Chris Harrison: My issue is Bentley Williams gave Ashley no closure
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/07/2011
Chris Harrison says his real issue with Bentley Williams' decision to quit The Bachelorette since he wasn't attracted to seventh-season star Ashley Hebert is the way he lied and suggested the pair could still possibly have a relationship down the road, denying Hebert closure.
"Let me be very clear about my thoughts on Bentley and him leaving... My issue is he appears to have come on the show with bad intentions, and when he decided to leave, he messed with Ashley's head by leading her on and letting her believe that there's still a chance for them to be together," The Bachelorette host wrote on his Entertainment Weekly blog.
"He knew Ashley had fallen for him, and instead of just leaving and letting her go, he took one last inappropriate shot by ending it with that ridiculous 'dot-dot-dot' [open ended] garbage."
While Harrison isn't a fan of Williams' prior actions -- which allegedly included coming on the show for publicity, bashing Hebert in his private interviews, manipulating her feelings for him when they were together, and falsely claiming he was leaving the show because he missed his daughter -- The Bachelorettehost says he has no issue with them.
"I have no problem with him coming on the show. I have no problem with him coming on the show even if he was hoping our bachelorette was going to be [fifteenth season The Bachelor bachelorette Emily Maynard whom Brad Womack had selected and proposed to over Chantal O'Brien]. You never know what can happen when you meet somebody," Harrison said.
"I also don't have a problem with him deciding it was time to leave, that's completely up to him. I also didn't have a problem with him using his daughter as an excuse to leave and let Ashley down easy; that's not the way I would have handled the situation, but so be it."
However, Williams wasn't the only bachelor to hurt Hebert's feelings during Monday night's broadcast, as William Holman hit a nerve when he and several other bachelors were required to write jokes and roast Hebert during a group date.
While several of the other men decided to pull their punches in order to avoid offending Hebert with their jokes, Holman went all-out and ended up touching upon Hebert's main insecurity about her decision to do the show -- that the men would be disappointed she was the Bachelorette and wish Maynard stood in her place instead.
Harrison said although Holman understood the true point of a roast, he crossed the gray line into what was considered offensive and took his jokes to a bit of an extreme.
"I have mixed feelings about how this date went down. On one hand, it was supposed to be a roast and in that vein the guys should be able to pull no punches. On the other hand, you just can't be so ridiculous to think that it's ever a good idea to roast the girl whose affections you're trying to win," Harrison explained, adding that Holman's goal to become stand-up comedian clouded his judgment on how to best handle the situation.
"William got way too excited about fulfilling his dream of becoming the next [comedian] Dennis Miller and forgot to be a smart, sensible man."
Despite both of their mistakes, Harrison said there was one major characteristic that set Holman apart from Williams -- his willingness to accept his faults and admit he was wrong.
"The big difference between William and a guy like Bentley is William quickly realized the error of his ways, felt sick about it, and apologized many times," Harrison added.
The host also believed Williams' failure to receive Hebert's rose at the comedy club group date damaged his competitive ego and triggered his desire to leave The Bachelorette, especially since he had already admitted the thrill of the game was his sole motivation for sticking around.
"During their one-on-one time on this date, Ashley basically called Bentley out, but once again, he pulled the wool over her eyes. I was asked this week why Bentley decided to leave and when. I'm not positive, but something about not getting the rose on this group date seemed to set the wheels in motion," Harrison said.
In addition, Harrison explained how he didn't have a problem with bachelor Jeff Medolla -- who initially wore a mask before finally revealing his face shortly before he was eliminated during last night's episode -- but feels his masked character facade backfired and ultimately led to his demise.
"Ironically the guy showed up in the mask to make sure Ashley got to know exactly who he was, but in the end, I don't think he ever got to show who he was because the mask became his personality. It became bigger than him, and when he took it off, he and Ashley really had nowhere to go," Harrison said.