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06/02/2011

Full Transcript of Chris Harrison Interview on 'The Bachelorette' and Bentley

Here is the full transcript of the interview with "The Bachelorette" host Chris Harrison.  He talks all about this situation with Bentley, a bit about the man in the mask (Jeff) and what's to come this season.  I've highlighted my portion of the interview with Chris in PURPLE.

Chris harrison 

Question:  You know the thing that really got me, and I don’t know if you really had the chance to talk to Bentley, but he’s a father and here he was being so disrespectful of women.  I mean, did he talk at all about how he would want other men to treat his daughter? 

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, I didn’t get to know Bentley that well because when I get to know the guy, it’s really from the fourth week on, when we started traveling around the world and I spend a lot of times with these guys in airports, hotels and such.  And so, I really didn’t get to know him.

 

Because it all happened in the first couple of weeks.  But I feel the same way.  I have, you know, a son and I have a daughter and I just, I can’t fathom, you know, treating a woman -- I couldn’t fathom treating a woman like that anyway, but much less, you know, someone who has a daughter and I can’t, I really hope that he comes back to the Men Tell All.

 

You know, not so I can rip him apart, whatever, I just really want to hear his explanation.  I’d like to ask him that exact question, if -- could you imagine a man treating your daughter like that some day and what would you think?  And I’d love to hear his response.

 

Because I don’t know what’s his end game was or what his motivations were.  You know, someone said it was just to promote his business or whatever.  But I don’t see how that happened, you know, the way he, you know, the things he said and things he did, really crossed the – crossed the line of decency as far as I’m concerned.

 

Question:  Right, but then -- and then I want to ask you, I mean that one thing that really bothered me was that the show actually aired where he said “And it would be great if she would tickle my bleep.”

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes.

 

Question:  I mean, don’t you think The Bachelorette went a little too far in actually airing that?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well, I mean I think you got to see what the guy said.  I mean, you know, if it upset someone’s sensibilities or if it did, you know, if it went too far and someone is – as far as any of our fans are concerned and I do apologize for that.  But, you know, this is what the guy was saying.

 

This is how he thought of Ashley.  And I think in true context you need to just see exactly what this guy is about and what his game was.  And how he was really playing her and, you know, Ashley, didn’t get to see or hear a lot of that.  And when he was in front of her, he was smooth, suave and said and did all the right things.

 

So that’s what you really had to show both sides to show exactly just how bad it was and how much she’s going to have the rug ripped out from under her on Monday night. 

 

Question:  Well it was still an eight o’clock show, so I thought it was (inaudible), but thank you.

 

Chris Harrison:  Well then “tickle my pickle,” is that bad for eight o’clock?

 

Question:  But they bleeped the pickle so then it seemed like it was worse than…

 

Chris Harrison:  Well, it was pickle, so there you go.  So pickle, pickles are eight o’clock friendly.

 

Question:  So when did you start to realize just how bad Bentley was.  Because in that first episode, you guys thought he was just there to promote his business, but obviously he was a lot worse than anyone anticipated.

 

Chris Harrison:  I thought he was going to be trouble the moment Ashley told me he was going to be trouble.  You know and I -- I’ll go a little bit deeper because yes we talked that night.  And you saw some of it, but a lot of it you didn’t see.  I was pretty adamant about my feelings towards him.

 

I usually try to walk that fine of gray line of host, friend, confidant.  But when you have information before the guy ever gets out of the limo, that is beyond a red flag.  And you know she just never heeded any of the warning signs.  And part of the reason is I think she was so anti everything she had done on Brad’s season.

 

Where she was closed up and she didn’t let herself go and didn’t trust her gut, so this season just kind of threw caution to the wind, and did the exact opposite.  You know, she -- we actually gave her the option before the limos ever pulled up.  You don’t have to meet this guy, we can pull him off.

 

You don’t have to do this and she said “No, I want to meet him, I want to give him a shot.  If I don’t like him, then I’ll kick him off.” 

 

So every step of the way she had the option and she always made the choice to go forward.  And then in the end defend him and stick by him.

 

Question:  I mean, you do have good relationships with the lot of the people that have been on the The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and I was wondering how hard it was for you to see what the end result of that relationship was.

 

Chris Harrison:  Really hard, I mean she’s a friend of mine.  But it gets to the point and this is one of the things I find fascinating about this show is I’m no longer host, I’m just a friend.  And I’m about to watch somebody have their heart broken.  And if you’ve ever been a grown adult, had any kind of friend who’s been in a relationship and you see this thing happened before.  Where you know the person they’re dating or falling for is not good for them.  And the more you scream from the rooftops and tell them, what do they do?  The more they run for them…

 

The more they defend them.  The more they defend their own choices.  And that’s what happened with Ashley.  The more we fought, the more I told her, the more the producers said, the more she defended this guy.  And so it got to the point where I just realized, you know what, she’s going to have, you know, a broken heart.

