The Bachelor's Chris Harrison: Jake Is 'Very Much In Love'
While on his way to Jason and Molly’s wedding weekend, Bachelor host Chris Harrison chatted with PEOPLE exclusively about Monday’s upcoming finale, the scandalous season, Jake Pavelka’s top two and his happy ending. (“He’s still with the woman he chose, very much in love, and they’re doing great,” Harrison says!) He also dignified with a response our question about the state of his marriage, which on the Women Tell All special Rozlyn suggested was rocky. –Carrie Bell
It has been a fairly tumultuous season of The Bachelor.It has been a bumpy ride, and it seems to have flown by because of all the scandals and controversies we’ve overcome. This one feels like it started a week ago.
Is it possible to find true love amid all that drama?Considering I just pulled up to Jason and Molly’s wedding, I’m going to say yes. They went through their fair share of drama. As did Jillian and Ed who are here too, so, absolutely, Jake and the girl he chose can survive. 100 percent.
Does the first Bachelor wedding give you renewed belief in the show?I’ve never put much stock in creating happy couples that last. We don’t guarantee anything. It’s up to these . Some have been happy and some ended horribly. That’s life and love. It’s unpredictable. I have plenty of good friends who aren’t on TV, that don’t even watch TV, that are getting divorced. But that doesn’t mean I’m not ecstatic that they’re getting married. I pray all these couples last and get married. It reinforces what we do on the show.
Did you anticipate that Vienna and Tenley would be Jake’s final two?Towards the end, yes. But had you put a gun to my head halfway through and told me to guess, absolutely not. Jake would probably say the same thing. He’s admitted that he had to convince himself several times to keep Vienna around because she was such a lightening rod for controversy. In the finale even, when he’s talking to his mom, he wonders about her. He knows how important it is for whoever he chooses to be able to mix with the family. She often made it easy to let her go.
Had Ali not left, do you think she’d be in the final two?That’s the million-dollar question. She chose work over Jake. He got the answer he needed Jake has no regrets and he showed that by not taking her back.
What are the pros and cons of the final two?With Tenley, it seems like something’s missing. They’re fun and nice together and the friendship is there, but she doesn’t challenge him enough. Jake’s a guy who likes to be challenged, and Vienna definitely does that. His parents’ concern is did she challenge too much or just to push his buttons? Is that sincere? They’re pretty similar in what they give Jake — the protection, security, unconditional love that he wants. He wants that doting wife who will always be there for him and they both have that characteristic. It comes down to the question of would Tenley challenge him enough and would Vienna challenge him too much? I think all guys want to be pushed around a little. We all need our ass kicked every once in awhile.
The show finishes shooting and the decision is made before audiences see anything or the tabloids dig up the dirt. Does that media scrutiny cause waves for the new relationship?Of course. They’re only human. As much as they try not to pay attention, it upsets them. Just watching the show is hard because they have to watch Jake fall for others and kiss other . Then throw in the tabloids trying to dig up dirt by offering major money to who were in their lives 10 years ago and then threatening to cover them if they don’t come up with good dirt, and it gets really nasty. Any new couple has issues to deal with. To start on TV and then to put up on the garbage that’s printed makes it even tougher.
Even you aren’t immune to being called out, as Rozlyn accusing you of flirting with the guy’s wife proved.Yeah, but I chose this life so I’m more prepared and this was the first time I was attacked in nine years. I just wanted to get that facts out there and let judge for themselves. Consider the source. Her taking a swipe at me and then Ella was a defense mechanism. This is all part of her master plan. She’s been auditioning and asking for money to appear on shows and now the alleged tapes being leaked. My part in this play is definitely over.
Just for the record, any truth to her accusation? Are you and your wife still happy?No and yes. She’s my date for the wedding and we’ll be down here all weekend. It takes more than that comment to break up 16 years of marriage.
Will you be attending Jake’s wedding anytime soon?People will have to watch to see if he proposes, but I can tell you he does choose somebody. He’s still with the woman he chose, very much in love, and they’re doing great. BOB D’AMICO/ABC