“THE BACHELOR” INTERVIEW
WITH CHRIS HARRISON
“The Bachelor” airs MONDAYS (8:00 p.m. – 10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
BLOGMYTV participated in a group call with Host, Chris Harrison from The Bachelor.
“The Bachelor” airs MONDAYS (8:00 p.m. – 10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
BLOGMYTV participated in a group call with Host, Chris Harrison from The Bachelor.
Chris Harrison: I think that, as far as the hometown dates go, you see, like, a Shawn or any of these guys kind of roll in and it’s really smooth sailing and this season isn’t such smooth sailing for him when he goes into these homes and is really vying for the favor and permission from these parents to possibly marry their daughter.
Then, you know, the exotic dates are probably the most pivotal episodes that we’ve had this season and it is a shakeup of the foundation of everything that’s going on and it’s usually the bachelor figuring things out, but this season it’s really been the ladies questioning and figuring things out and that will continue through the exotic and the overnight dates.
Question: You said in your blog that Juan Pablo is making rules than breaking them with the girls.
Chris Harrison: Well, because I think it’s a confusing, tough thing. I mean, I can imagine in this situation. Being a single dad myself now and trying to do the right thing in your children’s eyes and in the eyes of your friends and family and all that and then at the other end of the spectrum, you’re also trying to date and you want to be yourself and you want to let go, because that’s how you have to do this show.
You have to really embrace it and really kind of let go and take your hands off the wheel and so he’s trying to do both and I think, in trying to serve both masters, he is having trouble, you know, kind of justifying it and living with it and so what that has done is kind of move the goalpost in the middle of the game from time to time. Whether it was the situation with Clare or any of the other women that he’ll kiss and then regret or whatever it is and it’s just tough for these women to try and figure out, “Where do we stand and what are the rules?” And it puts a little bit of his guilt on them, which isn’t necessarily fair. And it’s not like he’s doing this to be mean. There’s no malice. It’s actually out of genuine respect for trying to serve everybody. It’s just thing to do. I could see why that would be a problem myself, trying to do this.
Question: When you compare it to past seasons, where does Juan Pablo’s final decision fall on “The Bachelor” scale?
Chris Harrison: The last three weeks were as difficult as we’ve ever had on this show. Maybe the most difficult and I don’t just mean his final choice or the final, you know, how it ends up. I just mean the way we kind of sailed into this final episode. You know, at this point it’s really – “The Bachelor”, “The Bachelorette” – narrowing it down to two or three amazing people and then it’s, “OK, who fits best in my lifestyle? What direction do I want to take my life?”
This was a rockier road, you know, to that final episode for Juan Pablo than I think we’ve ever had.
Question: So how jarring is it for girls to walk out? How does it affect the bachelor when that happens?
Chris Harrison: It is jarring. You know, because its something that you really can’t show on TV but we’ve all been there – and that’s why this show is so great and I think it does so well is we can all empathize and we can all understand and relate – is, you know, essentially he was dumped and he got broken up with and that hurts your ego and it hurts your confidence.
I mean, it hurts all those things and all those insecurities that we all have – whether we show them and talk about them or not – all of a sudden comes to the surface and it makes you question everything and he is in the middle of all these other great relationships but, of course, you know, he’s only human to then think, “Wait, you know, could all these women be leaving?” and “Do they really love me and do I love them and where is this going?”
And so it does rock the foundation of everything he has right now. That’s what I think makes the show so relatable is we’ve all kind of fallen for that person that didn’t fall for us.
Question : Hi. So Sharleen left on Monday’s episode and we report in our new issue that another woman leaves during the (fantasy-suite) episode. Why do you think women are leaving so late in the process? Were they just not compatible with Juan Pablo?
Chris Harrison: I can speak to Sharleen and how she feel, but one of the things that always has stood out to me is the show’s not predicated on the fact that life is perfect, relationships are perfect, and it’s one big happy fairytale, because that’s not how it works and it’s not just the bachelor or the bachelorette that holds the power. And I’ve paid that lip service before where I say it’s a two way street or, you know, so on. But it’s true that, you know, while Juan Pablo does hold the roses, so to speak, that doesn’t mean that these women are just, you doe-eyed followers that are going to do as he says.