 

She’s going to be hurt and now all I can do is stand by and watch it and be there for her when it happens.  And this isn’t just TV, it happens in life all the time.  And you know, at some point you just got to sit back and say “OK.  I’m your friend, I’ll be here for you.”  And I could see this train coming down the track a mile away.

 

Question:  Yes.  So you mentioned that Ashley wanted to do everything differently this season.  But what else do you think is attracting her to Bentley?  Is it that bad boy persona of him, I mean what does she see in him?  Because we don’t see it.

 

Chris Harrison:  You know it’s funny, I talked to her after, you’ll see in the deliberation Monday night.  It was very much not a deliberation, it was a friend walking in to pick up the pieces of another friend, that is just had their heart ripped apart.  And you know, I asked her like “What was it about this guy that just got into your skin?” 

 

And she never really could answer that.  You know, I wish I could just talk to her now and kind of get her perspective that she’s had some time to heal and really kind of maybe look into it more.  Because, you know, was it the bad boy, was it I want to fix him?  You know the mama syndrome, where you kind of want to mother them and protect them?

 

You know I don’t know maybe it was a little bit of all of that.  You know, I don’t know, I couldn’t put a finger on it.  But I found it very perplexing myself of like, what, what are you seeing in this guy?  I don’t get it, he’s bad news, you know, he’s bad news.  He’s going to hurt you.

 

But he was just so smooth and so caring when he was around her that she just.  You know, she never got to see the true side of him, his true colors.  And eventually, you know, he was able to use that and kind of crush her. 

 

Question:  If I’m correct, didn’t Bentley say that he was interested in meeting Emily.  When he did his kind of interview, is that correct?

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, that was one of the things he said, I…

 

Question:  OK.  So why was he even picked if they knew that he was interested in Emily?  Why bring him on to meet Ashley?  Why not it be the guy who said “Hey, I would be really excited if the Bachelorette was Ashley?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well, even if he was, you know, even if it was Emily or Chantal or any of those girls, you know, there’s no guarantee that he’s going to be the one or going to fall in love with her.  You know, he had just as much of an opportunity to fall for Ashley or, you know, and he obviously didn’t say all those derogatory things in casting, you know, we were pitching him for the show.  He might have said, I thought it might be Ash -- or I thought it might be Emily or maybe it’d be cool it would be Emily.  But you know, he obviously didn’t say, you know if it’s Ashley I’m going to use her and destroy her.  You know, one of these, he wasn’t that open and forthright, you know, in casting.

 

Jennifer Matarese:  So going back to the interview process.  I mean do you -- did you get to see any of his interviews?  Do you know what he did say in that?  I mean why…

 

Chris Harrison:  I did not honestly…

 

Jennifer Matarese:  I mean why is he an attractive bachelor?

 

Chris Harrison:  Honestly because we are casting all the time and even while we’re shooting inside, I -- some of the producers will stick their head in.  And then they all watched tapes, obviously, but I don’t.  I don’t get involved in the casting, for many reasons.  But I never saw any of his stuff I really didn’t.

 

Jennifer Matarese:  And I mean why not, have the producers or someone, play the things that, I mean, he’s saying such awful hurtful things.  I know she has the opportunity to get rid of him at any point and everything.  But why not let her see that sooner so that, you know she can move on with hopefully finding a good match for herself?

 

Chris Harrison:  It is a good point and, you know, maybe if this had gone any further.  You have to understand too, we’re just like really two weeks into this.  At first night all happened, yes, the first week really is just one night and so where about two weeks into this. 

 

And things had just kind of started getting out of hands and him saying all these things.  And if it had gone on longer, you know, I don’t know the steps I would have taken or the producers.  If we would have just finally had to show her these things.  But you know, she was privy to some of the information and a lot of what we thought.

 

You know, some of the producers have told her “You know this guy is not good for you.”  And I told her some things, and so, you know, short of showing her all the derogatory stuff she had so much information more so than Ali or Jillian ever had about Wes or Justin.

 

And, you know, it’s kind of the same situation where I went to Ali and said “This is what we know about Justin.  What do you want to do?”  And she’s like “I want to kick his butt off the show,” and she did.  And the same thing with, you know, Jillian, she got information about Wes.  And, you know, she kicked him of the show or he was let go.

 

So, you know, she had that information.  She had everything she needed but she just always wanted to believe the good in the guy. 

 

Jennifer Matarese:  So next season we would expect a villain maybe?

 

Chris Harrison:  No, I mean that’s the thing, too.  You know, like someone said so, is he a plant or ABC put him in there?  And that’s, it couldn’t be further from the truth.  I mean, I think it’s just this guy, this is the type of person he is and I think, you know, we all relate what Ashley is about to go through and what is going through.

