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'Bachelor Pad' host Chris Harrison: Love definitely came out of the show


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/23/2012 

Bachelor Pad's third season premieres tonight on ABC, only one night after Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette concluded.

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Bachelor Pad's third season will feature a twist in which five The Bachelor franchise "Super Fans" -- including identical twins Brittany Taltos and Erica Taltos, who will be competing as one contestant -- also compete with or against, and possibly date, this season's collection of returning bachelors and bachelorettes.

In addition to eighth-season The Bachelorette bachelors Tony Pieper, Kalon McMahon and Chris Bukowski, the cast will also feature numerous other notable bachelors and bachelorettes from previous editions -- including Erica Rose, Ed Swiderski, Michael Stagliano, Lindzi Cox, and Blakeley Shea

During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Chris Harrison talked to Reality TV World about the upcoming Bachelor Pad season and some of the drama due to unfold. To read what he had to say, click here.

Below are some additional highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Harrison's questions from other reporters -- including whether any couples will fall in love and potentially get married, how he addressed rumors regarding his personal life and reports that Emily Maynard wants her own spinoff show, and what will make this season's cast different from all prior seasons.

Can viewers expect to see any love connections this season on Bachelor Pad similar to Holly Durst and Blake Julian's story?

Chris Harrison: You know, I don't know if it's going to lead to a marriage like Holly and Blake, which is awesome. But definitely the connections, it took a little longer. 

One thing about this season that was very different is that last year, it seemed like we walked in with a lot of couples already set, although Holly and Blake weren't one of them.  But this year, it took a little longer for the game to start. And it took a little longer for some of the relationships to start. 

But when they did, it definitely took off.  There's definitely some love connections, and there's definitely some love that left the show and will continue on for sure, which is kind of a cool aspect of the show.  It definitely lends itself to creating more couples than The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, because there's obviously more men and women on the show.  But it definitely worked again this year for sure.

Obviously besides just tuning in for the fun challenges, we obviously love to see the drama and all the hookups.  I feel like last season, everybody remembers the whole love triangle between Mike, Holly and Blake.  And of course, it got very emotional.  So is there anything approaching that intensity this season?

Chris Harrison: Definitely.  Again, early on, it was a totally different dynamic, and I kind of liked it. It was very different in that we didn't have any set couples, and a lot of these people didn't even know each other going in. 

So while it took a little bit of time to feel each other out, it definitely ratcheted up and kicked up in a hurry, and then went maybe kind of, I think, beyond -- well beyond -- last season in that regard. 

So you'll definitely have love triangles, love octagons, all kinds of shapes and sizes. (Laughs) It was bizarre the things that were going on this year.  I mean, literally, I would leave for lunch and then come back and I'd be like, "Okay, so how are they doing?" -- "Oh, no.  They broke up a long time ago." Well, all I did was go get a sandwich and they would be, you know, two more couples in. 

There was a lot of moving around, and some of it was strategic.  Some of it was just plain stupidity, like some of the guys thinking they could somehow get away with this.  It was just bizarre.  And again, it's amazing how the concept works when you plug these people in and leave them to their own devices.

Why do you think it was so different this season?  Based upon what you're saying, it seems like many couples come out of this season.  So why do you think this group was so different? 

Chris Harrison: Because early on, I mean literally the first couple of episodes, I was like, "Huh." I wondered if we just got really lucky last season. "Is this really going to work?"  Then it just took off in a hurry.  And again, I blame the producers and the concept that it just works. 

It happens every single time.  But they definitely do and they definitely end up hooking up and switching partners and alliances.  And I think last year -- maybe the year before too -- the alliances and the battle lines were definitely drawn whether it was the outsiders and the cool kids or however they deemed themselves.

It just seemed very drawn in that you knew, "Okay, this is a battle with group A versus group B." This was such a mishmash of people, you never had those really strong alliances. And even when they thought they had alliances, you'll see that they quickly just fell apart and they didn't work when push came to shove.  So nobody knew if they were safe, nobody knew who was going home. 

It just makes for a much better show and just more drama and excitement throughout the show for all of us.  It was just a little scary and wild for those that were on the show.  It was very, very different in that way.  I just felt like last year, it was like, "Okay, get group A or group B off," or, "Who's going to win this week.?"

They were all intertwined and then they'd switch back and forth, and then, because of the dynamic, who wins the challenges? There was such an onus on winning the challenges this year, because that was really -- you found out quickly, the only safe place to be was to win a challenge and have that rose and be safe. 

And so, the challenges were intense, the voting was intense, and depending on who won that challenge, definitely made a huge impact on who went home.

So you are guest hosting on Live! with Kelly pretty soon.  Would you ever consider that as a full-time gig?

Chris Harrison: I mean, of course.  Who wouldn't?  That is one of the greatest hosting jobs that's come open in my lifetime.  I mean you look at -- probably the three top jobs that have come open in my life are Johnny Carson leaving The Tonight Show, Bob Barker and Regis' job.

