The Bachelor, Ben and Courtney

Nine weeks into The Bachelor and one woman is still a major topic of conversation: Courtney. After three successful fantasy dates, last week's eliminated contestant Kacie returned to warn Ben (again) about the trash-talking, supremely confident model. We chatted with Chris Harrison, who tells us that Courtney continues to dominate the conversation in next week's Women Tell All episode. Plus: What went wrong with Nicki that lead to her exit?

Do you think Nicki was overly confident?
Chris Harrison:
I don't think she was overly confident because you only know your date and your relationship and there's nothing else to compare it to. Only we get the ability to watch Lindzi and watch Courtney and it was just a different level.

The Bachelor's Chris Harrison: I thought Kacie would be in the final two

Where do you think it went wrong with Nicki?
Harrison:
There was nothing wrong with Nicki or their relationship, but you're splitting hairs at this point. Toward the end, you have to ask: Who do I see making a serious run at this with? Right now Lindzi and Courtney fit that bill. It's safe to say Ben's in love with both of these women and it's weird to say that and look at how different they are, but that happens every season. You'd think you'd get to the end of the show with two similar women, but it's rarely the case.

Why does Lindzi get all the adventurous dates?
Harrison: It was just coincidence. I noticed people were picking up on that and I feel bad now that we made Lindzi do all these death-defying stunts.

Did you think Courtney was genuine in her apology to Ben about how she treated the women?
Harrison:
The big question is if anybody is buying it. She's trying to do some serious damage control and fix this and this is something we'll continue to talk about at the Women Tell All. Can she even make this right? And at some point, is it on the viewer or the other girls to not accept an apology and if not, are you not any better than Courtney is? I think she's doing everything she can to fix it, but it's up to Ben and the people watching to see if they buy it, and right now public opinion is still not buying it.

The Bachelor's Chris Harrison: I never would've predicted this negative reaction to Ben

Did Kacie have a chance at all when she returned?
Harrison:
I thought maybe he made a mistake with Kacie, only because I know that one of the reasons he got rid of her was to make it easier on himself, for her family and her. Her dad said if she's not the one, then get rid of her and he came off that hometown date thinking, "It's not going to happen, so I will." To go from, she's a front-runner and saying, "I love this girl" to "I'm getting rid of her" was such a drastic move, and while I understood it, I thought she may end up back in this game. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had taken her back.

It seems almost every season lately someone returns.
Harrison:
Every season you have to see if there is someone who needs that closure and wants to come back. With Kacie, it fit because their goodbye was horrible. She didn't ask anything and you can understand why she wanted that closure. Then, once it was all said and done, she took another parting shot at Courtney.

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How much did her words really weigh on his final decision?
Harrison:
When it was sweet little Kacie who everyone trusted and respected, it hit a little harder for him because her words carried a little more weight. He had justified everything in his mind and it was tenuous at best. Kacie was the straw who broke the camel's back and really sent him into a tailspin. He had it in his mind that it was OK and he was in a decent place, but she absolutely ruined that.

What can you tease about next week's Women Tell All episode?
Harrison: Next week is a lot about Courtney. The women continue with the pack mentality that they're not buying it, so we take some lengths to fix that and try and see if we can resolve it. We also go back over some great characters because you forget that Courtney wasn't that big of a deal for the first half of the show. Blakeley took some more heat, we talk to Jenna, Jennifer, who was a heavy front-runner and then just left, and Jamie, who made her awkward exit more awkward. He also had been waiting to apologize to Casey S. because that had been weighing on him considerably. He felt like he had handled that poorly. The women were definitely harsh on him. They were in a mood and they were feisty and ready to go, so he caught his fair share of flak.

Watch this week's Bachelor: The Morning After