Michael Stagliano: Episode 8

It’s Saturday morning.  I have Foo Fighters’ “Walk” blasting on my iPhone as I write this:

And I’m thinking, this is going to be a different blog than my previous ones.  This is always my favorite part of the show, as is my favorite part of any well-constructed story: the turn.  The turn is the point in any narrative (not in every one) when the path we have been on from the start of the story (“journey” if we are using Bachelor vocab) has a bend in the road.  Small changes in what we see, hear and learn effect the whole story in a way that gives us pause.  For The Bachelor, hometown dates are the turn

Enough lecturing though…let’s dive in :)

Lindzi has the first hometown and I loved every second of it.  She seems incredibly comfortable and happy to see Ben.  Ben immediately delivers a Fla-nick-nack when he says, “You look good on this thing [horse]“.  And I completely agree.  Typically we see strapping young men on horses in fairy tales, the knight in shining armor, prince charming motif… Seeing a stunningly gorgeous blonde handle a strong horse might be off putting to some men.  It is a turn on for Ben (and me).

(Not Over You…Gavid Degraw just came on)

To start we hear a lot of repetitive lines which gets me worried Linzdi won’t really open up.  She says, “I’m so happy you’re here,/I’m glad you’re here” about a dozen times.  And Ben says it in response… It almost got comical at one point: the first 4 minutes was a regurgitation of the same 2 or 3 lines.  Fortunately, after a carriage ride (so cool) they find a spot to sit down and talk and Linzi takes a good shot at opening up about her past and what she wants with Ben.  This was a great start, but again…I still want more from her.  I feel like what we heard most of what she said in San Fran.  Certianly worth mentioning that that portion of the date must have been a few hours…we only get to see a few minutes of conversation…so when Ben says that Lindzi DID open up in that time.  I believe it : )

They ride over to her parents place and as soon as they get on screen I like her parents:  Harry and Margy.  They appear to be cut from the same fabric: humble, respectful, loving people.  Their dogs that I named, Bourbon and Whiskey (Scotch’s brothers) run over and hop on Ben’s lap (a good sign).  Lindzi’s parents are beyond welcoming and good conversation starts right away.

We learn that Harry and Margy were married in City Hall in San Francisco (a “reveal” is often part of The Turn).  And in my mind…friggin fireworks, lightbulbs, bells and whistles are going off!!!  Within 10 minutes of this hometown I was thinking Ben would marry into a wonderful family and have a beautiful loving wife.  Hot dayamn.  Margy throws up a small yellow flag in announcing that Lindzi hasn’t dated a lot.  Which is small and yellow because I think it matters very little…and everyone’s road to marriage is different…there is no “right” or “wrong”

(Jason Mraz, I’m Yours)

Harry is completely welcoming and open to Ben.  Seems to really like him and even makes a toast in his honor, welcoming him to the family (if that ends up happening).  Harry impresses me the most out of all the dads and I LOVE the mood Lindzi’s hometown sets up for the rest of the episode.  Meeting families is a HUGE deal, and starting in Florida was a step in the right direction.

Kacie B. brings Ben down to Tennesse, and unfortunately, she sticks with the Baton twirling act that we saw on their first one on one in Sonoma.  And I want to be careful here, I am not trying to offend baton twirlers, and I completely recognize how difficult it is:  It just is NOT the way to a man’s heart.  Ben does seem to enjoy it, and if he didn’t Kacie was adorable running and jumping into his arms.  We have known all along that Kacie is falling hard for Ben.  That moment made is obvious that she was : )

(John Mayer Slow Dancing in a Burning Room)

We hear a wonderful story about Kacie’s grandparents.  More specifically, how her grandfather died, and after he passed, his wife (Kacie’s grandmother) said she would go to the other side soon as well… and that she did, in fact, die of a broken heart.  I love hearing stories like this.  They are small, perfect reminders that 30, 40, 50 year love is the best thing in the world to fight for.  And if we find it and share it with someone, it can literally mean more than anything in the world.  So sweet.

Unfortunately for Ben, Kacie’s dad is a probation officer and has never had a drink in his life.  Ben delivers another Flan-nick nack in saying, ” Im screwed…cause my business is booze.”  Hahaha.  And he isn’t far off the mark.  Kacie gets some time with her sister, Alison, and they talk as sisters do…very openly and honestly and giggle about how great Ben is and how in love Kacie is.  For the record ladies, this is NOT how brothers talk, hahaha…

It seems like the evening will be a smooth ride until Ben sits down with Kacie’s Dad.  Yikes.  Anyone else immediately think of “Meet the Parents”.  Now, her dad was a long way from Robert DeNiro.  But hearing him say to Kacie, “if he asked for your hand in marriage, I would say “No,” that had to take some wind out of her sails… poor girl.

(Michael Jackson: PYT)

Both Kacie’s mom and dad seem to be pretty closed off to the idea of falling in love and having things lead to marriage, but they DO seem to like Ben a lot.  In a very prophetic way, Kacie’s dad ends up telling Ben…if Kacie is not the one…let her go now…  OUCH.

On a lighter note – Nicki is waiting in Texas with boots, hats and a good time in Fort Worth (such an awesome town).  Ben and Nicki really do look good together walking around town, they are very flirty and laughing a lot…I totally believed the image of them as a couple.  Also on board with them as a couple is Nicki’s mom.  How cute was this woman!?!? She was SO HAPPY for Nicki, and I LOVE seeing family members happy and supportive of other family members.

Though Nicki’s dad was also happy for her and Ben, it was hard to keep Kacie’s dad and Nicki’s dad straight.  Anyone else notice how similar they looked, they even dressed the same.  Nicki’s parents were divorced…So I honestly had a minute, where I thought Kacie and Nicki could have been sisters, if you follow.

