In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Chris Harrison talked about the season and teased a little bit of what's still to come during the special, which was taped last week, and the finale, which was filmed in November.
Chris Harrison: Did I really say that? He gave up his soulmate? That seems, I don't know if I said that or not. Honestly, what I felt with Des was just that it reminded me of one other breakup over the last like 11 years where I felt like -- I'm not saying it was wrong -- but it just felt like, "Wow it wasn't time yet."
Like there was still just something there. And there was definitely that chemistry between him and Des that just seemed like, "Wow, this shouldn't be happening right now."
And you know, when you saw them together at the Women Tell All on Monday -- and again, I guess I'll just let the viewers judge -- but you could still kind of just see that chemistry and that little something between them. It's just interesting. I've only seen that one other time in the history of the show.
And you know, did he make a mistake? Obviously not, it's what he decided to do, and who am I to even say that? But it was just something I definitely noticed that was kind of palpable between the two of them.
Is it hard for you not to develop favorites or seeing one person better than another as far as a match for him goes as the season progresses?
Chris Harrison: Yes of course I develop favorites. You know it's only natural. In watching him with women and watching him interact, and you know, it's definitely -- that's kind of the best part of how my job has evolved, is I can express those opinions. You know I've learned to do it the right way and not just come out and say, "Hey, you know, I think this girl is the best for you or this girl is terrible for you."
But it allows me to ask the questions during deliberation or even when we're just traveling around and sitting in airport lounges or whatever and talking to him. I've learned to ask better questions, you know, by what I've seen. And through that, I kind of make my opinions known.
I wanted to ask you about AshLee Frazier because obviously she was so upset and angry about going home. Is she still carrying those feelings at the Women Tell All?
Chris Harrison: You know, I don't think she's angry. I'm not even sure she was angry the day she left. I just, I think that probably discretion was the better part of valor there where it was in lieu of saying something she might regret.
I think she probably took the better path and reserved judgment for, you know, when she kind of collected herself and figured out what happened. But she definitely wanted answers at the Women Tell All.
I think the fact that they had an incredible date and she was obviously a frontrunner -- and Sean will admit this himself at Women Tell All -- she was a frontrunner from the start. And it was interesting how blindsided she was at that final Rose Ceremony in Thailand.
And I think she... was able to see between, you know, Lindsay and Catherine, there were very different relationships. But like, when did he know -- how did all of this come to be when everything seemingly was so perfect between them just a few days earlier on their date? And it was a very interesting exchange. It wasn't, it wasn't exactly emotional as much as maybe confrontational.
Has your view of Tierra LiCausi changed at all after speaking to her on Women Tell All?
Chris Harrison: No, not really. I was hoping it would. But that's to say I don't, I don't hate Tierra. I don't think she's a bad person. I don't think she's, you know, the devil.
I think she is young, maybe misguided, in certain ways. I was hoping you know a la [Courtney Robertson] or Michelle Money that she would kind of maybe see some of the errors of her ways, and usually people do that when they watch the show back -- they learn something about themselves.
And I don't think she necessarily learned that lesson. I was a little bit surprised and maybe a little disappointed that she didn't come back a little more contrite and a little more apologetic and just say, "Look while it's not all on me, maybe I was a little harsh, maybe a little strong, maybe I should have changed things."
But you know, she really didn't come with that. So it got, it got a little awkward with her as well, because I think some of the girls were a little bit surprised that she didn't come back and maybe throw herself at the mercy of their courts.
So knowing Sean, if he does have a happy ending, what kind of wedding would you see him having? Do you think he would go the J.P. Rosenbaum and Ashley Hebert route of a big TV wedding and would you officiate if he asked you to?
Chris Harrison: Well I guess if he ever gets married to anybody, if he ever asks me to officiate, being a friend of mine, I'd be happy to. I'd be honored. So you know, we'll see if and when he ever gets married.
From knowing Sean throughout his journey on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette to now, to the viewers, he seems so sincere and such a great guy. Do you think he has managed to stick to all of that amidst everything in the show and media? Is he really as sincere as we all think he is?
