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05/09/2012

Chris Harrison dishes about the upcoming season

Bill King here, filling in for Jen Matarese while she's away on maternity leave. She'll still be handling a lot of the blog, but I'll pick up the slack when she needs me to. That being said, we're less than a week away from the premiere of Emily Maynard's quest for love on The Bachelorette. Host Chris Harrison was available for an interview Wednesday, and he gave up some of the goods on the upcoming season.

Chrisharrison

 

Scroll down for the full transcript of the interview (My questions are in blue). But first, here's the highlights.

The big theme of the conference call was that this season will be VERY DIFFERENT from seasons past, mainly because of the whole single mom thing that Emily has going on. Chris says that because of little Josephine Riddick "Ricki" Hendrick, a lot of changes were made and whole tone of the show will have a new vibe to it. With a lot of the filming taking place in her hometown of Charlotte, Emily was allowed to keep her daily life pretty similar to how it is normally, even driving her daughter to soccer practice.

One of the main reasons that the crop of guys seems soooo much better than previous shows is that potential contestants were aware that Emily was the Bachelorette before they signed up. So no shocking surprises for the guys when they get out of the limo.

Chris says there is no frat house humor as there is with younger contestants who aren't parents, and since all the guys knew they could be potential stepdads, there are more layers and more things going on.

I asked if the crop of guys was a reflection of Emily's high standards and the fact that, outside of the show, Brad may have been too much of an "average Joe" for her tastes. He countered that Brad is actually more successful that most guys on the show. That being said, he admitted the level of guys this season is through the roof, but that just goes to show the type of guys who wanted to sign up FOR Emily. "She's a catch," he said. "Just to look at her, you know."

I also asked about the importance of the guys having kids themselves in the selection process, and Chris said that to Emily, kids not a deal breaker or deal maker. She knows that a guy who came in as a single dad would know her a little better and "get" her a little more. But he says the good thing about her is that she's very young and wants more kids and to start and/or continue the family. She's just looking to find that special someone.

He says Emily was reluctant to jump into this as a single mom, but after trying it in the real world, she didn't have much luck there either. He said her biggest insecurity is that this will fail as well, and then what? She really wants to find someone, and is also looking for a guy to come in and help her take her hands off the wheel for a bit.

She has said she wants to more reserved that other Bachelorettes, without as much kissing and no hot tubs. But will there really be no hot tubs? "Hot tubs always mysteriously appear," Chris said.

Emily, however is not the crazy, bungee jumping party girl. Chris describers her as a southern gem, who like to wear high heels and dresses. He says that while the show caters to the Bachelor or Bachelorette, the producers still like to take him or her out of any comfort zone.

Chris says that while there will be, as always, drama and surprises along the way, what people will love is that Emily is holding that banner of being a single mom high. He says viewers will say, "Damn girl, well done," throughout the season. She handles her business, giving the men enough rope to hang themselves, and some of them do. If a guy is not dad material or husband material, she apparently has no problem clearing the deck.

He says he is rooting for her like crazy, and that viewers will be roped in by seeing a very vulnerable side to her. He says she has a very sincere perspective of what she wants in life, and that even he didn't know her as well as he thought he did before this.

A few people had the cajones to ask Chris about his divorce from his wife, even asking if he would ever consider being the Bachelor. He responded by saying that getting out of a 22-year relationship, with two kids, and starting a new life doesnt' make him the idea candidate right now or anytime soon. To his credit, he gave props to the media and understands that his position as a public figure makes the end of his marriage a news story. In the day and age of Facebook, Twitter and other social media, he is happy with how everyone handled themselves. 

Chris says the show is still in production. Someone asked if we will see overnight dates with Emily as the Bachelorette? His response? "Who knows? What's a single mother to do?" Guess we'll have to watch to find out. Tune in Monday night for the premiere!

Full Transcript of interview:

Your first question comes from Gina Scarpa from realitywanted.com.

Gina Scarpa:     Thanks, Chris.  How are you?

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Gina.  How's it going?

Gina Scarpa:         Good.  Thanks.  So given that Emily is a single mom, is the vibe of this season of The Bachelorette different than others before it?  And how so?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  I mean, well, the great thing about the show is that every season has a different vibe because you take the cues from The Bachelor/Bachelorette.  And you know, Emily's season is drastically different than anything we've ever done.

                         Her being a single mom, it definitely changed the tone.  It changed the tone from night one.  The guys all came in knowing it was Emily, wanting it to be Emily.  But at the same time, they had to know, you know, she's looking through this and at this from a very different light and from the perspective of being a parent.  And if you are a parent, you understand what that means; I mean it changes everything.

                               And you know, throughout the show there was always just that underlying issue of, you know, she's a mom and is this guy ready.  And it's not just at the end of this, hopefully finding love, hopefully finding a husband; it's hopefully finding a father and a father figure to Ricki.  So it's a very different show.

Gina Scarpa:         And then, you know, you said that the guys came in knowing it was Emily and hoping it was her.  How does that play into relationships forming given that the guys coming in know so much about Emily and maybe feel – feelings for her already and she knows very little about them?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  It definitely changes it when they know.  First of all, you don't have that moment of getting out of the limo going "who is this" and "am I attracted to them," which is kind of fun sometimes because I think that's part of relationships.  And I think it's pretty interesting when we do that.

