While The Bachelorette'spremiere has been set for May 20 on ABC, its star won't be officially announced until The Bachelor's live seventeenth-season After the Final Rose special on March 11, and Harrison told Reality TV World discussions are still currently underway.
"Well first of all, I am the star of The Bachelorette. Who will be second to that, I don't know," Harrison joked with Reality TV World during a Thursday conference call with reporters.
"I don't know honestly if it is a 100% percent done deal. I know that we've severely narrowed it down and we've been discussing [it] constantly. I know word got out really early who people thought it was, but that was very premature. Because I know as of the taping for Women Tell All last Friday, we were still very much discussing who it was going to be."
"And so, I think people feel like we make these major rash decisions very early, but there's really no benefit for us to do that. And we kind of keep it open because different things come to light as far as what the reaction was going to be at Women Tell All, and we still want to see how America reacts after Women Tell All. And there's other women obviously outside of our group -- in our family -- that we're always looking at as well. So, it's close to being a done deal obviously, because we are about to announce it in about two weeks, but I'm not sure it's 100% percent."
However, there's been a lot of speculation regarding which ladies might be suitable to fill the position, and Harrison shared his thoughts on potential candidates Sarah Herron, Desiree Hartsock and AshLee Frazier.
"You got to know and see how strong and amazing [Sarah] is. And she does have an incredible story, the fact she was born with one arm, and that was obviously a huge kind of arcing story throughout our show. But then when you see her come back to Women Tell All and see how just articulate and well-spoken she was about her feelings and about her thoughts on love and how it's gone for her, it would've been an easy choice. And she would make a great Bachelorette," Harrison told Reality TV World.
"Des is kind of that young -- not that Katie Holmes is old -- but she's got this young, attractive Katie Holmes look and girl next door. It's kind of what the show is built on, with finding that diamond in the rough, kind of like [Sean Lowe] is. It's that everyday guy, obviously a great guy, and giving him that chance. And again, Des, the way she comes off on the Women Tell All makes herself a great candidate."
"And AshLee I think of anybody on the show definitely showed that she is at a point in her life where she knows what she wants and is an incredibly strong, beautiful woman. And you know, I think she's definitely ready for that and maybe more so than even Sean was, which is maybe one of the reasons it didn't work out. But she would be a good candidate as well."
During the call, Harrison also told reporters Frazier's silent and angry exit from the show did not ruin her chances of becoming the next The Bachelorette star despite speculation she's "too intense."
"No, not at all... [Her exit] was kind of reminiscent in many ways of [Ben Flajnik] when he was broken up with by [Ashley Hebert]. And to me, I thought it was a brutally honest representation of what I think really happens and how I would feel in that situation," Harrison explained.
"I remember when Ben was leaving and he was like, 'It's a breakup. Things don't end well. I'm not going to be happy right now, why would I be?'... Ben made a good Bachelor for that reason... And so I think when I saw AshLee respond, I thought, 'Here's a woman who's upset and probably pissed off that she was blindsided by this.'"
"To me, it seemed like a very honest reaction to a situation... It was probably smart of her to walk away and not say something she'd later regret... I think people kind of respect when either a man or especially a woman kind of stands up for herself in that situation and shows how strong she is and how committed she was to this. I think it just shows how deep into this process that she was and also Sean was as well."
Harrison added that Lowe was disappointed he didn't get much of a chance to explain himself following Frazier's elimination.
"I think it was a very real breakup. And as unfortunate as it was and sad, awkward, and all that, it was amazing to watch for sure. But it just goes to show you how sincere these people are and how real it is -- that when you get a reaction like that, you can tell there's no acting. Because obviously if we had it our way, we'd have this long drawn-out talk and whatever. But it was brutally honest and that's what we let play out."
(Photo credit ABC)
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