During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, The Bachelor host Chris Harrison talked to Reality TV World about Womack and Maynard's aborted plan to get married on the season's After the Final Rose finale and Emily's decision not to follow through on Brad's frequently-mentioned expectation that his final woman would relocate to his Austin, TX hometown.
Reality TV World: So on last night's show, you said you and Brad had talked about him and Emily getting married on the After the FinalRose special. Can you elaborate on that in terms of how that discussion started? How far along did they get, and how close did it actually come to happening?
Chris Harrison: Yes, absolutely. Brad had mentioned as soon as the show was over and both of them, you know, 'We're very excited and let's get married. Let's do it tomorrow.' So once we got back to the United States and realized things were still going very well at this time, you know, we decided, Hey, let's make After the Final Rose a wedding.
Then we went to Brad and said, 'Let's do this,' and he was onboard and was excited about it. And at first, I think Emily was pretty open to it, but I think the more she thought of it, there's a couple reasons. First of all, the more she thought about it is, you know, to take a woman's wedding day from her and make it kind of a private event is not a good idea.
You know, when she does get married, she wants to do it right. She doesn't want it to be a secret from family, friends, and everybody. That was one reason.
I think also, the more she thought about it, the more she realized rushing into a wedding with a daughter and, you know, not 100 percent sure where this is going, it's just it would be a little irresponsible. So, I think she is the one that really hit the brakes and slowed it down and decided, you know, let's wait this out. Let's watch the show and see where we are, and which was a responsible smart thing to do. I am glad she did it.
Reality TV World: Brad had seemed to make it clear from the beginning that he expected to have whichever girl he picked to move to Austin, but Emily isn't willing to do that yet, so how did that happen? Did Brad somehow never discuss that with her, if so, and do you think he still would have picked her if he had known?
Chris Harrison: No, and I think Emily knows. You know, he was very forthright with Emily. They've talked about it extensively. I just -- it's not that Emily won't move to Austin, it's that, you know, again, going back to her daughter, it's like being a dad, you don't -- you can't make decisions for yourself anymore.
I think if all things being equal, Emily would move to Austin yesterday. But you know, all things aren't equal. She has a daughter. She has a life and she's in school. So you have a larger responsibility, and Emily is in Austin right now. They're spending time together. Then Brad will be up in Charlotte.
So I think they're going to, you know, kind of go the [Jason Mesnick] and [Molly Malaney] route. Jason had to do the same thing for his son. He couldn't just go to Michigan and be with Molly. So, you know, it's a different route they're going to have to take. I think they'll get there, but it's you know, Emily will have to be reassured that this is really going to work before she up and moved to Austin.
Also in the call, Chris talked about whether he was surprised Emily was Brad's final pick, if he feels the couple will be able to overcome their rocky start which has already included one brief split, and whether he's ever personally seen the temper Emily cited Brad as having during the After the Final Rose special.
Was there a reason that in last night's episode, the final rose was not presented?
Chris Harrison: It's so funny. That's been the most talked about thing this morning, and it was total producer lapse. We actually shot it and it happened, and we're probably going to put it up on ABC.com. But it's funny. I talked to the execs last night from ABC and the producers, and I said, 'Why did we leave that off? It was the first time?'
Our executive producer, Martin Hilton, just didn't think it would be that big of a deal honestly, and didn't know it would stir everybody up the way it did. But we had the proposal and all that, and we moved on to the After the Final Rose special. He didn't realize he would cause such a stir. But it did take place and we will show it, and I think our fans have taught us a good lesson.
Chris Harrison: Yes, who she chose to show and have on the show was you know, her decision. You know, and I don't know, nor would I ever get into her relationship with the Hendricks family. From what I understand it's good, and that's all I know of it.
But, you know, who she introduced us to -- it's always up to her -- and what they do in their hometown is up to them. I don't think she's against moving to Austin. You know, I am a parent. So, I very much understand her line of thinking and where she's coming from, and I really respect it because at this point your life is not your own anymore. Your decisions aren't your own.
You no longer get to live this selfish life and Emily knows that. That's one thing she was trying to explain to Brad, that you don't just get to do what you want anymore, and as much as Brad loves the idea of becoming a parent, I think she is very careful and protective of her daughter.