It's a phenomenal vehicle, and those opportunities and those types of shows don't come around very often. And even to be co-hosting with [Kelly Ripa] and to be brought back for -- I guess this is my third stint I've had.  I guess this would be the fourth or fifth time I've hosted the show. 

It's a blast.  It's an incredible show to do, and Kelly is amazing at what she does and Gelman runs an amazingly tight, efficient ship over there.  It's fun just step into that vehicle and drive it.  It's like someone giving you the keys to a Ferrari for a little bit.

Speaking of TV, I was wondering what your thoughts are on the buzz that Emily Maynard is moving to California for a TV career and a possible spinoff.

Chris Harrison: (Laughs) That would be the least of the ridiculous things I've read about Emily over the last few weeks.

Do you have any thoughts about her pursuing a television career?

Chris Harrison: Is she doing that?

That's what the buzz is, yeah.

Chris Harrison: Okay, what is your source for this buzz?  Please tell me not Us Weekly.

There are a lot of online reports that I saw.  I was just wondering if you have any feedback on that.

Chris Harrison: Yes, I do have feedback.  You are a better journalist than that, and when you get credible sources, then we can go with this story. But until then, please don't go with buzz off the Internet.

I know we have been speaking about Chris Bukowski in this conference call so far.  A few months ago, he was prepared to be a husband and stepfather, but now he is playing the game of musical beds with three different girls the promo was showing.

Chris Harrison: I like the musical bed. (Laughs)

Yes, so is he actually being serious and sincere with Emily that he was ready to take on such a major responsibility of being a husband and a father?

Chris Harrison: The only thing I'll go with is, again, I'll never know and I don't think any of us will ever know.  But I'll just go with my gut instincts and base my opinion on what I saw in his eyes at The Men Tell All the other night, and he was hurt and he was sincere. 

And I was really struck at both [Sean Lowe] and Chris in their reactions to Emily.  Usually guys, especially when you get back to The Men Tell All, usually guys are pretty good about covering up our emotions and just saying, "Oh, no, you know what?  It wasn't that big of a deal.  I really wasn't that into her."

Both Sean and Chris were really open in how much they loved her and how much -- for a guy to do that, that actually says a lot.  Guys won't just make that kind of stuff up.  So I was moved by how much he felt about Emily.  Now with all that sincere, I am taking it as such, but you'll have to be the judge. 

And again, someone from a previous question was, "Did he react the way he did and play musical beds in Bachelor Pad because he was on the rebound from Emily?"  Maybe.  Maybe that was his reaction and his way of dealing with the hurt. 

I don't know.  You'll have to ask him.  But I will say as far as his connection with Emily, I felt it.  It seemed like it was there on the show and definitely at The Men Tell All. I believed what he was saying.

Kalon made another grand entrance on Bachelor Pad by showing up in a Porsche -- not in a helicopter, but still in a luxury vehicle.  So did that also put a target on his back walking in, and were the fellow contestants even aware of the scandal on The Bachelorette since you were filming as The Bachelorette was unfolding on television?

Chris Harrison: First of all, the entrances on Bachelor Pad are unlike Bachelor. You don't get to see them.  So, they come one at a time in cars, and so nobody even knew that he pulled up in a Porsche, except for me.  So his entrance was just more for flash and to be Kalon. 

So, no, nobody knew his entrance. But they did know his story, because while we were still finishing up The Bachelorette, enough had aired [that] everybody had seen Kalon. But you bring up kind of an interesting point about Bachelor Pad in that Chris, Kalon and [Tony Pieper] from this recent season, they are alumni so to speak, but not really. 

They might as well have been part of the fan group, because they haven't gone to any of these parties.  They weren't really part of the mix yet. And so, they actually had their work cut out for them as much as the fans did trying to get into the group and become part of the cool kids just because they were kind of the outsiders. 

Kalon even said that the first night, like, "Look, I don't know these people.  I've heard of Michael Stagliano and some, [Ed Swiderski], but I've never met them." So just being on this last season didn't really help them that much.

This morning, Emmy nominations came out and unfortunately, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor and you as a host didn't get nominated.  But what do you think of the people in shows in that category that have?

Chris Harrison: Yeah, I know.  Ten years of Emmy snubs.  It's unfortunate. I really wished the show for sure would've been nominated.  The Bachelor, it's -- the Emmys itself is very political, and you really have to make a concerted effort and a big push.  With The Bachelor, we've never really done that. 

I wish we would, because I think the show very much deserves it.  And it's unfortunate, because while it doesn't really ever help your show and it doesn't really help your career that much like the Oscars do or maybe even getting a Golden Globe or something like that, it's definitely an ego thing. And we all have egos and it would be an honor to be nominated. 

The shows that were nominated, let's see. Well Idol got pushed out, which was amazing, and The Voice got in. So that's a big shift.  But again, it doesn't really -- honestly, it doesn't really affect. I mean, I think The Bachelor is proof that we've been doing just fine and have a huge audience and have been extremely successful for 24 seasons. 

