The Bachelor season 16 “winner” joined Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast to recap week 5 of Charity Lawson’s Bachelorette journey, revealing that she reached out to eliminated contestant Brayden Bowers after his weeks-long stint as the villain.
“People were comparing Brayden to [Chad Johnson from JoJo Fletcher’s season] and I just don’t see that. I think Chad — obviously stuff happened after his season — but I think that he was naive to the show and the process too,” Courtney told Us. “[As for] how villains have evolved — I think it’s kind of like the show writes itself. The guys clearly had a huge problem with Brayden and you can’t change that narrative once it starts.”
Courtney — who was famous for being a “villain” who also received the final rose when she accepted a proposal from Ben Flajnik in 2012 — recalled her costars targeting her at the time.
“With me, from night one, as soon as I said I’m a model, it was like daggers,” she said. “They didn’t like me — and I’m not blaming just that because I did say a lot of sassy things — but with Brayden, they clearly all had an issue with him and I didn’t really think he was doing anything that bad, personally, having been through it.”
Brayden was under fire for openly expressing doubts about the process of The Bachelorette, something he admitted to Charity. From Courtney’s perspective, the season 27 lead “felt a little rejected” by Brayden.
“[His initial exit] seemed totally reasonable to me. The guys all, you know, clearly had a real problem with him — especially Aaron B. [But] what [Aaron B.] was telling Charity, like, Brayden was telling her. So it wasn’t like, ‘Oh he’s this totally different person.’ So I think that kind of fell flat,” Courtney continued, later saying that Aaron B. “whined” too much. “But as far as other villains, I think I see people going on these seasons wanting to be the villain or kind of playing that up. And I feel so badly for them because I didn’t go into it being like, ‘I’m gonna be the villain,’ and then the backlash and the comments now — if it were this day and age and I was the villain, it would be a lot harder for me for sure.”
In addition to rooting for Brayden to get a spot on Bachelor in Paradise — and to join Courtney on her recently relaunched “After Reality” podcast, which has featured guests including Shawn Booth and DeAnna Pappas — Courtney hopes Charity finds happily ever after with Dotun Olubeko and Joey Graziade is the new Bachelor.
For a complete recap of week 5 of Charity’s journey — and updates from Courtney on her life with husband Humberto Preciado and their two kids — listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.