It’s always nice to take a break from my current life as a lawyer to do the stuff I was meant to do. Like chat on the phone with Chris Harrison and Blakeley Shea during a press call. Would any of my office mates believe me if I said that I’m on a conference call with reporters from People, TV Guide and a whole bunch of other outlets? Probably not. But I like it that way. It’s best to keep a low profile in the office. Otherwise, The Bachelor talk could get out of control.
I had a dinner with a friend tonight who said she simply can not watch The Bachelor. It makes her horrified to watch these girls make fools of themselves on camera and she doesn’t understand the concept of all of them competing with each other with the prize being marriage with a total stranger. She has a point. I tell her it’s my way of escaping from the legal world, the 3 hour commute, the packed trains with no seats on the way home from work, the stressed out managers barking orders with no room for error, the deadlines and the exhaustion that’s felt when I open the door to our apartment. The Husband is usually there – either singing in the shower, surfing the web or playing a video game. He is the happiest person I know and how else to get happy quick than be around a happy person and escape with The Bachelor. And from time to time, I get to stick my toe in the pool of the madness – by getting access to these press calls.
Here are some highlights from the call today with Chris and Blakeley:
On the Casey S departure. Chris H was grilled about the Casey S situation. Why he thought it was right to intervene here when he hadn’t done so for Bentley or Wes. Whether it was fair for Casey to leave when other girls (Jenni Croft, Melissa Rycroft) certainly did not have clean slates coming on to the show.
Chris noted that with the Bentley situation, he regrets not going a little further. He says he warned Ashley about him, but could have done more to protect her. The Casey S situation was completely different, according to Chris. She had no ulterior motives. Chris notes that he’s gotten a lot of backlash for confronting Casey, but that the conversation he had with her was very amicable. He said Casey was given an opportunity to deny the information he presented to her. She could have said, “I am head over heels in love with Ben and yes, I was in a relationship with Michael, but that’s over and I’m not giving up my chance to fall in love.” In other words, Casey had an opportunity to give her side of things if she wanted to stay. Instead, she admitted that she was still in love with her ex. Chris also noted that while everyone has some sort of baggage that comes on the show, the decision on whether to interfere is made on a case by case basis. In Casey’s situation, the producers felt it was serious enough to say something. They had heard from multiple, reliable sources that they were very much in love up until she left for the show and it became very obvious from what these people said and certain things that were overhead from Casey during her time on the show that there was “no way she was there for Ben or that it would work out for her and Ben.” Basically, there was more to the story than what we saw and the producers were doing detective work and background checks as the show went on.
On Courtney and why he wouldn’t warn Ben about her possible manipulation – where does Chris draw the line in getting involved?
Chris responded that Courtney is a completely different situation than the Casey situation. Ben has been making his own decisions. Chris said that if he found out that Courtney had a boyfriend or fiance, etc. he would tell Ben. But he says that “Ben is dating Courtney, same as with all the other girls” and it’s not his job to point out every negative trait to Ben.
On whether Courtney actually has feelings for Ben
Chris says “it’s so easy to make things black and white…Courtney is playing the game, and there is a certain game element to this…this is the way that Courtney plays…I think she very much cares for him. But from her experiences in her life, this is the way she goes about (getting what she wants). She’s had success with this type of action her whole life and it’s working. She’s gotten Ben’s attention. It’s hard to fault her in many ways, but man is it unpopular.”
I asked Chris whether there were any more shocking surprises in store for us this season and what we could expect. He said that coming up next week, more than one girl will be warning Ben about Courtney and we’ll see more of the fallout. After next week, we go to hometown dates. He says that once we start bringing in the families that, “we’ll see frontrunners fall out of favor and the dark horses start to emerge…things start to shake up.”
Chris got off the phone and Blakeley came on. Her first question was a reporter asking her about some wild video on TMZ that came out and whether she had seen it. Poor Blakeley sounded completely off guard and said that she had not seen it. The video was of her giving a lap dance to another girl at a wild bar somewhere. It’s kind of hard to see her face, but it’s most likely her.
Some highlights from the Blakeley interview:
She thinks Nicki is the best choice for Ben of the remaining girls. She’s down to earth, real and knows what it’s like to be married.
As for what she thought of Courtney, Blakeley says, “I didn’t take the time to get to know her or vice versa. I don’t think it’s a bad thing…We had a really different way of going about (pursuing Ben).”
She is currently still single.
She doesn’t regret being so honest and showing him the scrapbook. You have to put yourself out there. As for being sentimental Blakeley says, “that’s the kind of person I am. If that’s not what he’s looking for, I wasn’t right for him.”
On Courtney’s antics: “Personally, I wouldn’t go skinny dipping in front of America…” Blakeley can tell that Ben and Courtney are attracted to each other, but she thinks that’s just surface and doesn’t see “feelings” there.
Casey S was her closest friend in the house.
Blakeley was really upset by the “hurtful and hateful things” said about her behind her back. She “tried to keep her focus on Ben…didn’t realize they were saying such mean things.”
As for when the turning point was of when she befriended the girls, she said after San Francisco when Shawntel came back. Once everyone stopped talking about their individual dates with Ben and focused on more girl talk unrelated to Ben, they all bonded.
I asked whether her opinion of Ben changed upon seeing the skinny dipping scene and she responded that none of the girls knew about it when on the show. She didn’t understand my question. I clarified that I wanted to know what her reaction was when she watched it on TV and that if she was still in the running – if this would have changed her mind about Ben. First she said that he was allowed to do what he wanted, but then she said if she was one of the final girls or engaged to him, it would make her question what they had. YOU THINK?
So those were the highlights. Hope you enjoyed.
By Stacey B