Chris Harrison Talks Explosive Drama & More on ABC's THE BACHELORETTE
The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison spoke with BWW and other members of the media this week to give his take on this season of the ABC reality dating show and offered the lowdown on the men, Andi and the explosive drama and emotional surprises still to come!
I was just wondering if there was any discussion about how to handle Eric's last episode, or if it was immediately clear that you wanted to dedicate the end of that episode to him.
No. I mean nothing's been abundantly clear throughout this entire situation, and you know, the tragedy with his death. You know, we have really been kind of playing it - you know, as we've gone and have made a lot of just game time decisions, and with respect to how we feel, and how everybody feels at the time, and what we feel is right.
You know, the first and foremost decisions was, you know, were we going to show him at all, what would we do with the entire show? And you know, that decision was made pretty early on, obviously, to show, you know, his scene throughout, leading up until last night, when he said good-bye.
And you know, originally even we had the episode 4, which you saw last night, just regular with the rose ceremony cut, and the cocktail party as usual. And then we all sat down and watched it, and it just didn't feel right whatsoever, and it seemed inappropriate, and a little insensitive.
And so you know, we adjusted according to just how the mood in the room, from all of us watching it. So again, that's kind of how this has gone, of just kind of carefully and respectfully wading through this, trying to do the right thing.
You've done such a great job over the years of giving the bachelors and the bachelorettes advice on how to handle being the bachelor and the bachelorette, and I was wondering if you had any advice about dating after divorce.
Well, it depends on the situation, you know. God, there are divorces and break-ups and, you know, that stuff is so, you know - varies so much, and you know, whether you have kids, whether you - whether it was contentious or amicable.
And so you know, I think for - you know, if it's a broad brush, you know, a thought, it would be just to figure out where you are in your life, no matter what that is, good, bad, or indifferent, you know, figure out, you know, where you are, get yourself settled, and get yourself right and happy, and - before you do anything, before you bring anybody else into any relationship.
So the argument that went down between Eric and Andi last week was confusing for viewers, because I think even Eric was confused about what was happening. I think there was a big misunderstanding.
And the more Eric tried to explain himself, it just seemed like Andi was getting increasingly upset. Would you mind sharing how you interpreted that conversation? What do you think Eric was trying to say? How did you view their exchange?
I feel like Eric stepped into something that every guy who's ever dated, ever, has stepped in before. It was wrong place, wrong time, and wrong sentiment. You know, one thing that happened throughout, you know, this show, no matter who you are, any bachelor or bachelorette, you get to kind of a low point.
Or just, you know - and Andi was kind of at that emotional point in episode 4, where she was tired, you know, the show had kind of taken its toll a little bit, so I think she was emotionally on edge, and you know, the guys had been really bro-ing it up, so to speak, and she was a little bit, I think, annoyed with that.
And so when Eric came in and said what he did, which was - which wasn't horrible, like I think any other day, maybe in another situation, it wouldn't have been nearly that big of a deal, but I think Andi was just emotionally done.
And for him to come in and say that essentially - you know, the way she read it was you're fake, or you're, you know, putting on a poker face. And I think what, you know, his sentiment was, we - you know, we are in the position to give, we have to give, you are in the position where you're not allowed to, so if anybody's kind of withholding, I feel it's really on your part.
And so, you know, he made a salient point, and I think he probably didn't articulate it the best he could have, and she - I don't think she was in the right frame of mind to take that anyway. So it was an interesting confrontation and argument, because they're two very smart people.
And I think they both realized, you know - at the end, you saw the way they kind of laughed and hugged it out, and went their separate ways. I think it was one of those deals where they went past the point of no return, and they kind of had to go their separate ways, and they knew it wasn't going to happen between them anyway, but I think they realized it wasn't that big of a deal.
So can you explain a little bit of what's going on that made Andi so tired? Are the days really long and endless? What's going on that she's so exhausted?
Yes, I mean it is a brutal schedule. You know, it's - obviously it's something that when you see who the Bachelor/Bachelorette is, you think oh my gosh, they get to travel the world, and they get to date 25 people.
And while that is a grand, amazing thing, it is a hard - and I feel silly saying this, because I mean look, we're not digging ditches, we're not saving the world, so you know, we have to take this with a grain of salt, but with that said, you know, it is a - it's a difficult schedule to keep.
I mean we are up, you know, all hours of the night, and traveling, you know, planes, trains and automobiles, all hours of the night, and when we get there, we hit the ground running. And it's like that for our crew, it's like that for the Bachelorette.
And when you take that schedule, and on top of that you're going through something as emotional as, you know, looking for hopefully the love of your life, and you know, dating, and how emotional that is anyway, it's tough, and you kind of have to assimilate to that, and get used to it.
And so there's always kind of that point where you're just done, and you're tired, and you know, she's human. And so I think she had - kind of had one of those moments during the Connecticut week.
But I think it's part of the show that people don't really, you know - obviously we don't really talk about it too much, but yes, I mean it's a brutal schedule.
Can you say whether we'll see drama that's beyond even this to come, or was this really the most drama? Did you all recover from this episode?
