Ah, the Women Tell All. When the girls Ben didn’t want to marry, return to answer the questions nobody asked, rehash the drama nobody cares about, and get the closure that, given how long it’s been since they dated him and how superficial those relationships were in the first place, nobody needs.
It’s also a chance for the women we forgot about to showcase their newest hair colors and tightest dresses, and do their darndest to dredge up some semblance of a fan reaction that they can hopefully carry over into an appearance on Bachelor Pad 3: Venereal Island.
Tonight’s Women Tell All has a special element, to which the in-house audience reacts as though they all just won free cars from Oprah. But this audience is getting something better than cars: Satiation of their overwhelming Bachelor BLOODLUST. Yes, Courtney’s in the house to “defend herself” against the terrible things she said about the other women and the terrible ways she chose to repeatedly upstage them by exposing her model breasts.
But first … let’s check in on an even bigger pool of rejects at The Bachelor Reunion!
The Bachelor Pad 3 Cattle Call: Oh look, Princess Erica’s back to narrate how being on The Bachelor is essentially the gateway into a co-ed Vegas sex fraternity. Doesn’t matter if you made it to the abroad episodes or got kicked out the first night. If you were once in the running for a rose and are hot, easy and love to take shots, you’re invited. Kasey Kahl is shoving his sticky frog tongue down the throat of someone I don’t remember. How nice of ABC to give us a close-up, since we’re all adults with adult senses of boundaries and dignity and everything.
Ed, the scuzzy ex-fiance of the beautiful and tragically deceived Jillian Harris, is there to take shots with Brad’s rejects, who either didn’t watch Jillian’s season or think any man is an improvement over the Womack. And there’s Ryan P. from Ashley Hebert’s season, whose sense of class, unlike his green water heater, is not self-replenishing. There is clear indication that both Ryan and Ed will return for Bachelor Pad 3, which should perhaps then be subtitled War of the Smarm.
Frank the Goblin King from Ali’s season is at the reunion, and he hasn’t seen Ali since he dumped her for his ex-girlfriend, whom he now lives with inside the Labyrinth. Good for them. Frank says he’s happy with his girlfriend, but Ali flirts and says that they have “great chemistry” and she doesn’t know what will happen between them. And we thought this stupid crap had ended two years ago in Tahiti! Frank is, per usual, unbearably awkward and transparent.
I’M HAPPY AND IN LOVE UNLESS YOU WANT ME BACK IN WHICH CASE THAT FIRST PART WAS A LIE!
Yuck, Ali! There’s insinuation that they might be reunited on Bachelor Pad 3: No Bras, No Minorities, No Rules. Please don’t let Ali take three steps back by going into that STD swamp. Especially not with Frank, whom she would obviously seduce and then we’d have to watch him cry again. My masochism might actually force me to watch that.
Since ABC is practically begging you to tell them, might as well do it in the comments: Who do you hope to see on Bachelor Pad 3: Attack of the Implants?
The Women Begin to Tell All: The whole gang o’ (memorable) gals is back, including Stripper Blakeley, rapper Emily, dark horse Nicki and sad Southern sweetie pie Kacie B. But where’s Grandma Sheryl?!?!
Jennifer’s hair looks redder and better than ever! The girls take turns talking about how high their expectations were at first. ONCE AGAIN, Blakeley is the first/only to say the “I wasn’t there to make friends” cliche. Yeah, we remember.
Then it’s time for a little video refresher of the entire season and its most ridiculous moments, since most of these women were too drunk to remember it directly. Blakeley looks pissed when we see Samantha call her a gingerbread man hooker again. I had almost forgotten the coma-inducing shocker of Brittney voluntarily leaving. But who could forget that time that Jamie straddled Ben and tried to teach him how to kiss? Kacie said Jamie “doesn’t seem very bright”! Seeing that we just watched Kacie fly all the way to Switzerland to warn Ben again about Courtney, the hypocrisy there should be obvious.
