Courtney manages to look better than the others as Bachelor women tell not very much

The Bachelor‘s “Women Tell All” reunion mostly wasted two hours last night–it was telling that Ben Flajnik’s interaction with them was limited to just a short bit at the end–but the episode managed to make villainous Courtney Robertson look better than her competition, who complained about bullying as they bullied one another.

The Chris Harrison-hosted special teased Courtney’s appearance for 77 minutes before she finally showed up, but her segments and Ben’s lasted just about a half hour, meaning there were few fireworks. It was two hours of talking without saying much. Mostly, the women Ben had rejected, who still didn’t quite understand that they’d won by losing his attention and affection, sniped at each other.

That was both ironic and funny and just stupid, like when the women also attacked Shawntel for complaining that they attacked her, or when Samantha was talking about bullying between the women and Brittney snapped at her and said, “You are like the Chihuahua in the house. You just don’t stop talking!” Okay, we get it: None of you have any self-awareness whatsoever.

Eventually, Chris Harrison, looking fatigued, brought out Courtney after giving some bullshit speech about how “we invited her to come on the show tonight to defend herself.” He first told Courtney, “”The women are understandably pissed.”

And then we were introduced to contrite Courtney, who is far less interesting than “I got the rose!” Courtney. “I think they were totally fair,” she said of the angry women. “I have many regrets; I’m disappointed in myself and the way I acted, and how I treated the women. Looking back, there’s so many things I would have done differently.”

This was reminiscent of the Courtney we saw last week, but with even more apologies. “I’m sorry for hurting your feelings and for being that way,” she said to one of them.” When she tried to say that she was bitchy because “I was completely uncomfortable” living in the house, the other women just talked over her, jumping on her whenever they had the opportunity.

That’s certainly understandable, having been the recipients of her barbs and criticism, but as she sat there, sometimes squeezing tears out of her eyes, it made them seem petty and bitter and jealous, and made Courtney look almost human.

While Courtney and Ben didn’t interact, at least not in front of the cameras, she may have spoiled next week’s episode, kind of, or maybe not. “I’m sorry for hurting Ben. I cared for him–and still do.” That past tense “cared for” and “hurting” him may be something we see in the finale Monday, or it may be something that happened afterwards. Either way, I’d guess this season will go in the “fail” column for successful Bachelor relationships.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.