Well the interesting thing, and this is what, you know - I kind of spoke about this in my blog, that you know, people have to understand that in our world, this hasn't happened yet. You know, what we showed last night was shot in retrospect because of, you know, Eric's death. But in actuality, you know, on the show, it doesn't happen for a few more weeks ...
... when we are on home - when we are on hometown dates. And actually it was - Andi was returning from her final hometown date. So one of the - you know, I think one of the difficult things for people watching the show, they're going to see next week's episode.
And I tried to warn this in my blog, was you know, when everybody seems like they're just fancy, and you know, kind of carefree, and acting like nothing happened, well it hasn't happened yet in our lives, and it doesn't happen for a few more weeks.
And so, you know, they're not sad about Eric, they're not even talking about Eric, where you know, in a few weeks, we will have to deal with it all over again when it actually happened to us.
I had a question about how Andi learned about Eric's death. Did you film that? And if so, will we be seeing that on this season?
The answer is I'm not sure yet. I'm not sure what we will see, and what - and how we will officially deal with it. Again, and I say that honestly, because you know, even what you saw last night was shot, you know, just a few weeks ago.
Because we weren't - that wasn't our initial plan, was to just show the episode. We weren't sure how we would be affected by it. And once we realized we didn't like how it ended, and we thought it was a little disrespectful and callous, then we went back and changed it.
And so to answer your question is, we're not 100 percent sure. We're going to - we're going to feel this out as we kind of have this entire time, and just try and do what we feel is right and respectful. And we shot several things as it happened, just to have it.
Because you know, once you kind of - once you move past that, you can't go back and re-shoot those types of things, and you can't re-shoot that moment. And so we shot things and captured it, not knowing what and if we would use anything. And so you know, I'm really not sure.
We haven't gotten to that final cut, and we kind of wanted to gauge everybody's feelings as we move further away from it and get into the show. So we'll see in a few weeks, you know, how we end up editing the show together.
But I imagine - but I guess to go further, we will - we will have to deal with it in some way, because it affected Andi, and it affected the guys that are left on the show, and our - and our - and all of us. And so it's something that you can't just brush by and ignore, because it had such an effect on everybody.
I think it would be confusing, you know, why is she sad?, or why the guys are saying what they're saying?, if you - if there's nothing to relate back to, you know, what's bringing on that emotion. So obviously we're going to have to deal with it in some way. We know that, we're just not sure to what extent, or how
Eric kept repeating that he saw two sides of Andi, and as we just talked about previously, he was kind of describing the less flattering side as acting or a poker face.
So just your perspective on this, do you think Andi stayed the same person throughout the whole process, or do you think she struggled to be herself, all the while being on camera? I can imagine that being difficult for anyone to adjust to.
No, I thought - I mean in my opinion - I wasn't dating her, but in my opinion, you know, watching all of these Bachelors and Bachelorettes go through this, I thought she was stunningly good, and stunningly centered, and very real to herself, and honest.
I think, again, not to put words or thoughts in Eric's mouth or mind, you know, because I don't know exactly what he was thinking, but from what I could gather, from watching the interaction between them, I think what he felt was, you know - I think she had said something about - something to the effect that he wasn't opening up, and I think he really felt like he was.
I mean the story about Syria, the story about his travels, and his religion, and all that, I think he felt like wow, I am opening up to you. And I think his thing was the show - you know, the Bachelor and Bachelorette can't fully say everything on their mind, because that's part of it, is, you know, they're dating, you know, every guy that's there, whether it's 25 at the beginning, or whatever number we're on.
And so I think his thing was I am fully opening up, and I understand you can't, but you know, don't - you know, don't get on us, you know, when it's you that really is the one that can't open up in this process. But I don't know, I think she took it harder than he even meant. I don't think he thought she was fake, at least that's not the impression I got.
In your blog earlier this week, you commented on Josh saying "I'm a grown-ass man", and noted that in your experience, "if a guy tells people he's a grown-ass man, well, dot-dot-dot." You left your opinion on that unsaid, which left readers speculating a little bit whether you were taking a shot at Josh or not, so I just want to give you a chance to clarify.
Yes and no, I'm taking a shot at Josh, it just cracks me up. There's something about that line in particular, that - and I don't ever hear it in my real life, like I've never heard anyone in an argument say, "I'm a grown-ass man."
But I hear it on the show quite a bit. So I don't know, maybe it's a generational thing. It may be this generation, that's like a saying or something, I don't know. But I heard it, and I want to say it was Chris Bukowski actually, I was trying to think who else said it, but I've heard it several times on our show.
And something about that just, I don't know, it rubs me the wrong way, like I don't know, it's something - it's like someone who has to announce that they're funny. Like well if you're telling me you're funny, or you have to tell me you're smart, you know, then that's usually not the case.
But no, I wasn't necessarily taking a swipe at Josh. He's a sweet guy, he's a good guy, but it just cracks me up when guys in a argument have to announce that they're a grown-ass man. First of all, I'm not really sure what the hell that means, but even when they say it, it just, I don't know, it cracks me up and rubs me the wrong way. So it was just something that stood out to me in my blog.