 

I think we’ve all been cheated on, we’ve all been broken up with, we’ve all been played to a certain degree.  And I think it makes us angry, it makes us all defensive and it makes us in some ways mad at Ashley for being played.  It’s funny, it’s really interesting the different emotion that this whole thing evokes.

 

But, you know, we didn’t put this guy in there, I mean people give us way too much credit for this all the time – that we put this guy in there to draw up this drama.  And this really doesn’t turn out to be a good thing for Ashley or us.  I mean it got to the point where we almost had to shut down production.

 

And we weren’t sure that she’s going to be able to move on past there.  And if was two three weeks later, we probably wouldn’t.  I’m not honestly sure what we would have done with the show because this really makes her question everything.  The rest of the guys that are staying in the house, herself, if this is going to work, if it worth it.

 

It was – it was really tough for her but it was also rough for us to kind of get her back on track because we had – still had to keep going.

 

Question:  So you’ve mentioned earlier and you’ve said the entire seasons that you really do consider these bachelors and bachelorettes to be your friends.  How did it feel hearing this man, father of a young girl, saying these awful, rude, disrespectful things about somebody you consider to be your friend?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well, first and I -- you bring up a good point.  I want to be very clear that I did not get to hear and see all those things he said.  You know, the producer -- all that stuff is shot in privacy with producers and stuff like that.  And so I don’t know who watches those tapes and I didn’t get to see that.

 

I knew he wasn’t -- they let me know that he was there for the wrong reasons and I knew a lot of the inside stuff but I didn’t hear a lot of the derogatory stuff.  But yes, being a friend and honestly, even if it was you, and someone was speaking of you that way.  I would be floored and find it disrespectful and rude and demeaning and crossing the line.

 

Like, you know, really take the friendship out of it and it was a terrible thing to see any man treat or you know what, any person treat another person like that.  It was just you know such disregard and such disrespect for her.  And it’s a, I found it pretty astounding.

 

And you’ll see Monday that you know he’ll leave the show, as you guys probably know, but the way he leaves and the way it happened.  I find even more disrespectful than the things he said before he left.

 

Question:  And a lot of people, no surprise, are comparing Bentley to people to, you know, past contestants like Wes or like Justin.  Would you consider him the biggest villain the shows ever had or…

 

Chris Harrison:  I don’t know, you know, I think the villain thing is almost a little too cliché.  Like you know, you almost like give them a title and like it’s the role he’s playing.  And you know I don’t think that’s fair, I don’t think it does justice to the kind of guy he was on the show and the way he treated her.

 

You know, it’s almost like lets him off a little too easy and pigeon holes him and it’s like, oh he’s just the bad guy, he’s playing that role.  And I don’t think that was it, I mean I you know that wasn’t his you know -- and I don’t even know what he’s motivation was and I really find it interesting. 

 

He’s a bit of an enigma, I don’t know what is in him, what his end game was.  I don’t know why he was treating her like that.  I don’t know why he wanted to play her and say those things, I don’t get it.  Because like you said he is a father, he has a daughter.  And then to use the daughter the way he does Monday night and kind of fall back on her and use her at time is also, you know I just know that Tuesday morning there’s not a person that’ll wake up and not have an opinion about Bentley.  And I’m really interested to hear the viewers and our fans who have followed all of these people and hear their thoughts on how this guy acted.

 

You know, because I kind of have mine but I always find it interesting to see what the fans think.  Everybody will be talking about this Tuesday morning.

 

Question:  So you know obviously all the viewers can’t understand why Ashley felt like that.  Do you think she actually fell in love with him?  Can you talk a little bit about, I know you don’t know what she saw in him but maybe what kind of made her to open up to him so much quicker than she did to anyone else.

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, first of all I do think she was falling for him or in love with him.  And it happened fast and you know I don’t why she fell so fast with that guy.  But literally if we had stopped the show the moment the limos arrived, you know he probably would’ve been the one. 

 

And, I don’t know if you saw the first episode but, when he got out and he’s like, you know, my name’s Bentley and you saw that face she made.  You know, I was just like oh no, like she didn’t just fall for this guy.  And it almost happened that instantaneous like, you know, I don’t know if it was just the forbidden fruit that she got a taste of and it was so good.

 

But it seemed that was the case where, you know, this guy’s no good, this guy’s no good, this guy’s no good.  He shows up, oh I love him, you know.  And it was unfortunate and things only got worse.  The more we warned her, the more he kind of turned on his charm.  And she just, she fell for the guy hook, line, and sinker.

 

Question:  And you have spoken about how you got close to stopping production.  Can you just talk a little bit about that maybe as a friend, how you helped her through that and then how long it affected and how she treated everyone else in the house?