A Discussion of this Season’s Supporting Villain, Blakeley: The other girls didn’t like Blakeley because they thought she was slutty, trashy and too forward. So many pots ganging up on the kettle! Samantha’s voice is like an ice pick in my brain as she attempts to scream her criticisms of the gingerbread man hooker. She is worse than Blakeley. Shut uuuup!
If only she was wearing that sash. As a gag.
Blakeley says that she doesn’t regret how she acted, but she wishes her guard hadn’t been up. What guard? Does she mean the material covering her nipples?
Samantha continues to go on an unneeded, obnoxious crusade to try to make enemies while insisting she’s friends with everybody (yeah, right), this time by criticizing Brittney for opting out of dating Ben, a choice for which she ought to be APPLAUDED. I don’t even know what these walking glasses of chardonnay are yapping about, but Brittney finally shuts up Samantha by saying “You’re like the Chihuahua of the house, you just don’t stop talking.” NONE OF YOU DO! But Samantha is definitely the most high-pitched and annoying. Her voice is like a cheese grater on my soul.
Shawntel Returns, Unwanted and Uninvited, Again: This girl seriously can’t take a hint. We take a look again at how, based on a few texts messages, Shawntel was so stupidly convinced that she and Ben were meant to be that she waltzed in and declared her love, only to get roundly rejected by everyone but Chris Harrison. That weird fainting girl said Shawntel had thick thighs, that one horsey girl called Shawntel “dumpster trash,” and then Ben opted to send her home rather than hand out his final rose. (He later cremated the rose in an ironic homage to Shawntel’s job as an undertaker.)
Shawntel reveals that she muted the TV a lot when she watched that mess the first time. Now she’s more hurt that they called her ugly with big hips than that they called her a bitch. (Because physical beauty is always more important than personality.) Elyse, who got her only shining moment this season when she screamed “Who ISSS she?”, apologizes for taking her nervousness out on Shawntel. Oh, please. Erika, who I just remembered has an inner lip tattoo, defends her mean comment about Shawntel’s thighs by saying that she doesn’t have small thighs, either. Uhhhh, maybe try more fainting instead of talking.
Emily, the Rapping Epidemiologist, in the Hot Seat: Emily sits down with Chris to discuss the how, why and WTF of falling out of Ben’s good graces. She can’t even look when they show clips from her date when she and Ben climbed the Bay Bridge. I like Emily because she’s emotionally intelligent and logical. More so than any Bachelor contestant I can remember, she can both pinpoint and articulate exactly why something or someone is irritating or wrong. But the use of her brain got Emily into trouble when she expressed her concerns about Courtney to Ben, because Ben was leading with his dick.
Now, Emily hints that she think she got dumped because Courtney gave him an ultimatum. But she’s happy that she’s not with Ben, because she doesn’t want to be with someone who would fall for Courtney or would tell her to “tread lightly” when she expressed concern to him. When Emily makes the BRILLIANT observation that skinny dipping makes men think of sex instead of love, Chris stands up and says, “I think you’ve figured out men! Goodnight!” Yeah, if only.
Nicki, the Beautiful Heartbroken Divorcee, in the Hot Seat: First we take a look back at Nicki’s weird combination of divorce stigma and blind optimism. It occurs to me that Nicki should have been cast on Brad Womack’s season. She needs a handsome, sweet, dumb Texas lug to treat her right, not a sniveling San Francisco snob like Ben to nervous-laugh at her declarations of love and then surprise-dump her for the mean girl. Remember Brittany Murphy’s character in Clueless who gets a makeover, gets drunk on the attention and immediately becomes a selfish, self-involved jerk and goes after the hottest guy she can find, even though deep down she’s still a loser? That’s Ben. When Emily confronted him, he basically accused her of being a virgin who can’t drive.