I mean, Sharleen’s an amazingly smart, articulate woman and she expects a lot out of a man. She wasn’t getting that, in her opinion, and she wants more and she decided to leave. I love the fact that a) we showed that from night one – that she was not sure about him or this process – and then b) we showed at the end, “Hey, I’m outta here. This isn’t for me.” So I’m kind of glad we show these relationships and we’ve done it in the past as well but this season in particular you’ve been able to see it morie you will see the Tuesday night show and the overnight dates – that it happens again where one of these women will question, whether this is right for her and whether Juan Pablo is the guy for her. Is she getting what she needs out of this relationship?
Question: Is he happy at the end of the show?
Chris Harrison: You know, I think that he’ll be – I think, at the end of the day, he did a great job for him. And I think he’ll be satisfied with where he is in his life. I do.
Lori Peters: So you seem to have a feeling for Renee – how she was very sweet. Could you tell me more about how she fits in with Juan Pablo?
Chris Harrison: You know, one of the things, obviously, Juan Pablo has is this love of family and we’ve shown, I think a little bit of that this season but I don’t think you quite have felt as much as I saw the way he is around his parents. I spent a lot of time with them because they were in Los Angeles. I would go over to the house and Camila was running around and they were living there for quite some time and then we saw them again when we were in Miami and then later on in St. Lucia. We spent a lot of time together and so he is – he’s a family guy and I know he says that, but I’ve seen it and felt it. And so Renee has that as well. She has this love for, you know, her son Ben and so I think when Juan Pablo looks at Renee, he sees a lot of himself and he sees what he wants out of a woman and wants out of a family and so I think he has a lot of respect for her and then, obviously, she’s beautiful and as far as all the other attributes and emotions go. But I think she really just has a lot of those things that he is looking for, eventually, in a wife.
Lori Peters Do you think Juan Pablo sort of has two sides to him, because I know before he used to look for women in the clubs when he was out dancing and this is a lot more serious.
Chris Harrison: I think he has a tough time letting go and really opening up and giving himself to this process and one thing – if you go back and ask any of our bachelors or bachelorettes, especially the successful one, you have to really let go and it doesn’t mean you’re going to say, “I’m finding a wife. I’m finding a husband,” because that’s not real. That’s not realistic.
But you can realistically say, “I am honestly open to this and I’m going to give myself up to what you guys do because this works.” and, you know, that’s why Shawn came back. That’s why Emily came back and all those people do come back because, yes it’s a television show. We’re creating an entertainment show, but it works.
You really do have to believe and give up to the process. I think Juan Pablo’s had a really tough time with that. I don’t know exactly what that is – if it’s a cultural difference, if it was a language barrier, a little bit’s been made of that. There really was a large language and cultural barrier, because he didn’t know the show as well as people that had been watching it for 10 or 12 years and could just kind of slide into that role.
He had a tough time fitting into it and really giving it up to the process. I think the women have seen a little bit of that reluctance. They felt it and it’s made some of themquestionhis motives. His real sincerity of, “Is he here for true love?” Because they’re not hearing and seeing it as much as they’ve seen it in the past.
Lesley Messer: What do you think of Juan’s comments about a gay bachelor that got him in trouble and how he acted with Clare?
Chris Harrison: I mean, when we got into this with Juan Pablo, I knew it was going to be a different show because, you know, of a little bit of what I alluded to in that – the fact that it was kind of like going back 12 years and grabbing somebody who had never seen the show …
Chris Harrison: It was, when it back when it was so new. It was like back with Trista and all that, when we were really making things up on the fly, but when you add to the fact that there is that innocence and naiveté to him, there’s also the cultural difference. I really embrace the fact that we were doing something very different and it was going to be a very different show. And I like that it’s different.
I like that it’s played out different. It’s not going to be the same “Bachelor” you saw with Shawn and the same one you saw with Jake or whoever. I like that every season these people bring their own history, their own baggage.
