Chris Harrison: We have never decided the ending of 'The Bachelor'
By Reality TV World staff, 02/24/2009
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison is firing back at a blogger's recent allegations that ABC and the show's producers pre-determined and staged the heavily-hyped "shocking" ending that viewers will see during next week's broadcast of the show's season finale.
(SPOILER ALERT: Please stop reading this article immediately if you If you don't want to know anything about The Bachelor's potential ending)
"We are not responsible for, nor have we ever scripted, the ending of this show," Harrison wrote in a Tuesday posting on his Entertainment Weekly website blog. "Let me re-type this slowly so all of you can read this: We do not, and have not, decided the ending of any of our seasons. Let's be honest, if we did don't you think we would do a better job and have a much higher success rate?"
Last Wednesday, Steve Carbone, a The Bachelor recap blogger who bills himself "Reality Steve," posted a blog entry in which he alleged that last fall's taping of Jason Mesnick's The Bachelor edition had -- as online spoiler sleuths had already suspected based on a season preview clip that seemed to show Mesnick proposing to a woman wearing a pinkie ring -- indeed ended with Mesnick proposing to Melissa Rycroft, whom the show had previously shown regularly wearing a pinkie ring.
But according to Carbone, Mesnick then allegedly dumped Rycroft and reunited with Molly Malaney, his other Final 2 bachelorette, during an "emergency" taping of the season's After the Final Rose special in January -- setting the stage for the recently announced (and unprecedented) After the Final Rose Part 2 special ABC will air the day after Monday night's broadcast of the show's season finale and initial After the Final Rose special.
However according to Carbone, the "shocking" break-up and reunion -- which by themselves, would certainly seem plausible enough given The Bachelor'spoor matchmaking record and the short shelf life of some of the show's previous engagements -- were allegedly "fabricated" by ABC and the show's producers "from the beginning."
In addition to allegedly knowing "exactly what they were doing" with the release of the brief preview clip footage that appears to show Mesnick proposing to Rycroft, Carbone's blog entry -- which also included three nine-minute YouTube videos in which he verbally stated his claims -- also alleged that ABC and the show's producers had pre-arranged the "whole story" and "forced" Mesnick (who had allegedly wanted to propose to Malaney instead) to propose to Rycroft and later break-up with her.
"This was all set in motion from the very beginning that there would be a storyline of: If you want to be with Molly, then you have to pick Melissa. We will have a breakup on the [After the Final Rose special], where you'll dump Melissa, and say you want to start dating Molly," Carbone wrote in the blog entry that followed a couple of weeks of archaic "clues" -- one of which was "Montreal," a reference to "the famous WWF 'Montreal Screwjob'" -- in which he had teased readers that he had learned the season's ending.
"It's always been about Molly. Jason and Molly's connection was stronger than anyone elses in the house, everyone knew it, but they couldn't just play that the whole season because it wouldn't have been interesting," Carbone wrote. "So they concocted a storyline of, 'Let him pick Melissa, and let us have a break up on the [After the Final Rose special], something we've never done before, AND have him start his relationship with Molly."
When asked about the claims on Thursday, an ABC spokesperson had stated that -- similar to all other The Bachelor rumors -- the network had no comment on Carbone's claims and urged viewers to "tune in to find out what actually happens."
However despite the claims' fairly incredulous nature and his failure to explain why Mesnick would have agreed to participate in such an alleged conspiracy, Carbone's allegations have subsequently continued to spread across the Internet and be absorbed by viewers desperate for any information about the show's secret ending, causing Harrison -- who stopped short of acknowledging he was specifically talking about Carbone -- to apparently feel the need to personally comment on them.
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"I've always felt the genius behind the producing of this show is the environment we create. Now, what happens in that environment -- the decisions made, the things said, and done or left undone -- that is what is truly compelling," Harrison continued. "Those actions and decisions, and the fact that we love to watch it all unfold, is what drives this show. The beauty of what [The Bachelor producer] Mike Fleiss created is that this is not a game show nor is it a scripted soap opera. There's nothing waiting at the end of this show but the reality of the decisions the people on it have made."
"We have not shot the second After the Final Rose special yet! I gotta be honest. It's going to be really hard to go back and edit a show we haven't even shot yet," Harrison wrote. "Well, I'm sure some of my new friends out there will figure a way around that one."
Harrison -- who has been with The Bachelor since its first season and has hosted all seventeen seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette -- also seemed personally insulted that some viewers have immediately accepted the unsubstantiated allegations that if true, would likely be considered the biggest scandal in American reality TV history.
"As much as I'm sorry that some of you have somehow found a reason to doubt my integrity and honesty, there's not a whole hell of a lot I can do about that," Harrison wrote. "If something you've heard or seen from somebody you don't know has suddenly changed your opinion of me then is there really anything I could say or do that could change your mind anyway? I learned a long time ago (15 years of marriage) to pick my battles and this, my friends, is one I really don't care to fight."
According to an ABC press release released on Tuesday, Monday night's two-hour The Bachelor finale broadcast will end with "one of the most romantic and dramatic moments in Bachelor history" when "Jason makes a decision that will change his life forever."
Monday night's subsequent After the Final Rose special will then pick up after "Jason's proposal to the love of his life" and feature "Jason and the final two women return[ing] to the studio" for "the unexpected and shocking ending of Jason's journey to find true love."