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Chris Harrison: Michael Stagliano was arrogant on 'Bachelor Pad'


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/21/2012 

Michael Stagliano may have come across as the sweet innocent guy on the losing end of a love triangle last season on Bachelor Pad, but host Chris Harrison believes the "ring leader" came across cocky this time around. 

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"Michael is very confident and arrogant, especially when it comes to the game," Harrison told TV Guide in an interview in which he discussed the second-season Bachelor Pad winner's shocking elimination during Monday night's broadcast.

Stagliano was ousted from the game following a surprise twist in which all the men and women in the house had to vote to eliminate one woman, who would then in turn choose one man to leave with her. Desperate to get rid of Chris Bukowski, Stagliano rallied votes against Erica Rose -- who wasn't in his alliance nor a big fan of Bukowski -- while telling Rose he had her back and Bukowski had been plotting to eliminate her.

Stagliano hoped he could ignite a fire in Rose so that if his plan worked to get her voted out of the house, she'd want Bukowski gone before any other bachelors. However, Bukowski allowed Rose to enter the voting booth with him to prove he wasn't after her. After determining Stagliano had betrayed and lied to her despite their apparent friendship, Rose chose to take him down with her instead of Bukowski.

"It was a Hail Mary, a last-ditch effort and it could not have worked better if Chris hadn't jokingly said to Erica, 'I'll take you in the booth with me.' It was a bizarre stroke of genius for Chris because Erica was definitely not going to vote for Michael until that happened," Harrison explained.

Not only did Rose decide to take out the "kingpin" in the house, but she also felt the need to bash and unload on Stagliano before leaving. Harrison apparently didn't take sides after the nasty exchange in which Rose said Stagliano's ex-fiancee Holly Durst made the smartest decision ever to leave him for good and marry Blake Julian instead.

"I'm going to chalk that up to her being emotional in the moment. It was a bit uncalled for and maybe over the line, but I also don't know what's gone on between them in the house, so maybe it was deserved. But I was taken aback. I know she feels betrayed and stabbed in the back, but it was the only way he could survive when they changed the game," the host told TV Guide.

When Stagliano got voted out of the house, his partner and love interest Rachel Truehart was so heartbroken she threatened to quit Bachelor Pad. Had the bachelorette decided to follow through with her initial idea to leave alongside her man, Harrison admitted the game would've changed drastically.

"Rachel all but walked out the door, and I was about to tell them if Rachel leaves, Erica is back in the game. I think Michael figured that out and talked her into staying," Harrison said. "Now we partner up and... [Nick Peterson] stumbled upon not only a great partner, but a business partner [since Michael is gone]. They know they're in it for the game and not a relationship. So they may be one of the better couples in the house, oddly enough."

Another seemingly strong couple in the house is Kalon McMahon and Lindzi Cox much to Harrison's own surprise. While McMahon came across as one of the worst villains in Bachelor history during his time on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette when he unapologetically referred to her daughter Ricki as "baggage," he has acted as a kind gentleman in Cox's presence -- a side of his personality Harrison believes is more representative of his true colors.

"Take away the game, this is the most surprising story to come out of Bachelor Pad. It's America's sweetheart and one of the despised guys from Emily's season. But in my opinion, this is the real Kalon. What he said to Emily was stupid and ignorant, but is he a bad guy? No. The best part about Kalon is he's in on the joke and pokes the bear a lot on purpose. I think it's awesome he's talking about falling in love," Harrison explained, elaborating even further in his Entertainment Weekly blog.

"It's amazing, but somehow it works, and their relationship moved pretty quickly. If I'd told you before this season started that Kalon would be the good guy and Chris would be one of the most hated, would you have believed it?"

Another relationship Harrison claimed he never would've predicted was that of Blakeley Shea and Tony Pieper's.

"Never in a million years, although Blakeley is an insecure girl and wants to be protected and taken care of and Tony is that loyal, protective father. He fits all the things Blakeley is looking for and all the things Chris wasn't. This definitely shocked me, and it was fast and furious. It was almost overnight that they became a couple," the host told TV Guide.

Unlike Shea and Pieper, Ed Swiderski and Jaclyn Swartz's relationship began in the season's very first episode. However, Swiderski made it known to the house he had no desire to get romantically involved with Swartz, who had unfortunately developed feelings for him. Harrison's opinion of Swiderski's inability to relate to women is pretty straight forward.

"It was really a simple softball question that Ed could have easily answered without really saying too much. But in typical Ed fashion, he walked up to a bonfire and threw a tank of gasoline on it, and then was shocked that it blew up in his face," Harrison wrote in his EW blog.

During his TV Guide interview, Harrison also joked that Swiderski "isn't on the same level as any human being especially when it comes to human emotion."

Added the host, "His track record speaks for itself, and at least with Jaclyn he told her. Sadly, [it was] in front of everyone else, making it one of the biggest male gaffes ever. But Ed is not known for his tact and he knows he sucks at relationships. He's terrible with women. He gets them and he's with them but he doesn't know how to do the whole relationship thing."

In addition, Harrison also touched upon Bukowski's apparent anger issues portrayed so far this season.

"He's an angry little elf, isn't he? Michael had a great line when he said Chris was taking up 'all the a-hole space' in the house. You know things are getting out of hand when even Michael Stagliano thinks you're being a dill-weed."

(Photo credit ABC)


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