That makes me like her a lot more and it makes Brad love her that much more. So, I think she's just decided to take it slow in honor of Ricki.
After the final rose taping, when did you hear that Emily and Brad are going through a difficult time like any normal couple. Were you surprised that they have broken up already?
Chris Harrison: No. Well first of all, they're not broken up. You know, it was several weeks after we shot in South Africa is really when the show started airing that it became a big problem. Part of that was self-admittedly, you know, Emily's insecurity of watching Brad on the show and watching him with Chantal in particular. Obviously that is something you can talk to her about in a little bit.
Because what Brad and her shared was real and it was tough for her to watch that. Maybe in hindsight, she wouldn't watch the show again. But, you know, part of the problem with them was, A) going through just a normal relationship. B), having to deal with watching the show, and no offense to you, but seeing the bullshit that was printed in the tabloids.
That's tough to deal with. I mean, when you have you know, magazines throwing money left and right, paying ex-boyfriends and girlfriends and printing just garbage to try and save a failing magazine, then that's tough to deal with.
So, I felt bad for them. Some of the things that were said went way beyond the line of decency, and it's not that they don't -- that they didn't sign up for this -- they have both opened their lives up, and they know that and I know that. But there is a line of decency that was definitely crossed with them.
So, I think that's part of the reason they have decided, 'Screw everybody. We're not doing press today. We're going to go back to Austin and live our lives and be happy.'
Chris Harrison: Absolutely. I love it... I think she's going to do great. She is a spitfire, man. If you get to know her, which you will, she has this great charisma and charm and just puts everybody at ease.
She's a professional woman, which I also love, because I don't think -- I was trying to think back -- We really haven't had a true professional woman as our Bachelorette before. You know, someone who's career is so important to them and so they're so good at it. You know, being a dentist and all that.
So, I am really excited of the prospect of her coming in, and I think she has got this great likeability that the guys will enjoy. But she also at the same time -- as you saw with Brad -- has her vulnerabilities, her regret, and you know, some things that she's dealing with as well. So, it's going to be a great season.
Were you surprised that Brad chose Emily in the end?
Chris Harrison: You know, I wasn't at all. I wasn't surprised who the final two were. I wasn't surprised at you know, Emily ending up with the final rose. Well, she would have ended up with the final rose if we had shown it.
But, you know, from the moment she got out of the limo, Brad took a liking to Emily. You know, they just had something that was a little different, and it's not to say you know, Brad, if you ask him, he'll tell you from the moment she got out of the limo, she was the only one. Which look, if I am engaged to the girl, I would tell my wife the same thing so I don't get in trouble.
But you know, what he had with some of these other girls was very real, whether it was Ashley or Chantal. He has always had something different with Emily and he always talked a little differently about her and their relationship. You could just tell there was something there, and in the end, it was very clear it was going to be her.
Brad hinted to viewers last night on After the Rose that really early on, he had kind of set it in his head that Emily could be the one for him. Did he ever say anything to you about it or did you have any suspicions that she was the one for him?
Chris Harrison: Absolutely. I mean we spent so much time together whether it was you know, hanging out in Anguilla or Costa Rica or whatever. Off camera where I would -- it's like I always do though -- I always like to say, 'Hey, how was your date with Ashley last night? How was Chantal?
And when I would talk to him about Emily, it was just something a little different in the way he talked about her, where as only Brad could put it, he'd be like, 'Hey, you know, man, there is just something about this girl.' He's like, 'I really think she might be the one.'
But that's what it would be. Like, I think or I really feel like she could be. So to his credit, he didn't give up on the others, and that's one of the main problems I think that you can talk to Chantal about, and it hurt her. She really wanted to validate that her feelings were real and that what Brad was saying to her was real.
I really believe it was. It's just what he had with Emily was different, and he just loves her more. There's no easy way to put that. There's no easy way to tell a woman, 'I am just in love with somebody else.' It's just going to hurt.
So do you think that they'll be able to work out these issues, and the long-distance relationship and everything? Will they be able to pull through this? Did you see signs of that?