(Michael Stagliano: College Love)

My suspicions were shot after hearing Nicki’s dad talk about Ben and how much he liked him, and furthermore listening to him apologize to Nicki about giving her hand away in marriage too quickly.  What an incredibly selfless and humble thing to admit to his daughter.  Such a powerful example of a guardian.  It was awesome.

And last comment I’ll say about Nicki’s hometown is actually a comment her mom made.  Nicki really did seem to be GLOWING around Ben.  I liked it.

Courtney rounds out the bunch with her hometown in AZ, and it was obviously the one that we were all the most anxious for.  Shockingly, the scene starts with Courtney having some reflective thoughts about her time so far…and she explains how she is remorseful about how she has treated the other girls.  This is too little, too late to really win us over… but I appreciate the attempt, right?  It was almost sweet…then I was reminded of how she treated Emily’s apology last week and any sympathy goes right out the window… to harsh?

Also to my surprise, Courtney dives right in, in front of her family and tells them how much he really “like/loves” Ben.  This was almost cute, but again, I then pictured her saying “He needs to step his game up” before their date in Belize… (too little too late).  I actually really liked her Dad and sister, her Mom didn’t give me warm fuzzies but she does seem loving and supportive of her daughter… and that’s always endearing to see.

(Tracy Chapman: Fast Car)

Her dad does pull out a quote that I completely disagree with though.  He says, “Marriage is one of life’s greatest gambles, there is a 50/50 shot it won’t work…are you ready to make that bet?”  Here’s the thing:  I get it.  I get the point that he is trying to make.  We all know the divorce rate is high.  Fine.  Great.  To me, it is just the WRONG approach.  It is the wrong way to think about a relationship and a marriage.  What is happening to everyone else has NO EFFECT on your relationship.  You and your significant other are what matters, statistics do not.  YES Marriage should NOT be considered lightly, but it is not a gamble, it is not a game to be won or lost.  It is a commitment to a lifetime of love with another person and it just bothers me when that is equated to betting…  Right?  Am I wrong?

Anywho.  In some bizarre twist of kindness, Courtney plans a pre-wedding.  And look, this was crazy sweet and.  IT WAS…stop it… it WAS!  Though I do remember “seeing” (that’s right… I never “participated”) kids do fake weddings at recess when I was 9 and 10.  She explains she did a photo shoot at the location they were at (bridezilla magazine?) and since she saw it, she has always wanted to get married there.  Sure.  I actually buy it…  She pulls out a bow tie, some paper, pens.  They walk up to the altar where a man is standing (who must be thinking…ok now, you want me to do WHAT exactly?  And the couple is HOW OLD?) and they read their vows.  Ben’s were a bit bland if you ask me.  It always irks me a bit when people write “poetry or vows” and use words they wouldn’t normally use, for example.  Ben says, ” I feel like a better person when I am in your presence.”  No one talks like that…including you, Ben…just say, “when I am with you.”

(The Temper Trap: Sweet Disposition…love this song)

Courtney’s vows are pretty mushy and heartfelt…YES I was stunned, like you, and didn’t know such language could some out of the same mouth that fiery, vomit-infused words had previously sprung.  I was watching it thinking, this is too foretelling for me to enjoy, (yes I have seen the magazine covers, and heard the rumors that B+C actually happens in the end…though I don’t buy it till I see it…and you shouldn’t either). It was strange seeing someone that we have loved to hate (not actually) for the last 7 weeks be kind of likeable.  It was like meeting an identical twin of Courtney’s named Sarah or something (there are no names that rhyme with Courtney, sorry).

(Kings of Leon: Knocked Up)

While I apologize for the lack of humor (well, there was some) in this blog, I find it wrong to make fun of people’s families, and truthfully there wasn’t much to poke-fun at this week, right!?  The hometowns were incredibly sweet, and for the most part went really well!  Again, this IS the turn in the story, when things really do get serious.  Love (maybe not TRUE love) starts to emerge and the craziness takes a back seat.

Speaking of love (haha, this segue is going to be brutal, hahaha) since I started blogging we have a had a TON of new tour dates get added to the “Love Like This Tour” WHAOW!  Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Seattle, Vancouver have all been booked… North Carolina (coming for you Emily), Tennessee, Chicago, Texas are all on the map as well just don’t have dates/venues secured, yet…  If you can make it out to a show near you, I would love to meet you and grab a hug from you.  This little tour has been a huge blessing in my life and I promise you I will make it worth the trip and cost of admission (only $10-$15).  The shows are super intimate, I do question and answer about The Bachelor/ette/pad, tell stories, play covers…and lots more : ).  And it makes my DAY to see people rocking a Love Like This T-shirts.  You can get them here: http://www.michaelstaglianomusic.com/fr_home.cfm

Right now I am personally mailing them out, and will include a personalized LOVE note in each order. OH YEAH!

For those of you I have seen already, that got a t-shirt…or just listened to my songs: from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the love and support.  It is my goal to give it all back to you guys :)

As Always:

Love Like This:

LOVE

Michael

85 Comments »

  1. I love you. Haha, that sums up my reaction to this ;) Hope you’re doing well, Michael! Your blogs are always my fave & I look forward to them each week after the show!

    Comment by Elisabeth — February 21, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  2. yes too harsh I think! You and the rest of America. I think its time to give Courtney a break, reserve SOME judgements … all this condemnation is not very attractive in the issuers either. I’m surprised actually as you seem to like Michelle M awfully well and her edit did not project well at all. And when I see some of the things the “sweet women” say ie Kacie B squashing the spider (funny maybe but nasty too) and wanting to punch her in the mouth…
    Everyone has different aspects to their character and people on the “all aboard the Courtney bashing bandwagon” are not using the best of theirs.

