I Didn’t Come to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain by Courtney Robertson and Deb Baer

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I am a Bachelor junkie – I host a viewing party weekly for my friends, I’ve seen almost every season, and I follow a lot of the contestants on Instagram. In case you are not familiar with the show, every single season of The Bachelor has at least one central ‘villain’ contestant – they usually hang around long enough to stir up some drama and have some fun, quippy lines during their interviews. Courtney Robertson was one of the most legendary villains to ever be on the show – she constantly berated and mocked other contestants and against all odds ended up winning her season. The Bachelor production team is notoriously manipulative (and great at editing sound bites) so I was excited to see if Courtney had been a victim of this manipulation and to get her side of the story. Sadly, this book didn’t end up changing my opinion of Courtney for the better.

Millions of devoted fans of ABC’s reality hit The Bachelor tune in each week find out which lucky woman will win the heart of America’s most desirable single. But what happens in the fantasy suite doesn’t always stay in the fantasy suite. For the first time ever, a former Bachelor contestant offers up an insider look at the love, heartbreak, and reality behind reality television.

Courtney Robertson joined season sixteen of The Bachelor looking for love. A working model and newly single, Courtney fit the casting call: she was young, beautiful, and a natural in front of the cameras. But as her bachelor, winery owner Ben Flajnik, was unveiled and the season unfolded, something else was also clear—she was not there to make friends.

Courtney quickly became the biggest villain in Bachelor franchise history. She unapologetically pursued her man, steamrolled her competition, and broke the rules—including an illicit skinny-dip that sealed her proposal. Now, after a very public breakup with Ben, Courtney opens up about what really happened—from her first moments in the limo, to her proposal on a Swiss mountain top, to the tabloid frenzy that continued after the cameras stopped rolling. Dubbed “one of the most controversial contestants” ever, Courtney dishes on fellow alums in Bachelor Nation and explains why most relationships implode after the final rose.

This was just a bizarre book – I can’t figure out why it was written. It definitely wasn’t written to make Courtney look better (if it was, it was a terrible attempt) and it really didn’t shed any new light on the series. Pacing-wise, it was too heavily weighted to Courtney’s story from before the series. We definitely needed some context as to who she was before the series, but it was too much about her modeling career and life growing up – it wasn’t what the book had promised. Once the book finally did get into the content about The Bachelor – I initially felt for her – she was alienated from the rest of the girls in the house and it sounded like there was a lot of catty nonsense going on. However, she quickly started being an asshole back to the girls, and she lost all of my respect and goodwill.

Once the book got to her life after the show, I was astonished at her lack of a backbone. Ben (her fiancé) was treating her like crap, and despite all her bluster about being a strong woman, she let him treat her that way. She refused to walk away or talk to him about their issues. It was just all disappointing. Outside of the content – the writing was terrible – it was even worse than some first drafts I’ve read. Sentences are basic and the vocabulary is very limited. At times the writing was so basic that it felt more like satire than an actual book.

Honestly, Courtney really needed a friend (or five) to read through this book and tell her that it didn’t paint her in a good light. While this book did shed some light on Courtney’s time on the show, it mostly confirmed her poor character and bullying tactics. After the third or fourth time she made a flimsy excuse about some snarky or outright asshole-ish comment she made, I ran out of empathy for her. What really sapped the last of my empathy was the multiple times she would try to ‘justify’ her cruel comments by saying the woman she was targeting deserved it. It’s like she had never heard of taking the high road before.

This book was clearly born out of a vendetta against The Bachelor, the other contestants and her ex-fiancé Ben F. It radiates negativity and honestly doesn’t have all that much content. I went into this book knowing it would probably be pretty bad – and unfortunately it was just as bad as I expected. Any empathy she built by discussing how press attention has ruined her life was lost to the fact that she shrugs off her terrible behavior. She even goes to the length of saying that other women deserved her wrath for some trivial thing. It got pretty tiring to read about an overly negative person trying to make themselves look better. After reading this train wreck, I hope that I never have to see her in tabloids or on The Bachelor franchise again. If you’re looking for more Bachelor content, check out Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman. 1/5

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