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes I mean, you know, I think it’s fair to say it affected her the rest of the time she was on the show.  And you’ll see Monday night from the comedy date, which, you know, hurt her and definitely opened the wound.  To Bentley leaving as soon as that’s over there’s another date and then deliberation and rose ceremony and all that.

 

She’s a different person, it’s really interesting.  And I’m not saying she was an actress or whatever but I think to a certain degree.  I don’t know if you’ve seen Ali, and Jillian and Trista, those girls in the past.  It’s like, it’s almost like the entity, you’re watching The Bachelorette and it gets kind of impersonal. 

 

Well, when you Ashley after Bentley, it’s -- you see this kind of vulnerable little girl.  And I walked in and she was just crestfallen.  I mean she was absolutely destroyed and it wasn’t “can I find love and I hope to find love.”  It was “I don’t want to do this, I don’t think it’s going to work.”  This, you know, “I just lost the guy I thought I was going to you know, be with at the end of this.”

 

And now I, you know, there’s no time, like we can’t, this isn’t going to work anymore so really the next several weeks for me wasn’t worrying about can she fall in love.  It was you know, you got to even believe that this process can work and that there’s 12 guys here that have given up everything in their life to be here.

 

And you owe it them to you know, give this a shot.  So it was really just putting the pieces back together.  It was – it was rough and I kind of have the analogy -- you know, say you or me or anybody else has a horrible break up and gets devastated like this you know.

 

We all go find solace and, you know, a bowl of ice cream, and a dozen donuts and we get to sit in our house in the dark and contemplate life for a while.  Well, she had to go on a date the next day.  You know, so, you know this really is really unreal in that aspect where she’s like how can I possibly move on and act like nothing’s happened.

 

And so she didn’t and she couldn’t and I give a lot of credit to the guys this season who are kind of an older more professional group, definitely not kind of that frat house mentality where if it hadn’t been for that group of guys, the show may have just fallen apart completely.

 

Question:  Hi I’d like to, maybe thank you, for the show has done more to break stereotypes about Utah than anything I can think of.  But…

 

Chris Harrison:  What happened to the peaceful natured, good folks of Utah?

 

Question:  Well this is at least, I mean between what the (Desiree Valentine)…

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes.

 

Question:  And Michelle and this.  I mean, seriously though, are you at all struck that a lot of your villains seem to be coming from Salt Lake City?

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, I think Salk Lake City is now replaced Dallas as the hot bed of great character on reality television.  I don’t know -- what do you guys put in the water up there?  What’s going on?

 

Question:  Well I have to say I’m a little startled, so…

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, lock your doors.  But it’s true, Michelle Money was quite a character and obviously Bentley is turned out to be a, you know quite the character.

 

Question:  And I have watched the, I was just online watching most of this coming week’s episode.  And he’s, it’s really, because I’ve got two daughters myself and it is pretty astonishing.  I mean are you at all worried that the backlash won’t be against him but against the show?

 

Chris Harrison:  You know what? It is, when people are upset and our fans are.  Our fans are already upset.  They haven’t seen anything compared to what they’re going to see Monday night.  We’re absolutely going to catch some shrapnel, we always do.  I will, I’ll get attack Twitter, Facebook and all that.

 

I’m already prepared for being absolutely attacked, you know Tuesday morning, how dare you, how could you not protect her.  And all I know is you know, I’ve been in this situation before like we all have where at some point you can’t stop what’s happening.

 

You know, I think if you’ve ever had a friend who’s just been with someone you know was wrong.  And you know the more you pushed and the more you yell at them, all your going to do is lose a friend.  You know, people have to realize TV cameras and production aside, this is a real woman who is really falling for a guy who is really playing her.  It happens in bars, restaurants, you know, synagogues, churches all over the world every day.  Unfortunately this happens, you know, in front of the world on live TV for her.  

 

And so, you know, I’ve talked Ashley, she feels foolish, she hates this that, you know, she’s seeing and hearing all these things.  And yes, if she had to do it all over again she would have probably never let the guy get out of the limo.  But it did happened, and so you get to see everything, warts and all.

 

I was defensive and I hated watching it happened but it was one of those things there’s nothing you can do about it. 

 

Question:  Does he return before the that final episode where they all you know gathered to talk?

 

Chris Harrison:  You know, Ashley -- I’ll say this, Ashley definitely has a hard time moving on past this.  And it definitely will continue to kind of haunt her and definitely play a major role as we head to the finish and, you know, the only saving grace is that it happened this early.

 

Question:  So a couple of reports from web sites have been saying that Bentley’s friend are blaming ABC for kind of editing and putting the words and taking them out of context.  And are basically saying that Bentley never said these things, you guys are editing the words together.  How do you respond to that?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well…

 

Question:  I mean obviously we know this guy is not a good guy.