    Comment by jennifer — February 21, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  3. I hate that 50/50 statistic because it’s very misleading. It varies a LOT based on age, income, education, etc. For example, if you get married in your 30s, your likelihood of getting divorced is only 16%. Granted, the Bachelor doesn’t have the greatest track record of leading to actual marriages, but still! :)

    Comment by Suzie — February 21, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  4. Winnipeg? See ya there!

    Good blog, but that’s usual :)

    Comment by Robyn — February 21, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  5. Hmm fun fact? Courtney’s “vows” were almost the exact same as lines said in Sex and the City:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM5okCZsAm0

    Other than that, Michael I love your blog! This one, albeit less humorous, was spot on! Also, if you can, come to St. Louis on your tour! :)

    Comment by Tess — February 21, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  6. You are amazing! Loved hearing what songs you were listening too, a lot I like too! Your blogs are def my favorite!

    Comment by Sarah — February 21, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  7. Love your playlist. Love that YOU are on your playlist.

    Come to Texas for sure. We’re cool people.

    p.s. You were right, def not wrong on the 50/50

    Comment by Misty — February 21, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  8. @ jennifer…I agree with you that we need to give Courtney a break.

    I really liked her family a lot…they seemed like very nice people. Also, I think she was truthful when she said she was sorry and regretful on the way she treated the other girls. I feel so bad that there is so much hate going on about her.

    To me, Kacie B. acted WAY too immature, she’s 24 but acts a lot younger.

    Comment by G.G. — February 21, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  9. haha I was just going to point out what Tess said about the Sex and the City quote and also: “I Wanna love you and treat you right. I wanna love you every day and every night”-Bob Marley ring a bell? I know I know, Courtney bashing is going out of style and she is a real person with feelings etc (as Emily put it in her awesome exit interview). I just found it hilarious that she managed to quote two separate sources all in one set of “fake” vows. It could be the artist in me (singer/songwriter) that wants to be critical of this lack of originality with words ;-) Anyway, great blog and good luck in all your musical endeavors. If you ever come to Saskatoon I know a few girls who would love to come out for it.
    Take care!

    Comment by Heather — February 21, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  10. Oh also! Yes! Loved the ipod list!! Especially the MJ.

    Comment by Heather — February 21, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  11. I look forward to reading your blogs more than watching the show. You have some really great insight and u are really funny. I think you should include Toronto in ur tour, lots of fans here

    Comment by Andrea — February 21, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  12. I had NO IDEA (glad I didn’t though, haha) that Courtney quoted the Sex and the City vows… YIKES! (BRF…who remembers that reference). Thanks for reading and commenting. #love

    Comment by Michael Stagliano — February 21, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  13. @Andrea I’ll be there April 13th at The Drake Hotel. WHAOW!

    Comment by Michael Stagliano — February 21, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  14. Come to Houston or Dallas!
    Kacie’s family is way too old-fashioned. I was raised in a similar traditional, conservative environment, although it was a different culture. I can completely relate. When her father asks her if she is going to have a separate place she nods almost uncertainly. It seems like she wants to make decisions for herself but doesn’t want to disappoint her parents in the process. We all need to be able to stand on our own two feet, and be able to voice our own opinions.

    Nicki and Ben have really good chemistry.

    “marriage is life’s greatest gambles” whatever. I couldn’t agree with you more. It is so unromantic to define marriage as such.

    HAHAH at the “in your presence” Yeah, we all know Ben is a robot so this sounds normal coming from him.

    Comment by S — February 21, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  15. Awesome blog! Awesome taste in music! Now just add Atlanta to your tour, and my life will be awesome! :)

    Comment by Crystal — February 21, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  16. All I got is u are simply AMAZING! Come to NC! Would LOVE to be there!!

    Comment by Dana Doster — February 21, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  17. Michael – I am in love with your playlist! You can tell alot about a man by the music he listens too, and you sir would pass with flying colors!
    I look forward to your blog every week. I’m with you that poking fun at families is not cool and I’m pleased you stayed away from that!
    Question on the t-shirts… you ship to Canada, yes?
    Until next week,

    Comment by Jenn In Halifax NS — February 21, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  18. You impress me more all the time..you are such a wonderful person. I LOVE what you said about marriage, and I completely agree. I hope that one day you can find someone who will truly love you and make you happy. :)

    Comment by Megan — February 21, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  19. P.S. Come to Kansas :(

    Comment by Megan — February 21, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  20. I enjoyed your blog as usual, Michael!

    I thought the same thing about her vows when I was watching. She stole those lines from Carrie Bradshaw! Everything about her screams ‘fake’ to me, her saying she regrets how she treated the other girls included. Notice how Nicki & Lindzi hugged Kacie when she didn’t get the rose and Courtney just stood there?

    I also really enjoyed Lindzi’s date. She seems real and likeable.

    Comment by Bella — February 21, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  21. You know what, friend? I felt the same about this episode being The Turn. I loved Lindzi’s date and her family, I think Ben should’ve canceled all the other dates and married her there and then. If Lindzi had a brother, I’d wanna marry him, so that I could be a part of her family! :)
    Btw, I love “I’m yours” and I totally think you should cover it. And don’t even get me started on John Mayer or “Fast Car) :)
    Kacie’s hometown was just heartbreaking to watch. I had a feeling she was gonna go home, and as soon as she mentioned her non-drinking dad I knew it would end in disaster. That being said, I think her parents are lovely people, it just sucks they didn’t see it happening with Kacie and Ben and I totally understand how important it is to have both families support for a relationship to go well (otherwise it’s just another recipe for disaster).
    Now, Nicki. She’s lovely and her family was awesome.. she’s funny and bubbly and all.. but I still don’t really see her between her and Ben. I just don’t.. not sure why..:(
    Ahaha love your thoughts on Courtney’s hometown. I thought maybe,maybe there’d be a chance she’d be her horrible self (or at least the one we’ve seen til now) and that she’d be sent home. But I was wrong. C*ap! She was actually kinda sweet, and she kinda showed she’s human. I am not sure how sorry she feels about how she treated the other girls, but still.. it’s an improvement. And it really got to me how nervous she was about those vows! She really sounded and looked like if she meant it and well, for a moment it was really hard not to like her.. As for her family, they seemed nice, but I don’t agree with the wedding/gamble speech by her father. If that’s what it is, why even bother??
    Talking about serious stuff now.. what’s the chance Italy will be included on your tour map? What? Pretty low?? Thought so (but I’m still hoping).. I guess then I’ll have to plan a holiday in the States around one (or two) of your gigs :)

    Comment by ChiaraSacks — February 21, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  22. Love your blogs.. If you are going to Vancouver on your tour, perhaps you could take a hop across the pond to Victoria.. I would definitely be at the show if you did..