Chris Harrison: I do. I mean look. It's absolutely easy for everybody in the magazines and radio and TV to say they're going to break up. I mean that's just an easy and they're easy to take shots at. Couples are always are. I mean statistically, your neighbors are going to get divorced tomorrow.
So it's easy to say it's not going to work, but from my perspective, two friends of mine that I saw and have gotten to know, I think they will try to make it work. I think they will fight like hell, and the reason I give them a good chance now is I think before you had these two stubborn people and they were kind of butting heads as they were apart and dealing with this apart.
Well, now it's over. They're together. Now they have a bit of a unified front, and I have talked to Brad already this morning and last night, and know that it's kind of working in their favor in this respect. It's them against the world.
You know, now instead of the tabloid BS, you know, causing problems, and causing a rift in the relationship, they can laugh at it and talk about what a joke it is.
I literally read this morning on a website just a second ago before I got on this call, that the quote/unquote inside source said that Brad and Emily are broken up for good. It's just like, I mean, you can't fight that. It's so ridiculous, and it's such BS, you can't -- you can't go out and fight every stupid rumor and every stupid tabloid report -- All you can do is laugh at it.
I think that's one of the great things about having Molly and Jason and [Trista and Ryan Sutter] and [Ali Fedotowsky] and [Roberto Martinez] on the show last night, is people that have been in their shoes, people that were able to pull them aside last night and say, 'Look, you are bigger than this. This is about you guys. Don't worry about the tabloids. Don't worry about all this garbage going on.
You know, do what you want, and what they want right now is to be alone and go have a relationship. So, that's what they're doing right now.
Do you know if Brad has had any time to see little Ricki again, and how they're going to approach introducing him to basically their family?
Chris Harrison: Yes. No, I think they will and in due time. That is up to Brad and Emily and in due time I am sure they will share with you how they're going to go about it. But, you know, I know Emily well enough to know that she will do what's right for her daughter first, and her and Brad second.
I am guessing that will mean taking it slow and working their way into Ricki's life and vice versa. Ricki into Brad's life. I know she wants to make it work. I know she loves Brad dearly, and I know Brad loves Ricki very much, and wants to be a part of this girl's life. So, because of that, I think they have the resolve, the stubbornness to make this work. That's why I really feel it will end up working out.
You were great when you came to Michelle Money's rescue in The Women Tell All show, so how did you feel at that moment. What was going through your head when the girls just kind of relentlessly kept going at her?
Chris Harrison: You know, it's interesting. I have had a lot of people talked about you know, is it a good thing to defend her or maybe I shouldn't have, I was too easy and I got duped by her, and she was just acting. You know, I just take it like -- I guess I just -- I just call them like I see them. I can only react to what I feel in that moment.
There is no one telling me what to do or producing me or whatever. It's just I've been doing this long enough that they, the producers, really just give me free reign, and if they care to show it on television it's up to them.
But at that time, this girl was just destroyed. She was distraught. I know people have said she was faking it, but like believe me, if you were sitting there, this girl was not faking it. You know, she was literally shaking and hyperventilating. That was the main thing. She really couldn't catch her breath and talk.
And she was, if you saw her body language, she was like cowering. So, I did get protective of her. Regardless of whether I believe her or not, or think that she deserved some of it, that's beside the point. At that moment, I just thought this girl didn't deserve to get beat up on.
I found it interesting. The girl just kept going and going, and she'd apologized several times. So I just said enough. You know, and I guess I stood up for her and did it in a way that was a bit abrupt. But you know, I definitely stand by it, because that's how I felt at the moment.
In the promos for the After special, there is a clip of Brad it seems saying to Ashley H that he has sabotaged their date in South Africa, and then that never appeared in the special. Could tell us about that?
Chris Harrison: Yeah, well I think what Brad meant, and you know, there are some times where we'll show something in a tease that won't air because I think what you are shown is self-evident enough and paints the picture. What Brad meant was, that that night was just bad. I mean it was a bad date that went worse and got worse as the night went on. He just -- he was questioning Ashley so much, and really put her on the spot -- So they really never had a chance to even have a good night from really from their dinner on.
