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01/28/2011

Full Transcript of Chris Harrison's Interview

Here is the full transcript of the conference call interview with the host of "The Bachelor", Chris Harrison!  You will find my questions in PURPLE.

Chrisharrison

Question:            One silly one and one serious one.  I'll ask you the serious one first.   Can you talk a little bit about what it is with the women and why they think they fall in love with the Bachelors so quickly?  It seems to me that there's something about the show itself that lends them to that? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Yes, you know, I think that you definitely – you have to give that credit to Mike Fleiss, the creator of the show and Martin Hilton, the executive producer now for creating – what they’ve created -- and that is, this obviously is this environment and its format that works.  I mean, every year, season in and season out, it just works.  And I think the fact that it's not a game show.  There is nothing at the end of this.  There's no catch to our show. 

 

            And it's really rare that you can have a show that sustains this long and has done this well, where there's really no catch at the end.  You have this guy or this girl choosing somebody else and if it works, great, if it doesn't, so be it -- that's it.  And when you break it down our show is just about that.  It's just about a relationship.  And so, I think, you know, the atmosphere they’ve created and the fact that there is no catch the end, it's just about them trying to live their life is very interesting and compelling. 

 

Question:            OK.  And the silly question is, what is it with women named Michelle?  This last season, you know, we had the one that kept threatening to go home.  And this season – this Michelle just is like insisting that Brad is hers – what?  Can you talk a little bit about the Michelles? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Yes, I don't know if we'll ever be able to cast another Michelle on the show, because I think we've given Michelles a bad rap.  And I don't think overall the people I've met in my life are bad Michelles.  But it is interesting how we’ve kind of had this run of them that are definitely controversial. 

 

            I know some people of you know used the c-word and said, "Oh, they're crazy."  And – but you know I think Michelle – this season's Michelle, anyway with Brad is actually playing him very well.  And then I’m interested to get everyone's opinion after this Monday's episode, but she really knows how to kind of push his buttons and keep him on edge, but keep him interested.  I think she's actually playing him extremely well right now. 

 

Question:            OK, so obviously there is controversy brewing with this NASCAR date that happens next week. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Right. 

 

Question:            And Emily and her unfortunate back story.  If you could weigh in – I don't know when, I mean obviously the producers and then the people casting knew her story and this did get set up.  Do you think that it's, you know, a lot of people are saying, you know, that it seems cruel and unusual punishment to put her through this that, you know,  "Oh, The Bachelor producers must be just totally mean people,” you know, what's your thought on this?  I mean, do you think this is a good thing?  Do you think this is therapeutic?  Can you give us (inaudible) any sort of resolution to that? 

 

Chris Harrison:            So, definitely, I completely understand that on face value, if you just look at this date, I get it, why people are immediately jumping to conclusions and saying it's “cruel and unusual punishment” as you put it.  But people have to – if you go back a little bit, this date and this season was set up before Emily was cast and then you get to this week with Brad, who by the way, still does not know the story. 

 

            He still is not clued into – he knows that Ricky, you know, her fiancée died in a plane crash, but he doesn't know that Ricky was involved in NASCAR who this – the Hendricks family -- is until this week, obviously, that'll come out in the NASCAR date.  And then, you know, you look at this week, and Brad has three dates.  As you know, one- on-one date – a two-on-one date and then this group date, well, she was getting a date and Emily definitely is not going to end up on the two-on-one. 

 

            And so, she really ends up on this NASCAR date, you know, by happenstance.  Now, with that said, we are not stupid and naïve.  We as producers knew this story.  We knew Emily.  So we had a choice to make and that was, do we tell Brad, which we've never done before, about Emily's story or anybody's story -- or do we warn Emily? 

 

            And so, our choice is kind of what we've always done and that is let the real life drama and everything play out.  And you will see – and I -- again, it's one of those things that happens a lot on our show.  And I don't – I actually love it that people will kind of jump to conclusions by the teases and the promotions we do.  But wait until you see this date, wait 'till you see how it plays out.  And then, you know, reserve your final judgment 'til Tuesday morning.  And it – I definitely, everyone will be talking about it. 

 

But it's a very – it's very interesting.  And it's – it's really interesting how it all came to be.  And then again, you know, our final choice was I think we need to let this play out and let everybody see how it goes. 