    Comment by Michelle — February 21, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  23. The main problem I have with Courtney is that when she talks she either uses cliches, pop culture phrases, soundbites or flat out plagiarism. It is all so quippy I find myself wondering if she ever puts a sentence together without help from somewhere…”See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,” “Ben needs to step up his game,” “I didn’t want to take it up the tailpipe,” “What you see is what you get with me,” “Who knew that Strippers could play baseball,” and of course the famous “Winning,” “Another one bites the dust,” “blew my panties off,” “I want to be a sight for sore eyes,” I could go on and on and on because Courtney never runs out of her little sayings. And they NEVER sound worse than when she launches in that baby talk voice. Sorry Michael but those great vows she wrote were completely stolen and I actually thought Ben’s were at least specific to his remembrances of her. Courtney’s vows could have been spoken to any generic male that stood opposite of her. As for the rest of your observations I think you are dead on. Just really wonder about that VOICE OVER where she talks about her regret about the girls. We never see her speak to the camera about it. No it is only a Voice Over and I wonder WHEN it was taped and added to the home date episode. Seems like creative editing for damage control by ABC for the girl that will probably be the winner. Obviously Courtney really bothers me….

    Comment by Sue — February 21, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  24. Michael, I love reading your blog each week, and the addition of the playlist this week just threw me over the top. I checked out The Temper Trap song when you said you loved it and was very excited to realize that it’s used in a commercial for Blackberry with the Night Bikes! Have loved that tune but had no idea who it was from.

    Was hoping to see some smaller Canadian cities on your tour list instead of Toronto! Best of luck and I hope to be able to get to see you in concert soon.

    Comment by Michele — February 21, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  25. Hey Stag!! As usual, had a blast with ur blog! and couldnt agree more w/u!

    Keep it up!

    when u coming int’l?? U are welcomed to come 2 PR. lol! Would definetly love 2 see ya!

    have a great week! :)

    Comment by enidan22 — February 21, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  26. I know you said you don’t like to poke fun at families but consider this….did you notice how the devil’s mother sounds just like her? I thought maybe the little girl voice was phoney but evidently it is not because her wrinkled mother still talks like a little girl. I’m a woman, but if I were a man, that would grate on my nerves after about 2 days! Otherwise, I love your blog.

    Comment by Linda — February 21, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

  27. Oh Michael, you did it again. I just love reading your blog! You are honest and truthful in a tasteful way. You say just what we all are thinking just way better than we could. You’re love of Lindzi is adorable but you must know, you’re breaking the hearts of some of us “commoners!”

    And I LOVE Fast Car by Tracy Chapman!

    Comment by Caitlin — February 21, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  28. love reading your blogs! It’s so refreshing to see a celebrity being so generous and kind to his fans! It’s so awesome to know that someone takes the time out to personalize t-shirt orders, looks forward to talking with fans, and reading responses to your blog! I completely agree with your point of view and want to thank you for truly beeing someone worth admiration!

    Comment by Alina — February 21, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  29. Haha, Courtney took her Vows from sex and the city!

    Comment by Jackie — February 21, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  30. If you’re looking for a venue in Austin, I can definitely recommend several places! We would give you a warm welcome and a good time! Love reading your blog and following you as a musician. Best of luck with the tour, and I hope to see you in TEXAS!

    Comment by Emily — February 21, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  31. I totally agree with you Sue about the voice over. I wouldn’t be surprised if Courtneys comment about feeling bad about how she treated the other girls was just taped and stuck in to try and control some of the negativity. When I don’t see them say something and only hear it, I know it was from some other context and time. Someday the producers will realize we are a very intelligent audience. Well most of us!!

    Good pick up by the fans who remember the vows from Carrie Bradshaw!

    I like Lindzi the best, and can see that they are slowly getting to like each other more, I am just afraid that it is too little too late.

    I hope that if Ben did choose Courtney, that she is truly sorry for how she acted, and that this is a good life lesson. Going through life causing strife is very stressful.

    Comment by Jacquie — February 21, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  32. Michael,
    Love reading your blog!
    As for your tour, you should add a stop in Ottawa, Ontario!
    Anna

    Comment by Anna — February 21, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  33. Love reading your blog, as always :) I’ll just make one comment about this episode, and it is to agree completely with you about Courtney’s dad’s remark about marriage being a 50/50 gamble. So yes, you are right, or rather, I agree with you – marriage is not something we bet on, it’s not a gamble or a chance we take, it’s a focused, dedicated commitment to someone we deeply love and cherish. I don’t discredit the fact that sometimes, it really and truly just doesn’t work out, but I think it’s that initial mindset and view of marriage that is important.

    On a lighter note, Courtney stealing lines from Sex and the City is kind of funny. I didn’t even realize it…

    And one last thing – looking forward to seeing you in Torontoooooooo! April 13th can’t come soon enough :)

    Nope, just one more – great playlist. I don’t know about you, but I can’t sit still for very long when PYT comes on. I love me some Michael (Jackson :P … though Stagliano seems pretty alright too! :P )

    Comment by alicia — February 21, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  34. Michael! In LOVE with your blog. In LOVE with your music. Come to Boston!! :)

    Comment by Makenna Bryan — February 21, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  35. If you come to NJ or Philly, maybe I’d come see you! Great blog, thank you.