We've actually been on the air a lot longer than any show that's been nominated.  So, it doesn't have a huge effect on you, but I think it would just be one of those things you'd love to put a feather in your cap and have it on your resume. And I'm voting for Betty White if that matters.

So if you can think back to the first time you heard who was going to be on this season's Bachelor Pad, what were kind of your initial reactions? Was there anyone immediately you were like, "That person is going to do really well," or, "That person is going to be struggle?"

Chris Harrison: Let's see.  I think for some reason Ed comes mind, and I thought, "Train wreck," just because his life has been a bit of a train wreck. And when he immediately came in he's like just in Ed style, "I don't have a plan, we'll see what happens." I'm like, "Oh man, he's going to be eaten alive."

But I was also very intrigued about Michael Stagliano -- just what it would be like to have a defending -- someone kind of popular come back like him, but a defending champ.  And what would that dynamic be like. I knew he would have his work cut out for him.

But then I guess the other, the third aspect, was the fans.  What it would be like for these fans to come in -- like really, these uber fans, who walk in and they can name everybody in the room.  I mean some of them, especially the guys, I was really impressed the guys knew more about the show than I ever did -- which is a little scary. 

But it was real interesting to watch them kind of walk in wide-eyed and like, "Oh my God, I watched you on your season, I love you," or, "You're a villain."  It was really funny to watch them and how they reacted.

Hollywood.com spoke with Trista Ryan recently, and she mentioned she's really interested to see what happens between [Lindzi Cox] and Kalon as kind of the fan favorite and fan villain?  Can you comment on that relationship at all?  I know you probably can't say too much.

Chris Harrison: Well, yeah, definitely you'll have to watch. And it's interesting that the way the show works is a lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of the time you have to partner up with somebody and you start relying on people and it's amazing how relationships kind of form out of those partnerships. 

And definitely Kalon and Lindzi will be a couple of people to watch on the show, and just Kalon in general. Kalon, in a way, kind of reminds me of Erica Rose in that you saw him on The Men Tell All and you even saw him on the show, where he thinks what he is saying is wise and he thinks he is kind of helping his own cause.

But he doesn't realize he's in the pot he's stirring, and he's only making things worse -- kind of like during The Men Tell All, I gave him every opportunity to kind of save himself, and he just kept digging that ditch.  (Laughs) I think he really fancies himself as doing well on Bachelor Pad and kind of resurrecting his personality, but we'll see. We'll see if we have the same opinion that he does.

There have been so many rumors about the Emily Maynard situation with you, and Vienna Girardi went on the record saying that you and Emily are madly in love. What's your reaction to stories like that?

Chris Harrison: My reaction, and again, we are going to a credible source like -- who wrote that one?

Vienna went on the record.

Chris Harrison: Yeah, I would just like to clear one thing up, because that one thing that really, really bothered me about that entire story was I don't want anyone to ever believe that Vienna and I have ever been on vacation.  That I can't have floating around.  So, no, Vienna and I, nor my family, nor my wife have ever hung out with Vienna. That was a shocking, horrible thing to come out in a story.

Have you talked to Vienna about it?

Chris Harrison: No. (Laughs) Vienna and I, we don't, I haven't talked to her in years.  And by the way, the vacation we were on in Saint Lucia was the finale of her season with [Jake Pavelka]. 

I was there working, watching her and Jake get engaged. And my family wasn't even there, which by the way -- I know it would take a lot of digging for a journalist to figure that out, but heaven forbid.  They just give Vienna a paycheck and take a quote. Not that they did that. None of these magazines would ever do that.

Are you and Emily still just friends after the show?

Chris Harrison: I don't know.  I read one magazine that we hate each other and don't talk, and then the other one says we are madly in love.  So, I don't know. It's somewhere in that spectrum for sure.

The final question of Bachelor Pad is always will someone choose love or the money. Did you see any trends this season? Were people tending to go for one or the other?

Chris Harrison: Again, I think in the end, if you asked everybody -- and again, you'd have to ask each one to kind of make their own opinion -- I think they would say throughout the show, it changes. 

But again, this isn't to dodge your question at all.  I'm being very honest in that I think if you ask Michael Stagliano even this season alone, he walked in for love, then started playing the game, then probably started playing just for love again, then probably had to play the game. 

I think from week to week, your answer really changes. And that's why it's mentally exhausting to be in Bachelor Pad. It is a tough game to play, and I think everybody feels like they're just going to waltz in and it's going to be one big sorority or fraternity party. 

It really is taxing and it's tough.  It puts you in kind of these situations socially and physically that you are just not really ready for and prepared to face.  You are not expecting it.  So again, I think the easy answer is from week to week that answer probably changes.

Above are some additional highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Chris Harrison's call. To read what he had to say to Reality TV World, click here

(Photo credit ABC)


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