 

Question:            OK.  And my other question is that with each season we started seeing it get more – I don't know the travel budget get up and sort of seeing, you know, especially with Ali, you know - you know, starting in New York and then moving around the world and it now seems that that's a similar format that you guys are going to do with Brad.  And I'm just wondering if you think that this – I mean, it looks great on TV. 

 

            And it's exciting to watch and I'm sure it ups the fantasy level, but do you think that the world tripping, and the fantasy trips, and the, you know, all the stuff actually helps, you know, create these like, sort of lasting relationships?  Or do you think it sort of, you know, it's great for TV, but we're – we're just – you're just upping the ante in terms of what cannot be delivered in real life? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, you know, definitely, I mean like take Ali for example, you know, will she and Roberto ever go to, you know, Reykjavik, Istanbul and Bora Bora, you know?  Probably not.  But if we showed, you know, them going to the Pizza Hut and then going to the movies as a date.  It's not really good TV. 

 

            So we, you know, we also, you know, the bottom line is we're also – we're delivering a television show and entertainment.  And I think our show is as much about finding love is also escapism.  It has become the modern day soap opera.  And it's actually, you know, if someone wants to do a story on this might be the demise of the modern day, you know, of soap operas, because people watch our show for that escapism. 

 

            But they also know it's real, which is something that I think soap operas can't deliver is that Ali and Roberto live on Trista and Ryan and their family live on long after our show is over.  And so, it really is this ultimate soap opera.  And so, it's interesting to see if that has really had an effect on why soap operas are declining, you know, on the networks these days. 

 

            But, you know, upping the ante and creating these so real moments are fantastic TV and entertainment, but I think what is happening inside them is very real.  And again, I go back to Ali and Roberto and what's happening with Brad's season and knowing that he is, you know, in love is that it doesn't – I don't think it hurts them in any way.  And I don't think it hurts the final outcome as far as a real relationship. 

 

And, you know, and I think, you know, and Brad apologized to all the (way).  He's like, "What?  You know, I'm not going to pick you up in the driveway in a helicopter ever," you know, know that.  Know we're not going to go rappelling down the side of a building probably ever again.  But, you know, let's take this for what it is.  And let's enjoy going to Anguilla and going to South Africa.  And, you know, once in a lifetime opportunities. 

 

Question:            We're wondering if you're ever surprised by how quickly the emotions rise to the heights they do on the show each season. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Yes, absolutely.  And, you know, I've gotten over it, obviously, because I've been doing this for going on 10 years.  But, you know, I think early on and again I'm closer with the situation than you guys and a lot of the viewers, early on I think there's – there's different type of emotions.  The first night when you see a girl crying, I think it's more of I really wanted to be here longer, you know, obviously they're not in love with Brad. 

 

            When they're crying that first night, I think it's the competitive nature of people not wanting to lose and not wanting to be kicked off that first night.  And, you know, wanting to be a part of this experience.  And I also think, it also sometimes digs up emotions of I'm, you know, I've been unlucky in love and now, you know, I'm not even getting the chance to find it here.  And so, that first night is different kinds of emotions that you guys will see. 

 

            And I know that people are like, ‘how could you be in love only four hours into it?’  Well, they're not in love but it does bring up real emotion.  And then four or five weeks into it, you know what you're going to see Monday night is some real emotion on the girl that gets sent home.  And that is real emotion for Brad.  They are actually forming a relationship at this point. 

 

            So, you know, I would say I'm surprised, but I think I'm close enough to the situation.  You have to realize there are different kinds of emotion that's being released as we go. 

 

Question:            That's interesting, that makes sense.  And now that Brad’s had his second chance, are there any other bachelor or bachelorettes from past seasons that you'd like to see come back and try again? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, I would.  I have enjoyed this.  I don't know if viewers love it as much but selfishly I enjoy it when people come back, because they're – for the most part friends of mine.  I mean, I've known Brad now for going on four years.  And he's a little bit older and closer to my age.  And so, we get along real well.  We kind of get each other.  So it was fun to go through this with him, because I go through it with a friend, the same thing with Trista or Jillian. 