    Comment by ML — February 21, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

  36. Ohhh…Michael is softening up on Courtney?!?! It has transitioned into her having a twin who made an appearance, huh. I know Courtney is not going to “do it” for you and light you up the way Lindzi does. haha.. But are you going to admit that perhaps it was too soon for your branding of Courtney as just blank or blank. Will you admit she is slightly defying what you have carved into stone about her (metaphorically, after just a few shows)! I do look forward to reading your reaction to Courtney each week and to see whether/where there will be a “turn” in your opinion, if any.

    Enjoyed the track-listings you included-innovative idea!

    I don’t think you should be “irked” by Ben using the word “presence” since that seems petty. In this instance, he is technically engaged in dating (or is with) more than one woman, so it is actually correct and more poignant for him to say “in your presence” (powerful words for Ben!) because depending on the day, though he is technically with all of them as far as relationship goes, who may be in his presence/frequency differs. Are the words ‘frequency’ and ‘poignant’ off the market as far as usable spoken words! He’s realized how he feels in her presence, in contrast to when she isn’t around him, and this was Ben’s lovely, revealing declaration.

    Did you find out for a fact that Kacie’s dad has never in his life drank anything alcoholic? Wasn’t sure how that total conclusion by you was drawn.

    Glad that you seem to be virtually smiling when you write about Lindzi. Also glad that the Bachelor Franchise helped bring around entertainment for you in the form of Lindzi, because we can’t have Michael too upset/distraught because of Courtney!!! No!

    Finally, I wanted to note that I think it is sweet that you are appreciative of people’s long-lasting love stories. Might as well find inspiration where you can right!
    :)

    Comment by Lola — February 21, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  37. Courtney is a 28 year old woman…..it is time for her to learn that you can’t treat people like garbage and then just turn around and say “I feel bad about that” and that makes everything better. I’d like to witness Courtney talk to each of the girls face to face and apologize and seem sincere and then maybe I would believe it. I really liked Courtney for the most part on her home town date and I was actually shocked that I did BUT she was so nasty to the other girls to their faces and behind their backs that I’m just not taking her flimsy little apology. And for the person who brought Michelle Money up, I have watched back some scenes from that season and I never saw Michelle be as mean as Courtney was….Michelle was obnoxious but not mean. So Courtney, when can we expect the face to face apologies to the other girls?

    Comment by Betsy — February 21, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  38. People are gonna hate me for this but Im #TeamCourtney. I dont care about the things she says but Ben likes her so I hope they end up together. Why would I root for someone that Ben doesnt like? If they end up breaking up whatever at least he tried with the girl that he was actually in love

    Comment by Lois — February 21, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  39. Michael, thanks for your excellent blog as always! :) If you come out to Minneapolis, I will try and make it, would love to hear you sing, love to have great people to support, who are truly kind and wonderful!!

    Comment by arch — February 21, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  40. Love,love,love your blog. It’s nice to find that all men aren’t blinded by deceptive women. You are one of my favorite bachelors and hope you find a wonderful woman some day. You should have sung for Jillian,you are a way better singer than Wes.

    Comment by Frankie — February 21, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  41. Once Again Michael, GREAT Blog…just an FYI, i was surprised at Courntey’s vows also…such nice words coming out of her mouth for a change…THEN I found out she copied them from SEX and the CITY…I thought a saw a smaller piece of paper on her notebook like she already had something written down. There’s nothing AUTHENTIC or Oiginal from her…so pathetic she could not write her own vows…

    Comment by Susan — February 21, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  42. Don’t you think Ben and Courtney have a forced sense of chemistry, or is it just me? Both seem to be mailing it in. ACTING. Ugh. Doesn’t seem real at all. And her vows? Thanks, Bob Marley. From bad to worse, yet I keep watching. Best part? Reading your blog. So thanks. Again. Love from your Editor friend in Toronto, Canada.

    Comment by Sungirll30 — February 21, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  43. Please. People are asking ‘Give Courtney a break’ ~ have they not been watching the previous episodes? I enjoyed the hometown dates, including seeing Courtney’s family, because I wanted to see who or what had spawned this Daughter of Darkness. And Kacie B., wherever you are ~ if YOU have been watching the previous episodes (and I’m sure you have), then now you know why you got sent home ~ Ben was thinking with his weenie and Courtney got to it first. The producers should have sent the Diva of Darkness home when she stole Ben and went skinny dipping. If they have rules, then why are there no consequences when someone breaks them? My one consolation is that according to the scoop on the Net, he’s already over her ~ no matter what he may say on After the Final Rose. Good riddance.

    Comment by Morgan — February 21, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

  44. I think you forgot to write about kacies departure. SIGH! I loved her! But thinking she deserves way better and maybe him and Courtney really are match. 2 things comes to mind when I think of Courtney’s behavior.. 1. Hurting people hurt people. And 2. The root of pride is insecurity. Models (most) are very wounded. Always being rejected and feeling like they’re not good enough so because they’re always being used as a “thing”, they treat themselves like that and have no respect for themselves or others. Anyways.. Ben will have a lot to deal with, with her. And I’m pretty sure he’s not thinking about their future like how she can’t move to SF (her career has to be in LA) and how models are always traveling and posing in front of perverted photographers that could take advantage of her (like she mentions).

    OH WELL! I’m ready for Emilys season. :)

    Comment by Brittany White — February 21, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

  45. Once again, AWESOME blog Michael!! Cant wait to hug you in NYC! I cant get over the amazing person you are! : ) see you soon!