                              But I also love the fact that when these guys got out, I mean Emily, you know, she already captured their attention and their imagination.  And I think it makes for a kind of – you're already over that first hurdle and you're on to, you know, just trying to see, "is there something there beyond that initial attraction?"

Gina Scarpa:         OK.  Thank you so much.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Paulette Cohn from Xfinity TV.

Paulette Cohn:      Good morning, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Paulette.  How are you doing?

Paulette Cohn:      Good.  So I'm curious, you know, you have on Brad's season, you made her go to the racetrack and now we have this ex-race car driver.  So are you going for the drama when you're casting this?  And the guy who comes in a helicopter, can you (inaudible)?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  You know, first of all, people need to understand that, you know, Emily loves, you know, the track.  She loves racing.  That is a huge part of her life and her family.

                              You know, not to go into the history of what happened, but, you know, Ricky died at a racetrack.  She doesn't have bad memories of the racetrack.  She actually has very fond memories and a great love.  We talked about this at length.

                              So these aren't bad memories for her and it's not a bad thing.  The fact that – and people also need to understand that I don't want to get too detailed about this, but NASCAR and open wheel racing might as well be two different sports, two different worlds all together.  You really can't compare, you know, what Arie does and did for a living to, you know, NASCAR world; it really is. 

                              I know it seems like to somebody who's not a big fan, well, they're both in cars and they both kind of drive to the left and go around in circles.  But it's very different.  But no, she embraces that and she loves it.  But you really can't compare the two.  He's a very different person.

Paulette Cohn:      OK.  So can you talk about what kind of drama we're going to see this season?

Chris Harrison:      You know, like I said in the last one, it's just a very different season; it's a very different drama.  You don't have the, you know, the frat house humor and the frat house drama that, you know, maybe you've seen in seasons past with younger contestants or maybe contestants that weren't parents.

                              You know, I kind of liken it to Jason Mesnick's season who's a single dad.  Things are just more, you know, much more serious tone and bigger issues.  And so, you know, calling it drama almost doesn't do it justice to what happens because a lot of it is just Emily trying to figure out, you know, are these guys not only right for me but are they right to start a family?  And that's what you're doing immediately should you be engaged at the end of this.

                              And so, you know, I think it's, you know, not the kind of, you know, superficial drama that maybe you've seen in seasons past; it's much deeper.  There's a lot more to it.  There's a lot more layers to this season, which I think is fantastic.

                              There was so much going on.  It's almost even hard to explain in a nice little sound byte because, you know, there's so many levels to this and there's so many different things that Emily's dealing with that it just made for a fantastic season.

Paulette Cohn:      OK.  Thanks.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Jennifer Peros from US Weekly magazine.

Jennifer Peros:     Hey, Chris.  How are you?

Chris Harrison:      Hi, Jennifer.  I'm doing good.  How are you?

Jennifer Peros:     Good.  So I read somewhere that, you know, before Emily officially signed on, she's a little hesitant and wasn't, you know, 100 percent sure if she wanted to do this and bring Ricki into this.

                              So what do you think happened?  Or was there anything maybe that you guys said to her that made her, you know, change her mind and say yes to doing this?

Chris Harrison:      You know, you’ll have to ask her next week like what the, you know, what the straw was that broke the camel's back, you know, that made her do it.  I know she was reluctant; I know she was hesitant.  I mean everyone should be, you know, just jumping into this

                              And a single mom should be because you don't get to make, you know, decisions for yourself anymore.  You're making decisions through your child.  And I think a lot of it was how do we handle, you know, Ricki and how will she be shown, if she'll be shown, where we'll shoot the show.

                            I mean I think there was just a million issues as a mom and then the issues of just being a single woman.  But you know, overall, if you deal with just Emily, I think, you know, in talking to her, she did go back out there; she tried to date.  She tried to find somebody and she wants to find somebody.  She's ready for that.

                              And she's like “it's a nightmare.”  She's like it really sucks in the real world and it really sucks trying to, you know, date and be out there and “I can't find any good guys.”  And the thing I love about our show and the thing that speaks volumes to me is all these people do come back because they know it works and it has worked. 

                              And you know, it did work for her in finding Brad.  Obviously, it didn't work out, but she knows that the concept works.  And so, I was kind of proud of the fact that, you know, not just like Brad or Ben or Ashley comes back, but a single mom like that, that has the values and the morals that she does, you know, I think it spoke volumes that she decided this is a good place and a safe place for me and my daughter to come back.

Jennifer Peros:     And I know you mentioned, you know, Jason Mesnick who was a single dad  (inaudible) that she had a child.  She's (inaudible), you know, first single mom.  So what kind of guy do you think will be a good fit for her?

                              You know, obviously, she needs one mature I'm sure to be a father.  But what do you think is the best guy for Emily?

Chris Harrison:      Well, the first thing I love it.  I mean you bring up a good point is that Jason being a single dad, you know, it's almost like "Sleepless in Seattle" with Tom Hanks.  Everybody was like "oh, how sweet, this single dad."

                              But then when a woman was doing it, it was funny that the reaction was totally different.  It wasn't "oh, look at Emily".  She's, you know, it was "how dare she."  So I love, again, our show kind of bringing up this social issue and the juxtaposition like why, how is that fair. 