 

            It's fun for me.  And I get protective of them and I really get into it as well, because I want them to do well.  And so, when you bring someone new in, there's always that awkward, get to know them and you're trying to figure it out.  And for me as a host, I'm also kind of that, you know, armchair psychiatrist where I try to – I really need to know them so I can help them along.  And also, kind of stir things up and stir emotion and then that's easier to do with someone I've known for quite some time. 

 

Question:            OK.  So, how has the return of Brad changed your role as a host?  Do you have to approach your job differently because we are taking the first repeat? 

 

Chris Harrison:            It – I don't know if it changed so much.  But I always tailor it and it's really odd, because you haven't seen this much at all.  And I'll tell you already that this Monday, you're not going to see deliberation because of, you know, what happened on the NASCAR date, the two-on-one date and things that are coming up.  We just haven't had the time. 

 

            We shot deliberation in Vegas.  And we actually shot it last week as well.  We just haven't shown it yet.  And obviously, I talked a lot with Brad off camera.  And so, it really hasn't changed, but I really approach it kind of like I said in my last answer as a friend.  And I find myself a lot less thinking, "OK, what's the correct TV thing to do?  What would the host do here?  As opposed to what should I say to this guy as a friend?  What thinks would I want a friend to call me on?" 

 

            And I – often time that ends up being the best TV.  I go back to something that happened with Jillian.  We are in Hawaii and what was his name?  The guy that -- Reid came back, and she walked off the platform and just went sat on a couch and I said, "You know, what?  I'm going to sit with her and talk.  If you guys want to shoot it, you can."  But that turned out to be one of the most honest, great TV moments that we really did. 

 

            And I didn't intend for it to be that.  I was just going to be there with a friend.  And it turned out to be great TV.  And I do that with Brad a lot where we just – we talk.  And when we are in deliberation I honestly am trying to help this guy through his issues and deal with his dad and then trying to find love as well. 

 

Question:            And for my follow-up going back to Michelle.  What is your take on her?  Do you think she's being edited to look more crazy than she is?  Or she's playing it up just because she's on TV? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, I don't think she is coming – I mean, it's funny.  I don't find her that crazy.  I find her entertaining and I find her really funny just to listen to, you know, because when she says, I'm going to, you know, beat up, so I'll give Brad a black eye of his own if he doesn't give me a date.  You know, she's not going to hit the guy. 

 

            She's never really going to beat him.  I think she – she is that girl who is – she's aggressive.  She puts Brad on edge.  But she is also keeping him very interested.  And I think she's really playing him very well.  And I don't find her crazy at all.  I mean, yes, she has some, you know, I think she has some issues.  And I think she has some things that, you know, the way she acts and things she says are pretty abrupt.  But I don't know, I – in some ways I kind of appreciate her. 

 

Question:            Well, you are a very busy man it seems.  Now you're doing the red carpet thing as well.  You just got done with Miss America which is – a wonderful thing, because I actually was a local competitor in Miss America, so great job at the pageant for one. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Thank you very much. 

 

Question:            But turning to the Bachelor here, and then you (inaudible) to the first season with Brad as well and now the second season and, you know, we ask the girls every week if they see a great change in Brad.  And – but what do you see? You said you really talk with him as a friend as well, but what do you [see] in Brad that is a big change that you think is great for this season? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, it's funny, because Brad said and did all the right things last time.  You know, three years ago, when he went through this.  I mean he said that he, you know, he did the dance.  So when he – but it was more like he was trying to convince himself, where this season he is brutally honest and vulnerable at the same time. 

 

            He's – he realizes that – you can just tell, along the way, that he realizes he has issues that he’s still dealing with and things he is still trying to overcome. 

 

            But I see – I find his interaction with the women very telling this time around and very different and A, you can tell he's been through a therapy, you know, the things he says and the way he approaches situations, you can tell he has been – not trained, because that's the wrong word but just been through therapy.  So you can tell he's adjusted his way of thinking and his way of interacting, and one particular case where there's really – it was evident was with Madison, with the fangs. 

 

            I think everybody in America was like, "Are you kidding me?"  Like, she was saying, "Just get rid of her.  She's here for one reason and the one reason, knowing that it's her 15 minutes."  Well, Brad was very astute and maybe smarter than the rest of us to say, "You know what?  That's just a defense mechanism.  There is something behind this.  So there's a very intriguing, mysterious, interesting woman.  And I kind of want to get to know that woman behind the fangs."  And, you know, was he ever going to marry Madison and pick her?  Probably not. 

