If you’ve been watching ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” you’ll know this season’s repeatedly been called "controversial" and "dramatic”—well, mostly by its host Chris Harrison. So we went straight to the leader of Bachelor Nation himself to clear the air ahead of Monday’s finale, plus get the scoop on what’s next.
The moment everyone's still debating
The show’s producers received more backlash than ever for keeping a microphone around during Kaitlyn and Nick’s “intimate” encounter, but Harrison stands by the choice to air the scene.
“Should we as producers not be truthful with the audience because we don’t think you can handle it? ...I don’t think it’s up to producers to go back and edit that to make everybody feels good about themselves, and make this perfect Disney utopia,” he says.
Calling out the haters
It became obvious just how disgusted Harrison is by the way Kaitlyn has been attacked on social media during last week’s “Men Tell All,” when he shocked viewers by reading some of the hate messages she’s received. Harrison says that the "Bachelor" franchise has “always raised a level of debate on social issues,” and he saw this segment as an opportunity to raise the issue of cyber bullying.
“I thought it was important to not just say ‘Kaitlyn’s getting some mean tweets.’ I felt like, if we’re going to do this, we need to read the words of just how hateful they are…and maybe it’ll make a difference. It’s one of those things [where] if one person is affected, then it was worth it.”
Kaitlyn's legacy and lessons learned
“I think Kaitlyn was incredibly open and strong and wore her heart on her sleeve,” Harrison says.
As for whether future bachelors and bachelorettes will continue to push the boundaries of reality TV, or whether they’ll be more cautious about what they’re getting up to behind closed doors, Harrison can’t be sure.
“Maybe they'll be more leery…maybe it’s a lesson learned, I don’t know.”
Harrison says that despite rumors to the contrary, they haven’t chosen the next bachelor—or should we say bachelors?
Though Harrison was less than thrilled to have two bachelorettes going into this season, because it complicated production, he says he’d “never say never” to doing it again.
“We have an embarrassment of riches as far as decisions on the next bachelor…maybe we have the two Bens, or Cupcake, or Jared. I think there are a lot of guys who could come out of this season and be great bachelors.”
While he’s not sure who the next "Bachelor" will be, Harrison thinks it won’t be the man Kaitlyn chooses to send packing tonight.
“If you look at our final two, I don’t know if either one would really make a good bachelor. People hear that and all of a sudden there’s this headline: ‘My god, he thinks Nick and Shawn are bad people.’ That’s not the case… It takes a certain type of person to be ‘The Bachelor’ and I think we have other candidates from this season that are better suited,” he says.
A trip to "Paradise"
Can’t get enough of the tears, drunken yelling, and over-the-top dates? The two-night event “Bachelor in Paradise” returns for its second season on Sunday August 2, with past contestants living and loving it up in Mexico, plus a new one-hour live after show to boot. We got the scoop from Harrison on what he thinks of the new show.
Who are you most excited to have on the show?
"Ashley I. was such a dynamic character on the show that she definitely had to come back. And Ashley S., I don’t know if I ever want to do any television without her.
And I definitely wanted some of the guys from this season because they were so good, and JJ was such a controversial figure."
Why create the live after show?
"Obviously it’s trending every Monday night. It fills every magazine, and it’s not even this season, it could be former couples. So this show, unlike probably any other show on network TV, really lends itself to a social medium like an after show."