 

Chris Harrison:  Well, I you know I see because I watched the episode again last night.  And you’ll see him on camera saying these words…saying these sentences -- full sentences, I mean you’ll see him, you’ll see his face.  So it’s obviously not cut and you can’t slice together when you see somebody like that.  So you’ll see him saying things that you’re like, are you kidding me? 

 

And honestly you can’t really take the things he said out of context because him saying, obviously he’s talking about Ashley every time he says something about her.  So the things he said, even in joking, they’re not appropriate.  You know, what I mean like…joking around, like you don’t talk about woman like that…and you don’t treat somebody like that and you know I would love to hear what his friends and him have to say about the way he leaves the show.  And the kind of stunt I’d say he pulled as he’s leaving to me was worse than anything that he said before.  That, and that’s really you know, I can’t give too much away but that is really what I have the biggest problem with.

 

You know, I don’t – I don’t respect the things he said but I don’t agree and it makes you know -- like that’s not the kind of man I am, I don’t treat women like that but all that aside, watch the stunt he pulls at the end, and what he says and that is really what I think is the worst as far as messing with her mind, as far as messing with her as a person. 

 

Question:  And also he’s made a couple of comments already but how he wishes that Bachelorette was Emily, and then you know the previews for next week we see that during -- they do, that the standup comedy William like does he joke about how he thought that the Bachelorette was going to be either Chantal or Emily, you know, jokingly of course, you know, and then we see Ashley still crying after that.  Like how do you think she gets past that?  Like you think she’s think she feels like she’s competing with Emily and Chantal all over again, because I feel like it keeps on coming up.

 

Chris Harrison:  Well definitely, I mean her worst fear, her biggest insecurity coming into this that first night was being rejected by the guys.  I think that’s natural for any of the bachelorettes, but her, it seemed a little more prevalent.  And the fact that the guys coming there, not only with rejection but they wish it was somebody else.

 

This Monday night -- the whole Bentley thing, it’s almost like two fold.  There was that comedy date where, you know, those fears were kind of touched on, and they weren’t realized but they were touched on.  They were just that kind of an open wound and it was her insecurity and you know kind of ripped open.

 

And so that that definitely upset her, so she was still kind of smarting from that when the Bentley thing happened the very next day.  And so she was upset and kind of emotionally vulnerable, then this bomb is dropped on her.  And so it was just even more devastating than it would have been normally because of the comedy date. 

 

So really it happened -- the timing of it was horrible. 

 

Question:  Now does she get past that in the season?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well that is, you know, that’s really what the season becomes to a certain degree right after this.  You know, the next several weeks, you know, we start traveling around the world.  But it’s really, you know, me trying to help Ashley get past this and realize that there are some phenomenal guys here.  And they are great guys, I mean really, really…

 

Question:  They are, they are good job this season I must say.

 

Chris Harrison:  Good guys.  Yes, but, you know, if you, you know, for Ashley, I think it will all make sense Monday night when you see it that this doesn’t end exactly with the kind of closure you need to move on which makes it even tougher than it should have been.  And that will make sense Monday when you see what happens.

 

But that, you know, the way the stunt he kind of pulled at the end makes it even tougher for her to kind of pick herself back up and get back out there.  Because now, you know, it really makes her question everybody and everything.  And so again you’ll see a very different Ashley from the moment this happens the rest of the time.

 

Because now she’s like well, is this guy going to leave me?  You know, am I going to fall in love and so it’s really hard for her to open up again. 

 

Question:  So how did the other men react to Bentley because it seems like no one else is really on to him in the house either? 

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, that’s a really interesting question because unlike other quote unquote villains or bad guys say Wes or Justin.  You know, the guys kind of knew Wes was a character, the guys are the ones that kind of told Jillian about Wes and warned her.  And kind of same thing with Justin, Justin was always kind of an outsider on Ali’s season.

 

And so, this is a little different in that A, it happened really early.  So the guys were just really getting to know Bentley anyway in each other so they weren’t quite that privy to this information as some of other seasons have been. 

 

So yes, the guys weren’t ready to warn or guard and protect Ashley because they didn’t know about it.  So, you know, when he leaves the guys are just as kind of dumbstruck and surprised as Ashley is.  So it’s, it really catches everybody off guard.  So he was, he did such a good job of not showing his hand and playing everything close to the vest that even the guys were played a little bit.

 

And I think when the guys are watching the show back, they’re going to be as shocked as Ashley is that’s all this happened.

 

Question:  Well, bizarre.  So obviously someone else mentioned he’s from Utah and Michelle is from Utah.  Can you tell us if Michelle is the person who tipped Ashley off to him?

 

Chris Harrison:  No, I don’t think anyone’s talked about it but you know it is ironic that they are from the same place. 

