'Bachelor' host Chris Harrison talks season 18: 11 questions (Spoilers)
(This is Part 1 of OTRC.com's interview with Chris Harrison. Check out Part 2 here.
What will happen with "The Bachelor" star Juan Pablo Galavis meets the families of the remaining four contestants -- Renee, Andi, Nikki and Clare on Monday night's episode of the ABC show? And what DIDN'T we see in past episodes?
Chris Harrison, host of the hit dating reality series, sat down with OTRC.com to talk about Galavis and the current season. Check out the first part of our interview, which includes 11 questions. Spoiler alert!
1. Q: I think what viewers would like to know at this point is -- does he actually pick someone?
"Um, obviously I can't say that yet. But I will say it's not the .. you know, you have like a Sean [Lowe] ... where it's kinds smooth sailing till the end and you have this beautiful proposal. This is not smooth sailing. We have a special two-night event coming up -- Monday, Tuesday night -- hometowns and the overnight dates and hometowns are rocky, overnight dates are easily -- and I hate to use this word -- dramatic, easily the most dramatic, pivotal overnight dates, where it will change the course of what happens in the remainder of this show."
2. Q: What would you say people will be saying after Monday night's show?
"Some of these families were tough on him and their daughters. You know, it's funny, you bring this fish bowl environment into these households and they're been going and they just kind of assume you will, all of a sudden, understand and see everything that they've been through and their families don't. Your families haven't seen this and so, all of a sudden, all they see is, 'You love this man? Why would I give him my permission to marry you? He's dating three other women, still.' So, it's not as easy as it normally is."
3. Q: When a contestant leaves, like Sharleen, does that throw the show into a little bit of a tailspin? Or do they love when that happens because it adds some drama?
"Both. It can throw us for a little bit of a loop if we don't see it coming. Sharleen -- we had a decent idea this was coming to a head with her and so we build in -- maybe this season we won't have a two-on-one date, or we'll kind of adjust ahead of time, knowing something like that might happen. But there are times when someone will up and leave, or something will happen, like, say, a Bachelor wants somebody to leave and they'll break up in the middle of a date that we weren't expecting."
"This is a very fluid show and it always is. You never know exactly what you're gonna get as a producer, so you have to be aware of that and ready to roll with the punches. It's part of the beauty and it's also part of the, I guess, worry and being scared of ... producing this show 'cause you just, you gotta let go sometimes."
4. Q: By the time this particular season ends, how many times do you think you would have cringed during the taping of it?
"Um, hundreds. Hundreds of uncomfortable cringe-worthy moments. Last week alone, we showed a little of bit of when Nicki and Clare were in Miami and they sat next to each other and didn't speak. We showed, like, 20 seconds of it. That went on for 10 minutes and I'm just watching, and I'm like, it makes me uncomfortable, but, again, that's great TV."
5. Q: When you're shooting this show, do you ever think, 'Gosh, I hope she goes home, 'cause life would just be so much better next week?' A: "Yes. Absolutely. There are people that I love on this show and there's people I don't love. I'm just like the Bachelor, or you at home. There's people that I love to hate, there's people I love to love and I get into it. I'm a fan. I think, at the end of the day, when I'm sitting, like, in St. Lucia or Thailand with Sean and Catherine and I'm watching the proposal or I'm watching anything and I'm glued to the monitor and at the end of it, we're crying or high-fiving or whatever, I'm like, 'This is a good show.' 'Cause we're as jaded as anybody. I've been doing this for 12 years and I'm still glued to it, as if it's the first time."
6. Q: What really happened between Clare and Juan Pablo on the beach? Do you think Juan Pablo handled the whole situation appropriately?
"Um, it wasn't appropriate or inappropriate. First of all, I don't know what happened in the ocean in Vietnam. I didn't have my scuba gear on, I was not under the waves, looking. But, it was funny, I didn't really think much of what happened until viewers started just going nuts."
