I have never seen a character that polarized the fandom more than Courtney. I checked some website (including Deviant Art) and was surprised at the extreme negativity fans have on Courtney. Hell, there's even a group that's dedicated to be anti-Courtney! For me, I'm neutral on Courtney but I was curious to find reasons for the extreme hatred of Courtney. To do this, I examined how Courtney progressed through each Total Drama season So, here we go!
DISCLAIMER: This is not a rant!
For me, TDI is Courtney's best season. There, I said it. This season shows the good side of Courtney before she gets annoying. It defines Courtney since TDI. I think everyone can agree that at the start of TDI, Courtney is a nice intelligent girl who's willing to help her team at any cost. But as she progress, she knows that intelligence will not help her win, first caused by Eva. In "Unhappy Camper - Part 2", when Courtney pushed the box, she was stung by a bee and complained about it, Eva simply picked Courtney's box and tell her to keep going. While Courtney did say that she's a CIT to Eva, Eva doesn't care. Along with nearly becoming the first contestant to be eliminated (Thank, Ezekiel...), I think Courtney learnt a valuable lesson. No matter how clever or good you are, you must show that you have the ability to win, otherwise you are a nobody. She must accept the realities of TD world that's intelligence is useless. Thus, "Unhappy Campers - Part 2" changes Courtney from then on.
After that, Courtney starts to take control over the Killer Bass. Now this is where the problem starts. Some fans hated her for being too BOSSY, especially with her poor leadership which causes her teammates to not listen to her most of the time. I somehow agree but there's a rebuttal on that argument : BOSSY IS THE PART OF COURTNEY! Remember, Courtney highly regards herself over others, giving her enough reason and confidence to take control over the team, even if the team doesn't like her. But as TDI shows, it doesn't work for her as her team starts to dislike her, even her best friend Bridgette. But, Courtney doesn't care. Instead of accepting her fault, she remains being bossy to her team. She does that in order to look strong and a worthy competitor to others. And before she knows, she has created a new personality, a personality that causes much hatred from fandom.
Being bossy is good for one thing, but it's a problem if you can't display your ability in front of your teams, highlighted in "Phobia Factors". This fully summarizes Courtney - a poor leader who can't display her ability to back herself to others. I actually hoped that Courtney will learn her lessons after elimination and becomes a stronger competitor and more importantly, a better leader. But no. The writer's have to RUIN Courtney which will be explain later.
Courtney's interaction with Duncan is interesting at the very least. Unlike most fans, I don't ship them as I can't see those 2 a good couple. But the writers actually did a good job with those 2 as I eventually like those 2 at the end of TDI. But I'm not gonna talk about that as it has been discussed a LOT in the past.
So now, I go to her elimination. For Courtney's elimination, it fully goes against Courtneys' values. Remember, it is revealed to Courtney and us that Harold tampered with the votes to get his revenge on Duncan. This has a MAJOR effect on Courtney, shown during the Walk of Shame as she doesn't give up. This shows to Courtney that playing nice will not help her win. In order to win, you must deal with the situation in any way you can, even if it means breaking some rules, betraying her friends or other ruthless ways. Courtney went from a nice, intelligent girl to a bossy, aggressive competitor. Nice one, eh?
Fair enough, she shows her ruthlessness in the last episode of TDI, aggressively pursuing the suitcases even if it means the death of Owen (NO!!!), DJ, Cody & Tyler and also betrays Duncan. It's funny that she's at her physical best when she's angry and frustrated, especially when she steals the hot air balloon. But it shows the new Courtney that will later cause more hatred in future season.
Overall: I kinda understand people's main criticism of Courtney that she's a bi#@% as she doesn't care about the other in her team(especially Harold) & too bossy. But I also disagree with it. True, she's bossy but if you look from her perspective, it's understandable. Here's a nice girl who learn the realities of TD the REALLY HARD WAY. If those key events didn't happen (Eva, her failed leadership & her elimination), it will be very different for Courtney.
So in my opinion, yes I understand the main criticism of Courtney but I disagree with most of them as I understand her action from her perspective. At the end, I sympathizes Courtney as she's the victim of TD logic.