And so, you know, he really felt bad later about kind of putting the screws to her that night and just not being able to relax. But, you know, that was part of her problem too, and her defense mechanism and kind of sabotaging it as well. She never really allowed Brad to love her, and allow Brad to, you know, she never understood how Brad could like her and she was just -- I don't know.
She just had this, I guess, self-doubt the entire time of how could he like me? You saw it in Anguilla too when Brad was literally trying to give her a rose, and she was saying, 'Don't send me home.' He's like I'm giving you a rose. And so you know, I have talked to Ashley about that. We've laughed about it, and I am like you were so insecure.
And she's like I know. I hate it. I like go back and I watch that girl on the show and I want to just slap her.
What are your thoughts about certain web sites that often have the results before they're officially announced, and then they are, as we saw in one, a prominent case with one prominent web site that had been kind of the show's villain. They had gotten the answer as to who Brad picked wrong, even after he was promoting for three months who the winner would be.
Chris Harrison: You know, it's not to go to a larger picture here, but, you know, it's going to happen. In this day and age, like that's where we are unfortunately in this world. Whether it's you know, tabloids putting out paparazzi pictures of us on the road, or whatever.
It's just going to happen, or like WikiLeaks dropping national security secrets. You know, when was the last time you didn't know who the judges were on American Idol or who was going to be on Dancing with the Stars a week in advance?
Like in this day and age of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and there is just no accountability. It's not like you're at CNN and you have to have three sources before you'll go with a story. You know, I actually talked to -- and I usually don't ever get into this -- but I actually talked to a tabloid reporter who wrote this ridiculous article about Emily.
And I said, OK. Tell me who your sources are, and please don't tell me there's one unidentified source. That would never be enough in the world of journalism to go with a story, much less a cover story with headlines.
But that's it. If you hear hearsay, and even if you pay somebody 15 grand for a story, that's a source, and you can go with it. It can be the cover of your magazine or whatever.
So it's changed so much and journalism has changed so much. Again, this is a much broader topic that I'll get into when I teach college about how to be an actual journalist. But you know, it's something that you can't fight, and you almost have to embrace it as a television producer now.
We have changed our show to really be more transparent. You look back and say a [Rozlyn Papa] situation, or Justin Rego who was on Ali's season, where you don't just not give somebody a rose. Now you really show, 'Hey, they had a girlfriend and not only that, but here are the voicemails and here's the girlfriend talking about it.' We have to go so far beyond what we used to just because you're going to be held accountable.
Since you are the expert on all things Bachelor, and you talked before about, you know, dealing with the tabloids and the like. What does it take to be a contestant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette? What does someone need to be ready for a show like this?
Chris Harrison: You know, it's definitely a thick skin. In the end, I think you have to be self-assured and confident of who you are and your decisions. Because in the end, that's what you're left with. I mean, the tabloids are going to go away. There will be another flavor of the month in a month or so.
You know, and Brad and Emily will be able to live their lives. I think that's what Jason and Molly and everyone was trying to tell them. Like, don't worry about it. This too shall pass, so, I think it's just having perspective and those people that come in and have a good base -- a good family, a good background, a good support system -- to go back to and realize A), what's real, what's meaningful, you know, and what you stand for.
And as long as you stand by that stuff then you're fine, because ex-girlfriends, you know, look. If your 28, 30, 38-years-old like Brad is, you're going to have exes. You're going to have people in your life that will come out of the woodwork, and ask for money from magazines, and sell their story for however much, and try and get their 15 minutes of fame, and try and attach themselves and date people from our show.
That's going to happen, but I think if you have good perspective, and you're a decent human being, and you know what's real in this world for you, then it's okay. It'll go away.
I know the Bachelors like Brad come to you for advice, but do any of the girls come to you for advice? You seem to be like the father figure on the show.
Chris Harrison: I like to think of the older brother more than a father figure. So I am not so old. It depends. It really depends on, you know, when it's the Bachelorette, of course they do. Like Ashley, I am sure she will. I have done it with Ali and [Jillian Harris] because you get to be friends with these people, and you get to be protective of them. You want them to do well.
I think after the After the Final Rose special is a good example of trying to help. The whole hour was really almost a therapy session of trying to help Emily and Brad. That was my entire goal. My goal wasn't to drag anything out of them and beat them up and really be sensational. I just really wanted to help them, and that was part of bringing all those couples in and giving them some advice and helping them along the way.