"Did he handle it well? No. I don't think making his guilt and his problem Clare's problem was the right way to go about it and I told him as much, which is why I would say it to you, on camera. We had this discussion in Vietnam. They didn't show that deliberation but I was confused -- I'm like, 'Explain why she should feel bad and she should feel cheap and used and whatever, like she shamed your daughter when you agreed to it, it was consensual.' So what ever happened, you gotta live with it and deal with it as a man. Like, you made that decision to go there. Or, say, 'No,' ahead of time."
7. Q: You know, it's interesting that you always seem to get along with these Bachelors or Bachelorettes. But you're very blunt with them and you don't really hold back -- you say what's on your mind. Why do you think they like you? Because you really can make them sweat.
"Well, and I don't know [if] behind my back, they do like me -- I think in front of my face, they have to, but no, I do have a great camaraderie with a lot of them. I know them, a lot of them are my dear friends. I would like to think that it's because I am very open, I'm very honest and in that regard, I will never throw them under the bus, I will never back-stab them -- anything you see coming from me, you'll see coming a mile away. I'm not gonna trick you."
"But I will -- they know -- I will call you on the carpet if I think you're full of it, if I think you're lying to me, because I know, I know what went on, I know behind the scenes, so don't lie to me or try to you know, reinvent history and spin it, you know, [via] editing or whatever, when I know for a fact, this was said. And sometimes, even worse was said or done, so don't make me go there. So I think they know they're gonna get an open, honest interview. It might be hard, but I'll be very fair. I will always be fair with everybody."
8. Q: You seem to realize that you understand you are the voice of the viewer.
"Yeah and that's, you know, I don't know if I can evoke his name or half the viewers will even understand. I feel like a modern-day Donahue, where Donahue really took the voice and the view of the fans. And when I do the 'Women Tell All' or the 'After The Final Rose,' all I'm sitting there thinking is, 'If I'm on my couch, if you're on your couch and you are screaming, throwing your stuff at your television, just blurting out questions, what would that question be?'"
"So I just try to put myself in the mind of the viewers, of 'What do you want to know?' And I'm not afraid to ask. I'm not gonna be inappropriate. I'm not gonna go too far. But I'll push a little bit."
9. Q: Best 'Bachelor' or 'Bachelorette' blooper ever?
"I mean, I dunno if it's a blooper 'cause it ended up on the show. Well, I guess there's Jesse Palmer when he said the wrong name."
10. Q: I'm telling you -- there are no limits ...
"That's the good thing, is there are no rules now to what we show. There really aren't and it's kinda like the whole Sharleen situation, of her leaving and the fact that we showed from night one, she was hesitant about this whole thing and, you know, 'He's a good-looking guy but I don't know if he's the right guy for me.' I don't know if we would have shown that, like, in its entirety, 10 years ago."
"When people walk over and start yelling at a producer, a lot of times, you see that. This season alone, this girl was like, had probably a little too much to drink and she's yelling and screaming and one of our producers was trying to & like, 'I can't let you leave like this.' 'Legally, you cannot go home' or whatever, and so, the fact that we embrace that and show that now, I think our viewers are so savvy now -- they've seen so much 'reality' [makes quotation marks gesture] TV that have writers and is so scripted and we are not. Yeah, it's produced and yeah, we create these situations, but it's still what happens within that environment is very much up to these people."
11. What do people tell you more than anything else about either the joy, the romance, the aggravation -- what do you get?
"I think the good thing about me and all the producers is, we're in on the joke. We realize we're not saving the world. We're not curing cancer, here. It's entertainment. It's fun. It's an escape. We go to some of the most beautiful places in the world, we try to take you with us. But at the end of the day, what we do take very serious and sincere, is the end result and that we do hope that this ends in a marriage like Sean and Catherine or Ashley and J.P. or, hopefully Des and Chris coming up."
"So, while there is fun and we'll joke and we're in on it, at the end of the day, you have to understand that we take it as serious as you do and we hope for that. And so, I get the usuals of, 'Did they all have sex?' 'Do you have to say, 'This is your final rose' tonight?' So, you know, the things you would expect. And the answer is 'yes' to both. They do all have sex and yes, I have to say that line. ... No, they don't all have sex!"
Watch extra videos from our interview with Chris Harrison below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).