The show is not really set upon the fact that this guy is perfect. He isn’t and nobody is and I’m glad that we show that and these people are flawed. Relationships are flawed.
I just think it makes the show more relatable, more watchable and more enjoyable to watch, because it isn’t fake and I think you feel that and I think our audience and our fans feel that.
Chris Harrison: one thing you notice about Juan Pablo, and I probably do this myself, when somebody starts to get hurt or show emotion, he goes full on protective father.
You know, all of a sudden you kind of, you can almost literally see this wall come up and he’s like, “Look into my eyes. Look at me, look at me,” and “It’s OK. It is OK. It is –” he really tries to just – make everybody OK and that’s, again, that’s a very dad thing to do, because I’m sure he does it with Camila, just like I do with my kids is you want to fix everything and make everybody OK.
So you can see it’s also very much a defense mechanism – how he takes his emotions out of it and takes his own heart out of it. Later, he does get upset. Later, you see him cry after rose ceremonies and stuff like that – when he allows himself to realize what just happened. And I think in some of our talks you saw, after Sharleen left and after some of these rose ceremonies, he was like, yes, it did hurt. it did shake his confidence a little bit.
Chris Harrison: I’m not surprised that any of the people that made it to the alter I mean, you look at Shawn and Catherine, Ashley and J.P. You know, even back to go Trista and Ryan. And, you know, I guess I’m hoping Des and Chris, after seeing them, are headed that direction. None of that surprises me.
I think, I get surprised by the ones that just don’t work. Even, you look at, like, Ally and Roberto. Just because at the time – how in love they were because I know them both very well. And they were a lovely couple and they really genuinely tried to make it work and then, you know, life happened and for one reason or another it just didn’t happen for them.
I remember back to like Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft, even, to go old school. You know, I really saw the two of them just fantastic and I just was sure and would have bet anything that they would’ve made it, but againonce you start dating, once you start living together, once you really go through all this – you know, like real couples, it doesn’t always work. So I’m probably more surprised by the ones that don’t make it than the ones that, you know, that do.
I just kind of assume – I’m still, sadly, a hopeless romantic and I believe in this and I believe in these couples. It’s only because I’m there and I see it and I know these people and I know how much they do love each other when it’s over. I know it’s a TV show and it’s easy to say, from the sidelines if you have a blog or an article or, you know, you’re writing and say, “These people aren’t going to make it. There’s no way. They’ll be broken up,” or – that’s easy.
That’s the easy bet. That’s an easy bet in life. You can go to any house and say, “I bet you’re going to get divorced,” because guess what? 50, 60 percent of the time – you’re right. It’s not going to work, because it’s hard and these relationships are tough and life is tough. And – but that’s why I think the show, again, is so popular is because it’s not an easy thing.
Question: Why do you think singles have trouble finding lasting love on the show?
Chris Harrison: I don’t think it’s lasting love on the show. I think – why do singles have trouble finding lasting love period? Why are these people on the show in the first place?
It’s because the dating scene and dating and all this stuff – it’s hard and it sucks and it’s exhausting and I can tell you because I’m there myself. It’s brutal.
In every season I’ll talk to some of these men or some of these women. They’re gorgeous and they have perfect bodies and they have great jobs and I’m like, “Why are you here? You know, how can you not be getting dates?” They said, “The quantity is not the problem. You can get dates. It’s the quality.”
When you have, you know, this environment set up by the producers of “The Bachelor” and we’re really good at what we do and especially our casting department. Then it is a great, safe, fantastic place to meet somebody and it’s worked.
So these people have tried everything and so they’ve come to us and so I think it’s more indicative of what’s out there and how our dating world is that they are, you know, still coming to us in droves, because it’s tough out there.
Question: What celebrity would you most like to have as the bachelor or bachelorette and why?
Chris Harrison: Well, I’ll start with the bachelor. I still think Clooney would be phenomenal. Although, I guess, now that Derek Jeter just retired, I mean, having Jeter come one would be a pretty good “Bachelor,” but I’m still holding out for Clooney.
Chris Harrison: Only because I’m selfish and I would like to hang out with Clooney for a couple months and drink scotch and swap stories.