                              How is she any less deserving and deserving other than who or in awe for doing this?  But I found it funny that that was the case.  But I kind of love pushing those issues and kind of raising that to (inaudible).

                              But look, Emily is, you know, is a very Southern traditional woman but very independent and strong as if you ever have known a strong Southern woman they can be.  So she's definitely – she's looking for a guy, (a) to come in and, you know, help her take her hands off the wheel for a while.  She has been in control of her life because of the tragedy, you know, since she was 19, 20 years old.

                              I mean think about that.  I mean think about what this woman has been through in such a short time in her life.  She's ready for someone to come in and really help her out and kind of drive the ship for a while because she is – I mean she's just exhausted.  She's been doing it all for so long and she's done an amazing job

                              And so, she needs a strong man.  She needs a strong man who can come in and help take control and take care of her and Ricki because she's used to controlling everything, and it's been a tough life so far.  But just someone that will love her, someone that will love Ricki and someone that will kind of, you know, meld into her life and Ricki's life.  And there's plenty of guys on this season that can do just that.  I mean it really is a good, good group of guys.

Jennifer Peros:     Good.  I cannot wait to watch.  Thanks so much.

Chris Harrison:      Of course.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Beth Kwiatkowski from Reality TV World.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Hi, Chris.  How are you doing?

Chris Harrison:      I'm good, Beth.  How are you?

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Good.  But you know, Emily said in a recent interview that she plans to be more reserved in the season entire Bachelorette and that she didn't want to kiss a lot of guys and also, for example, she was really hoping there wouldn't be any hot tub during this season.

                              So did she express those wishes to you guys before the season began?  And is that something that the producers agreed to respect, or did the hot tub kind of mysteriously appear (inaudible) again?

Chris Harrison:      You know, hot tubs always mysteriously appear.  That's in the contract that we always have blow-up hot tubs on call 24/7. 

                              No, the season is very different.  You know, I mean the thing about Emily too is, you know, she's not the crazy, bungee jumping, you know, skydiving type of woman.  She is, you know, a Southern gem who likes to wear high heels and dresses.

                              And so, we absolutely cater and accommodate who our bachelor/bachelorette is.  It doesn't mean we don't like to take them out of the comfort zone a little bit, you know, like in Charlotte early on there's kind of up-building that we scale.  But it's very tame compared to things we've done before like, you know, bungee jumping off a bridge in New Zealand which we've done in seasons past.

                              But you know, you definitely cater to who they are (inaudible).  You kowtow to their demands or you work it out in contract negotiations.  It's nothing that formal.  It's just we want her to be happy.  We want this to be a beautiful season, and we want the, you know, the trappings that you all know and love from The Bachelor/Bachelorette these exotic dates and all over the world.

                              But there's easy ways to make everybody happy.  They still show these beautiful cities and these countries, but also make sure that Emily's happy and comfortable.  But at the same time, there are some dates where, you know, she's pushed to the limit and it said a lot about her, and it also says a lot about the guy she's with, how he handles it and how he takes care of her and if he takes care of her.  So I hope that somewhat answers the question.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Yes.  Sure.  And you know, there had been a lot of talk about the show filming in Emily's hometown of North Carolina due to her daughter Ricki.  And based on the information that ABC released last week, it seems like you guys spent the initial cocktail ceremony and the first round of dates there but then began traveling immediately afterwards.

                              So what happened there?  Did that end up not being as much of a concern for Emily as it had originally been or something?

Chris Harrison:      No.  I mean we always had the plan.  Usually, what we do, and again it changes depending on who the bachelor/bachelorette is.  And I kind of love the organic way the show has changed depending on who our person is.

                              And we usually start the first three, four weeks, you know, in Los Angeles.  You know, we use the Bachelor pad which we used for years and years.  But with Emily, you know, part of the thing was, you know, she has Ricki.  She didn't want to take Ricki out of school and wanted to continue her life.  So not only did we start the show in Charlotte, but you'll see that we, you know, kept Emily in her home with Ricki. 

                              And she continued her daily life of taking her to school and soccer practice.  And she, you know, didn't have to jump out of her world to start the show for the first month or so; and that was huge.  You know, she knew we would still travel and then Ricki would come along with us from time to time.  She's, you know – what people don't understand, I know you see the bachelors and the bachelorettes, but we also behind the scenes have this incredible traveling family. 

                              It's like a circus where, you know, we all – we've all had kids and, you know, our kids will travel with us from time to time.  My kids travel with me and, you know, other producers and camera operators.  So there's lots of wives and families on the road with us and we all take care of each other. 

                              We all know each other's kids and, you know, Ricki became part of the family.  And she jumps around and plays with my kids from time to time.  And so, it's been fun having her with us when she's been on the road.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      OK.  Thank you very much, Chris.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Jackie Strauss from Life and Style.

Jackie Strauss:     Hey, Chris.  How are you?

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Jackie.  What's going on?

Jackie Strauss:     So I know that you said it's definitely more serious and less frat-boy this season, but it always seems like there's someone who leaves early or maybe a villain.  Is Emily in store for any kind of surprises like that?  I guess how could you sum up her guys?

Chris Harrison:      Of course, theres surprises along the way and there's drama she has to deal with.  But I think what people will love and I think, you know, especially single moms out there, I think, you know, Emily is holding that banner high.  And I think she will do everybody very proud.

