Welcome to my weekly blog series: Tuesday Walk of Shame. Here I hang my head low as I admit to having watched the previous night’s episode of The Bachelor / Bachelorette / Bachelor In Paradise (or whatever the newest spin-off happens to be) and provide my own personal commentary. I’ll tell you what I loved. I’ll tell you what I hated. And most importantly, I’ll tell you what I would have done differently.
Vote Kris for The Bachelorette… because socially anxious, kinda bitchy, hopelessly unromantic nerds deserve love too.
As Kris shared last week, we’re going to spend a few TWoS posts before the end of the year reviewing books by previous Bachelor contestants. I’ve taken over this week to share with you a review of I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends by Courtney Robertson. Do you remember Courtney? The winner of Ben Flajnik’s season of The Bachelor? On the screen she was portrayed as a total crazy bitch, despite being the winner – but what would Courtney’s book reveal to me about her inner self?
Courtney released I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain in June 2014. This was after her rise to Bachelor Nation villainy and after her ensuing relationship with Ben had broken down.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by this book. When I started it, I thought I was going to be wading through an absolute mess of something I had no desire to read. But Courtney is brave throughout the course of this memoir. She doesn’t shy away from spilling personal details or from naming names regularly. Reading this book is like partaking in a good celebrity gossip session – especially if you’re a fan of The Bachelor.
She begins by writing about her story before The Bachelor. Courtney fills us in on the background of her life, career, and relationships… which are all much more interesting than my own. Her life before The Bachelor has a star-studded cast, so the book starts off strong, dragging you in with the desire to learn more.
Throughout the course of the story, Courtney has moments of vulnerability where she really opens up and bares her soul to the reader. She is able to explain some of those moments from The Bachelor that made her into such a villain. In reality, I think Courtney might just have an off-beat sense of humor, that some of the girls in the house could not understand, and she was put in a difficult and intense situation that made getting along even more difficult. Some of the offhand comments made throughout the book though made me think that Courtney still does have a bit of a judgmental streak in her, whether she realizes it or not.
I loved the no-holds-barred account of what it is like to be a contestant on The Bachelor. Courtney describes the way they are encouraged to drink and manipulated into saying things about the other contestants, and the way they are locked away from the world and out of touch from everything, much like prisoners in a jail cell. She relates the way the producers work to manipulate each situation for maximum drama. She even dishes on exactly what happens in the fantasy suite! Courtney brings the reader through every step of her journey to look for love – and it is not an easy road. But it was everything after the show that ended up being even more difficult.
When telling her story, Courtney is relatable, and Ben comes off as cold, careless, and, in some cases, cruel. These are actually the parts of her story that I believe ring with the most truth. Courtney tells the tale of a relationship that is created on reality TV, and not based in any sort of reality. When they hit the real world, everything is just too different.
Some of my favourite parts throughout the book were the “Keeping It Real” breaks. These were short articles in the middle of chapters written by various members of the Bachelor family and others. Topics in these range from kissing tips from Arie Luyendyk, Jr. (aka the Kissing Bandit) to Bachelor production lingo to advice on how to embrace your inner villain from Kalon McMahon. I also loved the epilogue, where Courtney shared a list of funny little updates about what many of the people mentioned in the book were up to as of publishing. This was full of funny side comments and personality and it was the perfect way to end the book.
I recommend this book to fans of The Bachelor that want to delve even deeper and learn some dirty little secrets about how things really work for contestants. It is an eye-opening account of the way that you can be manipulated to act a certain way when put in an impossible situation, and the way that editing doesn’t tend to do you favours in reality TV. I’m not sure I’m all the way on Courtney’s side – I’d need to hear the other sides of some stories – but I can appreciate now what type of pressure she was under while in the house and I think this book gave me a better understanding of who she is.
To help you quantify just how good it is, here is a score for the book using our patented (ok, not patented) Rating System:
6/10 Feels: ?ﾟﾘﾅ?ﾟﾘﾂ?ﾟﾘﾊ⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️
Have you read any books by contestants from The Bachelor (or any of its spin-offs)? Would you like to review it for us? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.