Hear Me Out: I Actually Love Corinne From The Bachelor

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Allow me to indulge in a little hyperbole here. I come to speak on behalf of the most hated woman on television: Corinne Olympios. I speak for Olympios for she has no tongue — metaphorically speaking. She has a tongue, but isn't at liberty to engage with the press too heavily, as The Bachelor is currently in the throes of its 21st season. The 24-year-old Miami native is the official villain of Nick Viall's squadron of potential wives. She preens. She cackles. She says things like "make America Corinne again." We, the viewers, are supposed to hate her as much as the other women on the show, who really seem to despise her.

Reader, I love her. I do not claim to love-hate her in that equivocating way that reality TV viewers sometimes declare affection. Nah, I have real affection for this woman, because I know her.

On the show, Olympios plays royal brat to the mansion's morally righteous queens. She has a nanny and she can't do laundry. I'm not advocating brattiness — I hate it just as much as the next person — but there's a charm in Olympios' unapologetic privilege.

She embodies that proverbial "one friend." You've heard the phrase: "We all have that one friend!" This is the one who speaks to the manager, complains to the waiter, steals your clothing, and admits she didn't read the Jonathan Franzen book you assigned for book club. (To be fair, you probably shouldn't have assigned Freedom in the first place.) She's a pop culture trope. We've met her in Rachel from Friends, London Tipton from The Suite Life, and Natasha Rothwell's prevaricating narcissist on Insecure. ("Do you ever listen to yourself?" Issa asks. "Yeah, I have a podcast," Rothwell's character responds.) While these people may not be morally upright, they sure are entertaining. Maybe we love these characters because they lack pretension or "seem authentic." Or maybe we love them because they say the things we consider to be unutterable.

Corinne Olympios embodies this character on The Bachelor. In last Monday's episode, she was extremely perturbed that she had to shovel poop on a group date. The other contestants happily took to the stables. But I'm with the villain here — can we not handle manure on a date? In an earlier episode, Olympios took a nap instead of attending a rose ceremony, much to the shock of the other women.

"Lincoln took naps," Olympios pointed out in her confessional. Excellent point you've made there. Really, she's the girl who prioritizes "self-care" — a.k.a. Netflix and a face mask — over your birthday dinner. You aren't pleased when she does it, but you totally get it.

There's some debate as to whether or not Olympios is actually so awful. Is she playing a character? Are the producers writing her lines for her? I've argued that the boundary between performance and reality have always been blurred, and that it's likely a bit of both. Olympios is probably a little stuck-up. The producers probably ask her to play it up.

Of course, what is fun in real life is devastating on The Bachelor. On this show, to be flawed at all is to be a threat. There are 30 women — now down to 15 — vying for one man's heart. The competition is cutthroat, and nothing is a laughing matter. The adorable quirks that we find so entertaining in life suddenly become dangerous. So, when Corinne takes a nap, the rest of the contestants see a woman not worthy of wifedom. (Ugh.)

Remove Olympios from her reality show confines, though, and she's an absolute hoot. As a viewer, I exist outside the competition. As such, I think she's a blast, and I would totally ask her to call my cable company for me. You know she's good at negotiating with cable reps.


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