Love Island's Courtney Dishes About Chad, Self-Love, And More - Exclusive Interview

Take a moment and think about the stereotypical tropes that have plagued reality dating shows season after season. There's always the virgin, the villain, the frontrunner, and the underdog — fun personalities and little blips of drama are always thrown in there too. With time, shows that followed such a strict format tended to become predictable, almost as if a script was being referenced at every supposed twist or turn. 

It's not surprising that reality TV fans have flocked to the newly-formatted dating shows that are dropping on streaming service after streaming service. Take "Love Is Blind," for instance – a dating show solely based on emotional connection, with your fiancé revealed to you in person for the first time after the question has been popped. What about "The Ultimatum" — a truly bonkers but highly entertaining dating experiment that had established couples switch partners, some choosing to rekindle their original love, others leaving their years-long connections in the past?

What viewers are really yearning for, these days, is authenticity – perhaps no show on television is better than bringing full, unapologetic people to the screen than "Love Island." As Season 4 has progressed, viewers have fallen in love with the various Islanders who have called the Santa Barbara Villa home. Among them was Courtney Boerner, a 24 year old stylist from Los Angeles who was hoping to find her perfect someone. 

Courtney's time on the show came to a close, with the beauty leaving as a single lady, but she was not one to be discouraged. Sitting down with us exclusively after leaving the island, Courtney dished about her connection with Chad Robinson, how she discovered her self-worth, and more.

Courtney knew her time with Chad was coming to an end

Chad [Robinson] decided to dump you from the island. Everyone was not expecting it. Mackenzie [Dipman's] arrival shook things up. Take me back to that moment and what you were thinking, as your time on the show came to an end.

I was thinking that it really was my time to go. I was actually thinking of volunteering to leave the island before that elimination, because I could tell my person wasn't in there, as you guys saw. It got really exhausting, having to continuously validate my worth to someone. I knew my time was coming to an end. I was like, "This is not me. I want to end on a high note." You could tell it was my time to go.

That sentiment of not having to work so hard to prove your worth is something that so many young women can relate to.

I understand the whole point of the game. You get to know people and you click or you don't, but I felt as though I was being strung along, when I know who I am and what I have to bring to the table.

It's not an ego thing. That was difficult for me. It was knowing my value as a human.

Joel [Bierwert] ended up picking Phoebe [Siegel] and Chad said that he picked Mackenzie, since she had just gotten there. Fans were really quick to point out that Chad wouldn't be in the Villa without you. How do you feel about that?

Honestly, that was a load of bulls***, because Chad didn't pick McKenzie because I broke up with him, the day of the night of the recoupling. It wasn't aired because they wanted the suspense of him deciding. To air me dumping him — he is not going to pick me. I pulled him in for a chat. It was my last chat of the day, before we started getting ready for the nighttime. 

I was like, "How's your time with McKenzie?" We agreed to be open, earlier, as you guys saw in the tree house. He was like, "Yeah, she's cool." I was like, "Okay, I think we should end this. I'm exhausted from this. It's not me to have to constantly value my worth to someone, so you guys have fun with that," I basically said. He was like, "No, I still want to stay open though," and I was like, "No, I'm done. I'm sorry. This is not me anymore. It's time to move on." I figured it was my time to go, after that.

Courtney and Chad were at two different places in their lives

You confided in Zeta [Morrison] and Nadjha [Day] that your relationship with him or the connection felt forced. Would you say it was about the two of you that simply [weren't] compatible, something that we maybe didn't see on screen?

It was that I was hoping we had a connection. I was looking at everything half full, instead of half empty. At the end of the day, we really didn't have a ton in common. He's a really good conversationalist and we had really deep, nice conversations, but [our] life experience and points of views, on the world, were different. We did connect for sure. I don't think we had a lot of common interests. I thought we did, but I was being hopeful.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there must be a part of your brain that's asking, "Is this going to work, outside of the Villa?" If you don't have a ton in common, then it's hard to move forward with that.

