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Bachelorette Season 8

Before Emily Maynard starts her dates this week on ABC’s The Bachelorette, she meets up with friends and family at the park.  It’s very important, apparently, for Emily and ABC to remind us that she’s just an average single mom living in Charlotte.  At the park, the carpool efforts responsible for getting little Ricki to soccer practice are discussed.  The chat is nothing short of fascinating.  Eh, I’m lying.  The entire segment just reminds me how incredibly dull Emily is.

Next, Chris Harrison explains the dating process to the 19 remaining men.  This week, there will be one group date and two one-on-one dates.  There is a rose up for grabs on each date.  Chris leaves the men with the first date card.  Bobble head Chris wants to see his name on that card.  There’s suspenseful music.  The date goes to Runs with Dog Ryan.  The card reads, “Be my King in Queen City.”   Kalon is annoyed.  Chris is disappointed.

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The eighth season of The Bachelorette vows to be unlike any other.  The famewhore making the decisions this season is Emily Maynard.  America’s sweetheart, America’s famewhore, same difference.  You probably remember Emily from Brad Womack’s second season.  Brad’s the frequent-flyer bachelor who handed out roses in both seasons 11 and 15 of The Bachelor.  His second attempt at true love ended with him proposing to Emily.  Emily accepted Brad’s proposal, but her ridiculously high expectations and naiveté quickly wilted the relationship.

Emily is a single mom.  And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but she was engaged once before Brad.  She was engaged to Ricky Hendrick, of NASCAR fame, in 2004.  Sadly, on a rainy Sunday afternoon in October of the same year, Ricky boarded a plane sans an ill-feeling Emily.  The plane crashed, leaving behind a pregnant Emily.  Now, Emily is a single mom looking for true love on The Bachelorette.  Even though it didn’t work for her the first time around, she “knows the series works.”  Because, you know, that 17% success rate is a great testament of the true love that comes from appearing on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.  I’m obviously grading on a curve, here.  I’m including Trista Sutter, Jason Mesnick, by way of U-turn, Ashley Hebert, and Ben Flajnik, who is still collecting money on the deal.

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With the Bachelorette premiering in less than a week, everyone (that may be a stretch), including me, is wondering what to expect from mild-mannered single mom Emily Maynard.  She infamously turned down being the Bachelorette (much to Bentley Williams’ chagrin) after first being approached, explaining she wanted to live out of the limelight with young daughter Ricki.  However, the rose veteran and former “winner” of Brad Womack’s (second) season, has since done a one-eighty, agreeing to let twenty-five cheesy eligible bachelors vie for her hand in marriage on the show’s eighth season.

Realitytvworld.com has the skinny on her latest print interview in the upcoming PEOPLE magazine.  Emily talks of finding love, little Ricki, and those ever-present hot tub scenes the ABC franchise loves to exploit.

The newest Bachelorette tells the magazine, “I don’t want to be kissing every guy. I want to still be a lady. I’m a mom first,” adding, “I’m hoping the hot tubs have been completely phased out.”

PHOTOS – SEE EMILY’S 25 BACHELORS!

Emily also doesn’t want date time to ever interfere with daughter time.  While Ricki has been traveling with mom throughout the season, she has spent a lot of time hanging out with her grandparents and a nanny, and, according to Emily, loving every minute of it.  Emily reveals, “[The show] has been so good at making sure there’s time scheduled for the two of us.”

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In what has been described as somewhat of a dark season, all thanks to the black widow Courtney Robertson, the Bachelor season 16 ended last night with an engagement!

Yes Ben Flajnik, 29, did indeed propose to Courtney, 28, as expected, and much to the dismay of may fans. In fact, Courtney found herself on the receiving end of some boos when she took the stage for the After The Final Rose special.

So what’s the latest with the couple? Well, it appears they are still together for the time being, and trying to make things work. The engaged couple was brutally honest during the March 3 taping of the ATFR, during which Ben revealed that he did dump Courtney in early February over not being able to deal with the backlash.

There were times “I didn’t leave the house, I just laid there and I cried,” revealed a somber Courtney over being dumped, adding that trust is very important to her.

Ben, who vehemently swore on his father’s grave and denied cheating — despite the photos and reports that say other wise — then apologized to Courtney and vowed to be there for her through thick and thin. “It hasn’t been an easy ride,” Ben said. “I want to apologize to her, in front of everyone, for not standing by you throughout this entire journey…I messed up in that regard, as an engaged couple and as the man, I feel I should have stayed with you the entire way instead of taking steps back and taking time apart.”

The apology seemed to work as Courtney added, “I know how I feel about him, and that I love him. I’m not ready to just turn my back on him. So…I’m willing to try.”

Ben and Courtney are expected to grace tomorrow’s over of PEOPLE magazine. I must say, I actually found myself feeling bad for Courtney last night. I know she was this awful villain, but she does seem to truly love Ben, plus Ben chose her despite all the warnings from others, and should have therefore stuck by her through the hard times. I can’t imagine the two would ever be able to build complete trust again, especially in light of the cheating scandal.

Moving on to the forgotten runner up, Lindzi Cox, who managed to keep her dignity intact when she told Ben to call her in case things didn’t work with Courtney.

Appearing on Good Morning America today, Lindzi seemed to be in a much happier place, even wishing Courtney and Ben the best. “At the end of the day, yeah maybe it was tough for a little bit, but he made a decision, it was what’s best for him, and I respect that,” said Lindzi, 27. “I wish him nothing but the best.”

As for why she failed to appear on the AFTR special, Lindzi stated that Ben and Courtney simply had more important issues to hash out than her need for closure. “Ben and Courtney came out and it was a pretty emotional go they had. I think it was tough for them. I’m in a good place. I don’t really need my closure,” Cox said. “I think Ben has bigger things to worry about, so we just decided that I’d play another day.”

Meanwhile, ABC announced that a new season of the Bachelor Pad is under way. Even better, similar to the past MTV Read World/Road Rules challenges, the network will now allow fans to try out for the series!

A slot is being kept open for one fan on the series to compete for the $250,000 prize! Those with the “charm, wit and personality to find love or money” on Bachelor Pad 3 can apply by clicking here.

And finally, Emily Maynard’s season of the Bachelorette is also coming soon! ABC revealed the new season will debut on Monday, May 14. Filming is reportedly slated to begin on Wednesday in North Carolina.

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TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE BACHELOR FINALE? DO BEN & COURTNEY STAND A CHANCE? DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR COURTNEY OR BEN? WILL YOU BE TRYING OUT FOR THE BACHELOR PAD 3?

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