Nicki still seems happy that she at least experienced romantic love again, even if Ben didn’t feel the same way. She was “100% shocked” when she didn’t get a Final Two rose, but she knows that she didn’t do anything wrong. Good girl. She’s happy again, and Chris assures her that there are some Texas boys ready to “ease her pain.” Eww. Nicki laughs it off (and then hightails it out of that hot seat).
Kacie B., the Human Care Bear, in the Hot Seat: Kacie has to watch herself say about 50 times how in love with Ben she is/was … and then as he dumps her right after meeting her strict parents. It’s obvious that if it weren’t for Emily Maynard, Kacie would be the next Bachelorette. She is still so insanely optimistic about this show’s ability to create a fairy tale. She says that she was so blindsided by her elimination that she couldn’t remember what Ben said when he dumped her, and that’s why she went to Switzerland for “closure.” She admits that she had a “slight hope” that he’d regret his decision and ask her to come back. (We’ve all been there, RIGHT LADIES? We should probably not let ourselves be there so much.) She hopes she’ll find the man of her dreams. And for her sake, I hope he’s OK with never living together/having sex before marriage!
Reliving Courtney’s Most “Talked About Moments”: That’s a Chris Harrison euphemism for Courtney’s most C-word moments. The toplessness, the skinny dipping, the inviting Ben into her hotel room, the swimming pool seductions, the “WINNING!”, and all the bitchy, backhanded and malicious comments. Her “tail pipe” comment when Emily tried to apologize is a real gem. All the ladies reenact Kacie B.’s black widow hand-smash in unision. Haha!
The women stand by their thoughts on Courtney that they shared all season: She’s mean, she’s manipulative and she’s “in it to win it.” Sweet Kacie says that she tried as long as she could to hold out on badmouthing Courtney, but she couldn’t last because Courtney was “two different people” around them and around Ben. What bugs Nicki is that Courtney told Ben that she “tried so hard” to get along, but that she never did. Casey S., Courtney’s only friend, says that Courtney has always been sweet and sincere to her, and weakly defends her behavior by saying there’s “another side” to the story. Emily admits that she was taken in by Courtney’s “irresistible” behavior on their group date in Panama, but then she realized that was just an act for Ben. “Does Courtney know love? Does she have a heart? I don’t think so!” Emily says. “It could have been Joe Schmo [AND IT IS!] and she would have tried to win.”
Monica is drunk/awesome and just does this when Nicki complains about Courtney’s fake apology:
Boo freakin’ hoo!
COURTNEY COMES OUT! Chris acts as though the show is being generous and fair by letting Courtney come out to defend herself, when we all know this is a strategic move for them to facilitate drama and redeem Ben’s (maybe) fiancee. Blakeley’s still mad that Courtney called her a stripper. Elyse says that her comment that Ben needed a “sight for sore eyes after looking at Elyse all night” was sick.
Courtney says that she wishes she’d accepted Emily’s apology. (But why doesn’t she ever apologize herself?!) She claims that she was “humiliated” by the things she said … because she eventually realized it threatened her relationship with Ben. Note that she’s still thinking about herself, not how she hurt others. Chris asks who thinks Courtney is being sincere, and who think she’s just here to repair her image. I think we all know the answer to that one. Jennifer reveals that Courtney didn’t remember her name until a week in, and then accuses Courtney of only apologizing to Ben for how she treated the other girls because she wanted to get to the “next step” with him, not because she was actually sorry.
I’m really sorry for how the way I treated you affected me.
Emily calls Courtney out for acting like she’s the only person who had a hard time during this experience, which is definitely what bugs me the most about Courtney’s whole apologetic attitude. Her defense boils down to “I’m extra sensitive, so that’s why I acted extra bitchy.” There’s an almost despicable narcissism in that sort of attitude. Not only does she believe that she has license to treat people poorly, but she believes that she has it because she’s a special fragile flower. Nobody’s buying it, even though she has real (?) tears in her eyes now.
