Courtney Robertson on Nikki and Juan Pablo “Being Free,” Moving On! Exclusive
If anyone knows how the publicly-scorned Juan Pablo Galavis and Nikki Ferrell are feeling right now, the day after the Bachelor 2014 finale and massacre of an “After the Final Rose,” it’s Courtney Robertson. The brunette beauty was portrayed as a villain to the max on Ben Flajnik’s The Bachelor Season 16, and so when she won, people weren’t exactly thrilled.
First off, Court wants to make it clear that it was tough to watch the show, partially because she saw some of her own situation in it. And because she didn’t watch any of her season until she was doing research for her book, she probably has those feelings fresh in her mind. “I do feel for Nikki, it was a let down for Bachelor Nation,” she says, referring to the “I love you”-less finale and awkward “After the Final Rose.” All season, Courtney says she “loved” Nikki’s personality — though some people were anti-Nikki, thanks to her sometimes snotty-sounding asides in her ITMs. All in all, it was obvious she was “in it to win it,” and Courtney says she can see what a tough spot she’s in.
Although she and Ben broke up in October 2012, Courtney still believes in the show. “The process works if you're committed to finding love. Ben and I were in love when we climbed the Matterhorn [in the Switzerland set Season 16 finale]. I'm proud that we tried so hard for a year. It really is a journey of a lifetime.”
During their time apart before their finale aired, Ben and Courtney had to go to extreme lengths to keep their relationship hidden. “I know how Juan Pablo and Nikki feel. As though they’ve had this big secret, and they’ve had to watch what they say and be so careful all the time. And now they’re free to be together. It’s hard to say, at this point, if they’ll make it, because it seems like they’re just getting started on being together. I wish them the best of luck, though.”
After their finale, Courtney frequently made trips up to Ben’s San Francisco hometown, but never received an invitation to stay in the Bay Area — and he rarely made an appearance in her hometown. As for Nikki and Juan Pablo, a similar challenge exists, since Nikki works as a pediatric nurse in Kansas City, while Juan Pabs lives in Miami with his family.
“If they want to make it work, someone’s going to have to make a move. Long distance relationships, under these circumstances, it gets really hard. They at least need to start out by spending long periods of time together to find out what it would be like to live together, or be married. And they should never go longer than two weeks without seeing one another. Long distance relationships are brutal.”
Courtney has plenty of great advice for Nikki and Juan Pablo, suggesting that they “stay off social media,” where haters may add negativity to their relationship. Nikki has already called out her non-fans on Twitter, telling them they should “be ashamed” for their hurtful comments. Perhaps she’ll take Court’s advice… and Juan Pablo should too, while he’s at it. On the “After the Final Rose” special, he mentioned friends who write things on Twitter and then text him the opposite. Actually, maybe he should just give his phone away.
Still, if none of those things work for them, Courtney says that Nikki might need to consider doing what she did herself, and cutting ties. “The best thing to do in that case, if he’s not making her happy anymore, and she doesn’t feel loved, would be to get out as soon as she realizes it. It’s hard, but it gets easier.”
Lastly, Courtney mentions that the real star of the Season 18 finale was Chris Harrison. “He definitely earned a dozen roses for maintaining his cool!”
Courtney is currently single, but happily dating in Santa Monica, and looking forward to her book dropping on June 24.