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'Bachelor Pad' host Chris Harrison: Buyer beware, don't fall in love with Ed Swiderski


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/06/2012 

Bachelor Pad's third season is coming to a close, as its finale episode will air Monday night on ABC and end with either Rachel Truehart and partner Nick Peterson or Chris Bukowski and partner Sarah Newlon being crowned the winning couple.

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Chris was known for instigating a lot of drama in the house and playing some of the girls this season, while Rachel had to dump her best friend Jaclyn Swartz in order to get ahead in the competition and potentially win the $250,000 grand prize. Based on the preview for next week's finale and what Bachelor Pad host Chris Harrison has hinted at in the media, the highly-anticipated show is expected to be both "dramatic" and "disturbing."

During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Chris Harrison discussed Bachelor Pad's current season and also touched upon Emily Maynard's edition of The Bachelorette and the upcoming season of The Bachelor. He talked to Reality TV World about what viewers can expect to see in Bachelor Pad's finale and the dynamic of some of the show's relationships -- including what's about to go down between Rachel and Michael Stagliano, whether he believed Jaclyn overreacted to Rachel's decision to eliminate her and what makes Ed Swiderski irresistible to women despite his reputation as a womanizer.

Below is the first portion of Chris' call. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday to read the concluding portion.

Reality TV World: In the preview clip for next week's Bachelor Pad finale, it looks like Michael is going to reveal he doesn't want to pursue a relationship with Rachel and she's crushed about the news. It also shows Michael saying he didn't come on Bachelor Pad to fall in love, which is quite different then ABC's pre-season billing that finding love was the ONLY reason he wanted to go on Bachelor Pad again. So could you talk a little bit about that inconsistency and hint at what viewers can expect to see go down between Mike and Rachel?

Chris Harrison: Hopefully you guys can get a hold of Michael and maybe he can talk about the inconsistency better than I can, (laughs) because there definitely is one. It's unfortunate. You're going to see the fallout of -- Rachel definitely fell for Michael and he did not in return. And she feels a little used and a little played and a little violated, and maybe, rightfully so. I don't know.

I don't know what went on behind closed doors with those two before or after the show. Well, there's a little bit that we'll talk about actually that happened after the show next week that maybe even a little more hurtful to Rachel and makes her feel a little more used.

But I have to give her respect, and you'll see next week that she was pretty strong and pretty adamant about her feelings and how she felt like he kind of played her. It was a tough situation. It was like very uncomfortable to sit there, and I think Michael -- who has kind of come out of every situation thus far smelling like a rose -- may catch a little heat for this.

Reality TV World: Nick has clearly been hiding in the background until Bachelor Pad's most recent episodes. And now, he's one of the final two couples. Some viewers find it strange that since he made it all the way to the end, he wasn't edited more into the season so they could get to know him better. Did the editing intentionally left him out to create a surprise factor at the end, or was he really just that out of the loop when it came to alliances, strategy and friendships in the house?

Chris Harrison: No, he really didn't do anything! (Laughs) I mean, he ate protein shakes and eggs and I think he did a lot of pushups, and that was about it. There wasn't a whole lot -- he didn't have a love interest. He didn't have any battles. He didn't win any challenges. It's not like he didn't make friends, I mean, he got along with everybody.

But that was just it. He was just kind of this nice, good guy that just kind of hung around. He didn't really have a partner and no one really wanted him as a partner. No one disliked him. He wasn't really part of an alliance. He just really floated through very quietly under the radar, which may be the smartest thing as it appears. He's in the Final 4.

It might be one of the smartest plays ever because he just really didn't make any waves one way or the other. He was kind of that forgotten guy, and I think every time there was a vote that came up, I think everybody just went, "Eh, we'll worry about Nick later. We'll worry about Nick later. We'll take care of him, he's an easy kill. He'll get him down the road. We'll use him while we can."