 

Question:  So just to clarify the time that you warned Ashley about Bentley.  Did you just keep reminding her of Michelle’s text messages or did you actually tell her Bentley had said that he wasn’t interested in her and of the things that you were aware that he said, of all those crude things during his private interviews?

 

Chris Harrison:  Well the first time, when we sat down that first night, the producers were good about, they didn’t want me to know everything.  All they said was that Ashley was going to talk to you about something.  And so, you know, I know people think that I’m all prepared and whatever.

 

But a lot of times what we want is that real emotion and that my real reaction and her reaction and see how we deal with it.  So when she brought the fact up that she had received text messages warning her about Bentley, I really probed.  And I’m like you know, Ashley like, come on, like this is crazy.

 

Like, don’t do this, this guy is bad news and I was pretty open and honest and I was pretty, you know, kind of opened up to her more than I usually do for bachelors and bachelorettes.  You know, I was like this is crazy, the guy hadn’t even got out of the limo and, you know, are you sure you want to do this?

 

And she’s like, well I’ll just meet him and then I’ll be able to, you know, kick him to the curb.  And obviously things just kind of took off from there.  But after that first night, I mean on camera, off camera I talked to her several times.  I’m like, you know, what do you see in this guy? Are you – are you sure, you know, that he’s probably just playing a game.

 

I really have a bad feeling about this.  And you know we had several conversations, many, many conversations.  And so did the producers with her but she really defended him every step of the way. 

 

Question:  OK.  And I watched ABC’s screener of next week’s episode this morning and after Bentley left the show, it seems like one of the things that would have really helped Ashley get over him would be the to let her know about the comments that she didn’t know about and how he was lying when he told her about that he was leaving.  So did you ever share that specific information with her or if not why?

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes, the producers definitely shared a lot of things with her, you know, they, I don’t know if they ever sat her down honestly and showed her the tape of him talking.  But I know that the producers talked to her.  And I know that they told her after he left, you know, certain things he had said.

 

And I’m telling you and this is hard to explain because this is you and I having a normal conversation and we are two normal adults our right mind.  If you’ve ever known anybody like falling in love and like completely smitten with someone, like nothing you say makes sense or difference.

 

And almost to the other side, it’s like you just attacking them.  And she just didn’t want to believe that Bentley was like that because he was so good, caring, loving and sweet and the doting single dad in front of her that she just, she wouldn’t believe it.  And she never, she just didn’t believe that he was that kind of guy and it was just so hard to convince her and we never really did.

 

Question:  OK.  And I know you didn’t specify whether Bentley will actually returned but if he does, what would your justification be for letting him come back for the show?

 

Chris Harrison:  The only thing we would ever do is what Ashley wants to do.  And so just, our justification for anything we do is it’s up to Ashley.  I mean, I, Monday night if you saw the show, I mean I literally sit with her in the deliberation room, like, what do you want to do?  I’m like, there’s you know, we cut all the rules out of the show a long time ago.

 

And you saw that with Ali, and you’ll see this with Ashley throughout the season, where it’s like, what do you -- want to do?  Like, it’s up to you.  We kind of really let them call the shots and really at that moment and we kind of just go with it.  It makes for not only better TV but it makes for a better Bachelor or Bachelorette. 

 

So we kind of give them that control and put them, you know, give them that power.  And so, you know, we justify everything by giving Ashley the power.  And it was her job to say I don’t want that guy in the limo the first night or yes leave him in the limo I want to meet him and that’s what we do.

 

You know, we don’t step in and say no, no, no that’s the wrong decision.  That’s not for us to do, we never have.  It’s just we go, we play it out and you watch along with us. 

 

Question:  I was just going to say, how do you compare and know they were talking of Wes and Justin before, how do you view them versus Bentley?

 

Chris Harrison:  You know, I’m really, I don’t know, honestly for a couple of reasons.  First, I’d like to hear what the fans say Tuesday, get their opinions of where he ranks and all that.  But I just, I look at each case and I just look at Bentley, and I really want him to come back to the Men Tell All.  And I really wanted to talk to this guy because I’m not -- I can’t quite figure him out.

 

You know, because I think it’s too simple to say he’s just a bad guy or he’s evil or he’s a jerk or whatever.  Like, that’s not, I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think, you know in my experience that that’s the whole picture.  It can’t, it’s never that simple, so, you know, I want to know his motivation is.  What his thought was behind all this and, you know, what he thinks about his daughter.

 

And kind of using his daughter as a human shield at times, and, you know, if someone pulled this against her, what he would think?  I really would like to reserve my judgment until I get more information.  But I, you know, I’ll know everybody will have an opinion Tuesday. 

 

You know, I will say this, I look at what people, well premeditated and that’s what I keep going back to.  It just seems like everything was so thought out and premeditated with him.  And it was only to do one thing and that was going to hurt her.  And that’s something I do have a big problem with.