Chris Harrison: Yes and that's a good question because it's hard to do that, because a lot of things tear you in the opposite direction. But I think what it comes down to is what you have back home, and I think he has a great base back home with his parents and his sister and, you know, a good group of friends that keep him grounded. And he has been able to kind of remain pretty constant.
The producers and I talk about this all the time about, you know, these Bachelors and Bachelorettes. And often, they do change, and sometimes you kind of have to protect yourself. But he's remained pretty constant and steady in the kind of guy he is. I really don't think he's changed much from Day 1 on Emily's season until now.
I mean, yes, he's grown up and he's become a little more savvy as far as handling you guys and the media and being a little smarter. You know, you can't be so forthright and open and honest with everything. But with us and the way he's acted and I think the way he honors his religion and the man he is, you know, I think he stays pretty steadfast to that.
We were wondering, you spent the most time with Sean and you kind of touched on it with the last question. But what can you tell us about his personality and what he's really like?
Chris Harrison: I think that what was hidden in Emily's season was he was really kind of painted as you know the quiet, southern gentleman. And, you know, we all knew him to have a sharp wit and a good sense of humor and be pretty charismatic.
And I think that's come to light a little more during this season, obviously because he's the star and he's been obviously prominent on all the dates. And so, I'd like to think that everybody is kind of seen the guy he is. And really, I will say what you see is what you get with him. You know he's pretty simple.
He's pretty open and honest about his religion, who he is, what he stands for. And you know, that's kind of the guy he is. It was very rare that we would stop after a Rose Ceremony or be in an airport lounge or wherever we were and that he was different. He would walk off and be the exact same guy, the same jokes, the same laugh, same everything.
And he's always a pretty upbeat guy. He really never had that meltdown. There was that one kind of bad week I would say in Montana when things were just a mess between Tierra, and Desiree was kind of questioning him, and it was a rough week. But really, even then he never had that meltdown or never got, you know, mad at us. And it is a pretty easy season for all of us.
How do you think he's handled the media and the rumors that are kind of thrown at him throughout this season? Has he taken it in stride and did he take them seriously?
Chris Harrison: I don't think I even know any rumors that surrounded him this year. I mean, I don't know. Were there any good ones? Honestly, I can't even think of one.
I've heard rumors about whether or not he's gay and how he's a born-again virgin.
Chris Harrison: Yes, all that stuff, like, he's never called himself like a born-again virgin. He never talks like that. I don't think any human being really does. I mean, it made for a great magazine cover I guess, but he never -- he's never the one. You never hear him talking about it.
You know, how he handled himself in the fantasy suites, that's all between him and his God, but he never like throws that on anybody else. It's not like he sits me down and says you know, "This is how it is." You know those are the choices he's made.
So no, I don't. I think he could care less about any of it. I think he's had an absolute blast going through all of this. You guys have been pretty gentle on him. You guys need to come up with better rumors, come on.
I was so excited that you had women of color on the show this season. That was huge, and frankly, that's the only reason why I watched and a lot of my contemporaries watched. Is that a one off or is that going to be happening going forward? And is there any way that [Robyn Howard or Ashley Harper] could come back and be The Bachelorette?
Chris Harrison: Well first of all, I'm incredibly sorry that that is the reason that anybody would watch our show. Whether we have a person of color or not would be a horrible reason for anybody to watch a show or not watch a show. I would hope that it would be, for no matter who we have, entertainment and, you know, you take from it what the show is.
But to have someone that looks like us on TV is huge. Like that's just big. We don't get that a lot, where we come across as positive role models. So to see that especially on a popular show like The Bachelor is trust me, it's huge to us.
Chris Harrison: Well that's good and I'm glad. I mean, I'd hope there were women across the board that you felt represented women well. I mean, there's a lot of strong ones and so, I mean, the good news is I have no say in the casting as far as who comes on as Bachelors and Bachelorettes, but I know that there were a lot of great women on the show.
Some of them were of color. Some of them, you know, I believe Catherine is Filipino. I believe we kind of had a mix, a good mix. And we usually do. We actually usually have a pretty good mix.
I'm sorry, I had never seen black girls before.
Chris Harrison: I'm glad it worked out. I'm glad you were happy with it.
Above is the first half of Chris Harrison's call with reporters. Check back with Reality TV World on Monday for the concluding portion.
(Photo credit ABC)
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