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'The Bachelor' host surprised about negative reaction to Ben Flajnik


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/15/2012 

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison is reportedly surprised at viewers' negative reaction to Ben Flajnik and his relationship with controversial bachelorette Courtney Robertson.

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"You never know how America is going to react, and even during filming, I wouldn't have predicted they'd feel this way," Harrison told TV Guide on Tuesday. "People say, 'Why haven't you warned him about her?' But he hears what she's saying and plenty of the women tried to caution him."

Regardless of whether the fans' outlook on Flajnik is negative or positive, the fact viewers have a strong reaction of some kind is apparently Harrison's main concern.

"This season may not be a [Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter] fairytale or an [Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum] situation where everyone's rooting for them... but as long as people have opinions about it, that's what matters," Harrison said. "It's when they're indifferent that it's bad."

Harrison told TV Guide that although it wasn't shown during Monday night's broadcast, he had a pre-Rose Ceremony deliberation session with Flajnik in which he urged The Bachelor star to speak with Robertson and address the concerns many of his other bachelorettes had expressed about her before settling on his elimination decisions.

"He and I spoke before he pulled Courtney aside, and I think if viewers saw that, they would've seen just how much I pushed him on it and why he ultimately started to question her," the host noted.

Harrison said he was shocked to see bachelorette Emily O'Brien -- who had confronted Flajnik during their alone time together about Robertson's seductive and aggressive behavior -- get sent home, but he has a good idea why things didn't work out between the couple.  

"He was starting to see Emily as more of a sister," he told TV Guide. "She's perfect on paper -- smart, beautiful, funny -- but it wasn't there. She also couldn't redeem herself after talking to him about Courtney [in Episode 4]. That really bothered him and he saw it as a personality flaw."

Harrison also hinted about the drama to come next week during Robertson, Kacie Boguskie, Nicki Sterling, and Lindzi Cox's hometown dates with Flajnik.

"The pecking order changes after hometown dates, more so on this season than in the past. That week changes everything," he explained, adding that the highlights will include Boguskie's father not welcoming Flajnik with open arms and Robertson's mother coming to light.

"I think everyone is dying to see where Courtney came from."

(Photo credit ABC)


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