 

And I, you know, I don’t know if I felt that with Justin.  Well, I guess Justin kind of has that same mentality too, but you know.  Wes, it’s just more of a character. 

 

Question:  Right, right.  So what if ABC, if they do a Bachelor Pad, and Bentley wanted to be on, is that something that you guys would be a bar from him?

 

Chris Harrison:  You know, I honestly don’t know.  I have no control over the casting and no control over, you know if he would be on or not.  You know, and many reasons for that, it keeps me out of trouble from having to make …those decisions and then having to work with these people, but I don’t know.  You know, I don’t know, but I think whether we would have him on Bachelor Pad or not, a lot of that would have to do with is how things would play out for the next several weeks and, you know, if he comes back and what his explanation is from the kind of person he is.

 

But, you know, I don’t know, because I really want to find out more about this guy.  And I haven’t heard much from him other than I guess some -- one of the reporters just said, some friends said that he got a bad edit.  But believe me when you see Monday like there’s not enough editing in the world that would have saved this guy good or bad.

 

Question:  You kind of touched on this a little, but I wanted your opinion.  Aside from Ashley giving Bentley the benefit of the doubt, do you think it may be more of her insecurities that got into her keeping him around, as if she couldn’t believe this good looking guy was into her?

 

Chris Harrison:  You know, I don’t know, that’s a good point as good as any I guess.  You know I don’t, I think she just really, for me it seemed like what she went through with Brad.  She was -- she blamed herself and she really blamed herself for being closed off and not letting herself be vulnerable and putting herself out there.

 

As you know, I don’t know if you’re married or whatever, but if you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know, the only way to fall in love and the only way to really go through something like that is to let it all go and really open yourself up to be crushed.  You hope it doesn’t happened and most of the time it doesn’t.

 

But that’s what you really have to do, you’re very vulnerable.  And she came into this -- was just hell bent being different and not herself and getting in her own way.  And in that regards, I think you, she kind of used Bentley as the prime example of that.  You know, I don’t mean publicly. I think more privately into herself.

 

She was using him to prove, by God, I am going to do this and put myself out there and this guy, you know, is there for me and this is the one.  And I’m going to prove that love is meant to be and, you know, all those things I think she fought hard in her own mind to just prove to herself this is how it’s going to be and I’m going to let it happen and it really came back to bite her.  And it really came back to hurt her and it’s unfortunate.

 

Question:  And usually you preface at the start of each season, you know, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette the most controversial or something to that effect.  And aside from the Bentley factor and the masked man, what is anything that makes this season unique?

 

Chris Harrison:  Aside from Bentley and the masked man, where in the world is that sentence ever said?  Aside from that masked man, but it was, you know, what happens Monday.  You know, I also don’t want to call it dramatic or call it controversial because almost again it’s like calling him a villain.

 

It almost makes it too easy and kind of like the air quotes around it.  And it makes it too soft and it almost makes it seem too TV and too, you know, unreal.  And I just, and I preface it enough that this was very real for her and it was very real for us.  And it was, you’ll see the conversations I have with her subsequently that are just, they’re not your typical deliberation room.  And you can tell that it’s just me and her, really just talking.  You know, and how vulnerable she is and how real she was.  And so, this season, from here on out, will be unlike any other because you won’t have your typical bachelorette kind of, you know, just going on a date and dealing with things.  This is a very vulnerable, real woman who is now battling with her insecurities and can she possibly put herself back out there again after this. 

 

So it’s, you know, it’s not controversial, it’s not the most dramatic rose somebody whatever but it is so real and raw and emotional.  But there’s a lot of twists and turn to come after even after this week.

 

Question:  OK, so I actually am interested in the masked man.  Because we’ve seen a lot of time on Bentley but I’m wondering if the masked man said he was going to do this like when he was cast or if you found out when you walked in and saw a guy with a mask on?

 

Chris Harrison:  I saw him when he got out of the limo…Again, producers are really careful not to tell me too much because they just kind of let me react along with Ashley.  And so I was standing there when he got out of the limo and I’m like, what?  Here’s a guy in a mask and so here’s my take on Jeff.  And first of all when we say, not only the Bentley thing happened but the mask will be unveiled Monday. 

 

Which is another big, a big you know bomb being dropped on a shell.  But here is my take on Jeff, you know I don’t have a huge problem with it.  It wasn’t my style and I don’t think it was clever.  But I understood what he was pulling on the first night and when he talked to Ashley, I thought he actually, I was like, oh I get it, OK.

 

This is actually pretty cool and Ashley kind of dug it and it was cute.  I just think that the joke went on a little too long and it almost took over the person he is.  And it was kind of ironic that the guy, you know wanted Ashley to see who really was, by the time he takes the mask off Monday.  I don’t think he really knows who he is.

