Chris Harrison Reflects on The Bachelorette and Looks Ahead to The Bachelor
Bachelorette host Chris Harrison, who had a front-row seat for all the around-the-world drama this season with Ali Fedotowsky, is curious to see if viewers consider Monday’s finale a happy ending. “We have thrown the show s rulebook out and Ali continued to change and break the rules to do what she felt needed to be done, he told PEOPLE. Ali says she s happy, doesn t regret doing it and is stronger for it, but from the last-chance dates on, this finale plays out completely different than you ve seen before and I m not sure how fans will feel about it. Harrison also weighed in on dealing with an insecure leading lady, the final two, Frank s exit and who should be the next Bachelor. –Carrie Bell
It may actually be valid to call this the most dramatic season yet.
I think it is. I figured if I kept saying it, it would eventually come true. And the finale will not disappoint. It s very dramatic and very good.
How’d it feel to go through those rough patches with Ali?
You develop a bunker mentality. You just fly around the world and deal with things as they come up. The Justin thing wasn t that emotional. I was proud she kicked his butt and had him limping out of Turkey. But Frank was tougher. As a friend, I wanted to run to the palapa and stop her from going inside because I knew what she was walking into. He made her feel weak and small. No one wants a friend to feel that.
Even before Justin and Frank drama, it seemed like Ali needed a lot of help keeping her eye on the prize.
When it came to love, Ali s like a defenseless little puppy. She had a lot of insecurities despite being a beautiful, strong and successful woman. She was really scared she’d love someone and they wouldn’t love her back. I tried to pump her up and walk her through the best I can, but you just have to let it play out, good or bad. There were several moments where we thought we might lose her. After Frank left at such a late point, we didn’t know how she’d react. We were a week away from finishing and having dinner discussions about what we’d do if she shut down and said, “I’m out.”
What are the pros and cons of Roberto and Chris?
There are no cons for either one, just different lifestyles. Roberto lives in Florida and has a different culture. Chris is a typical New England guy. They are both great guys from fantastic families who love Ali to death. It couldn t be a better finale situation for her, but with what happened with Frank, her head was still spinning and it shook things up.
Did you think she was going to choose Frank before he bowed out?
Hard to say, but there was a good chance because they did have good chemistry. Things were going ridiculously good with everyone and she was looking for any reason to get rid of one of them. She needed a sign and Frank gave her one that made her realize how many questions she had about him. He was so insecure. She told me that he represented boyfriends from the past – guys she had to nurture and fix.
Lately, you re being called on for a lot of extra hand-holding.
I’m more of an adviser and life coach who goes under the title of TV show host. I’ve changed a lot and grown over the show’s eight years. The producers trust me to know how to treat a moment. That s also how I can do those tough interviews like with Jake and Vienna and remain friends with everyone. I don t have sides. I give them all a fair shake.
Do you see the next Bachelor in this group?
Absolutely. The top three – Roberto, Chris or Kirk – would be super Bachelors. I don t think I ve ever gotten more messages from women offering to take whichever guy she doesn t choose. I know for a fact we have not made a decision, but all those guys are in the running. Maybe, if she doesn t choose either one, we could have dueling Bachelors.