 

            But he was smart enough to, instead of just pushing her aside as, "Oh, she's crazy.  She's wearing fangs, so that, why?  Why is she doing this?"  And it turned out she was a very interesting woman.  And she is very intriguing and, again, she didn't last very long but it was – it was kind of cool to see Brad get beyond that and whereas I don't think the rest of us were giving her that chance. 

 

Question:            Absolutely, and we had a great time chatting with her as well last week.

 

Chris Harrison:            She's interesting, isn't she?  She's a really bright girl.  And I think if you took her for a face value, you wouldn't think that. 

 

Question:            Oh, yes.  Well, another thing is, you know, you – like you said you seem to know Brad pretty well with your talks and everything.  Who do you think is right for Brad? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, knowing how this turns out... 

 

Question:            (Of course), you know the couples (inaudible). 

 

Chris Harrison:            But no, knowing how this turns out, you know, there is – the great thing about the show and not to completely skirt the question, which I will.  But you know I've seen with what's happened with, you know, Jillian, Ali and it's happening with Brad, it's interesting to me and again you go back to this format that Mike Fleiss created.  It allows you, unlike any time and any situation in your life to fall for and find love in different people. 

 

            You know, what he is finding in Emily is completely different from what he finds in Chantal and obviously completely different from what he finds attractive about Michelle.  But his sincerity and his attraction to these women is just as sincere with all – with all of them, you know?  And so, like what Ashley delivers and what Chantal and (Shawntel) and, you know, down the line it's like they all give him a little something different. 

 

            And that in the end like with Ali, it's your job to figure out, OK.  Who really completes that picture?  Who – like what Brad will say over and over is who do I find myself wanting to spend the rest of my life with?  And I think, you know, with Ali, she had, you know, Chris Lambton who was a terrific guy and would make obviously a great husband.  And most women would die for. 

 

            But Roberto was just that perfect guy for her.  He actually was kind of the whole picture and the whole thing for her. 

 

            And so, you know, Brad's going to go through the same thing where he will fall in love and find love with multiple people.  But who's going to complete that picture for him?  And that's the intriguing thing about the show, is who will they narrow it down to in the end? 

 

Jennifer Matarese:            Hi, Chris. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Hey, how are you doing this morning? 

 

Jennifer Matarese:            Great.  So, my question for you is you've known Brad over the years and there's been a lot of talk about, you know, past relationships.  He hadn't had that many.  And there was a recent article that said he was actually involved with Bettina from Season 11.  And I was wondering if you had heard anything about that and just that did dissolve because he wanted to take this opportunity? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, I can tell you two things.  First of all, the deal about Bettina is not true.  And I promise you, if that were true, don't you think that we would have brought her on an Episode 2 as a surprise for great television? 

 

            I mean, if he had had this relationship and we, you know, had known about it and obviously we do, man, we would have absolutely brought her on and given them a chance to work because she's been on our show before.  And I know Bettina and she's a great girl.  But no, that absolutely was not true. 

 

Jennifer Matarese:            OK.  And, you know, there's – going back to the issue of therapy, they brought (inaudible) his therapist several times.  And, you know, he's had these talks before the rose ceremonies with Jamie about how he's feeling and getting this professional help.  And I felt like we haven't gotten to see as much of you this time around talking with him.  And I know you said you have those conversations.  Will we get to see some of that as well? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Yes, definitely.  You know what, with Jamie, the therapist, it was something that we wanted to show because, you know, it's one thing to say Brad's changed and that he's gone through therapy.  But we really wanted to show and prove that to people, and I think now we have. 

 

            So, you know, obviously, selfishly, I would like to see more of Brad and I and I've heard that from a lot of people.  And you're going to, I think, the fans have kind of seen enough of, "OK, we know he's been through therapy." 

 

            This Monday, you'll actually see Jamie one more time, but then I don't know if you'll see him again.  They've talked – they continued to talk throughout.  But I think now we are going to go back to more of our standard format because, yes, honestly, from a TV perspective, Jamie really – you know, having a therapist really hasn't played that well as far as, you know. 