After commercial break, Courtney’s absurdly self-unaware narcissism continues. She says of the other women, “I wish they had gotten to know me better and know my story.” Like that’s what kept them from warming to her: Their inability to see HER wonderful but completely hidden personality. She quietly apologizes to the women, but I think she’s trying to pretend that quietness equates with genuine remorse. The words are flat and cold still. For example, Emily asks if Courtney’s learned any lessons from this, and her response is, “Yep, completely. I have seen things in myself that I know I need to work on.” LIKE WHAT? Name one thing.
Blakeley wants her own narcissism to have a chance to shine, so she asks for a personal apology for when Courtney called her a stripper. “I take it all back,” Courtney says while trying to hold back tears. “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” she says to everyone. It doesn’t exactly help her case when she says that she’s mostly sorry for how this has all affected HER, now that tabloid rumors are tearing her and her family apart. “I’m sorry for hurting Ben, I cared for him … and still do,” she says tellingly.
Well, that was weird. I don’t think it’s really our place or our job to be Courtney’s moral judge and jury (even though ABC wants us to think that it is, and then loves to shame us for thinking that it is). Some people, especially people who aren’t used to being held accountable for their actions because, say, they’re very skinny and pretty and charming, say mean things when they feel insecure or threatened. Some people just ARE mean. Courtney thinks she’s the former, maybe because she is, or maybe because she’d rather have us all believe that than the truth. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter which she is, because both types of people need work, and whether she ever changes isn’t really our problem. It’s Courtney’s problem, and by association (maybe), Ben’s problem. As Emily said, he made his bed, and now they can both lie in it. Without cameras present, please.
BEN RETURNS: So now it’s Ben’s turn to answer for his bizarre choices and bland behavior all season long. “Welcome to my nightmare,” he says as he sits down. Gimme a break.
Ben is annoyed and frustrated as the women take turns asking for impossible closure. Yes, it’s stupid, but it’s still part of your job to pretend you care about these people’s feelings, dude. He’s like, “I can’t give you what you’re asking for! And I won’t apologize for getting naked with Courtney those times!” What a gentleman. Nicki claims that Ben is still the best guy she’s ever met. Does she have residual Stockholm Syndrome? Does she know any human men in her real life?
Oh, god. Jamie offers to Ben that if things don’t work out between him and his final one, she’d still be willing to “get to know” him. Ben’s response: “Perfect.” (Sarcasm translation: “Never.”)
Blooper Reel: Ben got attacked by a little bird on a boat, Emily got interrupted by a barking dog, and Courtney and Ben got their date hijacked by a hungry Swiss cow. In Panama, we watch as Ben attempts to keep his junk inside his loin cloth. Then there’s an awkward white people dancing montage. Soooo, for once, apparently we actually did see the funny stuff (everything Courtney said) during the season. Either that or Ben’s boringness cast a shadow over every element of the season, even the women’s alone time in the house.
And Finally, We Take a Look at Ben’s Final Two: Lindzi vs. Courtney! Courtney vs. Lindzi! Blonde vs. Brunette! Fan favorite vs. Fan least favorite! Model vs. … uh, Golf Pro? Who will Ben propose to and then inevitably never marry?
On the one hand, when Courtney’s with Ben, he thinks she’s the “full package.” (She makes his package full.) And her feelings toward him seem genuine, or at least very devoted, consistent and convincing, even if she’s faking them. And then there’s Lindzi, who’s happy, goofy and carefree. She’s “everything I could want,” Ben says. Lindzi loves Ben and wants that ring at the end. Then we watch as Ben stands atop a Swiss mountaintop, holding a ring and trying to decide which of the two women he’s in love with is the one he’s REALLY, truly, put-a-ring-on-it in love with. Right before he’s supposed to propose! The perfect time and occasion to make a last minute decision.
And that’s all for this season’s Women Tell All. I’m exhausted. Now it’s your turn: What did you think?
(Images courtesy of ABC)