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Catherine McKenzie

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The 9 Craziest 'Bachelor' Contestants (WATCH)

Posted: 05/11/2012 10:35 am

It's time for The Bachelorette again: one woman, 25 men. What could go wrong?

Well, based on past seasons, a lot. Will they all be there for the "right reasons," presumably being finding someone they can fall in love with and marry? Doubtful. Maybe the quest for love is what brought women and men to the series in the early seasons -- before the casting became one part American Idol auditions and one part opportunity to launch your career in television, movies, music, etc.

That doesn't leave much room for love, does it? So why do it? Is it just a chance to expose yourself to the public, to be the next William Hung? Or is there really still room in there for romance?

In my novel, Arranged [William Morrow Paperbacks, $14.99], I explore what might lead someone to use an arranged marriage service. While the premise came to me when there was a proliferation of "reality" dating shows on the air, (where did the rest of them go, anyway?) it was before The Bachelor became the spectacle that it often seems to be.

So, how did it get that way? Why wasn't the basic premise of one person dating 25 people at once enough to keep our attention? Was it planned or did it just result from some early contestants who pushed the boundaries? I'm thinking it's a mix of both, but to the extent that it's the latter, I blame the following people:

Courtney Robertson from Ben's season
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As an aside, isn't it a bit weird that I can write "Ben's season" and millions of people know what it means?

Courtney is the 28-year-old model who "coerced" Ben into taking a dip in the nude in Puerto Rico and might just have had sex with him. (Second aside, is it just me or does Ben look like he was separated at birth from Crosbie on Parenthood?) And oh, all the girls in the house hated her. Surprise! Every season seems to have three categories of contestants: (1) The I'm-not-here-to-make-friends set, (2) The I'll-stick-by-my-new-girlfriends-even-though-I'm-trying-to-end-up-with-the-same-man set, and (3) The weirdos. Courtney was special because she fell into both 1 and 3. And then she won. And then Ben had to watch how much the other girls hated her. But apparently, they're still together. This week.
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