    Comment by Alyssa — February 21, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  46. Love your blogs, and LOVE LOVE every song you were listening to while writing this one. Great taste!

    Comment by Abby — February 21, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  47. I don’t believe for one second Courtney is remorseful. She’s not capable of it – that’s what sociopaths do – they assimilate emotions, but it’s about a centimeter deep and nothing behind it. They say and do what is needed to get the reaction from the other person that they need – that goes for ABC as well – the people who are now doing damage control by having her record her voice over. Clearly that was not done then or on her own accord. This chick and these producers always have an angle. Not only is it too little, too late, but it was completely devoid of sincerity.

    Comment by Worst Season EVER — February 21, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

  48. Michael! I love your blogs… they are always humorous, honest, but ultimately respectful which I think a lot of others have abandoned this season! While I have been a Courtney-basher all season… I have to say at this point she is the only one I see him having a true connection with! Also if you’re going to Seattle you should make a stop in Portland, OR… we would love to see you :)

    Comment by Z — February 21, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  49. Michael! Here in Durham, NC which is part of the Durham/Raleigh/Chapel Hill “triangle.” Emily goes to school at UNC in Chapel Hill. Your voice is beautiful.

    Comment by courtneyrobertsonjustkidding — February 21, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  50. I clicked on your blog bc the hilarious Ashley Spivey’s isn’t up for this episode yet (no offense) and I just have to tell you how cute you are :)
    I felt the same way about what Courtney’s dad said about marriage, it’s not a gamble. It is what you make it! It’s a commitment that takes work sometimes but is the biggest payoff in life! Anyway, just had to tell you how cute you are, & I’ll check out the music, because I loved your playlist :) p.s. Have you heard Ellie Goulding’s cover of Sweet Disposition? BEAUTIFUL! Check it out.
    Sydney

    Comment by Sydney — February 21, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  51. I agree with some of the commenters….a one-line voice-over where Courtney claims to be sorry (for the barrage of insults and mean comments she made towards the other women) doesn’t demonstrate any remorse. She said it herself when responding to Emily….it’s too late (of course I lack the charming vocabulary and insults she likes to throw in). She actually smiled her wicked smile when Ben was escorting Kacie out of the rose ceremony. She is still as self absorbed as ever. How can she be considered sincere in the slightest when she would actually plagiarize mock vows from a TV character. She’s not sorry…she played to the cameras for more screen time. I hope Ben picks Courtney indeed….she is the ONLY one he deserves.

    Comment by aly — February 21, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  52. Come out to New York!

    Comment by Nina — February 21, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  53. An interesting defense of courtney:

    http://www.lettertag.com/blog/2012/02/21/from-anne-sympathies-for-a-villain/

    Comment by arj10 — February 21, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  54. Marriage is always a gamble, whether people dive into it blindly or not. Most people are in love and committed when they marry. They don’t expect that their spouse will ever abuse or cheat or betray their trust. Or become angry and bitter with life and let that wreck the beautiful thing that people think is so strong but really is fragile. But these things happen. So it is a bit of a gamble, and it’s about a whole lot more than love and commitment and forgiveness and hard work. A lot of it is luck.

    Comment by Guest — February 21, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  55. I think Kacie B’s father did not give his blessings because Ben could not give him a heartfelt answer when he asked Ben why Ben had kept his daughter that far in the competition. I think he knew at that point that it was either Kacie B was not the ‘one’ or feelings invested by Ben at point were not enough for a life time commitment.
    Kacie B should be thankful to her father for saving her from the ‘fantasy suite situation’ and heartbreak of knowing all the events (skinny dipping and all) that transpired during the experience.

    Comment by yinye — February 21, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

  56. Great blog Michael!!
    As a side note: anyone who thinks people are too hard on Courtney need only type in “Courtney Robertson” on YouTube. There is a whole slew of Courtney reels. I forgot how awful she was after hometown dates. Seriously, she’s pure venom. (groan)
    I’m not sure there is anyone she hasn’t personally insulted on the show.

    Comment by Amanda — February 21, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  57. Confused by this girl, Courtney, so just waiting to see how the rest of the season turns out for Ben. I almost feel sorry for the guy now. All of these women, and a lot of them weren’t serious and the ones he thought were turned out to be different than they portrayed themselves to be. I think he was shocked about Kacie’s parents and he probably wouldn’t have sent her home if she was more open with him about her parents, so I can see his reasoning.

    Comment by emy — February 22, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  58. Love your blog baby!!!! Love the music you were listening to as well. Great tunes.
    Agree with you that Courtney was shocking this week but for me it was too little too late. She just can’t undo all that she has done and I felt like the whole thing was an act. I don’t believe she is in love or even heavy like with Ben. I think this whole journey is all about her own 15 minutes of fame and winning a competition.
    Looking forward to reading your blog next week.

    Comment by Claudia — February 22, 2012 @ 5:30 am

  59. Ben’s cream dream http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWt_DifczOM

    Comment by Nick — February 22, 2012 @ 5:48 am

  60. Come to Raleigh, NC please!!! Durham or Chapel Hill would work too… that’s where Emily lives!

    Comment by Kristin — February 22, 2012 @ 6:56 am

  61. It’s really nice to read a blog post which is, well, decent and not overly critical of poor Courtney! So kudos to you Michael for a well-mannered post. I have to say that I am pretty upset with some of the comments out there.

    Lindzi’s family is amazing, and what I found particularly touching was that Ben could see himself really bonding with her dad; that her dad could help fill the void his father’s death left in his life. And with the serendipitous connection of SF City Hall between them, there seemed to be a certain something written in the stars. But sadly, I just don’t feel a connection between Ben and Lindzi, even as much as I want to. And I adore Lindzi, and think she is the classiest one of the lot.

