Whatever games Courtney is playing on The BachelorSeason 16, they have been played before. The entire set-up of this season seems to resemble Jake Pavelka’s The Bachelor Season 14 (right down to a producer crush scandal) but The Bachelor Season 15’s Michelle keeps getting her name thrown into the mix as the misunderstood “villain” Courtney is trying to emulate.
Like Courtney, both Vienna and Michelle were disliked by many of the girls in the house, especially one girl in particular. For Courtney, it’s Emily O'Brien. in Vienna’s case, it was definitely Ali Fedotowsky. And for Michelle, it was Chantal O'Brien... and Jackie Gordon... and everyone else in the house.
Both Michelle and Vienna were more forward than the rest of the girls, professing their feelings for their Bachelors early on — just like Courtney has talked about her crush on Ben and told him they would make cute babies. All three women were confident and strong-willed and their Bachelors seemed into that aspect of their personalities, even as it turned off most of the other ladies in the house. All three women took the initiative to “visit” the Bachelor away from the other ladies. Vienna made a surprise visit to Jake after-hours during a two-on-one date with Gia Allemand. Michelle visited Brad Womack at his house after hours. And Courtney is about to go skinning dipping with Ben in Episode 5.
So are we watching the next Michelle — someone who came off as too possessive and egomaniacal but eventually found a loving fan base after the show? Or are we watching the next Vienna — someone only The Bachelor himself saw the best in and eventually realized was wrong for him, but only after it was too late?
Let’s look at some video evidence:
ALI VS. VIENNA, SEASON 14
In this video, Vienna was just coming back from her first one-on-one date with Jake — which was an extreme bungee jump that scared them both to tears. No one expected her to get a rose and they were unpleasantly surprised to see her come back to the house. She immediately started describing their date and how romantic it turned out to be.
Ali: "Right now I'm a little shooken up because I am just so unbelievably shocked that she came home with a rose — that she came home at all."
Later, Ali and Vienna had it out.
Ali: "I was upset, not because another girl went on a one-on-one date with Jake but because YOU went on a one-on-one date with Jake and you came home. And I told Jake that."
Vienna: "You are such a bitch!"
Analysis: At least Ali was up front with Vienna about not liking her and talking to Jake about it. When confronted on Ben’s season, Emily pretended she didn’t know what Courtney was talking about. Vienna is also more emotional than Courtney. At this point, Courtney seems to have more of Michelle’s competitive, in-your-face aggression than Vienna’s melodrama. But both Vienna and Courtney say whatever they are thinking without much of a filter, and can come off as childish. And the ladies’ almost universal disbelief that Jake sees anything in Vienna closely matches the disbelief the Season 15 ladies feel about Ben liking Courtney.
MICHELLE VS. CHANTAL, SEASON 15
On the day of Michelle's first one-on-one date, Brad entered the house and stole Ashley Hebert away for a chat. Michelle told Brad she didn't mind, but she really, really did. It was supposed to be her special day. She told the other girls she was annoyed. Chantal defended Brad’s actions.
It then turned into Chantal vs. Michelle, in front of the other bachelorettes. When Brad returned to take Michelle on her date, the still-angry Michelle practically dragged him out of the room.
Chantal [to the camera]: "I'm just thinking ‘God hopefully she doesn’t act like that on their date and bring him into it’ — actually, hopefully she DOES, because he'll see what she's really like."
Michelle [to the camera]: "If I don't get the rose because Brad was still dealing with Ashley H.'s issues, I would elbow Ashley H. in the face."
Analysis: Courtney is definitely following in Michelle’s footsteps when it comes to talking/joking in an overly aggressive manner about the other contestants. (Rip her head off, shave her eyebrows, etc.) Michelle later told Brad if he ended up with Chantal it would be a mistake. Courtney hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet with Ben, but Emily is getting close to saying something to that effect about Courtney... and it may work so much in Courtney’s favor that she doesn’t have to do the same.
Courtney's confident personality and dry humor seem to best match Michelle but her almost inexplicably strong connection with Ben is closer to what Jake had with Vienna. Brad eventually tired of Michelle's aggressive games, but Ben is less reserved. He's not as into the chase as Brad, and it’s possible he will stay under Courtney’s spell for awhile. Jake defended Vienna to Ali and continued to give her the benefit of the doubt the way Ben basically told Emily to not even bother coming to him to complain about Courtney in Episode 4. The way the ladies are treating Courtney is pretty close to the “What Does He See In Vienna?” show of Season 14.
The real test of this match-up will be in the finale and the subsequent six months. If Ben doesn’t pick Courtney, she’s more of a Michelle. If he does pick Courtney and they break up within a few months, she was the Vienna. If Ben picks Courtney and they manage to stay together for a year or more, she’s in a league of her own.