 

            I think it was important to show, but I think "OK, we've shown enough.  Let's get back to, you know, Brad and I talking, deliberation and…" because we had phenomenal deliberation rooms.  We had one last week and we had one in Vegas that you won't see this week as well because at least we had so much stuff to show and then we did show a little bit of the therapist.  And they got – we felt like it might be redundant and take up a little too much time.  And so I think we – we made a little bit of a mistake with that the last couple of weeks, but we're going to fix that. 

 

Jennifer Matarese:            Yes.  So, like how many times can you say, you know, "Go with your feelings” and this and that, that kind of thing. 

 

Chris Harrison:            No, you know.  It's played its way out and I think we're over that.  And I think we've kind of realized we may have taken it a week or two too far.  And, you know, what's funny, we learn as we go as well to what the fans are reacting to and what seems to play, what we have in our mind while we're producing the show and then what ends up being relevant on TV to our fans is completely different sometimes. 

 

            And so we pre-edit these shows long – you know, like we've already started working on Episodes 5, 6 and 7, you know, before Episode 1 starts.  But we obviously go back and we can retool to it and pull things out or change things according to what the fans are reacting to. 

 

Jennifer Matarese:            OK.  Thank you so much. 

 

Question:            Good.  I'm glad to hear that.  My first question for you is if you can give one piece to advice to anybody on the show or wanting to go on the show, what would it be? 

 

Chris Harrison:            It would be – and this sounds silly and easy to say, but just be yourself.  You know, those that come on and try and put on an act, try and, you know, want to be the outlandish, crazy person or be the person who makes the statement, those people don't last. 

 

            And if you're coming on for your 15 minutes and you're acting like that, you know, try and give me one example where that's actually worked out for anybody, you know.  And it really doesn't pay off in the end.  And so, if you just come on and be yourself, that's your best chance to stick around.  And it's your best chance to actually, you know, crazily enough, find love on this show. 

 

Question:            OK.  And my second question for you is who was the most memorable person that's ever been on the show for you? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Oh wow, that's like picking my favorite child.  Because, I mean, one of the great things about hosting the show and having been around this is, you know, these people – a lot of them have become really good friends of mine. 

 

            You know, like Andrew Firestone comes to mind.  I talk to him all the time and I see him.  He lives up in Santa Barbara, but he comes down.  He works around LA a lot.  And, you know, I see his wife and his wife's pregnant again and, you know, seeing our kids play together.  I talk to Bob Guiney and then Trista and Ryan.  And this weekend I'm going to a charity event with (inaudible). 

 

            So, I mean, really, over the last nine years, I have great, great friends.  If I had to pick one season, one moment, you know, Trista really stands out in my mind.  For several reasons, it was the height of popularity of our show.  We had massive ratings.  And it was too really innocent and new there.  And it was very controversial that we would have the audacity to give this much power to a woman. 

 

            I know that sounds crazy now, but if you think back to The Bachelorette, that was a really controversial issue at the time.  And Trista was this perfect woman to take on that role.  And the way it ended with her and Ryan and just everything together.  That's just – that's always a moment and a season that will stand out to me. 

 

Question:            No, I know people (In Canada) love it.  They really, really do.  One thing I want to ask you is, do you ever sometimes think it's a little hypocritical that you've got the bachelors and/or the bachelorettes and, you know, obviously, they're trying to find love, so they're being with multiple people and they're kissing this person, they're kissing that person?  You know, but the people who are coming on the show, you know, can’t have any sort of connections to anybody else out there in the real world. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, first of all, I mean, it's – I don't find it hypocritical because sometimes they do, you know.  Sometimes – and what I love about our show is whatever happens – because it's not a game show and there is no catch – whatever happens and whatever baggage and history they bring in, whether it's Emily's story or, you know, go back to Justin, who had a girlfriend or actually I think two girlfriends, actually, as it turned out the rest of our finale season, or even Rozlyn in that situation where, you know, she had her relationship with our producer, you just let – we let it play out and you let it happen much like, you know, Emily's NASCAR date. 

 

            And the great thing about our show is if someone’s here for ulterior motives, and they have a girlfriend or boyfriend back home, that's what Brad and whoever else to figure out.  And if you don't think they're sincere, then you need to deal with that just like in real life. 

