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3 YEARS

'The Bachelor': How to Respond to Courtney Robertson Haters

The L.A. model might have Ben Flajnik in her corner (at least on TV), but she's certainly the most-hated villain in the ABC franchise's history. Let's play Devil's advocate: what are the potential final-rose winner's redeeming values?

The Bachelor EP 1608 Ben Courtney at Alter - H 2012
Ralph Fresco/ABC

Each season of The Bachelor brings a mixed bag of contestants vying for that final rose: there are the fan favorites (usually of the Girl Next Door variety); the emotionally fragile reality-TV neophytes who constantly break down on camera (that's most of them); and, last but not least, the villains.

ABC's super-provocative, highly-addictive romance franchise loves a good villain: during Ashley Hebert's 2011 run as The Bachelorette, the perky dentist fell head over heels early on for single dad Bentley Williams, a nefarious, two-faced playboy who would flirt heavily with Hebert and then say vile things behind her back. Sample quote: "I'd literally rather be swimming in pee than trying to plan a wedding with her."

Courtney Robertson, a C-list model and first-rate underminer with verbal jabs as sharp as her collarbone, knows how to twist the knife, Bentley-style. In the current Bachelor season, she's shown split personalities toward Ben Flajnik, with whom she's sweet and funny and free-spirited, and the rest of the girls in the house, for whom she reserved her most venomous comments. The strategy has worked in her favor: the competition is now down to Robertson, 28, and Lindzi Cox, a 27-year-old ray of sunshine with a laid-back, outdoorsy vibe.

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(On-camera evidence of Robertson's bad behavior toward her housemates: calling Blakely Shea a "stripper" and mocking Emily O'Brien's side ponytail as "winning!" Off camera, she allegedly nicknamed Shea "horsey," among other insults.)

Clearly, Robertson lacks any redeemable qualities other than "I am a model." As booted contesant Monica Spannbauer noted on Monday night's Women Tell All special: "She's a liar, vapid, manipulative, not nice and hurtful." Robertson later came out and apologized to the women, genuine-seeming tears streaming down her face.

Good looks cannot mask an ugly personality -- but the dichotomy makes for undeniable TV charisma, higher ratings and fun watercooler conversation. Let's be honest: we love to hate Robertson, the Bachelor version of Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls.

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Surely she must have some closet fans out there who ...  like her? Perhaps find her acid-laced bon mots somewhat amusing, aka not-boring? If you happen to be in the .001 percent of viewers who admire Robertson's Survivor-esque tactics toward winning Flajnik's heart, as well as her flair for drawing attention to herself (thereby rendering the ladies of the house invisible), then here are some ways to respond when people inevitably say: "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!"

Hater comment: "Courtney is pathologically mean. Evil, perhaps."

Suggested response: "Oh, you love it. The show is more fun to watch because she is so heinous, like Alpha schemers Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl or Kristin Cavallari on the first season of Laguna Beach. No! She's like the Honey Badger. She just takes what she wants."

Hater comment: "She's not in love with Ben. She's just in it to win it."

Suggested response: "Have you forgotten that this is a reality TV show? Given the fame-grubbing pattern of reality stars, and their questionable sincerity at attaining instant love, Courtney was not the sole aspiring Mrs. Flajnik to seek the spotlight. Everyone wanted to win it. Or be the next Bachelorette in case they didn't."

Hater comment: "She's too sexually aggressive, with the skinny-dipping and the going-topless-in-the-Amazon."

Suggested response: "Who are you, Rush Limbaugh?"

Indeed: while we personally endorse modest, play-nice tactics in this game called The Bachelor, there's no doubt that Robertson, aka "The Black Widow," has upped the ante for the next crop of contestants (and future villains) to drop the cloying sorority girl act, seize a leading role and get noticed by the one person who counts in the competition: the guy.

All's fair in reality-TV love and The Bachelor, right?