As far as a bachelorette – who’d be good bachelorette? I always thought Jennifer Aniston
Chris Harrison: I always thought that she would be a good bachelorette, for some reason.
What is it not about her? She’s gorgeous) I remember she was like having trouble with relationships all the time and finding the right guy. I just – and I think we could do goodfor her and I would probably give up my hosting role and then be on the show.
Question: Why are there always fights in the house?
Chris Harrison: You know, it’s funny that, obviously, it just so happens that Nikki and Clare are two women are the frontrunners and have that and they’re getting the most attention from Juan Pablo and the most affection from Juan Pablo. So, you know, it’s only human nature to go after those two and find something wrong and, “Why does he like her?” you know.
You can add in the adjective of he’s a jerk, she’s a bitch or, you know, she’s not mother material, but the funny thing is, knowing Nikki and Clare, they’re actually more similar than they would ever care to admit to. You know, because what those girls don’t see is when Nikki talks to him about being a pediatric nurse and how she feels about kids and how she’s given her life to be with children and caring.
Those girls don’t get to see that side. He has. Then the other girls haven’t seen that side of Clare either and that, kind of, maternal instinct and how sweet she is and how caring she is for Juan Pablo. So it’s interesting. If they got to see that side of each other, which they will when they watch the show back, they’ll probably come to the “Women Tell All” or the “After the Final Rose” show and say, “You know what? They,” you know, “We’re probably more similar than we thought.”
Question: Are families from hometown dates contentious?
Chris Harrison: No, they aren’t all contentious but there are, you know, contentious parts of at least a couple of them for sure, so it’s just something, obviously, he has to deal with of going in.
Again, there’s a cultural difference and it always happens, you know, it’s not just with Juan Pablo, that these women come in and they have lived through this experience. And then these families are like, “Well, we don’t know this guy and you are suddenly in love with him and you suddenly are ready to give up your life.” and they’re just not so quick to give up their blessing.
And it’s not just a Juan Pablo thing. It happens quite a bit. But then by the end of the date, or the end of the episode, you know, you’ll see – if they indeed, you know, kind of fall for him and give their blessing.
Question: Why did Juan Pablo let Chelsea go and then cry about it?
Chris Harrison: He’s an emotional guy and it’s hard for him. And, you know, I don’t think he had that connection with Chelsie and \ when you compare Renee, Clare, Nikki and Andi. Chelsie’srelationship didn’t compare.
They were good friends almost and it was great having her around. It was fun. , but it’s – even though you know it’s right, it’s still never easy and it’s still never fun to say goodbye to somebody. Je just takes it really personal when he has to let these people go. He also knows that Chelsie was really popular in the house and so you’re kind of kicking these girls’ friend off.
It’s just a tough situation. He gets emotional and, you know, he wears his heart on his sleeve. You see that. You kind of saw him pull the half Mesnick, as we like to say, with the railing.
Question: If Sharleen didn’t leave on her own would she have been there in the end?
Chris Harrison: Wow. Good question. I mean, you’d have to ask Juan Pablo but I think she was heading in that direction, from my perspective.
I mean, a lot had to happen, you know. She would’ve gone to the hometown dates. Who knows what would have happened? Then the exotic, overnight date. So there was a lot of variables and a lot of other hurdles to clear.
She was easily atop the list and she was always a top – you know, his favorite – from the night she got out of the limo. Interesting what would’ve happened and how fate and things would’ve changed.
I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t have happened that way. But, again, it was a lot had to occur before we got to the final two.
Question: Do you think that Sharleen would be a great bachelorette? People are saying that.
Chris Harrison: Yes, it’s funny. Each week, you know, you get people telling, you know, you know, when – as soon as someone gets voted off I think it’s natural because we know that typically we’ll bring somebody in from this season. And so people start rooting for or people are already rooting for people on the show, like, Andi and Nikki and Clare. Or don’t do it for Clare, or don’t do it for Sharleen.
It’s funny that they just immediately start either cheering or jeering for these people. Which is fun, it’s – I mean, we listen to it and we take them into account. as producers and we want the fans for the show to essentially tell us who they want.