 

            And I think that our viewers kind of respect and love that about our show.  And that creates, again, these great water cooler moments the next day where "Do you believe Michelle?" or, you know, "Do you believe Rosalyn?"  And again, it's up to you and it's up to our bachelors or bachelorettes to make their own decisions. 

 

Question:            Yes.  I see – I see what you're saying.  Now, I mean, as far as the Canada connection, you seem to always have, you know, somebody, at least one person from Canada on all of the seasons.  Is that sort of by design or does that just happen? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Probably a little bit of both.  You know, we cast the show and we try and really spread a wide net.  The show works best when you have, you know, East Coast, Midwest, West Coast. 

 

            You know, when you have a lot of, you know, diversity in the mix as far where these people are from and what they're bringing to the table.  And also diverse in the fact that, you know, Debra, you know, even with Emily, you know, do you call it a widow – I guess when her fiancé died -- I guess I would consider her a widow.  But, you know, when different people have just different history that they bring to the table and you get the girl from Southern Florida dealing with the girl from New York, you know, it adds an incredible dynamic to the show. 

 

Question:            Yes.  And so, you can have Canadians, too. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Yes.  And, you know, and I think with the Canadians, our show is hugely popular up there.  Second thing, Canadians we love, too.  That's been proven.  And so, you know, and it doesn't hurt.  You know, with Jillian as our Bachelorette, you know, the show is, you know, hugely popular and it plays really well.  And so it – I think it definitely is a little bit of both I guess is the short answer to the question. 

 

Question:            Hi, Chris.  I apologize in advance because I'm calling from New York and you might hear some trucks and fire engines going by.  (Inaudible). 

 

Chris Harrison:            I get it.  I see in the news.  So, good luck today. 

 

Question:            Thank you.  All right.  So, 19 inches of snow here.  Here's my question.  How satisfied are viewers going to be with the end of Brad's season?  

 

Chris Harrison:            You know… 

 

Question:            At least you can help. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, here's the thing.  Brad is – Brad is satisfied.  He has obviously said that he is in love.  Will our fans will be satisfied?  That's always the million dollar question because I've learned – if anything, I've learned over the last nine years to never speak for or pretend to know what the fans are going to react to or like. 

 

            You know, I just thought things were going to be incredibly controversial in the past and people are like, "Whatever."  And then there's things where I didn't see much controversy or angst and then next day, it's the most controversial issue in the world. 

 

            And so I always find it interesting to see what the fans will react to.  So, you know, I love just like you do.  I'm going to wait and see how the fans react to how Brad ends up in making the decision he does because it's not easy how he gets to where he is and, you know, and we'll see how it turns out.  And so I hope for the best that we'll, you know, we’ll have to watch and see. 

 

Question:            OK.  Thanks.  One final question.  I've been watching the show since pretty much the first season and you are definitely a fan favorite and one of the key reasons why I think the show has been so successful.  I mean, you take it very seriously.  And one of my favorite highlights was from when Rosalyn came back on the show and she said some nasty things to you, you handled it with such class.  And I'm just wondering, how much longer can we expect you to stay on the show?  I know there are rumors circulating that you may be up for replacing Regis Philbin and can you comment on that? 

 

Chris Harrison:            Absolutely.  Well, first of all, thank you.  I take it all as a huge compliment.  And I do, I love the show and I do take it very serious.  And I'm extremely grateful and lucky to have had The Bachelor and Bachelorette in my life and the people involved in the show. 

 

            I think, you know, the people behind the scenes that you never get to meet and see from the executive producers to, you know, make-up, to lighting, I mean, these people have been with us for nine years.  And so it's almost like going back to summer camp, you know, when we're all excited to start a new season because we get to see each other again.  But I love the show and I love being a part of it.  And I can't foresee anything that would take me away from The Bachelor Bachelorette. 

 

            Obviously being thrown in the mix and being even mentioned for something as iconic as Regis Philbin's job is unbelievable.  But considering 19 inches of snow and it's 74 degrees today in LA, that it's really tough to even contemplate that. 

