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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Enter The Thunderdome

So much has been made of the Courtney saga this season--she dominates every episode; she’s all anyone talks about around the water-cooler the next day; and I’m starting to feel like she’s all I’ve been writing about too. So for this edition of my blog, I’m only going to say one thing I noticed about her and then wash my hands of it until next week:

A lot of people look at Courtney as evil. I don’t think that’s true. Sure, I’m just as guilty of making jokes about her villainous ways as anyone. But deep down, I don’t think she’s a bad person. I think she likes attention, is a good judge of what gets people going (in good ways AND bad), and capitalizes on that to satisfy her desire for the spotlight. But based on what I saw in this week’s episode, I don’t think she’s all that happy with that aspect of herself. 

Let me put it another way. All dogs have this basic desire to please their owners and receive attention from them. It’s innate. If you train them properly and they can find productive outlets through which to receive that recognition, they will be (for the most part) well-behaved. But if they don’t receive the attention they need through behaving, they will act out in order to make you take notice. Maybe it’s chewing your shoes. Maybe it’s peeing on your floor. Regardless, it’s all designed to get a reaction out of you. Often, people will blame the dog, but it’s not usually the dog’s fault. Again, they just want to please. Most of the time, it’s because they don’t know another way to get the attention they want.

When Courtney said in this week’s episode that she’s afraid Ben will lose interest in her because most of the men in her life have done so after a while, it was easy to say ‘well yeah, maybe you shouldn’t give up the goods so quickly,’ and to a degree it’s true. But maybe the more important question is why does she act that way? Why does she intentionally set the other women off? Why does she play to Ben’s libido? Perhaps it’s because it’s the only way she knows how to get attention. Maybe when she was younger she didn’t get the attention she needed through normal interaction, so she developed these tendencies as a way of compensating. In turn, maybe all she needs to change her ways is for someone to appreciate her for who she is and not what she looks like naked.

Of course you can get into the whole chicken vs. the egg argument from there, but it’s something to consider. Maybe she’s not that bad. She’s definitely funny, and I’m sure she has other good qualities as well. Anyway, food for thought. Moving on.

“Let’s See If Our Love Can Survive”
My personal favorite, Kacie B., gets the first date card, making her the only girl to receive a second one-on-one date thus far. I’m happy for her. It was hard to see her in pain as she watched Ben’s relationship grow with other ladies while hers sort-of stagnated after her initial date in Sonoma. It’s also usually a pretty good sign, as it indicates that the lead has a strong interest in you and wants to pursue things further. 

The date card reads ‘let’s see if our love can survive,’ and gives the vague instruction that Kacie should pack three things. Ben arrives to pick her up, and a short helicopter ride later (4!) we find out that the two are set to spend a day together on a deserted island. Kacie says she’s nervous because she and Ben will be all alone. Well, aside from the camera crew. And the sound guys. And a producer or two. But other than THAT, no one.

When they get to the island, they each empty their bags. Kacie brought a Swiss Army Knife (not a bad choice, assuming there are some really small vines to cut or Ben wants to clip his toe nails), some Gummy Bears (perfect for the stranded diabetic), and a stuffed Monkey (wait, what? Unless the monkey’s name is Wilson, I’m not really sure where she’s going with that one). Ben’s bag was a little more practical, containing a machete, a fishing net, and a box of matches. So between the two of them, they might actually be able to survive a night in the wilderness. Well done.

Not that it matters, because by sundown they’re back on the streets of Panama City heading to a quaint little bistro for dinner. It’s here that Kacie decides to reveal that she once had a pretty severe eating disorder that came to a head at a Super Bowl party hosted by her parents. WOW. I was kind of expecting a Super Bowl tie-in since the show aired the night after the same, but that was NOT how I expected it to play out. But it’s endearing that she manages to turn such a negative period in her life into a positive, and Ben appreciates that about her. She gets the rose.

Group Date

Not going to spend a lot of time talking about this one (see earlier comment re: Courtney). What I will say is that while I was VERY pleased to see Lindzi get the rose, I wish we would see more of her from week to week. I feel like she’s had maybe 45 seconds of airtime in the last month. 