So we've seen Andi gushing a lot about how hot every guy is, almost, this season. Have the episodes just been edited that way, or do you think Andi's been a little more focused on looks than prior Bachelorettes?
You feel like she's talked a lot more about looks?
Yes, like she's always like, this guy is so hot, or what he did was so sexy. It just seems like that comes up a lot more than in previous seasons.
I don't know. That's a good question. I guess I really haven't noticed, but I know she's, like, super attracted to a lot of these guys. You know, a couple guys that come to mind are Marcus and Nick, I know she finds extremely attractive.
And yes, I think she's just more - I feel like she's very open, and honest, and I don't know if it's more so than other Bachelorettes, but I feel like I really knew where she stood the entire time. She - to me - which was kind of interesting about the whole, you know, Eric situation, and that argument.
Because you know, I feel like she's a very easy person to read and understand, and it's made my job very easy doing this with her. And so I don't know, I kind of found it endearing that I always knew where she stood on everybody. But yes, she has been very open about that.
And Nick's dating approach seems to be kind of more old-school, you know, he wants to make his dating experience with Andi natural, sending her flowers and whatnot. I've noticed he's the oldest guy left in the cast.
So do you think his approach might be an indication he's more mature than the other guys? And why do you think we've never seen a guy send flowers to a Bachelorette before? Was it just logistically difficult to pull off or something?
No. You know, it's stunning to me, and like, this is something - it was really funny, I wish people could have a camera on us in the control room. Because when the flowers arrived, you know, our female producers turned around and were like, really? This is the first time a guy has actually thought I'm going to send flowers?
And we thought back, and it is. It's hard to believe it, nobody has said I'm going to send her flowers after our date. Like what a simple, like, classic gesture, but - and you're right, it says a lot about Nick, and the kind of guy he is.
And he really is trying to make this supernatural experience as natural as possible, and try and take her out of those elements as much as he can, and send flowers, and just take time, and try and do the little, simple things, and I think it makes him feel better.
And definitely, you know, talk about making a huge impression. She was absolutely blown away. I felt bad for Eric, because she got the flowers and was reading the note, and was so taken by it, right in front of him. But it was such a great gesture.
I was just wondering, you hear so much on these calls of former contestants who have become the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, and they talk about how hard it is to go from being one among the group, to being the one. How do you think Andi has handled herself going from one of 25 to being the one, the center of attention?
Yes, I think, you know - and I was trying to think of a good analogy, and for some reason what came to mind was like the President, you know, you have a good idea of what you're getting into, and then that first day, you realize, oh wow, I knew nothing.
And I feel like that's kind of the way with being the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, of you're on the show as one of 25, and it such a different experience. I mean you can't - you really can't even compare it to when you are the person, and you realize that all the pressure and all eyes are on you, and you really do have to carry the day, and carry the room.
And not only that, but really to be fair and honest to everybody, no matter how good or how bad a date, or how bad of a moment you just had, you have to kind of forget and erase and move on, and compartmentalize, and that's - it's a really difficult thing.
And Andi did a good job. I think she, as much as anybody, really was able to professionally handle the situation. I think a lot of it has to do with, you know, her job, and how smart and how talented she is in her real life, that she was able to come into this situation, and make it work for her.
And that's the other thing, is you have to personalize it, you know. Sean, to Juan Pablo, to Ali, to whoever, it's different, like it's never the same for any of us to go through this with them, because they all have their own little idiosyncrasies, and their own baggage, and their own history of how they go about this stuff.
And then Andi is, like you just said, she is wonderful, she is talented, and intelligent, and she's a great example of one of the best former Bachelor contestants we've ever had. You spent a lot of time with the contestants on The Bachelor. Have you ever, or would you ever, consider dating any of them? Has that ever come up?
I mean people have asked me about it before, but I mean - you know, when a - when we're on the show, and when we're doing the show, you know, I think people - you know, it's kind of - and I'll throw it in, kind of along when people say would I ever be the Bachelor?
You know, people have to understand that this is what I do, it's my job, and it's been my job for going on 13 years, and this is what I - and it's what I love to do. I love television, I love hosting it, and I love hosting and creating this show that is The Bachelor.
And so I, you know, I hope that people understand that I believe in what the show is about, and I believe in what it does, but I also believe in what I do, and I really love my job. And so I hate to say it's clinical, but I approach it as a job, and I approach these people as friends, to a certain degree, but I'm also - it really is work.
And so, you know, would I ever, or any of that? I'll never say never to anything. I think you get in trouble when you do that. But you know, definitely while the show is going on, whether it's Bachelor, whether it's Bachelorette, or whatever, you know, I never really look at it as an opportunity, as much as I just look at it as a job I'm doing.
About THE BACHELORETTE:
Andi Dorfman, 26, a beautiful and successful woman, has it all at first glance - her loving family, her great friends, and even her dream job. But she realized there was something missing. So, last September, she put her busy life on hold to try and find love on "The Bachelor."
She thought she had found her match, but in the end it was not meant to be, and Andi walked away from Juan Pablo. She did not, however, let that experience stop her desire to find her perfect soul mate. Andi will embark on her own journey to find love when she stars in the tenth edition of "The Bachelorette,"
Photos courtesy of ABC