                              And I think there are several moments throughout the show where, you know, for lack of a better term and everyone's going to say, "Damn, girl!"  Like "well done;" like "way to handle it."  You know, you think Emily's just this little flower, this delicate little flower, and she is right up until the time when she needs to handle her business and she handles herself very well.

                              And you know, she let’s these guys, you know, she gives them enough rope to hang themselves and some of these guys do.  And you'll see that along the way that, you know, some of these guys she realizes aren't father-material, aren't husband-material.  And she will dismiss them if that is the case.  She has no problem in, you know, clearing the deck.  So it's a fun – it's a fun, fresh side of Emily that I don't think people know and they'll be very excited to see.

Jackie Strauss:     And you think that – I mean we've obviously loved a lot of the past bachelors and bachelorettes.  But do you think that maybe Emily out of everyone kind of deserves to find happiness at the end?

Chris Harrison:      Yes, I would definitely.  I mean first of all, people – I don't think people know Emily; I didn't.  And the reason I say this I really didn't know her as well as I thought I did until this season.  We spent so much time together and spent time with Ricki and traveling around the world.

                              But it's very refreshing.  I think there's a lot more to her than meets the eye.  I think you see her and you just see again this beautiful Southern belle, but there is so much more to her.  And she's incredibly interesting, incredibly proud and strong and independent.

                              And you know, does she deserve it more than anybody?  You know, I don't think that's fair but I definitely am rooting for her like crazy.  And you know, if – I can't remember wanting it to work so bad for somebody in a long time just because, you know, it's hard not to feel for her and it's hard not to think about what she's been through and how strong she's been and has to or have been over, you know, her life.

                              So yes, I mean you can't help but root for her.  And I think the viewers will definitely feel that.  And I know I did and so did our producers.  And we're as jaded as anybody, so if we feel it, I know the viewers will love it.

Jackie Strauss:     Thanks so much.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Evan Real from OK! Magazine.

Evan Real:            Hey, guys.  How's it going?

Chris Harrison:      Good, Evan.  How are you?  Good to have you dial in and call today.  (Inaudible) from (inaudible) perspective.

Evan Real:            Right.  Emily is given a third chance here on this season of The Bachelorette.  Why do you think it's different or more special this time around for her?

Chris Harrison:      Different in that, you know, you talked about the third time around.  Obviously, with the tragedy and then, you know, with Brad she thought she found someone to take over and, you know, sweep her off her feet and it just wasn't to be.

                            And so, she's ready and she's excited.  But one thing, you know, I haven't touched on today is there's also a very vulnerable side to her.  There is this side that is now getting a little worried that, you know, am I unlucky in love; am I not good at this; am I not, you know, whatever.  Look, we all have our insecurities and she's no different.

                              And so, I think that, you know, as strong as she is, she definitely has those vulnerabilities and she's a little scared.  And so, it's very different in that she's coming to this with a very just sincere perspective of what she wants in life. 

                              It's not, you know, like Ashley there who came in and obviously fell in love with JP and it worked out great.  But let's face it.  If she didn't, she'd have a great life and she's gone on to be a dentist.  You know, Emily really, really wants this.  She really wants a father for Ricki.  She really wants somebody to share in this life and have more kids.  And so, it was, you know, it's a very different show from that perspective.

Evan Real:            You said that Ricki's been with you guys for a lot of it.  How is she processing everything that's going on around her?  What does she think of mom looking for love again?

Chris Harrison:      Well, I'll let Emily explain, you know, everything about Ricki, you know, what she knows, what she doesn't and all that stuff.  You know, all I know, you know, she's a part of the show because she's a part of Emily's life.  But at the same time, she's not a part of the show.

                              The guys don't see her; the guys don't meet her.  She doesn't come on dates; none of that.  Like, you know, early on she came, you know, because we did a Muppet date in Charlotte.  It was a charity date for the children's hospital which is very near and dear to Emily.

                              And you know, Ricki showed up with her mom, with Emily's mom to meet the Muppets and to see the show.  But the guys never saw her.  The guys, you know, were gone when she came up and met Kermit.

                              And so, you know, while she is a part of the show, you know, we definitely kept her at arm's length and that was important to Emily.  I'll let her explain it next week, you know, exactly how she's involved and what she knows and doesn't.  But it's been fun.

                              I think for me it's been fun having another parent a part of the show because my kids are around a lot and having Ricki who's pretty close to my daughter's age around, you know, they have instant play dates and it's fun and we've had a great time

Evan Real:            Definitely.  And just one last question, you talked about Emily being vulnerable and having insecurities.  What do you think her basic insecurity is and how is she overcoming that in this season?

Chris Harrison:      Well, I mean the biggest insecurity is it's not working again.  You know, obviously, with Ricki that was a tragedy.  And it's not that it didn't work; it's just, you know, the tragedy took place and she lost her love.  And then with Brad, it did fall apart when she thought it was perfect.

                              And so, I think it's just that feeling of what happens if this doesn't work.  You know, I know she was – she didn't love the real world and trying to date and find somebody that way and she's come back to make it work here.  And I think there's that thought of "Wow!  What if this doesn't work now?"

                              And you know, what does she do to overcome it?  You know, I don't know if she fully has.  I think that's something until the end that she'll be dealing with and she'll be battling, "is this real" and "are these guys real" and "do they really love me" and is this, you know "is this right?" 