I just don't think anybody thought through -- and again, the most pivotal moment, if you go back and look at gameplay, was [Erica Rose] taking Michael Stagliano down. Because when Erica takes Michael down, that changed the dynamic of the game completely, because Michael and Rachel would probably win that challenge -- the singing challenge -- because Michael's so good.

And instead, it's Nick and Rachel, and now you can't take them out because he has all the power. He got that final rose. So it was really interesting and it really wasn't lack of editing, putting the guy in. He just didn't really do anything all season. 

Reality TV World: You said in your TV Guide interview this week that you felt sorry for Rachel a bit, especially because she tried to stand her ground in keeping Ed and Jaclyn in the game until Nick convinced her otherwise. And Jaclyn clearly took the news of her elimination horribly, saying her friendship with Rachel was over. So did you think Jaclyn overreacted because Rachel was just playing her best strategic game possible or did you see where Jaclyn was coming from in that Rachel wrongfully betrayed a best friend?

Chris Harrison: Yes, (laughs) I guess, to answer the question. I get where Jaclyn is coming from, because if you think in your own personal life, your best friend -- they're very, very close -- think of your best friend sitting there and they're about to vote and there's a quarter-million dollars on the line, and you've been in the same alliance, you know, it's your friend.

You know what's going to happen. Your friend's going to choose you, of course they are. You would never let money or something like that get in the way. And then all of a sudden, they stab you in the back. I get why Jaclyn was pissed, and you add ontop of that the pressure in the moment, and it's kind of like when Erica went off on Michael Stagliano.

Do I understand why she did it? Yes. Was she completely out of line and kind of crossed that boundary? Of course she did. But I get why she did it. It's hard to explain unless you're there how much emotion and how much tension is in the air. But at the same time, I look at Rachel, and the reason I feel sorry for her is she fought like crazy to keep Jaclyn in the game.

I don't know if Nick just wore her down, if she was just emotionally spent, I don't know. But all of a sudden, he came back and everything he was saying just kind of made sense to her, and she was like, "Fine." But for a long time, they were at an impasse. She wasn't budging and Nick just kind of kept fighting and fighting and fighting.

And this is where you kind of have to give a huge nod to Nick. The best decision for him was to go with his buddy [Chris Bukowski] and [Sarah Newlon], and they were also the most controversial pair, so it was the best chance for them to win.

Honestly, for Rachel, it's the best chance for them to win too, but she had this agreement and this alliance with Jaclyn. And you're going to find out more about all that next week, but when I was out there standing next to her, she was crestfallen. It was like her heart was ripped out, and Rachel was just -- when Nick was speaking, she couldn't even look at Jaclyn.

She knew she had made a mistake and she knew she was going to regret this. And so, in that regard, I just felt sorry. She kind of got bowled over a little by Nick, but I give him credit, because that was his job and that's what he was going in to do.

Reality TV World: Ed's noncommittal relationship reputation was pretty well known before he entered Bachelor Pad, and during the first couple nights, he didn't really help his case by getting hammered and naked. Jaclyn even admitted he was a trainwreck in the beginning. (Laughs) But Jaclyn still ended up falling for Ed, so do you kind of feel bad for Jaclyn because she fell into his spell and maybe you believe he led her on -- or do you think she should've known what she was getting herself into and therefore kind of made her own bed?

Chris Harrison: Yeah, I mean, look. I get it. I understand. I feel a little bit sorry for Jaclyn for getting caught in that web, but with Ed, buyer beware. I mean, come on. (Laughs) It's been well-documented how this is going to turn out for you -- getting snared in that trap, and I get Ed.

He has great charisma, great charm, you can't help but kind of like the guy and want to be around him. But just know that you want to be around him and have a good time. Don't fall in love.

I think Jaclyn, you know, made that mistake. You'll see again -- I gave Ed another chance at the finale coming up next week and again, he just didn't really do a good job of explaining himself. (Laughs) It kind of becomes a running joke throughout the show with Ed and Jaclyn. They still just don't know how to communicate. They're so not on the same page.

And in that regard, I do kind of feel bad for her, because I know she honestly really has feelings for this guy and it's just Ed. It's just not going to happen.