That’s how Juan Pablo became the bachelor, really – was the overwhelming response to a guy who was barely seen on “The Bachelorette.” that he jumped off the page and became our bachelor. So we definitely take it into account and listen to it.
Sharleen would be interesting. She’s a smart girl. I don’t know if this ordeal and this process is right for her though because she has a tough time with it.
Question: People are saying Juan Pablo did this for the publicity and the money.
I just want to get your thoughts on that.
Chris Harrison: Well, first of all, I don’t think he really – you can do it for making money because we’re never, like, making people rich of this show. But, you know, he can’t, you know, if and when you end up with somebody at the end of the show, you can’t be with that person. Like Shawn can’t go out and take pictures with Catherine. So you go out with your friends. You go out and you kind of continue living your life and working until you can be with that person that you chose – if you indeed end up with somebody.
So, no, I I think he’s kind of doing typically what everybody else does on a show. in this day and age of social media, you’re going to be out. People are going to take pictures with you and women are going to come up because they love the guy.
I mean, he’s really popular. When you go out with this guy you can quickly see why he was the bachelor. Everybody wants to take pictures and talk to him.
people are going to derive whatever they want from that and make stories up from a couple pictures. I, honestly, haven’t seen any but that typically happens every season.
Question: Is Juan Pablo saying he wants one thing like family and going for another type?
Chris Harrison: Well, you know, I think what – when you go through this as the host, and I’ve been through this 27 times and I watch and – a great example was, like, Shawn. and I can use him as an example because of how – what he was looking for and then what he ended up with. And you look at a guy like Shawn who used his parents as a role model and idols and rightfully so. They’re amazing people.
, I want this kind of woman and strong-willed, kind of, maybe even a little older. but you look at like maybe a Selma or an Ashley from the show and, you know, but that’s not what Shawn needed and wanted at the time.
He’s a younger guy. He’s young at heart. Kind of carefree. That’s where he is in his life right now. And then he smartly chose Catherine and Lindsay. Girls that are kind of – were where he is right now. He ended up obviously with Catherine, which was a great choice, because they are very much alike and very much in the same station in life.
Juan Pablo was kind of the same way. You know, you look at a Renee and she does have all the attributes and all the qualities that he eventually wants, but is that what he wants right now? that’s – again it gets down to not whether she’s a great woman, not whether she’s beautiful. It’s a lifestyle and is this the person that will fit into my life and me into her life right now?
That’s kind of the beautiful thing about this show and the process is you’re going to get quality. Now it’s a matter of who is better fit for you?
ABC News: Hi, so you’ve mentioned now, obviously, that you are a single dad who is – has been in the dating world. Would you ever consider being the bachelor yourself?
Chris Harrison: I’ve gotten that question a ton snd, obviously, so – I mean, it makes sense. I’m single now and I host “The Bachelor.”
that’s my job. It’s what I do. I’m a TV host and I love TV and I love hosting “The Bachelor” and I’ve done it for 12 years. To turn around and be on the show, doesn’t make much sense for me because a) I love hosting it and it’s profession. And I love that people come on the show and I believe in it obviously. Because I’ve sat up and not only been to these but officiated a wedding from people that have been on the show.
So I believe in it and I believe the people, but for me, it’s my job and I created and I’ve worked hard on it behind the scenes and I still do it and make it work and so to all of a sudden be the person, it honestly just wouldn’t make much sense. I don’t think it would be very good because I would be more worried …
When I talk about Juan Pablo and Shawn and what makes a good bachelor, it’s someone who will give up to this process and really let themselves go. I can tell you I wouldn’t, because I would be producing television, worried about,– is this good camera, is this? You know, and I – it would just be a mess,
because I would be more worried about directing and producing than I would trying to date.
ABC News: Right and I was also wondering, you know, there’s been talk of, you know what if these girls aren’t right for him? What if it doesn’t end in a proposal or a marriage? If it doesn’t end in a proposal or if they get engaged and don’t end up getting married, is that a failure or is that just the way it goes?
