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'The Bachelorette' host Chris Harrison: We can't ignore footage of the cast learning about Eric Hill's death down the road


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/04/2014 

The Bachelorette just aired its fourth episode on Monday night which concluded with the elimination of Eric Hill and Tasos Hernandez, leaving 11 bachelors still in the running for Andi Dorfman's heart.

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Eric Hill, a 31-year-old explorer from Citrus Heights, CA, was ousted after getting into a fight with Andi at the cocktail party. He passed away in a tragic paragliding accident only three weeks following his ouster from the reality dating competition. Tasos Hernandez, a 30-year-old wedding event coordinator from Denver, CO, was sent home during the broadcast's official Rose Ceremony, which producers chose not to air in order to focus solely on Eric's memory.

During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison talked to Reality TV World about the season thus far, the emotional moments, the surprises, and the lowdown on Andi's suitors. Click here to read what he had to say. Below is the rest of his interview.

Was there any discussion about how to handle Eric's last episode or was it immediately clear that you wanted to dedicate the end of that episode to him?

Chris Harrison: No. I mean, nothing has been abundantly clear throughout this entire situation and the tragedy with his death. We have really been kind of playing it as we've gone and we've made a lot of just game-time decisions and with respect to how we feel and how everybody feels at the time and what we feel is right.

The first and foremost decision was, were we going to show him at all? What would we do with the entire show? And that decision was made pretty early on obviously to show, you know, his scenes throughout and leading up until last night when he said goodbye. Originally, we had Episode 4 -- which you saw last night -- just regular with the Rose Ceremony cut and the cocktail party as usual.

And then we all sat down and watched it and it just didn't feel right whatsoever, and it seemed inappropriate and a little insensitive. And so, we adjusted according to how just the mood in the room from all of us watching it. So, again, that's kind of how this has gone, just kind of carefully and respectfully wading through this trying to do the right thing.

You said Andi hit a low point and was exhausted during the week of dates in Connecticut. Could you explain what exactly made her so tired? Were the days really long and endless?

Chris Harrison: Yes, I mean, it is a brutal schedule. Obviously it's something that, when you see who the Bachelor or the Bachelorette is, you think, "Oh my gosh, they get to travel the world and they get to date 25 people!"

And while that is a grand, amazing thing, it is a hard -- and I feel silly saying this, because, I mean, look. We're not digging ditches, we're not saving the world, so, you know, we have to take this with a grain of salt, but with that said, it is a difficult schedule to keep.

I mean, we are up all hours of the night and traveling planes, trains and automobiles all hours of the night, and when we get there, we hit the ground running. It's like that for our crew, it's like that for our Bachelorette. When you take that schedule and ontop of that, you're going through something like looking for the love of your life, dating and how emotional that is anyway, it's tough.

And you kind of have to assimilate to that and get used to it, and so, there's always kind of that point where you're just done and you're tired and, you know, she's human. And so I think she had one of those moments during the Connecticut week. I think it's part of the show that people don't really -- obviously we don't really talk about it too much, but yeah, it's a brutal schedule.

Will we see drama beyond the last episode? Did you all recover from the fourth episode okay?

Chris Harrison: Well the interesting thing -- and I kind of spoke about this in my blog -- that people have to understand that in our world, this hasn't happened yet. What we showed last night was shot in retrospect because of Eric's death, but in actuality, on the show, it doesn't happen for a few more weeks when we were on hometown dates.

And actually, Andi was returning from her final hometown date. So I think one of the difficult things for people watching the show, they're going to see next week's episode and -- I tried to warn this in my blog -- when everyone seems like they're just fancy and kind of carefree and acting like nothing happened, well, it hasn't happened yet in our lives. And it doesn't happen for a few more weeks.

And so, they're not sad about Eric. They're not even talking about Eric whereas in a few weeks, we'll have to deal with it kind of all over again when it actually happened to us.

How did Andi learn about Eric's death and did you film that? If so, will we be seeing that on this season?

Chris Harrison: The answer is, I'm not sure yet. I'm not sure what we will see and how we will officially deal with it. Again, and I say that honestly because even what you saw last night was shot just a few weeks ago because we weren't -- that wasn't our initial plan, to just show the episode.

We weren't sure how we would be affected by it, and then once we realized that we didn't like how it ended and we thought it was a little disrespectful and callous, we went back and changed it.

So, to answer your question, we're not 100% sure. We're going to feel this out as we kind of have this entire time and just try and do what we feel is right and respectful. We shot several things as it happened just to have it, because once you kind of move past that, you can't go back and reshoot those types of things and you can't reshoot that moment.

And so, we shot things and captured it not knowing what and if we would use anything. So, I'm really not sure. We haven't gotten to that final cut, and we kind of wanted to gauge everybody's feelings as we move further away from it and get into the show.

So, we'll see in a few weeks, you know, how we end up editing the show together. But I imagine -- I guess to go further, we will have to deal with it in some way because it affected Andi and it affected the guys that are left on the show and all of us.

And so, it's something that you can't just brush by and ignore, because it had such an affect on everybody, I think it would be confusing, like, "Why is she saying that?" or "Why are the guys saying what they're saying?" if there's nothing to relate it back to, you know, "What's bringing on that emotion?"

So obviously we're going to have to deal with that in some way. We know that. We're just not sure to what extent or how.

How do you think Andi has handled herself going from one of 25 on The Bachelor to being one and the center of attention?

Chris Harrison: I was trying to think of a good analogy and for some reason what came to mind was like the presidency. You have a good idea what you're getting into with it, but then that first day you realize, "Oh wow. I knew nothing!" I feel like that's kind of the way it is with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. You're on the show as one of 25 and it is such a different experience.

I mean, you really can't even compare it to when you are the person and you realize that all the pressure and all the eyes are on you. You really do have to carry the day, carry the room, and not only that, but really to be fair and honest to everybody no matter how good or how bad a date or how bad of a moment you just had. You have to kind of forget the race and move on and compartmentalize.

It's a really difficult thing, and Andi did a good job. I think she, as much as anybody, really was able to professionally handle the situation. I think a lot of it has to do with her job and how smart and talented she is in her real life. She was able to come into this situation and make it work for her.

And that's the other thing. You have to personalize it, you know, [Sean Lowe], to [Juan Pablo Galavis], to [Ali Fedotowsky], to whoever. It's different. It's never the same for any of us to go through this with them, because they all have their own little idiosyncrasies and their own baggage and their own history of how they go about this stuff.

Above is a portion of Chris Harrison's conference call with reporters. Click here to read what he had to tell Reality TV World during the interview.

(Photo credit ABC)


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