                              You know, there's so many issues to deal with, with her that it makes for a phenomenal season because, again, it's not just this happy-go-lucky cute little single girl, you know, from the big city coming in here to do this.  There's a lot more on the line.

Evan Real:            All right.  Thank you so much.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Paige Feigenbaum from Entertainment Tonight.

Paige Feigenbaum:     Good morning, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Good morning, Paige.

Paige Feigenbaum:     I know you wholeheartedly believe in this process.  Any chance we can ever see you star as The Bachelor?

Chris Harrison:      Good question.  I was waiting for that one. 

Paige Feigenbaum:     I know.  And I'm surprised that I haven't seen you in the list (inaudible).

Chris Harrison:      I know.  I thought, man, I almost made it out alive.  No.  In all seriousness, getting out of a 22-year relationship and having just announced my divorce to the world a week ago, having two kids and trying to start a new life, I'm thinking I wouldn't exactly be a great candidate to be the bachelor right now or probably any time soon.

Paige Feigenbaum:     OK.  And – sorry.  What else do I have for you?  Now that you are coming out of that relationship, you've always had compassion for the contestants.  But will you be able to offer them any more empathy now when they come to you with their heartbreaks?

Chris Harrison:      You know, I always have.  I don't know if you've ever talked to me or, you know, (inaudible) (in my clothes).  You know, I've always stuck up and felt terrible for those of, you know, falling in love and then out of love and had heartbreak.

                              You know, and I've always, you know, kind of not been offended but definitely defended when, you know, the tabloids or publications would just say, "Oh, another breakup," or you know, and then say Ali and Roberto like, you know, it wasn't a big deal.  It was a big deal to them, you know, and even Emily and Brad.

                              I know these people personally and I go to this with them on a very personal level.  And having loved, myself, and now having felt heartbreak, I mean I know what these people have gone through and what they, you know – I know what they're searching for.  And you know, my heart actually broke for Brad and for Emily.

                              And you know, it says a lot that these people do want to come back and they're still trying to find love.  You know, I think that's the overall thing about this show.  It's very simple.  You know, it's the one thing around the world no matter what country we go to.  Everybody wants love; everybody wants companionship and that's what makes this show I think so simple but so genius.

Paige Feigenbaum:     Great.  Thank you.

Operator:               Your next question comes from William King from WABC-TV.

William King:         Hey, Chris.  How are you doing?

Chris Harrison:      Good, William.

William King:         So in looking at Emily's potential suitors, I get the impression that a lot of them are very well-established, extremely good-looking and have done, you know, really well for themselves even more so than normal.  I'm wondering if that's a reflection of Emily's high standards and the fact that outside of the context of the show that Brad might have been a little too like average Joe for her taste.

Chris Harrison:      That's funny.  I mean no; Brad is actually as, if not more successful, than most of the guys in the show.  He doesn't show it but if you dig around a little bit at how successful that guy is, I think you'd be shocked.

                             But as far as the guys, you know, the level of guys definitely is through the roof.  But that just goes to show the guys that knew Emily was going to be the Bachelorette.  And the guys that signed up, I mean they came running and lining up to have a shot at this woman.

                              She's a catch.  I mean, my gosh, if you just look at her, you know she's a catch.  But once you meet her, you know, these guys can't help but fall in love with her.

William King:         And with so much emphasis on the fact that she's a single mom, how much of a factor, if any did, whether these guys had kids themselves play into the selection process?

Chris Harrison:      There's definitely single dads in here.  But to her, you know, it wasn't a deal-breaker or a deal-maker.  You know, she definitely knew that a guy who came in with a son or actually just a child would definitely know her a little better, maybe get her a little better and empathize with her from the start.  But it definitely wouldn't, you know, make or break the situation.

                               You know, the good thing about Emily is, you know, despite the fact that she's a single mom, she's actually very young.  And she actually wants, you know, more kids and many more kids.  So she's really looking to continue this family but also start a family.  So in some ways, you know, she's just like every other Bachelorette we've had in that she's looking to find that special someone and, you know, fall in love and start a family.

William King:         All right.  Thank you very much.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Paulette Cohn from (Extremity) TV.

Paulette Cohn:      Thank you.  Hey, Chris, I'm back.  I'm curious.  You know, you've been hosting this for quite a while now.  Can you talk about what being the host of a show that has bachelors and bachelorettes have taught you about love?

Chris Harrison:      Oh, my gosh.  I mean what I learned in 10 years of watching and, you know, learning and paying attention, it's stunning.  I mean it's hard to even put into words, you know, because I'm trying to think of what one good, you know, lesson.  But it's just hard to explain all the things.

                              I think overall it's just being I've been a lot more patient, a lot less judgmental.  I think the biggest thing that I've learned is, and this is not only just this show, but also I think with age comes that wisdom of life isn't so black and white.  There's a huge gray area.

                              And you know, when I talk to, you know – when you go back to last season, when people would ask me about Courtney and/or even when you go back to Bentley and I would start talking about them.  You know, as soon as I say "but", you know, I'd say "Courtney was a little inappropriate but" and there was "oh, you drink the Kool-Aid, you're defending her."

                              Well, that's not necessarily the case.  But I've always thought it's just not so simple.  Like you can't just say, "oh, someone's mean," or "someone's a jerk" and it's that simple.  Like what makes them act like that?  What makes them do these things? 