Chris Harrison: no, it’s the show and it’s life and I love that. I love that our show doesn’t always end with a proposal or marriage or anything. I mean, it could be a complete disastrous meltdown and we’re going to show that. I mean, the odd and scary thing about producing this show is it’s not a game show.
At the end of “Idol,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” whatever it is, it’s a game show. There’s winners and there’s losers. And, you know, there’s money or there’s a prize. Our show is really, at the end, left up to, you know, hopefully two people and then a choice.
As producers, we have no say and no choice as to how our show ends and you have to – and it’s scary as hell because in television the last thing you want to do is not have control. But at the end of our show, you have no control. And you’ve got to let it go and so we’re going to show you the good, the bad, the ugly and – but that’s what our fans demand and that’s why our show has been on 12 years and it’ll probably be on another hundred years. Because it’s not predicated on the fact that all of a sudden there’s a proposal and a priest pops up and, “Hey, there’s a wedding and everything’s perfect. That’s the way life goes,” because it’s not.
You know, everybody’s not cut out to end up with the perfect fairytale and we’re going to show, no matter what happens, you’re going to see it and I love that. I love that about our show. It’s scary, believe me, it’s scary. Because we sit in the control room just like, you know, you sit at home on the couch and we’re watching and we think there might be a proposal and – but you don’t know if Shawn’s going to get down on one knee and you don’t know if Catherine’s going to say yes.
Chris Harrison: I mean, you really don’t know. You have a good idea but you really don’t know. and so we’re sitting in there crying or high-fiving and yelling just like you are at home and that’s when I look around and I say, if the people that are as jaded as they can be in this business – and we’ve done this since day one – are crying and high-fiving and hugging, then to people at home this is a good show.
Like, this is phenomenal TV because I still care each and every time and I’m glued to it when it’s happening in real life.
Chris Harrison: There’s some ugly cries ahead. I think one thing I would say, if you’re ever coming on the show, like, work on your crying. You don’t want to be an ugly crier. I don’t know how you can be an attractive crier but I would work on that. It’s like, I would watch movies. How do you, like, look cute and sob.
but, you know, there are some emotional moments. I think the people that are left are into this. They’re 100 percent into this and they’ve kind of given up to this process and really going for it so there’s a lot of emotions on the line at this point.
It gets very personal because families are involved, love and emotion and feelings and life is really on the line now. So, you know, from here on out it’s huge and it’s, you know, is – I hate to use the word dramatic but it is.
Lori Peters: Lucy was like a total odd-ball on the show. How do you think she’d be on “The Bachelor Pad?”
Chris Harrison: Oh, Lucy. She’d be awesome. I love Lucy. I loved her spirit. I loved her having her around the house. I mean, yes, she wasn’t right for Juan Pablo but, if we do a “Bachelor Pad” or whatever, I would have Lucy on anything. I just …
She was – I know some people were taken by her, but what you see was not fake. And that’s what I love. I mean, whoever you are, embrace it and own it. That woman knows who she is and man, does she own it.
I love that. I love that about her and I love having her around. She was a good spirit to have around the house.
Lori Peters: What’s your dating advice since you have a dating app and did a dating article with Patti Stanger, “The Millionaire Matchmaker”?
Chris Harrison: I think I should call Patti and get advice on my own life, but, yes, we did do an article, I guess, together. We didn’t talk but, separately, we were interviewed for that and I read her advice and I’m like, “Gosh. She’s good,” and, I just take stuff that I’ve learned over the last 12 years and try to apply it and all that good stuff. But, you know, it’s – I just have been doing this for so long and I’ve heard so many stories and I listen and I watch, day in and day out and you can’t help, but pick up on things that are happening in people’s lives and learning about what people are looking for and how it all works.
Lori Peters: Would you go on “The Millionaire Matchmaker?”
Chris Harrison: I’ve never seen that. Is that – that’s her show? I don’t think I would ever want to be on television dating, because I’m not that open. I know what I do for a living but it really is, like I said, a profession. I like what I do – hosting and producing – and that’s my job and my life, but being on television isn’t really my life.
and, like opening my life like that is not my life, but if Patty wants to help me privately, I’m sure I could us the help.
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