When on a reality TV show you can make friends or you can make waves.
Courtney Robertson chose the latter when she joined season 16 of The Bachelor and became one of the most villainous contestants to ever compete for a rose in franchise history.
Now, in her debut book I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends, she's revealing all the backstage Machiavellian machinations that led her to best the other ladies vying for Bachelor Ben Flajnik's heart.
From strategizing her way onto the cast she describes as a "motley crew of average women" to confessing what really went on behind the scenes (and beyond the shore), the self-described "serial dater" takes us on a wild Bachelor ride! Check out the five juiciest tidbits:
1. For the Right Reasons: Every season premieres with sometimes awkward intros when the limos pull up to the Bachelor estate. But there was no awkwardness—or hesitation—from Courtney upon locking eyes with Ben: "As soon as I saw Ben I wanted him." The mutual attraction continued once she entered the house with Courtney gushing, "I knew Ben liked me...I was already starting to fall for him. I know it may seem cuckoo that I could have real feelings for a complete stranger within eight hours of meeting him, but I did!"
The girls, however, hated her on sight. "I was giddy from my first encounter with Ben—but as soon as I walked into the mansion it got eerily quiet and twenty-three sets of eyes burned through me." That animosity only grew as each episode aired, with the women challenging Courtney about her real reasons for being on the show. The Bachelor front-runner acknowledged she was "a bitch to some of the girls in the house," but Ben stuck by her side from the moment her heels hit the pavement.
2. Skinny-Dippers Gone Wild: Those heels came off (along with everything else) when the couple went for a nude swim while in Puerto Rico. Courtney interrupted Ben's date night with another girl and convinced him to go skinny-dipping with her. The two got so steamy in their waterlogged romantic rendezvous that their one-on-one impromptu date had viewers questioning "Did they? Didn't they?" Now the cunning contestant finally confesses...
"Yes, Ben and I did have sex in the ocean. On-camera. It was immediate but it was only for about twenty seconds, and um, it was just the tip." They didn't continue because the waves kept crashing and knocking them over—pulling their lovemaking apart, but less than a minute was more than enough for Courtney to determine they had a spark. "That was very important to me. If the sex had been bad, I couldn't accept a proposal."
3. Sex in the Fantasy Suites? Speaking of sex, liaisons are alluded to when the fantasy suite invitation is extended, but viewers are seldom privy to what really happens behind those closed doors. Courtney elaborates, "What actually happens sexually between contestants has always been as closely held a secret as the Mafia's omertà," although she does hint at various sexual escapades within the Bachelor Nation. She also reveals producers provide no condoms in the fantasy suite.
4. Ben's Whinery: The Sonoma winemaker is not "the second coming of Kendall-Jackson," says Courtney. "Contrary to popular belief, Ben didn't own a winery. He grows his own grapes on an already existing winery, like renting office space."
When Ben wasn't stomping grapes in leased vineyards, he was also prone to grumbling when Courtney was presented with outside opportunities after the show. She had a secret meeting with producers of Dancing With the Stars and they wanted her to participate as an alternate with a payday of $125,000 just to show up and $30,000 for every week she made it through. Ben demanded she withdraw from consideration, threatening, "If you do it, you won't have a fiancée," so she put away her dancing shoes.
5. The Ring Didn't Mean a Thing: Very few Bachelor seasons end in an engagement that leads to actual marriage. Courtney and Ben's on-and-off relationship proved no different. She maintains he never made her feel like a priority. "It was Ben's world and I was just living in it," she disclosed. The ultimate Bachelor mean girl was "genuinely heartbroken when [they] broke up." She "loved being engaged to Ben and that peaceful feeling knowing the search was over." But Ben only seemed to show her affection when they were in front of other Bachelor alumni. "Like me, I think he secretly didn't want our relationship to fail because he wanted to be perceived as better or above all of the other couples who came before and after us."
I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends, published by Harper Collins, is available Tuesday, June 24.