                              And I think that's more of what I've gotten out of the show and the psychologist that I've become over the last 10 years of just digging a little bit more and trying to figure out like what makes these people tick and what makes us do the things we do especially in these extraordinary situations where we're, you know, trying to find love and doing it on TV in this pressured situation.

                              So you know, I've learned so much about just myself, life, love over the years.  But definitely, I'm a lot more patient, a lot more understanding.

Paulette Cohn:      OK.  Great.  Thank you.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Ann Oldenburg from USA Today.

Ann Oldenburg:     Hi, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Ann.

Ann Oldenburg:     Thanks, Paige, for asking that question.  I was definitely going to ask about being a Bachelor.  But anyway, Chris, is filming done or are overnight dates this week as I read somewhere and are there overnight dates this season?

Chris Harrison:      We are not done.  We're still in production, which is, you know, typically, you know, with The Bachelor, you know, we try to wrap things up so everybody can enjoy a good Christmas with their families.  And so, there's that break.

                              But with The Bachelorette, our timing is kind of the exact opposite.  And we go, you know, kind of right up to deadline.  And so, you know, we premiere next Monday night as you guys know and we're still in production, still working.

Ann Oldenburg:     And where are you?  Have you gone to exotic places?

Chris Harrison:      We've been – yes.  I mean we started in Charlotte, which if you've never been there, it's quite exotic.  We had a good time; it was good.  I've never been to Charlotte so it's fun to spend some time there and live there for a while.

                              And then, we took off and we went to Bermuda.  I went to Canada after that to host “Live With Kelly.”  But then the crew went to – well, we went to London.  Let's see, Bermuda, London, (inaudible) and Prague.  And then, we went on the hometown dates.

Ann Oldenburg:     And will we see overnight dates?

Chris Harrison:      That is the big question.  That is a good question.  You know, what is a single mother to do?  And what is Emily going to do and how does she handle that?  So you know, we definitely have the exotic, you know, locations and the exotic dates and then heading into, you know, our finale.  But you know, that's going to be an interesting dilemma.

Ann Oldenburg:     So you're not really answering that.

Chris Harrison:      Well, you know, we're still in production.

Ann Oldenburg:     I see.  OK.  And just to clarify, you were joking about the hot tubs seriously popping up.  But will we see them or won't we?

Chris Harrison:      I don't know.  You know, honestly, I don't know if there is a hot tub scene in this season; I really don't.  You know, I wish I could answer that but I'm trying to think back over where all we've been.

                              But I mean I know she's, you know, you'll see her in a bathing suit and we'll be on exotic beaches and locations and stuff like that.  But is there a hot tub scene?  I don't know.

                              But the thing is Emily, I think the overall question of what you're getting at is, you know, the type of season, you know, it will be as far as, you know, her sexuality and how she puts herself out there.  And you know, she carries herself like a lady.  She carries herself in the eyes of how she wants to be seen by her daughter.  And so, she is very careful and very cognizant of that throughout the season and will always be.

Ann Oldenburg:     Great.  Thanks a lot.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Tony Wong from Toronto Star.

Tony Wong:          Hey, Chris.  Thanks for talking to us.

Chris Harrison:      Of course.  What's going on in Canada?

Tony Wong:          Oh, well, as you know, we're having our own version of The Bachelor, and that's actually what I want to ask you about.  Have you met (inaudible)?

Chris Harrison:      I came up and announced that with you guys.

Tony Wong:          Right.  Have you met Brad Smith and what do you think of him if you have?  And how far are you along with the production?

Chris Harrison:      I don't.  You know, I have nothing to do with it.  I'm not hosting and not (inaudible).  But I did go up there just because I'm kind of the face of the franchise here and we are obviously, you know, showing in Canada.  They brought me up there to announce it.

                              But I know your executive producers.  They've been actually coming to our set.  They've been watching us for the last several years just, you know, talking to our producers, following us around, getting the feel of things and, you know, (inaudible) they're definitely going to take it to Canada and make it their own.

                              But they definitely want to honor the franchise and honor, you know, the look and the feel of the show.  So I've gotten to know them really well.  I've never met your Bachelor, but he was on the short list and I knew the short list but I just didn't know, you know, who was going to eventually be.

                              And I don't think – do you guys have a host yet?

Tony Wong:          No.  We're still searching around.  The casting is finished but not (inaudible).

Chris Harrison:      Right.  Yes.  I knew the casting.  I knew they were still looking for the Canadian "Chris Harrison;" so we'll see.

Tony Wong:          Right.  That's going to be hard to locate.  I'm sorry, Chris; I have to ask, but going back because you are in the news about the separation of your marriage.  In 2010, you know, you were accused of cheating on the show.  Did that have an impact on your marriage?  Oh, sorry.  I thought the contestant had …

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  You know, it's funny.  Actually, I know it's the journalism here in the States.  Sorry.  I apologize for all of them. 

                             Actually, two years ago there was a contestant on the show who accused me of – I forget the words, either "hitting on" or "flirting with" one of the producers' wives.  It was a big deal.  And I don't know how it turned into – well, I do know how.  It's the United States and it's, you know, tabloids.

