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Olivia from The Bachelor: Villain or Just Confident?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

There’s one handsome man, 28 beautiful women, alcohol and a few crazies… yep, you guessed it, it’s Bachelor time!

Season 20 of the Bachelor with Ben Higgins is now in full swing. While we all pretend to watch it for the show’s epic success rates, (5 couples still together out of 30), we all secretly watch it for the crazies that really make this show what it is: comedic genius.


We’ve had our fair share of nutcases over the past 20 seasons of the show: Ashley Salter from Chris Soules’ season being my personal favorite, with her spacy behaviour and strange way of confusing grapefruits for onions.



And, who could forget Vienna from Jake’s Season or Courtney Robertson from Ben Flajinik’s season, the infamous bad girls? Who doesn’t love when the villain wins, am I right? 


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This season, with Ben Higgins, we were not disappointed. Recently, the much anticipated episode 5 of the new season aired in which we were promised that Ben would start to see Olivia’s true colours. Olivia, a news anchor and journalist, has certainly taken an aggressive approach to winning the heart of adorable Ben H which so far has been working in her favour. First, winning the first impression rose and in a previous week, winning the group date rose as well. All this attention in a house of 28—now ten, of America’s most eligible bachelorettes is a recipe for jealousy when they are all dating the same man…


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On the Bachelor After Show live, however, Chris Harrison was recently joined by Bachelor couple, Molly and Jason Mesnick. Jason, who was a Bachelor from a past season and his wife whom he met on the show, Molly, gave their input on all of the girls and the drama. When asked about Olivia, they said that Olivia reminded them of Courtney Robertson, whom they love, because she is unapologetically confident.





What shocked me most about this comment was that Molly and Jason apparently “love” Courtney, who has been recognized as the most vilified woman on the Bachelor’s history. I always assumed that Courtney was true to her portrayal on the show, pure evil, but the way Molly and Jason talked about her so fondly had me questioning whether I really know the real Courtney. Of course, it is reality television, but there is always a debate with these shows about how real it really is. While the show has sworn that they do not script what happens or hire actors, it has repeatedly been said that with cuts, edits and selectively choosing what clips to show, the Bachelor crew has a lot of control about how each person is perceived by the viewers. Take, for example, Michelle Money, who was the villain from Brad Womack’s second season. Since returning to the show twice more, the camera has shown a different, sweeter side of Michelle who has now become a fan favorite.


So, what’s true? One thing all of the Bachelor “villains” have in common is their confidence. This quality sometimes has a tendency to seem aggressive in a competitive setting especially when comparing them to their more docile cast-mates. Also, women generally love to pick on the confident girl when they are feeling insecure because it’s easy to make ourselves feel better when we tear others down, right? Plus, the show doesn’t want to be seen as being about 28 insecure women; that wouldn’t make a good story. It sounds more binge-worthy when it’s about 27 girls-next-door and one evil maniac. This is why I believe confident women tend to be vilified on reality TV shows, because it makes a better story to make them the villain.

 Now, back to this season of the Bachelor. Episode 5 ended with a “to be continued”, (damn you, Chris Harrison), leaving us wondering whether Ben will see Olivia’s crazy side… whatever that means…




So, is Olivia from this season really a crazy girl on the Bachelor? Or, has her forward, confident approach to dating in the mansion put a target on her back for America to criticize?

While we won’t have our questions answered until the Women Tell All, Ben, who spoke to Ellen Degeneres on her show, referred to Olivia as “intense”—but is intense really a synonym for crazy?


How do you feel about Olivia? Let’s take a poll! Misunderstood or crazy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Carly Grabher is in her fifth year of Creative Writing at The University of Victoria with a minor in Gender Studies. She is the Campus Correspondent of the UVic chapter and has been a contributing writer and editor with Her Campus for four years. In addition to writing articles, Carly formerly danced and worked at Canada's National Ballet School, redesigned the website for The University of Victoria Faculty Association, and worked as the communications and events assistant with UVic's Co-operative Education Program and Career Services.
Elizabeth is an undergraduate psychology student at the University of Victoria. She is a lover of the performing arts, the Avengers, comfort food, and tall tall shoes. Hailing from Ontario, Elizabeth looks forward to soaking up the West Coast sunshine, sipping Flat Whites, and getting to know the Greater Victoria community.