And absolutely throughout the show, whether it's Brad, or it's going to be Ashley coming up. I will fight tooth and nail to help them as long as I feel like they're being genuine and being honest with me, and they really want it, then I will do anything in my power to help them out.
You mentioned teaching journalism in the future. Is that something you're planning on doing?
Chris Harrison: No. I am going to keep my day job for a while. But yes, I do. I actually speak at USC from time-to-time and other places. It's just funny, like having grown up as a journalist, I started as a newscaster and sportscaster.
You know, I look at the stories that are printed now, and I laugh. I'm like, I would have been fired for going with some of the stories that are put out now, but it's also changed. I mean so much has changed. Just -- if you think about the time that our show has been on, in 10 years -- when we started, there was no Twitter, no Facebook, no blogging.
You know, none of this existed. There was no texting when we started. So, there was a lot more accountability and there weren't so many websites and places where people could just throw up an opinion and go with it.
That's really forced the tabloids and you guys to kind of up your game, and really have to get a little more sensational to keep up with, you know, these blogs and other places that can just print what they want. So, it's tough and the game's changed a lot and journalism has changed a lot. It's an interesting time.
And so, and the thing is again, I am not holier than thou to think that what we're doing is saving the world and Emily and Brad are above all this. They're not. They opened their lives. They signed up for this and they knew to a certain degree what they were getting in for.
I just think there's got to be some line that could be drawn, where it still stays somewhat respectable.
Emily brought up Brad's temper in the After the Final Rose special. You spent a lot of time with him. Did you ever experience it?
Chris Harrison: I did not. Although, why would anyone ever be mad at me? So, no. But you know, what's funny. You brought up a good point. I would love to talk about that. Emily felt bad. We talked about this immediately after as I was saying good-bye to them. She's like I feel bad, you know, that I said that word.
I'm like, 'It's funny.' We talk about religion on TV and a good example is, if someone says Jesus on TV, you might as well have said Jesus 1,000 times. Because religion is so powerful, and Emily felt the same way when she said he has a temper.
You know, immediately it sounds 1,000 times worse and she kind of regretted bringing that up because it made it seem like, you know, Brad is this monster, and he's tough to deal with and he's not. You know, but I promise you, they are two of the most stubborn people you'll ever meet. Neither one of them is wrong.
And let me tell you something about sweet Emily. You know, sweet little Emily can handle herself, too. She's stubborn as a mule, so they both butt heads. They have these knockdown drag-out fights and were getting into it like you know, normal couples do. But, you know, when she brings it public and says that, I think immediately everybody thinks, 'Oh my God, he's like yelling at her. He is verbally abusive and he's a bad guy.'
You know, it's not the case, but they were battling with something separately. It was tough. You know, they were really divided. She was going through it and then Brad was trying to explain himself. Every Tuesday morning they would try and pick up the pieces. So, you know, a lot of that has changed just from last night to today where they are now kind of this unified team.
And now, I think this stubbornness and this will to fight will definitely behoove them and help them move forward. Because now they're together and it's kind of this us against them mentality.
It seemed to be a little bit of a case of she wasn't just like not that into him. He seemed completed besotted by her, but I sensed a reservation on Emily. What are your feelings on that?
Chris Harrison: No, I get that. You know, it's funny. I don't know if Chantal is on the line listening, but it was really funny because Emily was talking to me about her. She was like. 'I watched the show back, and I watched Brad and Chantal, and like they look so comfortable together and their dates were so great. Then I watch Brad and I and it almost looked awkward and uncomfortable.'
But Brad is like that. He is like that with women. When he really likes them, he gets nervous. It's almost like a schoolboy crush. They always had this weird, almost cute, awkwardness about them when they're together, and obviously I have been with them in private, and they don't have that. But definitely on camera I get that. It almost seems weird together, when they are off-camera, when they are just hanging out and talking, they are adorable together.
Do you think the difference in their ages posed a bit of a problem? Emily knew what she was signing up for, you mentioned it yourself. The show was edited, so she is not seen as what might have exactly happened. Why is she backing off now, and why is she so upset?