                              And so, that quickly went to "he was accused of cheating."  But actually, if people go back and watched it two years ago, that's not exactly what she said.  But it was – honestly, to answer your question, it was completely a non-issue two years ago and it's still a non-issue now.  She was just – that was, you know, a person in a desperate situation trying to deflect, you know, as much as she could to save herself.

Tony Wong:          Right.  OK.  Thank you, Chris, appreciate it.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Kim Holt from WSOC-TV.

Kim Holt:               Hi, Chris.  We are an ABC affiliate in Charlotte.

Chris Harrison:      Oh, cool.

Kim Holt:               Specifically, I wanted to ask you about – a little bit about the experience of shooting here in Charlotte.  I know you said you've never been here before.  What were your impressions?  What went well?  What didn't go so well since this is your first time shooting out of L.A.?

Chris Harrison:      One second, Kim.  Sorry, Kim.

Kim Holt:               That's OK.

Chris Harrison:      We had a great time in Charlotte.  First of all, it's just kind of fun to move the show to a location that, you know, I think it's kind of like a rock to it, you know.  We don't get out of L.A. much; and when we do, it's international where some people know our show but it's not such a big deal.

                              And so, to come to a place that loves our show and then you have a local star like Emily, it was awesome.  And you know, and obviously, the town as you know knew we were there well ahead of time.  Helicopters, people were trying to sneak on the set, and it was really fun.

                              People, you know, were inviting us to their restaurants.  And you know, when we did go into a bar or restaurant anywhere around Charlotte, people would know, you know, come up to you and say hello and say thanks for being here.  You know, being from that part of the country myself, you know, growing up in Texas, I loved that hospitality.

                              And so, it was kind of good to get out of L.A. and see how real people live and how real people act.  And so, it was fun.  I loved it.

                              And the barbecue, (inaudible) down, it was at Bill Spoon's, go get the pulled pork at Bill Spoon's.

Kim Holt:               Yes.

Chris Harrison:      Antonia -- they have Hush Puppies to die for.

Kim Holt:               Were there any particular challenges that you all faced shooting in Charlotte?

Chris Harrison:      No.  I think it was honestly the opposite of how easy it was.  You know, we always do a really good job of hiring locals as well when we come into any country or any location.  You know, there's drivers and helping us produce and just because they know the lay of the land.

                              And so, they just made it so easy.  And you know, there was – I think it was almost easier than shooting here in L.A. where we've been established and set up.  It was just, you know, simple and easy.  People were great and, you know, they respected us enough that maybe we had a job to do but, you know, they also had a good time with us being there.

                              So it couldn't have been better.  They rolled up the red carpet.  I think – weren't you guys – did you all show up for the Muppet date?  Were you guys there?

Kim Holt:               We were there for the wall climbing.

Chris Harrison:      OK.  So we did the wall climbing.  We did some concerts where we, you know, that was kind of cool too.  We opened up a few of our dates as you know to the people in Charlotte.  We has some public concerts and even the Muppet show that we put on was a charity event for a children's hospital, and that was a full, you know, a full audience with some folks from Charlotte.

                              So it was a blast.  You know, I loved and, you know, I don't know if we'll do it again like this because the season just set up because it was Emily.  But I would love to do that again where we go to someone's home town and really make it known that we're there and kind of embrace it.

Kim Holt:               Great.  Thank you.  Glad you enjoyed your time here.

Chris Harrison:      Of course.  And send me some barbecue.

Kim Holt:               Free tax.

Chris Harrison:      Exactly.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Amy Kaufman from L.A. Times.

Amy Kaufman:     Hey, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Amy.

Amy Kaufman:     Question for you.  You've alluded to the public a few times on this call.  And obviously, over the last few seasons it has become, you know, an issue that has threatened to, you know, pull the couple apart as we reach the, you know, final rose special, especially with Courtney last year like cheating allegations.

                              I'm wondering at this point do you guys – do you force them (inaudible) have a talk with them about sort of the threat of these things?  I mean it's becoming sort of it seems like a real problem, a more legitimate threat to the relationships.  Would you agree or not?

Chris Harrison:      You know, it's just – it's not a threat; it's just life now.  You know, I knew – you know, in my own life, in my own separation from, you know, my wife that it was going to be a public story.  And it was, you know, and all I actually will say with everybody on the line that I'm incredibly proud of how everybody handled my story. 

                              You know, I think I've earned the respect over the last 10 years in the way I've handled myself and acted.  But you know, I really am pleased and I really thank everybody for the support and the way the story was covered.

                              And you know, I think there is – there is that journalistic integrity out there.  I think people do a good job and want to do a good job.  But you guys also have a job to do.  And as stories leak, get out, you know, it's your job to chase them down and that's just life now.  That is social media and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and whatever.

                              You know, stories get out and you guys have to follow them.  It's your job.  I mean I remember in – I hate to date myself, but you know, when I was a newscaster and a sportscaster, you know, sports radio and talk radio, all that changed everything because people would call in and start stories that way and you had to chase them down. 

                              But now that's changed a thousand times over.  And for newspapers, magazines to try and keep up, it's nearly impossible.  So you know, you can warn these people but there's really – I mean how do you warn somebody for what's about to happen because you don't really know what they'll dig up.  And yes, there is an unfortunate side where people will call your old, you know boyfriend or girlfriend from high school, which I know they did to Courtney.

                              And I know they've done it in seasons past where they'll, you know, call a girlfriend from 10, 12 years ago and ask their opinion.  And you know, really, you know, would an opinion of anyone that knew you 12 years ago matter?  But that becomes the story.

