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- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is a revealing look both at what goes on behind the scenes in making The Bachelor and, whether intentional or not, at the raunchy lifestyle and persona of this Hollywood-model turned author. The biggest takeaway is that producers, through selective editing, can amplify conflict and create viewer tension by depicting Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants as either Mother Teresa's or budding Ted Bundy's. By the end we can't be sure whether Season 16's Bachelor winner, Courtney Robertson, was a mean-girl villain or a somewhat willing victim. There's plenty of salacious dirt to go around.
The book is peppered with locker-room language and lewd details such as the number of men 30-year old Courtney has had sex with (not that many according to her and primly rounded off. She also has a rule against going all the way on first dates with men she might be interested in getting serious with later on.) She describes her favorite positions for intimacy either alone or with a partner, complete with the Cosmo-inspired name for one of them. Robertson identifies the guy who bestowed "the best sex I've ever had", an alum of the show. And of course the number of times she and Ben did it on their overnight in the Fantasy Suite. Courtney gives us the names of other Bachelors and Bachelorettes who were intimate in their Fantasy Suite interludes, which commonly involve separate sex with all three of that season's finalists, two of whom are soon to suffer the humiliation of being publicly dumped by someone they've fallen for on national TV.
Robertson maintained a detailed journal during the wearisome downtime between exhilarating dates that some of the girls went on with Bachelor Ben Flajnik. So we learn that contestants for weeks on end are sequestered together in exotic locations with ample free booze but deprived of access to cell phones, TV, or friends and family. This fosters a combustible mix of boredom, estrogen fueled gossip, intense competition, and the unrelenting threat of being sent home.
There's a close-knit brotherhood/sisterhood of former Bachelor contestants, whom the show occasionally convenes for parties and brings back for the summer spinoff "Bachelor Pad". What's surprising is that so many gorgeous, nubile female alums, who were publicly virtuous on their previous seasons, make themselves readily available for the alumni hunks. If your name is Emily M., don't read this book.
Once a winner is selected the winning twosome is kept separately in seclusion for about four months, until the episodes air. That hiatus is when two people from often totally different backgrounds first encounter their partners' cultures by long distance phone calls and a few clandestine arranged dates. There was apparently little time during previous taping sessions to have discussed with each other such basic topics as religion, politics, one's views on saving versus spending money, and their respective levels of education. When each episode airs they see for the first time how they were portrayed and what the audience saw their partner doing and saying to the other contestants. Thus, the winners frequently breakup sometime after they have milked the notoriety and financial opportunities offered to them (such as what one gets paid for being on Dancing With The Stars) after the final results are shown to the public.
Lovable Ben comes off as distant, self-absorbed, and more interested in being with his buddies than with Courtney. His mother is painted as snobbish (her first question to Courtney was "Why didn't you go to college?"). Courtney's mother's mantra was "All men are scum" and she raised her daughter as a prude. Courtney, of course, ultimately broke out of those constraints in high school, which she barely completed, and she has continued to accelerate through life in the passing lane. Like many other Bachelorettes she falls regularly for "bad guys" despite having her pick of almost any man she wants.
The book is fairly well written, aided by Deb Baer. There are plenty of inside info lists, such "How To Get Noticed on the Application to The Bachelor", "Arie's Kissing Tips", and show creator's Mike Fleiss' "Banging The Bachelor". The lists are thrown into the narrative somewhat indiscriminately, however. It's hard to remember from 2012 the many contestants referred to by only first name so fans may want to have a computer handy to Google "The Bachelor Season 16 Cast" for pictures and bios.
Some critics have called The Bachelor "fantasy football for females" (and eye candy for a few voyeuristic males like me). But ladies, be careful what you wish for. Another lesson of "I Didn't Come Here To Make Friends" is that appearing on this show can be life-changing but there's less than a 4% chance of a happy ending. And even the winners can be losers.