 

Question:            I can – I can obviously… 

 

Chris Harrison:            You know, in all seriousness, I love what I love.  And ABC has been really good to me about this.  They know I love live television and I love to host.  And The Bachelor gives me some of those moments through special things I get to do.  But they – you know, I do Miss America, I do the Spelling Bee and they've allowed me to start executive producing and hosting the red carpet for TV Guide.  And so I tried to balance them all. 

 

            Obviously, I always put The Bachelor or Bachelorette first, but they've been really generous about letting me kind of, you know, spread my wings and do other things as long as I, you know, take care of my baby back home. 

 

Question:            Good.  Earlier you said there was no way Emily would get the two-on-one date this week.  I'm wondering who decides who goes on those two-on-ones and what goes into that decision. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, a lot of factors go into it.  You know, what's happened prior in the season, who's gotten dates, who hasn't, who's kind of gone what type of dates, whether it's one-on-one, group dates.  And so producers will definitely have a large say. 

 

            But also Brad will sit down.  Our producers will sit with Brad and say, "OK, you know, this week" – without telling him about the dates because sometimes we want him surprised as to where he's going.  But we will say, "OK, who do you really want to spend time with?  And who have you felt like has been slighted?  Who do you feel like you need to…?" 

 

            And sometimes it might not be for a good reason.  Sometimes it might be someone who, on a one-on-one date, he really may want to go home or he wants to really put on the spot or maybe we think he needs to be put on the spot with this person and he may not give him a rose. 

 

            So, a lot of factors go into it, but I guess the simple thing is it's a mix between the producers and the bachelor and bachelorette.  And so, you know, Brad definitely had a say in who goes on the two-on-one date this week. 

 

            And as producers, you want that date to be compelling.  And it's really important that as a viewer, you feel like either girl has a real opportunity of going home.  Because if one girl obviously is – say, Emily, who he has a great connection with, or even a Chantal, who he has a great connection with, if she's on the two-on-one date, right away you're going to be like, "Well, he likes her like, you know, she's probably not going to go home this week," and so it just makes it too obvious. 

 

            So, it really has to be a nice mix of girls and an interesting dynamic on that date where you really think there's a possibility either girl could go at any moment or both, which has happened in the past. 

 

Question:            OK.  Thanks.  And one more question, it's kind of a touchy subject, but I want to ask about the spoilers.  How do you feel about the spoilers that come out every season?  And how do they affect the show if at all? 

 

Chris Harrison:            You know, I love that, you know, in some ways it's kind of like, you know, being imitated is the sincerest form of flattery.  Well, you know, if people are so crazed about our show and [it] has become such tabloid, Internet fodder, you know, in some ways you have to be a little bit flattered that that many people are that interested in your show and are going to try and go after it. 

 

            As far as leaks go, you know, someone asked me – I did a forum – I think it might have been at Miss America – and they said, you know, our things are going to get out.  And I said, "Well, when was the last time you didn't know who was on Dancing with Stars?  You know, how many weeks in advance do we know that the judges were on American Idol.  And, you know, look at Wikileaks and our national security and those like – so, things in this day and age are going to get out to a certain degree. 

 

            When we started this show – again, another interesting, you know, article someday is to go back and look at technology when our show started nine years ago.  There was no such thing as texting, blogging, Twitter, Facebook.  All that stuff has come and been invented and advanced since we started the show.  So, it's been amazing technologically even in the last nine years to look at how the show has changed and how technology has changed. 

 

            And so we've embraced it to a certain degree.  But I will say, you know, be careful what you read and what you follow.  You know, I – so, the good news is no matter what you hear or read, what happens, like for instance, Monday night on the NASCAR date and then what happens on the two-on-one date is something I couldn't even tell you about.  You have to see it and feel it and believe it for yourself because it's that emotional.  And I think it's that compelling.  And so in some ways, no matter what you hear or read about what's going to happen this weekend, you know, it definitely won't do justice until you see it. 

 

Question:            I was wondering if you could just kind of elaborate and clarify the comments about the Emily NASCAR date.  So, when you first talked about it earlier this week with TV Guide, you were quoted as saying you guys had forced the issue because you thought it was something Brad and Emily needed to address. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Right. 

 

Question:            Which kind of seems to conflict with what you said earlier in this call about how events had been that planned weeks earlier and kind of more of a coincidence. 