    Nikki’s family were absolutely wonderful too, and I just loved how Ben and her bro’ gave each other the guy buddy back thump. Bonding, for sure. Ben and Nikki have a great connection, she is lovely and warm and makes him laugh, but… do they have enough in common to sustain a relationship in the long haul? Not sure…

    Kacey’s date was painful to watch. The most painful part, the bit which gave it all away for me, was when Kacey spoke with her sister, and discussed how she is trying to break free from under her parents’, mostly her father’s, domination. Her anorexia and bulimia now make perfect sense, because those are diseases in which individuals who feel powerless attempt to take control over what they can in their lives. Her parents clearly love her very much, but their control, as well-intentioned as it is, is destroying her. It would be very difficult for a man who challenged their beliefs or orthodoxies in any way to have a relationship with Kacie, and that was immediately clear to Ben. (As it was to my husband of 23 years as he watched it).

    Courtney’s family was very nice and welcoming, although perhaps not as open as the others. I become very distressed though to see her dad being so criticized for his remark that marriage is a risky proposition, because it is. Everyone walks into marriage believing in their partner and the soundness of their feelings, and of being suited for marriage. But wait until life throws things at you — cancer or other illness, unemployment or financial difficulties, the illness of a child, or fertility problems. Even less dramatic things — not relating to a partner’s friends or family perhaps — can all take a serious toll on a relationship. People you would never have thought would split, do. It really is a gamble. And I say this as someone who has been with her husband for 23 years.

    Back to Courtney though… The producers are finally putting out the info about Courtney that they withheld from viewers until now, namely that more so than any of the other girls, she has been hurt. She is more experienced at relationships and thus is more skilled at attracting a man, but has been badly hurt through the process. Someone with a background like Courtney’s would never be friends with rivals for the heart of a guy she clicks with. Yeah, The Bachelor is a bad set-up for her, but hey, great for the ratings.

    Despite all that though, she is the one who keeps Ben on his toes. The terror on his face at the mock wedding was priceless. But — being challenged by your partner is a good thing. It reminds you that you are alive, and keeps you living every moment with gusto. And that is what Ben wants and needs. The point about the skinny dipping wasn’t that it was a sexual connection (which is more fleeting than people think), but that it was about living life, writ large. Ditto going native in the village — the village woman told the girls to take off their bras. The native woman didn’t wear any bras under their beaded tops, and so wearing them was an insult to the locals. Courtney was the only one who immersed herself in the local culture to fully experience it; the other girls could not see beyond their cultural barriers. The most pathetic example was Emily, and how she derided Courtney for being “tacky”, when really, it is the other way around (I can’t believe who few people see how evil and clueless Emily is… she is the true “witch” of the season).

    Anyway, good post, and what a relief to get this off my chest…

    Comment by Romy — February 22, 2012 @ 8:52 am

  62. When will they be doing the first ‘Gay bachelor? I love the concept of the show and it works! We had a few marriages from it so it does work. I’d like to see an all black bachelor series and a gay bachelor..or gay bachelor pad. I have been reading all the gossip and many former contestants are gay..both men and women..Was happy to see gay Monica this season..and the season before we had Ames, jake and a few others. I just wish these men would come out like Monica did this season.
    I am watching this season with Ben cause I have a crush on him..I find him sexy! I do wish Ames would be picked as the new gay bachelor.I will make a 15 minute vid of myself..and hope to meet him on the show..and hope Ames and I can skinny dip together.
    Nice write up Mike..always fun to read your recap>
    Big gay Al

    Comment by Big Gay Al — February 22, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  63. Seriously gonna miss this blog :( Michael, can I get one sent to South Africa?

    Comment by Marina Cruickshank — February 22, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  64. Excellent recap, but I expect nothing less from you :) Thank you for what you said about marriage NOT being a gamble. If only we as a people would realize that we are the ones that determine the statistics, not the other way around, I believe many things that are broken would start being mended.

    Comment by Tiffany — February 22, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  65. I think you’re being too hard on Courtney, but you seemed to have softened your opinion a bit near the end. I think the abnormal situation that the show creates to ‘heighten drama’ to the point where the contestants are confined, cut off from the outside, etc. might make some people go haywire, lose perspective and do things and behave much more extreme than usual. I don’t think that everybody who watches the show realizes what goes on and how things are set up. Maybe if they did they would give people more of a benefit of the doubt about how they act on the show.

    What people are talking about (the Sex and the City vow thing)–well, I looked it up and it said that it was only the first line of Courtney’s vows that were similar to what Carrie Bradshaw said on one episode of the show. They weren’t exact. I don’t think that is a biggie in a ‘fake wedding’. She expressed her feelings, that is what is important.

    After seeing Courtney’s hometown visit I can definitely see where she got her mannerisms from–her mom! My best friend growing up had a lot of the similar mannerisms to Courtney, and she was very genuine and down to Earth. Must just be a unique personality quirk! My friend often came off as “a bit snobbish and uptight” when you first met her, but she absolutely was not.

    I agree with you– definitely think marriage is what you put into it. When you find that person, and feel that spark you have to fight for them. All marriages go through crud, even if it’s from external sources, you also cannot give up at the first struggle. I think some people have dramatically unrealistic views of what marriage is supposed to be like.

    All relationships and all marriages require some work. That being said, relationships and marriages in my opinion should not be *that much work*. If you know what I mean ;) And, long term relationships really rock. When it works, it works! 23+ years here…

    Comment by Chris — February 22, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  66. Thank you for the tremendous blog. Now, just as I had mentioned to Dave G. I have been advocating for some time on the blogs two things.

    1. Lindzi deserves far better than Ben. It seems to me, an outsider, that a much better match for Lindzi is Dave G.

    2. Emily definitely deserved better than Ben, and she was fortunate when she did not get the rose. Emily and Stag need to look into the potential of any chemistry they may have. Both seem very sincere, loving, respectful and deserving of someone such as the other.

