way. At one point, she even mocked Emily, bragging that she got a rose and Emily didn’t. Not to mention her outright refusal to accept Emily’s apology. That’s not trying to avoid conflict, that’s actively manifesting it.

It was also interesting that Courtney kept repeating that she wished she had done things differently and could go back in time to change things if she could. Now, she might have been talking about her relationship with the other girls OR she could’ve been referring to her relationship with Ben and hinting that she doesn’t end up with him. Think about it: if Ben did indeed propose to her in the end, then why would she want to change anything? It just doesn’t make sense, so she’s either just trying to come across as the apologetic victim or her relationship with Ben didn’t progress the way she wanted it to, despite what the rumors suggest.

Furthermore, it’s definitely worth noting that as she was apologizing to the girls, she broke down into tears and said the whole ordeal has been extremely hard on her and on her family. And while she definitely has a knack for fooling people, it seemed very genuine. Perhaps the backlash of her evil ways affected her more heavily than any of us ever thought it did. Of course, I’ve never been a big Courtney fan, so it’s hard to just forgive and forget, but she definitely wasn’t the cocky girl we once knew. Something has changed to make this ice queen un-thaw in such a drastic way, and it could be because Ben rejects her. She even said that she cared for him (past tense), but then quickly added that she still cares for him even now. It’s sounding more and more like she’s suffering from a broken heart than simply trying to repair her image.

Her appearance on that stage is the polar opposite of what we’ve come to know throughout the season. From day one, Courtney has been mean-spirited, alienating, deceptive, and basically the thorn in everyone’s side, but now she seems almost innocent. Despite all the indications and hints that Courtney’s fairytale doesn’t come true, I’m still inclined to believe she’ll come out the winner. It’s just impossible to cancel out 9 weeks of villainy for 20 minutes of decency. Plus, no matter what attitude Courtney is choosing to portray, she always gets her man.

Are Courtney’s chances of winning looking bleaker now that you’ve seen her confront the girls, or is this just another ruse to throw us off the scent? We’ll find out next week during the finale on March 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Sound off below or get at me on Twitter @KellyBean0415.