The THUNDERDOME Date (thanks, William)

Ever since Will from my season called the two-on-one date the thunderdome date, I can’t get it out of my head. TWO WILL ENTER! ONE WILL LEAVE! I don’t know; it just fits.

Rachel is rightfully a bit nervous, while Blakely seems extremely confident (insert overplayed joke about threesome here). I can see the logic behind both girls’ feelings. I was never big into competing for attention during my season, and as a result I just kind of faded into the background. So I can understand Rachel’s not wanting to have to deal with it, especially knowing that she may very well be going home that night. But I also appreciate Blakely’s view, because I think we should always be appreciative of opportunity when it comes our way, no matter what the obstacles are that come with it. Make the most of every chance, as it were.

The dance portion of the date was pretty boring, to be honest. In my opinion, Blakely may have taken her attempts to be sexy a bit too far--he’s a person, chica, not a pole. But nothing really stood out to me as being too noteworthy.

Dinner is where I think Rachel really separated herself from Blakely and made it apparent that she was the one that should be kept around. During her conversation with Ben, Rachel was very level headed, stating her case without coming across as overly desperate, and making it clear that she understood and sympathized with Ben having to make a tough decision. Blakely, on the other hand, came across as extremely desperate by busting out a scrapbook and having a mini-breakdown over never getting a one-on-one. I don’t have a problem with the scrapbook in theory. For example, I thought it was really sweet when JP did something similar for Ashley. But the difference is they were getting down to the end and some very real feelings had developed, whereas Blakely had only spent limited time with Ben. I don’t know; it just felt very 9th grade to me.

Casey S. 
When Chris first mentioned Casey S’s ex to her, I thought it was going to be another Justin Rego situation, which had me a little angry. But after it came out that Casey was really trying to move on because, although she loved her ex very much, she didn’t think he would ever really commit to her, my point of view changed completely. In a way, I went on the Bachelorette with a similar mindset. Yes, my wife had died almost four years prior, but since then I’d fallen for another girl--my best friend. But for one reason or another things had never quite worked out for us for be more than friends, and I had reached a point where I thought it was time to move on.  So it wasn’t completely like Casey’s situation, but I was still trying to get over someone, and I thought the best way to do that was to put myself back out there. We've all been there at one time or another. Could we both have done that without going on national television? Maybe; but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, the point is--I can definitely relate.

That being said, I’d just like to say this to Casey: you deserve fulfillment, and someone who wants to make you happy just as much as you want to make them happy. If you haven’t already, I’m sure you’ll find it soon. I’m sorry things worked out for you the way they did on the show. Seeing you in pain like that, realizing that for all your best efforts you still weren’t over your ex, broke my heart. But maybe it was for the best because hopefully it gave you some time to reflect and realize what you’re really worth. I wish you nothing but the best going forward.

Rose Ceremony:
Jamie. Good lord, girl. Watching you try to turn Ben on was like watching the first season of the Office, or that scene in Swingers where he leaves like 8 messages on the girl's answering machine. I literally had to pause the show and walk away on not one, not two, but THREE occasions. Brutal. 

That being said, you seem like a very smart, sweet girl, and I applaud you for all you’ve done to take care of your family in a bad situation growing up. I wish you all the best going forward as well.

Well that’s all for now, folks. Apologies for the somewhat serious tone of this week’s blog, but sometimes things just strike a chord and you have to go with it. Hope you all have a great week, and I’ll see you next time.


  1. Great blog as always! I am addicted. ;)

  2. Love your blog.
    I also love that most of the past bachelors/ettes never judge the current cast(?) too harshly, especially when it comes to physical traits, like I'm guilty of doing especially in the early episodes when I have nothing else to base opinions on. It seems like the alumni become like family adding new members each season. I think that's way cool!
    Keep up the good work West!!

  3. Great blog West! And very insightful take on Courtney. I think you hit the nail on the head about her behavior. It makes me sympathize a little more with her, but I still can't stand watching her every week!


  4. Feeling totally bummed that you haven't posted anything new. :( I realize that you have a life. But still, way bummed.