    Now dont let me, and many others, down. In my perspective, you came out of the BP just as fortunate as Emily came out of the Bachelor.

    You are aware of the things production does due to your involvement. Why do you feel they flipped the Faux wedding and the lunch w/family? Was it in order to use the voiceover earlier on in her HTD?

    Thanks again for the effort you devote to making your blogs.

    Comment by Divr — February 22, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  67. You are the best. I can’t think of a time seeing you on the Bachelorette/Pad or reading your blog that I haven’t loved and agreed with everything you have to say. Wish we could hang out. haha Have fun on your tour!

    Comment by Angela — February 22, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  68. I don’t know if it’s just me but Courtney’s mom scared the heck out of me. Maybe the high voices were too Poltergeist or maybe there were too many similar mother/daughter mouth expressions, I don’t know.
    Twin name for Courtney = Darthney. Yeah, couldn’t think of one either.
    Kacie B. *sigh*. I couldn’t get past the baton twirling. sorry. still think she’s a sweetie though. And in her limo/exit interview I was thinking aww poor Kacie she’s so sweet! And I soon as I thought the word sweet she started talking like a sailor and I was like whoa! What happened to the sweet? Gotta love her though for keeping it real.
    Playlist….niiiicccce! (Justin Nozuka: Golden Train)
    Since I highly doubt you will ever show up here in the booneys…i’ll take an air hug! can you feel it? me neither.

    Comment by Marie — February 22, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  69. Ok, Sue’s comments are dead-on. Thank you Sue for writing everything I too thought about Courtney. All the glib soundbites. I seriously think the producers had a gun to Courtney’s head and made her read voice over comments about regretting how she treated the other girls. I just don’t buy it. Especially when you see Lindzi and Nicki consoling Kacie after the rose ceremony. Did you see Courtney just stand there and hold her rose, give Ben a look and then hesitantly to take two steps closer to the other three? Ugh. Also did you notice that she had a few scraps of paper that were written on prior to the vow writing? I am guessing that she googled “vows or love quotes” !!! And decided on the Marley and Carrie Bradshaw quotes.

    Comment by mb — February 22, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  70. Oh, Thank you Michael for such a great blog. You are just too darling.

    Comment by mb — February 22, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  71. Michael, you are stellar at blogging! (I have just started to use the word stellar to describe fantastic things lately, so you should take it as a double compliment!) I liked what you had to say about the quote from Courtney’s dad about marriage. I definitely agree with you! Also, I hear you are going to be performing at Bethel this upcoming weekend! I am bummed that I can’t make it, but I wish you all the best! Good luck with all your tours. #lovelikethis

    Comment by Kara — February 22, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  72. LOVE The Sweet Disposition. You have great taste in music!

    Comment by Meggie — February 22, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  73. Michael, you are adorable, but really? The pre-wedding was crazy sweet?? I would have stopped at crazy. If he chooses anyone but Courtney in the end, there’s no way he’ll be with his chosen one for long…there’s no way he could get away with skinny dipping and a fake wedding with vows. Yuck. I’m not a Courtney fan, but who else can he pick at this point?

    As a Bachelorette alum, would you ever have participated in such a thing?

    Comment by Bonnie — February 22, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  74. HI MICHAEL! I want to go see your show so badly in Toronto, but I’m 4 months off from the legal drinking age and your show is not all ages. WHY?!:(

    Comment by Jordy — February 23, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  75. I typically never comment on these things just read them but I have to say I have been a fan of yours (and now your music) since you first appeared on Jillian’s season.

    Love, love, love your blog every week- you make very valid points and give me faith that there are genuine guys out there! I can’t wait to see the tour date for Texas since I’m close by in good ‘ol Oklahoma!

    Keep doing what you love! P.S. you have great taste in music

    Comment by Chels — February 24, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  76. Yep. Emily would be a wonderful woman for you. Smart, honest, beautiful. A true sweetheart!

    Comment by Janlynn — February 25, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  77. I agree with one of the posters above – come to St. Louis!

    Comment by Annie — February 27, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  78. Come to Toronto! Love reading your blog, I also look forward to it every week.

    Comment by Emily — February 27, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  79. Your blogs are great to read and I find them real appropriate.
    You should add a stop in FL to your tour!

    Comment by Sabrina — February 28, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  80. Did you know that half of Courtney’s vows were from “Sex and the City”??? … That completely ruined my astonishment at how sweet they were. Back to not trusting her.

    Comment by Anya — February 28, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  81. You’re the best. Always put a smile on my face :)

    Comment by Lily — February 28, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  82. Michael, I always LOVE reading your blog posts! I definitely agree about the annoying marriage statistics. Though the statistics are true, that shouldn’t matter when it comes to your own relationship with someone! It is up to those two people to make it work and they can if they are both truly committed to making it work. Anyways, love your insights!

    Comment by Amy — February 28, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  83. I was going to say the EXACT same thing as “Robyn” and “Sabrina”: The minute I heard Courtney’s vows I almost choked. She used one of my favourite lines from Sex and the City in her vows, proving to me once again that she is about as un-original as a Starbucks! Not genuine AT ALL.

    GO LINDZI!

    Oh, and when you and Emily get married, I’m going to dance a jig in my living room. ;) Have fun on your tour!

    Comment by Shannon — February 29, 2012 @ 8:32 am

  84. PS – WHY HAS NOBODY SAID ANYTHING YET ABOUT COURTNEY CONSTANTLY TOUCHING HER HAIR???? Soooooo annoying!!!! In the less-than-5 min segment down in the wine cellar on her overnight date, she touched her hair exactly 34 times. I counted. And I am beyond irritated with seeing it. Anyone???

    Comment by Shannon — February 29, 2012 @ 8:35 am

  85. Make me a mixed cd?

    Comment by Tabitha — March 14, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

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