Here we go. This is where we see the new Courtney; no longer the nice girl anymore. However, she still cares for some contestants. For example, in the Aftermath I, Courtney initially sides on Gwen in Gwen-Trent debate. But after listening to Trent’s reason for his addiction to number 9, she then sides with Trent. It's a nice touch. Due to her unfair elimination, it’s kinda expected that she will come back for TDA. But how she comes back, we don’t know until “Ocean Eight – Or Nine” as she comes back via lawsuit.
This is where the trouble started. Like I said before, I hope that Courtney actually learned from her mistakes which instead create enemies. But no. The writers have to focus on HER NEGATIVE QUALITIES. She remains bossy, making more enemies than ever. Hell, her team voted her even though Courtney has invisibility. But it shows how dedicated she is to the competition – she’s not here for friends. She’s here to win the competition.
She may be hated but there’s no doubt that Courtney is the best antagonist (villain) in TDA. Another antagonist in TDA is Justin, who *ahem* is the WORST VILLAIN IN ALL OF TD. Anyway, her situation is kinda similar to Heather’s situation in TD. But this time, Courtney has nobody except maybe Duncan to rely on and everyone know and hate her. Despite that, she manages not only to be in the race (with her physical abilities) but also causes contestant to accept her harsh deals, particularly Leshawna’s elimination & forcing contestant to split the prize money 50-50 with Courtney in the spy episode (which contestants reject later). She may be REALLY BOSSY but this is the best of Courtney – a physical intelligent girl with the determination to risk and win. For Justin, however he only eliminated Trent and that’s it. But unfortunately, her strategy is not as good as Heather’s strategy in TDI (and no one will be good as Heather in strategy…)
Most of Courtney’s frustration comes from Lindsay, creating a big rivalry between each other. It makes sense. We have one girl who’s aggressive, smart & determined. Another one is the direct opposite. If there is logic, Courtney will easily beat Lindsay. But I say ‘logic’, a word which doesn’t exist in TD …. For me, I love the rivalry because it’s really funny watching Courtney getting more and more frustrated as Lindsay starts to win by luck (such as the Superhero and Rock Star Challenge). Despite that, I kinda sympathises Courtney as she only knows 1 way to get reward - hard work.
Like I said, people criticise Courtney for being fully ANNOYING and a freakin b#*#& who will never be as good as Heather as an antagonist. For once, I agree with some degree. YES, Courtney’s annoying but then again, nothing’s working for her. I mean, how do you feel when you work so hard but the other one who does nothing but looks at her hair beats you? I will be pissed off but not as much as Courtney though. And YES, Courtney will never be good as Heather as an antagonist. BUT it’s unfair to compare Courtney to Heather as they are both different. You have 1 girl who’s good at manipulating and another one who’s know how to work hard. So, it is quite unfair for Courtney.
Now to her relationship with Duncan. Like I said, Courtney only focuses on winning the competition. For me, this is extremely disappointing for me. Yes, it shows a new Courtney but it stalls the relationship development between Courtney and Duncan. Like I said, I’m not a huge fan of those 2 together in TDI but I do ship them at the end. But here, there’s hardly any development, other than Courtney betraying Duncan a number of time (such as Prehistoric Episode). I remembered watching TDA for the second time (first time was actually my first TD season, not TDA), and at the end of TDA I felt disappointed as Courtney somehow loves Duncan and Duncan loves her too, without any good reason. I hope that Courtney can be an aggressive girl but still have a soft spot for her close friends and boyfriend. But no. The writer wanted to focus on her bossy and aggressive nature instead of her relationship, causing much hatred on Courtney.
Overall: This time, I now understand people’s frustration with Courtney. She remains bossy and a b%#&# throughout the whole competition. I agree with that partially. But you have to look from her perspective and understand why she does what she done. In the end, the new Courtney is good for the competition but not so for the fan.
This is where Courtney begins to fall, as the writers begin to focus more on her relationship with Duncan & her friendship with Gwen as Courtney is slowly coming back to her original state at the start of TDI until the Greek episode when all hell breaks loose. Now, I like how Courtney tried to become friendly but there's a huge problem - Why she is so nice so suddenly? I mean, she is still a bossy, nasty girl after she got eliminated. It will be a lot better if the writers make Courtney actually become a bit nicer and can recognize how her action can hurt her teammate and friends. Then it will make sense for her to be nice in TDWT. Just make slow progression that's all I saying.