 

Chris Harrison:            Well, no.  Well, because – well, actually, what I said was it was a little bit of both.  First of all, it was somewhat of a coincidence, but again, I don't want to come off and you guys are smart enough and so are our fans to realize that we are not stupid and naïve little children, it’s like, "Oh, really?"  You know, we knew her story.  We didn't know it before the date was set up and, you know, and it kind of happenstance worked out to where she ended up on that date. 

 

            But, obviously, you know, we're not naïve and stupid.  We knew the story, and it was our choice to let it play out, because we could have told Brad or we could have pulled her aside and told her.  But what we've always chosen to do is let these moments and let this real situation play out.  And in the end – and, again, I have the, you know, luxury of hindsight and what I was telling TV Guide is it allowed, in this very time-constrained environment, to force a moment.  And it did force a moment.  And, again, it was something intentionally we didn't set out to do in the beginning of the season, but it ended up that we had this opportunity and Brad and Emily had this opportunity.  And it really did force the issue.  It forced Emily to face some demons that even after five years I don't think she's quite dealt with yet.  And then also forced Brad to A, learn the rest of the story because, again, when he goes on this date and knows Emily's fiancé passed away, he didn't know what he, you know, – she – he still didn’t know the whole story.  So, it kind of forced a lot of issues on many, many different levels.  It's unbelievably compelling and intriguing. 

 

            And people – again, I want you to watch it and then there'll be much more to talk about next Tuesday morning.  But no, I will stand by the fact that it did, in this time-constrained, you know, environment and process, it really forced them to take a huge step.  And it was either going to blow up in their face -- and Brad's going to realize, "Hey, I can't handle this, I, you know, I can't replace this guy," -- or Emily realizing she's not quite ready -- or they're going to move through it.  And so it is very compelling. 

 

Question:            OK.  And the same situation applies to the small airplane flight she was on earlier.  How is it?  Because that seemed to be a (inaudible) situation where… 

 

Chris Harrison:            I mean, that's something that she's going to get on a plane.  I mean, there's no – you know, we are going to continue – as you guys know – to travel around the world.  I mean, the fact that she was on a private plane and if she continues on, she's going to be on 12 more flights with Brad. 

 

            I mean, that, you know, there are certain things we just can't hide from on the show.  And where we're going, you can't take a bus and you can't drive.  You know what I mean?  Like so short of getting a submarine, you know, we have to put this girl on a plane.  And she's already – and she has already flown. 

 

            But I think, you know, again, I think it was being in a relationship forum with that situation that is bringing up these issues that, again, she has to deal with.  If she's going to get through this, she has to deal with these things. 

 

Question:            Thank you.  Chris, you've been talking a lot about Ali and Roberto, so I was just wondering if you could give us a little update on what their situation is.  Are they still planning on getting married?  Do they have a date?  Is it going to be televised?  Anything like that? 

 

Chris Harrison:            They're doing great.  They've, you know – I think they have kind of followed the formula of our successful couples and that is, you know, get out of Hollywood, you know, for the most part, get out of the limelight.  I think they've let this fame and all this enhance their lives.  They've kind of used it.  You know, they've gone to events and all that.  But they're living down in San Diego.  You know, Jason and Molly living up in Seattle, and obviously Ryan and Trista in Vail.  They kind of have gotten away from it and gone to live their lives.  And so they're doing great and they are still very much planning a wedding. 

 

            The date, if it’s set, I'll let them break the news to you.  I would be a horrible person if I broke someone else's wedding news.  And as far as TV goes, I hope it's on TV.  I really – I'm pushing to get it on TV, but obviously I'm not the one that's going to pay the bill so that'll definitely come above my pay grade.  But I would love for it to be on TV again.  I think it's – because for several reasons, selfishly, I love showing that.  But I think for our fans, again, talking about replacing, you know, soap operas and we are literally the modern day soap opera, I think people like to see the whole, you know, circle being completed and seeing these lives continue to play out and these love lives play out. 

 

            And, you know, seeing Jason and Molly and how that came to be and then having the wedding and, again, with Ali and Roberto, we saw them fall in love.  We would love to see them continue and get married on TV.  I think it's kind of a natural progression and I think our fans are getting to where they really want that and demand it. 

 

I hope you enjoyed that!  I'll post some more previews over the weekend!

 

Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese


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