I feel like we heard months ago that Bachelor Ben chose the chick who was always getting nekkid and mean-girling the others, Courtney. We did hear that, but it was leaked ahead of time, because the big finale aired last night. Ben proposed to Courtney, choosing her over Lindzi. Then in the after-special, Ben and Courtney revealed that they’ve been broken up for the last few weeks, but Ben denied that he had dated other women in that time despite the photographic evidence. When asked directly if she was still with Ben, Courtney teared up and said “I don’t know.” Then Ben proposed again, probably at the behest of producers. I’m reporting this based on the recap at Hollywood Life, because I didn’t watch this mess. (I did see about 15 minutes of the special when they first went to Switzerland. The second runner-up, Nicki, was fawning all over Ben and talking about how happy she was. I actually started liking her, but then I questioned how she could be so head over heels for this man child. That’s pretty much my response to this entire series.)
Entertainment Weekly has a really good full recap of the show if you’re interested. I like how they call everyone out, and I’m going to quote some of their coverage of the after special here:
Out of the gate, Harrison asks the million-dollar question: “Do you love the woman that you saw on TV?” The host does not get an answer, really; instead, Ben just acknowledges that it wasn’t “the Courtney that I know,” and it was “hard” to watch. He did listen to those multiple warnings, insists the Bachelor — really it’s the fault of the “ladies” that he kept on with Courtney; after all, they never really gave him anything concrete to work with. Still, Ben concedes that he found Courtney’s antics embarrassing, and says he and the meanie model stopped speaking for “a period of time” while the show aired: “We were, essentially, broken up.”
That revelation gives Harrison the perfect segue into the rumors of Ben’s infidelities, fueled by tabloid reports and photos. Perhaps, then, Ben was using the old Ross Gellar “We were on a break!” excuse? Never! “On my father’s grave, I haven’t kissed another woman,” insists the nervous Bachelor. “Those are friends from San Francisco, those are past photos, these are things that are just tabloid fodder.” When pressed, Ben essentially tries to use the Jedi mind trick on Harrison, saying, “I’m not kissing those women in those photos.” (Even though, again, this.) So back off! He and Courtney were so determined to quash the cheating rumors that she deliberately went out and tried on wedding dresses soon after the photos were published. Marvels a giddy Harrison, “You guys clearly are very weird.” Or very good at following directions. (Nice move, Team Bachelor!)
After the commercial break, it’s Courtney’s turn to vent. She arrives to a mixed bag of applause and boos, which she calls “disappointing.” While she feels partly responsible for America hating her (“I’ve got a little sass in me,” she admits), mostly Courtney still just feels like a victim — especially after Ben temporarily dumped her. He didn’t even send her carnations on Valentines Day! “There were days where I just didn’t leave the house… I laid there and cried,” says Courtney, who claims she tried to get a hold of Ben, to no avail. “He abandoned me.” [Some audience members cluck their tongues, and/or chuckle] Even so, she will not give up on her fairytale “forever” love. “We’re together… I think,” she says in her small voice, before breaking down. “I don’t know… I’m not ready to turn my back on him. I’m willing to try.” But is Ben?
Judging from the peck on the lips and pat-on-the-back hug the Bachelor offers her as a greeting, it seems like the answer is… maybe? He tells Harrison, somewhat disingenuously, that he and Courtney are “in a good place” and “engaged,” though he seems more weary than genuine — especially when the crowd bursts out laughing in response to his assertion that Courtney is a “no-drama” person. “It’s a very tough crowd,” he tells his beloved. “I think we better get used to this.” And even though Courtney is the source of 99.9 percent of these problems, somehow the conversation turns back to Ben’s faults — he split when the going got tough, and now Courtney can’t fully trust him. Damn, she’s good. Still, Ben insists that now that their forced separation is over and they can talk things out like adults… well, it has to be better, right? “We know this is going to work,” he says, as a blond woman in the audience shakes her head sadly. “We’re just going to take our time.”
So far, this Courtney-Ben interview has been sorely lacking in tears. Let’s roll the proposal footage, shall we? Even in their tiny picture-in-picture box, it’s easy to see that watching the footage makes Ben and Courtney feel wistful, regretful, and sad. “There was never anything wrong with us — it was wrong with everything that surrounded us,” says Ben, as tears escape from his eyes. “That beautiful moment has just been soiled by all of this.” (Again with the victim mentality. Listen, you morons: You’re already incredibly ill-equipped to sustain a functional romantic relationship, so don’t make it harder on yourselves by refusing to acknowledge any responsibility for your actions.) Hoping to prompt Ben and Courtney to re-enact their snow-capped proposal, Harrison whips Courtney’s engagement ring out of his pocket and hands it over to Ben. “What do you want to do with this? Are you engaged? If so, should she have a ring on her finger?” The answers are something along the lines of God knows, Maybe, and If you say so, but Ben takes the bait and adorns Courtney’s bare finger with the rock. Cue the thunderous applause!
So Courtney is a conniving back stabber, and Ben chose her because he thinks with his d*ck and is pretty dim. They inevitably broke up after filming ended but are faking being back together for the sake of the show. Is that an accurate summary of what happened here? Are we going to get “what went wrong” tabloid covers in the next two weeks? This is usually what happens with this show, but sometimes on the Bachelorette they hang on for a little longer.