Seeing how he moved through the Villa — because I gave him a ton of space to explore Kat and to explore Phoebe too — I sat back. I was like, "Go ahead, figure out if you have a bigger, stronger connection with them, because that's only fair to you and to me, if you are more compatible with someone else."

I sat back and let him do his thing. After he had two or three conversations with Phoebe, I was like, "What do you want to do? I need to know what we're doing."

I need to know what I'm doing, and he was basically telling me what I wanted to hear, because he was telling me he would be exclusive with me and then he wasn't. It was a lot of playing with me, and I feel our vibes are really different. I'm very up front, very honest, very genuine. Everything I'm doing, you'll know about it. The people affected will know about it. I'm very respectful with the way I move and I feel as though that wasn't really how he moved through the Villa, overall.

Courtney was genuinely looking for a love connection in the villa

Moving on from him, because we don't have to chat about him forever, I know you were hoping to explore things with Joel and ultimately, he picked Phoebe. In retrospect, are you glad that things didn't pan out with him, or are you hoping to reconnect, once "Love Island" comes to a close?

Honestly, everything worked out how it was supposed to. We had only two chats and even though he's really sexy, I feel the mental connection wasn't there. There wasn't really a spark.

We did have a lot in common, but there wasn't that spark. I am glad it worked out the way it did, because it really was my time to go. I was tired of dealing with all of the harder things that came with being in the Villa. I had a really fun time and everything, but I was getting drained toward the end, energy wise.

Your path crossed with Andy [Voyen] and then, Felipe [Gomes] and Bryce [Fins], their time all came to a close before yours did. What was it that you were looking for, in your "Love Island" experience, that had you bouncing from different connections?

I was looking for someone who was genuine and just doing them. We're all chosen to participate in a game, at the end of the day, but I was there to find an actual connection. I was trying to find someone, who was there for the same reasons, who didn't care about staying in or getting eliminated, who really wanted to find their person there. I knew what I was looking for. Whenever I felt uncomfortable or saw flags in people, it wasn't what I wanted and I'm not willing to settle anymore. I'm at a point in my life where I've settled a lot in the past and I'm not willing to do it anymore.

As I said earlier, that's such a sentiment that so many of us can relate to, while watching. I know you were really quick to demand justice for Courtney, but it's so true. I've settled, girlfriends of mine have settled. We've all settled and it's not worth it anymore, to lower the standard so much.

I agree for sure. We'll never get the time back that we spend in a day and I might as well spend it with someone who's worth it than someone who isn't. I'm not saying the people that I was coupled with weren't worth my time. I have a lot of love for all of them. It's not specifically what I was looking for.

The female friendships Courtney gained were more impactful

Do you have any regrets from your time on the show? Do you think viewers got to see you in an authentic light?

I have no regrets from my time on the show. I do feel the viewers got to see me in an authentic light. I was doing me, every day — no game plan, no agenda, besides finding my connection. I have no regrets and I'm really happy to have all my new girlfriends. I'm waiting for them, rooting for them. I can't wait to see them again.

Female friendship is the best thing. It's such a great byproduct of being on "Love Island."

I felt a stronger connection with the girls than I did with most of the guys.

I believe it. Honestly, it's a great group of ladies, so I'm not surprised.

They're all bad b***hes. I love them so much.

Viewers were quick to go on social media, after your exit. "Justice for Courtney. Chad, why'd you send her home?" What's your response to now having this public platform and so many people in your corner?

Wow, I am so humbled by all the love that everyone has shown me and really thankful. I love all of the people who support me so much and the people who really understand my mindset, because I know a lot of people don't understand, the way I moved through the Villa too, but I wasn't willing to settle. I know the people support me all saw that. I'm really thankful for people supporting me, having a head on my shoulders, knowing what I want at the end of the day. I feel like it's so important.

I love everyone so much, too. I'm really thankful.

"Love Island" USA Season 4 drops new episodes Tuesdays through Sundays on NBC's Peacock, with recap episodes releasing on Saturdays.

This interview was edited for clarity.