Reality TV World: In your interview with TV Guide last week, you had said that Ed "makes every situation worse" but he's "addicting" to women. Does that surprise you and what is it that you think makes him so irresistible to women? Also, did you experience a deja vu feeling when you discovered Ed had a girl back home this season? (Laughs)  

Chris Harrison: (Laughs) Well the funny thing about Ed, I think he makes every situation worse unless you're a host of a show in which case he's phenomenal. He's just constant entertainment and I know you think he means to be, but it's not like he goes out of his way to create the situation. He just does. It's just Ed.

But I see it. I see that charisma and that charm, and he's sweet and he knows how to talk to women. He knows how to charm them, and you get caught up in it and it's fun to be around. And so, you see why -- I forget, who was he with in the beginning? Sarah?

Reality TV World: Yes.

Chris Harrison: I think he was with Sarah in the beginning and then he's with Jaclyn, and I don't know if there was someone in between. But you get it. He just kind of has this great -- it's like walking around with Mardi Gras. He's just a carnival and Mardi Gras wrapped up into one, and he's just this constant party who's fun to be around. But is that somebody you want to marry right now? I think Jaclyn's figuring that out.

Reality TV World: At the end of Bachelor Pad's finale, obviously one person can vote to keep the money and end up receiving it all or both players could vote to keep the money and neither one of them gets anything, and that type of ending certainly would qualify as the shocking twist the show's been teasing. Are you surprised that in the first two seasons of Bachelor Pad, both winning couples ended up voting to split the money fair and square?

Chris Harrison: Well, here's the tough thing with Bachelor Pad, and this is what we've learned as producers. There's a lot of alliances, and depending on who makes it into the Final 4 really dictates how much drama there might be, or who the final couple is too, really determines what that drama will be.

And in the past, there's been massive agreement throughout the house, where say, if one of six people wins, "Hey, we'll all split the money." And they were just kind of hedging their bets and covering themselves. So it really depends on the Final 4 and then who ends up with that decision in the end of "keep" or "share."

And this season really is dynamic, because we end up with Chris and Sarah, who are on an island. They say many, many times over that they got there for one reason and one reason only and that was completely up to them. And then you have Nick and Rachel who became partners all of a week ago. So, the dynamic of the Final 4 is fantastic. It really opens the game up to being unpredictable and being dramatic.

Reality TV World: I'm sure you're aware of the recent Us Weekly report in which Jef's brother Mike came forward and insisted Emily Maynard and Jef's relationship is on the rocks...

Chris Harrison: I don't really know. Fill me in, because honestly, I really despise Us Weekly. I don't read it. So tell me what the story was, because it's usually just a bunch of B-S. But fill me in, what are the details?
[Editor's note: Reality TV World gives Chris a brief overview of Us Weekly's recent report regarding the alleged cheating scandal, including its follow-up report in which Jef's brother Mike claims the allegations are 100% percent true.]

Chris Harrison: His brother is the one that's telling everybody? (Laughs) That's pretty funny... If Jef's brother like the black sheep of the family? Does he want some press or something? So no, all I know, all I can tell you -- I mean I talk to Jef and Emily. And honestly, that's why I don't read that crap, because I mean, I'll just talk -- I talk to Jef and Emily all the time. So I kind of take my cues from them.

And they're doing great. I talked to -- I texted with Emily last week and I talked to Jef probably about the same time. I don't know if they were on vacation or something, but they were in a car, so we were all texting each other.

But they're doing great. We all joke around together and I don't ask them how they're doing or what their love-life is like because our conversations -- It's not like -- You would never ask you're friends how they're doing because you can tell when they're doing fine, you know what I mean?

So we talked, they're together, and they're doing great, and they seem to be having a good time together. I get pictures from time to time of them around doing stuff, so it seems like everything's good. I don't know about Jef's brother! (Laughs) It sounds like he has some issues in the family.

Above is the first portion of Chris' call. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday to read the concluding portion.

(Photo credit ABC)


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