Anyway, Courtney's still bossy as ever but at least she recognizes the value of friendship as her friendship with Gwen blossoms, which I love. THIS IS WHAT SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN TDI back in the time. I actually hoped that they will be good friends with each other but then, the writer just thought "Hang on, this is Courtney. WHY HAVE WE MADE HER NICE?" and ruins the whole thing in the Greek Episode.
The Greek Episode is the turning point for Courtney, Gwen & Duncan, but for the wrong reason. First of all, I never understand why Gwen kissed Duncan. Yes, they are both have similar view & interest but I actually prefer them as friend. In concept, those 3 sounds so perfect. But Duncan kiss with Gwen ruins it. When Courtney heard about it, oh boy .. she go back to TDA. This time, she's more bossy and aggressive than ever but not for the competition. No, she want to kill Gwen. I actually understands her frustration of being betrayed by 2 people she knows well but come on, we don't need to hear her frustration ALL THE TIME.
After the Greek episode, Courtney is getting worse than ever. First of all, her interaction with Alejandro is a joke. Clearly, Alejandro is using Courtney to his advantage and SHE DOESN'T KNOW THAT! WHAT? I mean yes, she's very jealous and want to get rid of Duncan and Gwen but I prefer her to do it her way, not Alejandro's way. As the competition progresses, Courtney starts to help Alejandro & give the silent treatment to Duncan. And at the end, she still supports Alejandro. Now this is where my major problem with Courtney starts. HOW THE HELL SHE LET ALEJANDRO MANIPULATES HER? Most girls featured in TDWT such as LeShawna & Bridgette know how manipulative Alejandro is. But Courtney is definitely the last person I think will be manipulate by Alejandro due to her solo run in TDI & TDA. This doesn't make sense.
Overall: This is a entirely different Courtney in TDWT. No longer the aggressive b#%# who cares for herself, now a whinny b#&#. Her personality created in TDA is gone. This is not the Courtney we know back in TDI & TDA. Frankly, I was very unhappy with Courtney until TDAS comes...
Here Here we go again. TDAS - the season which everyone involved in it is ruined in some way or another. But let focus on Courtney's progress in TDAS. As usual, Courtney quickly starts conflict with most of her teammates while bossing them around. That's typical Courtney so far, nothing new. The trouble starts when she start to find an ally and that's Scott. Now, just to be clear, I'm a HEAVY ANTI-SCOTT X COURTNEY fan. For me, the concept behind them is terrible. Why a girl of Courtney type would fall in love with a farm boy? I'm sorry but THAT is the lowest point of Courtney. Along with the relationship, Courtney is still undecided about her friendship with Gwen as Gwen claims that she want them to be friends again. All I can said is it's alright but it isn't developed further to convince me that they are good friends back in TDWT.
Now to the infamous episode "Sundae Muddy Sundae". First issue: How is Courtney so lazy with her chart that Mal manages to get and shows it, making Courtney the most hated contestant? I still have no idea. Then Courtney gets really desperate and ask Gwen to become her friend again & Zoey for an alliance. Is this how desperate Courtney is? I get it but this is not the Courtney I thought of. Basically, that episode just display the opposite of Courtney. If there's one positive, at least Courtney isn't in a relationship with Scott anymore but that's like saying the best thing about driving the worst car ever is you can drive it.
Ovarall: I have no opinion. THIS IS THE WORST SEASON FOR COURTNEY. She is understandable in TDWT but in TDAS, she's the direct opposite to herself! If it wasn't for this darn season, I would actually like her.
P.S I didn't write much on TDAS as I only seen it once. And I prefer it that way.
Courtney is one character that's misunderstood by most fans. She may be annoying in TDI & TDA but is understandable at the same time. She falls out quickly in TDWT and to her lowest point in TDAS. Her inconsistent progression after TDA annoys me too but this time, it doesn't make sense to me. In the end, I think people should appreciate her competitive nature she brings in TDI & TDA. TDWT & TDAS is more about solving the issues Courtney is in which will never end well.