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'The Bachelorette' host Chris Harrison on Eric Hill: I believe we've handled his death with compassion and respect

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/20/2014 

The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison is apparently proud of the way the show has chosen to handle bachelor Eric Hill's tragic death.

"While I'm excited to be back, this season begins on a rather somber note. As you all know by now, a few weeks after he left the show, one of our cast members and our friend, Eric Hill, died in a tragic accident. You will see in the coming weeks how we have chosen to deal with this on the show. I believe in my heart that we have handled this with compassion and respect for Eric's memory and his family and friends," Harrison wrote in his Entertainment Weekly blog.

"I'm glad we started the show by dedicating the season to him. As you will see, he was a bright light that you couldn't help but be drawn to. He will be missed."

Hill, a 32-year-old adventurer and extreme-sports enthusiast, had been killed in an April 23 paragliding accident in Utah. He was a California native who lived in Salt Lake City, UT, and according to Unified Fire Authority, his parachute collapsed in some turbulent winds, causing him to crash into the mountainside, CBS' KUTV-TV affiliate in Salt Lake City reported.

Hill had been taken to a hospital via helicopter in critical condition after the accident and was in a coma leading up to his passing.

Also in his blog, Harrison talked about Chris Bukowski's attempt to crash the party in Monday night's premiere episode. Bukowski, a former The Bachelorette bachelor and Bachelor Pad contestant, seemed desperate to meet the show's star Andi Dorfman. Although charming in his season with Emily Maynard, Bukowski had developed a bit of a reputation as a player during his stint on Bachelor Pad.

"I know some will think that we were in on it, but we really weren't. It was a grand gesture by him to show up like that and I hated being the one to look him in the eye and tell him it wasn't going to happen. At first, I wasn't sure if he was sincere or not, but after talking to him, I could tell he was really wanting to just meet this woman," Harrison wrote.

Dorfman rejected the idea of chatting with Bukowski and allowing him to compete for her heart because she didn't want to upset the other suitors she was trying to get to know.

"I appreciated his passion but I had to respect Andi's decision not to let him up to the house," The Bachelorette host explained. "Part of me was secretly hoping he would make a run for it and try to get into the house -- that wouldn't have ended well, but it would have made for an interesting night. At the end of the day, I was glad he decided to exit quietly and without incident."

Harrison added that Dorfman really impressed her bachelors on the first night.

"She's a very smart woman and a terrific conversationalist. What really impressed the men is how good she is at paying attention to every little detail the men revealed, and how good she is at remembering the information later," Harrison wrote in his blog.

"Next week the dates and the drama really begin."

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