Chris Harrison: You know, a couple of things. Well first of all, to answer your question about the age, normally, I would say that's a good point. I think Emily has lived unfortunately a longer more experienced life than hopefully any of us will have to ever endure with the tragedies, and her and being a single mom.
I almost look at Emily honestly, you know, I am older than Brad is, but I feel like she is as old as I am when I talk to her. I mean she is so mature and it's not like that with all the women on the show. I think it would have been different, and they probably would have gone their separate ways had it been a different girl who might have been younger, and they were facing these same problems.
But, you know, Emily has this resolve, and this maturity. That's why I think they'll make it. You know, honestly, that's why I think they will go back and fight this out, because they are a very mature couple. Brad, just life experience, but Emily too and having a daughter, and knowing what's real and what's important. I think they will have the resolve, and will gut this out.
How long do you think it will take them to get to altar, and if they don't get to the altar, would you guys bring Brad back for a third try?
Chris Harrison: There will not be a third time. I told Brad, I was like, 'This is it, man. You're done. You know, good, bad, indifferent, you know, don't screw this up because that's it.'
But, you know, in all seriousness, I don't know when they'll get married. I hope it's soon. I hope it's a year, but if it's five years down the road, whenever it is, I promise you I'll be there front and center. You know, I would probably if I was guessing, I would probably guess that Ali and Roberto will walk down the aisle first and then hopefully Brad and Emily.
But I didn't want to put them on the spot either you know, because you know, one thing I have learned with these couples is I want them to live their life. I want Ali to have a wedding when she wants to get married. You know, when it's right for them.
I love the fact they're still together. They're living in San Diego and doing good. I love the fact that you know, Emily and Brad are in Austin right now and starting to date and going out in public for the first time and taking those baby steps.
So, you know, I do think they'll get married. When? I don't know.
There was an episode where Brad said he loved Emily and that's something we usually don't see, where the Bachelor actually professes his feelings. What made the producers decide to show that?
Chris Harrison: You're right. I think -- I don't know if it ever has happened before -- We didn't show it. But with Brad, the thing with Brad, coming back the second time is, it made it tough as a producer because he was so forthright. He was open. He was so honest, and he absolutely went -- he gave it all in every relationship -- whether it was Ashley, Chantal, you know, Emily.
And he really explored every opportunity and every chance with all of them. He was almost honest to the point of us having to say, you have to back it off a little bit, because he did essentially tell Emily, 'I am falling in love with you.'
He basically, told her you know, at the end of -- before the proposal -- that I want to be a father to Ricki. I hope you'll allow me to do that. You know, and I want to be with you. But, you know, I just thought -- I think we felt that with Brad, it was because he was -- had gone through what he had been through, because he had overcome these issues.
I think it was more important to show Brad in this honest light and not really play the quote/unquote game with the viewers as much, and keep you in the dark as much.
I think we really wanted to show this guy was sincere and also maybe show that it was going to end with this love story, which it did.
Emily said that she was shown as boring on the show. What is she really like? I mean because a lot of people did think that she was a little bit too even keeled.
Chris Harrison: I know. It's funny. She always tells me like, 'Would you just ring a bell in my ear when I am not being interesting?' And I was like, 'Emily, just be yourself. You're not here to put on a show,' although it is a show. I'm like, That's our job. Just be yourself.' She is a lovely woman and I don't know what -- I don't know if she wants to come our juggling or swallow fire or whatever -- but I am like, 'That's not your job. Just be the great girl you are.'
Does she have a sense of humor?
Chris Harrison: She does. Yes. Yes. She does. That's funny because it's like what people say about Brad that you don't know about Brad. Brad has a great terrific sense of humor and he is a lot more outgoing.
Chantal, I think, will be a perfect person to talk to about this and what this does to you. You are a little bit different, because you know you're going to be seen on TV. So for awhile, you kind of act like the person you think you want to be perceived as and it's tough to open up and it's tough to be yourself.
But, you know, and so Chantal I think, will give great insight to that. I think Emily was the same way. It's like don't worry about it. Don't worry about what people see on TV. The main thing is Brad saw who you are.