 

Like it kind of took him over and he kind of became more of a much bigger issue that he ever wanted it to be.  And I don’t think he intended that to happen.  I think he thought he was always in control of it, by the time he took it off, he was like wow this has become a little too big of a deal.

 

Question:  Right, did you, we saw the, you know, the clip he was in, the montage of the mask in the swimming pool, on the toilet, was he truly masked at all time or did he …

 

Chris Harrison:  I never saw him.  I honest to God never saw the guy’s face until he took that mask off.  I mean when I would come in the mornings and a lot of times I do wake some of guys up.  And I’m like “Hey guys come down to the living room.”  And guys are rolling out of the bed, and he had the mask on.  And from what I understand, I don’t sleep with the guys at the house, but I understand he would, you know, face the other direction, take the mask off and then put on a sleeping mask and go to bed.

 

And wake up and put the mask on.  I mean he had it on all the time.  And he was, I don’t know if the guys, if any of the guys, if any of the guys ever saw him.  But I definitely did not.

 

Question:  Was it like leather?  Because it looks like it’s leather on TV.

 

Chris Harrison:  You know it’s like a hard, you know it might be covered in leather.  But it’s like hard on the, you know it’s like on the inside.  It’s like a masquerade mask.  Someone put it as it’s like the “Eyes Wide Shut” mask.

 

I’ve never, you know, honestly I’ve never dealt [with] anything like it before.  Because I would, you know, when I was talking to the guys, I’d be looking around the room to make eye contact and then just like there is a guy in a mask staring at me like in what world is this OK and why did this happen, you know. 

 

It’s just, it would crack me up and I usually, I usually really good about putting up with everything, but this, I just kept telling Ashley, I’m like, do you realize the guy has a mask on, right?  And every -- anything you can tell me about that person is really erased once you say “But he wears a mask”.

 

Question:  Well, it’s like you really have this goes in your head, like is there a guy with a scar, is he just going to be normal looking?  Like it’s…

 

Chris Harrison:  Well my thing was, I actually said look, if someone pulls this for this long when he takes it off he better have this ridiculous combination of George Clooney and Brad Pitt going on.  I mean he better be so stunningly handsome that like his good looks are like the sun.  You can’t look directly at it and that’s why he didn’t want anyone to see, but, you know, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case.

 

Question:  I was just wondering, did Ashley, I realized the producers kind of, they didn’t exactly break the rules but they’ve sent her a lot of information from these sort of unofficial interviews he was doing.  Did she only see the true footage when we saw it or when did she see all of (inaudible) in all of his glory.

 

Chris Harrison:  She’s seeing a lot of it play out -- I mean everything play out really now with us.  As does every bachelor and bachelorette, you know.  You know, you don’t, A, because there’s just hours and hours of tape but yes, they just don’t see it until the show airs.  That’s kind of the way it’s always been and the way it will always be.

 

And that’s the way with Ashley, she’s seeing a lot of these things, you know, she called me last week and she’s like, I can’t believe all these things.  And she‘s like I just feel like, you know, such a fool so played.  And again, now this is hindsight where now she can look back and she’s not, you know, head-over-heels and have that puppy love with a guy but wherein she was kind if blinded by it.  She kind of sees him for who he really is.

 

Question:  Do you feel like it’s a more of a healing process for now or it’s just a re-injury?

 

Chris Harrison:  I think it’s just more enlightening, you know.  I don’t think it’s healing.  I think it’s, she’s had time now.  But I think we all like to have, you know, that, you know, definitely the insight and enlightenment and, you know, getting all the details of everything, you know, put out there.  And then also seeing her reaction, she can kind of you know, she has a very surreal and unreal perspective where not only did she get to live something but now she gets to go back and watch almost like a game tape then break down what you went through.  And none of us never really have this advantage or perspective when we date or go through a relationship.  But our bachelors and bachelorettes do and I find it very interesting and compelling when they get to kind of go back and relive their moments.

 

Question:  Was there ever a moment when she said “I really wished I listened to you Chris?”

 

Chris Harrison:  Yes.  Are you kidding?  Yes, she gone back and, you know, it’s funny she’s like “Why didn’t you say?”  I’m like “Ashley, I did.”  And she was like “I know.”  You know, it was just, but that’s the way it works, if you are a friend with someone, that’s all you can do.

 

You’ve got to let them sometimes fall on their face and then you give them a big hug, and you pick them up and you move on and that’s, you know, the kind of the way it was.  People have to understand, that I know that this is on TV and I know that there’s glitz and glamour and lights and all that.

 

But they also have to understand that this is a girl, you know.  This is just a woman that was going through and making the best decisions she could at that time and going with her heart.  And, but I think to a certain degree that’s what people really relate to in the show.  You know, we’ve all been there.

 

If you've made it this far, that's all of it!  I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese

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