With another eyebrow-raising (literally!) season of The Bachelor coming to a close Monday, PEOPLE interrogated host Chris Harrison about the pros and cons of Sean Lowe‘s final two, the mysterious letter that leaves him teary-eyed in finale promos and his pick for the next Bachelorette.
The finale promos show you handing a note to Sean on decision day. Have you seen anyone guess the letter’s author or intent correctly? Is it as big a deal as they have made it appear?
No one has guessed even close to what it is or whom it is from. It is extremely impactful and plays a major role in how the finale plays out as it comes right before Sean is about to make his final decision. I didn’t know what it said. It was burning a hole in my pocket in the 30 minutes we had to set up me giving it to him. I was in a room by myself, it wasn’t sealed and the nosy 12-year-old in me was like, “I could so read this right now.” But out of respect, I didn’t.
Did you continue your streak of not picking the winner? Who did you think would be last woman standing?
Yes. I’m still at a thousand percent. If you went back to Canada, we lost Sarah and Selma, two girls I thought would last. Then Des and AshLee. Even if you gave me four picks I would have gotten it wrong this season. I would have even thrown Lesley in there before Catherine and Lindsay.
My money was on Des.
Until the hometowns, Sean probably agreed with you.
So what is it about Catherine and Lindsay that made them the final two?
Usually, you look at the final two and they represent two very different lifestyle choices and it becomes which lifestyle is more appealing to the Bachelor or Bachelorette. But when you look at Catherine and Lindsay, they offer Sean a very similar life. They are extremely different in terms of looks, families and backgrounds, but both are free, fun-loving, caring, playful, beautiful women who want the same things out of life and seem to be in the same place in life.
How does he then narrow it down if they are so similar?
I really don’t know. In the past, it’s been easy to say what the cons are. But with these two, if there are cons, they probably share them, too. When I see Sean with them, I see the same guy. He can really be himself, which is very attractive to him. His face lights up with both of them. It’s a very difficult choice and that’s what you will see in the finale. Unlike in years past, when there was a distinct choice and the Bachelor decides what life he wants – this is like splitting hairs.
Give us a tease of the finale.
Visually, Thailand was one of the more spectacular backdrops we’ve had for a finale. It’s never been such a coin toss before. He has narrowed it down to two that give him what he wants and that he is head-over-heels in love with and that scares him. His family picks up on that and they warn him, “How do you choose when you have such strong feelings for both of them?” Them dropping that bomb on him and giving him a reality check makes for a very dramatic finale. It has been a captivating, compelling season and the finale is a worthy end.
And there are elephants.
And we can talk about the elephants in the room. The resort where we were staying had an elephant reserve so there were 15 or 20 on property that come to breakfast and eat off your plate and people can ride them. Helicopters were so five years ago. Elephants are the new helicopters.
Bachelor Nation is hungry for a happy couple. Will Sean get what he came for?
He seems the most sincere of Bachelors in recent memory and every opportunity for this to work is in place. It is a bit of a perfect storm of great girls, a fantastic guy with great abs and pecs and sincere desire to fall in love all around. But marriage is a huge step and getting to the altar is an accomplishment that most relationships in the world never get to so you never know.
Given that every Bachelorette has been mined from a previous Bachelor season, who gets your vote for next season?
This season was so chock full of great stories and great women that I thank God I don’t make the final decision. Without even considering Catherine or Lindsay, I can easily pick four girls. Des gives you “girl next door,” young Katie Holmes. AshLee is beautiful and more than anybody is ready to get married. The way Sarah handled herself on Women Tell All made me think she could be the Bachelorette. She’s so eloquent and understanding of where she is and what she wants. And Lesley is a sleeper with fans. People love her and her sense of humor.