When Matt Nordgren and Courtney Kerr sat down with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live after the Most Eligible Dallas finale, they had their stories straight. They were not and never had been “dating.” They were best friends who had kissed (in a hot tub with TV cameras aimed at them). They were still best friends (who did not confirm or deny that they were now in the practice of kissing in or out of hot tubs). But, were they being honest? Were they telling the truth about their relationship? I don’t think so.
First of all, there’s the body language and the way they treat each other. On Watch What Happens Live and on Most Eligible Dallas, Matt and Courtney did (almost) everything that goes along with being a couple. The easy way they sit together, look at each other, and almost finish each others sentences scream “couple.”
They presented a united front against all of Andy’s efforts to get them to speak frankly about their obvious romantic energy. No probing question, no fancy cocktail, and no Andy Cohen joy contagion could break through their facade. They had their story, they’d stuck with it through a season of Most Eligible Dallas, and they weren’t about to let it go now.
Given the timeline of the filming of the show and its airing, Matt and Courtney have been playing these roles for a long time, now. Given how obviously contrived MED‘s plot lines were and how vigorously Bravo publicized the Courtney/Matt/Neill love triangle, it seems pretty clear that they took them on self-consciously.
Matt was the eligible bachelor who thought he loved playing the field, but was really in love with his best friend.
Courtney was the best friend who loved Matt and was patient and wily enough to live through him sowing his wild oats.
Neill was the new girl in town who had the looks and charm to interrupt Courtney’s long-range plan, if she couldn’t get Matt’s attention back quickly enough.
In fact, the only time the show didn’t seem completely cooked was when Courtney thought Neill was upstaging her. In those monologues, it isn’t clear whether Courtney is more upset about Matt spending time with Neill or about Neill’s prominence on Most Eligible Dallas morphing into the lead and pushing Courtney down into a supporting role. “Art” (and it pains me to even use that word in the same paragraph with MED) was life for Courtney. As little reality as there was in the show, there was no gap between the show and her reality.
And this leads me to what really convinces me that Matt and Courtney were lying to Andy (and to us). I have three theories:
Theory #1: They’re lying to themselves. This is the story their friends on the show seem sincerely to believe. I find it plausible. Maybe Matt, like Glenn Pakulak, just can’t commit. Glenn clearly loves his ex-girlfriend and is still paralyzed by the thought of making a commitment to her. Maybe Matt is, too. Maybe having all the money and power that these men have makes it even harder for them to give themselves to another person than it is for the rest of us poor slobs (and it ain’t all that easy for us). Maybe feeling like you own the world makes it even harder to give up your idea of freedom.
Theory #2: Matt has redefined all the words in the English language that have anything to do with dating, love, and commitment. Remember all Matt’s “dating” scenes from early in the season? According to Matt, none of them were dates. When he took 5 women out to dinner? Not a date. When he met a beautiful woman for lunch (because “no work day is too busy not to include time with a beautiful woman”)? That wasn’t a date, either. Even the night that he took Neill out and then got mad because she was spending time with Glenn wasn’t a “date.” Sitting by a fire roasting marshmallows with Courtney after horseback riding and before sipping champagne in a hot tub isn’t a date either. And, whatever he’s up to recently with Taylor Armstrong certainly isn’t “dating.” (What in the world does he think a date is?)
So, according to Theory #2, Matt and Courtney are not dating because Matt doesn’t date. (Maybe no one does, when you get right down to it.) He already told Courtney (and us) on the final episode of MED that they’d probably go straight from being friends (who kiss in hot tubs) to being engaged without ever dating. If that’s not a clue, then I don’t know what is. That’s a sad state of affairs, too. But #1 and #2 are actually my happy theories. The third possibility is even more twisted.
Theory #3: Maybe Matt and Courtney are playing a big game with us and with themselves. If I’m honest, this is the explanation that makes most sense to me.
Every time Matt makes a boneheaded move (like inviting 8 other girls out to a date that he’s also invited Courtney on), he seems to look over at Courtney to see how she’ll react. Every time Andy Cohen or anyone else asks Courtney about Matt, Matt’s eyes get big and he waits to see what she’ll say. “Will she stand by me?” his eyes seem to say. “Or, are we still in this together?” And, every time, Courtney comes through. She dismisses every accusation and refuses to admit to being hurt or offended. Every time they talk on the phone late at night, they both let out a big sigh of relief. “The game’s still on,” they seem to say.
I honestly don’t know whether they know it or not, and that’s a crazy state of affairs, but I’m pretty sure that Matt Nordgren and Courtney Kerr “lied” to Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. Not only are they perfectly suited for each other and thoroughly in love, I think they’re engaged. When Matt told Courtney in the hot tub that they’d probably get engaged without ever dating and she didn’t blink, he was actually proposing. When Courtney didn’t say he was a crazy/wrong/cowardly/inconsiderate idiot, she accepted. That’s Courtey/Matt’s crazy language; their crazy game. That’s Courtney saying, “go ahead baby.
Date hang out with whoever you like. I’ll be right here. You’re my man, and I’m a Texas woman. I stand by my man. Because, after all, he’s just a man.