                              And you know, I know desperately magazines and newspapers are doing the best they can and sometimes those lines are crossed.  But you just have to live your life and do the best you can.  And Emily knows that, you know, that there's a certain degree of that's about to come.  And unfortunately, that's just part of what we signed up for.

                             You know, myself, I knew that part of what my job entails is being a public figure.  And I knew that people would cover my divorce and my separation.  And you know, I protect my family as much as I can because my kids didn't sign up for this.  But look, that's part of my thing and that's part of being on this show and being a host.  And so, you just – you deal with it the best you can.

Amy Kaufman:     What about in terms of the contestants (inaudible) knowing that some publications might try to dig up – (except) you try to bet, you know, people – and there always seems to be someone in the past like a boyfriend or a girlfriend that come out of the woodwork.  Do you guys try to check that out beforehand, or how does that work?

Chris Harrison:      Well, I mean everybody – I mean if you're on our show and you're single, and you're 20-something to 30-something years old, you know, you have an ex-boyfriend and a girlfriend.  And I don't know you at all, but I'm guessing you have an ex-boyfriend somewhere.

                              And if we went back to your high school, you know, well, I could probably get some embarrassing photos from prom or something like that, that you would definitely not want seen.  And that's just – again, that's life.

                              And so, everybody who comes into our show has baggage.  They have history.  They have issues.  Emily has them.  I mean I do.  So you know, if you dig deep enough and you want to pull something out, you could embarrass anybody I'm sure.

Even on this call right now probably has pictures from a childhood or an old boyfriend or something you wouldn't want seen.  But that's just, you know – if people dig and want that and that's where they want to go with the story, then, you know, you really can't do anything about it.

                              And so, you know, the people that come on the show, they're just kind of – that's part of where we are in this culture.  And it's up to you guys as journalists to decide is this news, is this a story, is this an angle we want to go with?

                              And again, I love to talk.  I love to debate this because I love journalism and that's where I started my career.  And I think it's definitely changed over the last 10 years.  But you know, in the end you guys sitting around the table and saying, OK, well, what do we do with this story, is it OK, you know, are we ripping someone's life apart and are we doing it for a good reason and is it really worth it.  Ultimately, that's up to you guys and your editors.

Amy Kaufman:     OK.  Thanks.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Greg David from TV Guide Canada.

Greg David:          Hey, Chris.  Thanks for taking the time today.

Chris Harrison:      Of course, man.  How are you doing?

Greg David:          Not bad, not bad.  Since I'm calling from Canada, I'm just going to ask you a couple of questions about The Bachelor Canada.  You already said that you're not going to be taking part.  So you're confirming like you're not taking part of production at all.  You won't be appearing during the first season?

Chris Harrison:      No.  Actually, I can. 

Greg David:          OK.

Chris Harrison:      I mean we have Bachelor Pad season coming up after Bachelorette, and that is when you guys are in production on Bachelor.  And so, you know, it was physically impossible anyway to do it; so, no, I'm not hosting or producing on it.

Greg David:          OK.

Chris Harrison:      You know, we talked – I did – you know, the more we joke the more we, you know, took it serious, the producers and I about making some appearance on the show, somehow being involved and we haven't given up on that yet, trying to figure out our schedules, you know, because they know that, you know, they would love for me to somehow, you know, be a presence and do something.

                              So I don't know if it will be on a date or somewhere.  We'll figure something out.  But I would love to be a part of it.

Greg David:          OK.  And then, just as a follow-up, you know, because you've done so many seasons now and you really are the face of this entire franchise, and we don't have a host named here in Canada yet, what kind of tips would you give to the potential host once they get it on how to host the show?

Chris Harrison:      You know, it's funny I talked to – you know, again, I talked to the executive producers at length about this when I was up there announcing it.  And they said, you know, and I took this as a huge compliment that they're looking for a, you know, Canadian "Chris Harrison," someone who is, you know, a family man, who cares and, you know, who is compassionate, who listens and realizes that, you know, you're not the star of the show.  You're not there for yourself.

                              I mean there are vehicles like American Idol, like, say, Dancing with the Stars where it's really a host-driven show.  The Bachelor's never been that; it's never been about the host.  And you got to swallow that part of your pride and realize that your job is to be that support system. 

                              And that's a tough thing because a lot of people want to come in and be that huge star, be that host.  That's not what this job entails.  There's time for you to shine, but there's time for you to be in the background and that's a tough mix for somebody in our business to have.

                              And so, you know, that's kind of the guy or girl, you know, and I said that too, maybe go with a woman depending on the dynamic.  But that's kind of the person you're looking for.

Greg David:          Awesome.  Thanks so much.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Delaina Dixon from DivaGals.

Delaina Dixon:      Hey, Chris.  How are you doing?

Chris Harrison:      Good, Delaina.  Good to talk to you again.

Delaina Dixon:      Yes.  So it's nice to see a bachelor of color (inaudible) on the show this season but without (mugging timing).  Or is that a response to claims that the show isn't …

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Delaina.  I can barely hear you.

Delaina Dixon:      No.  I was just saying it's nice to see a bachelor of color on the show.  And I just wanted to know if that was lucky timing because there has been some allegations that the show doesn't include (inaudible).

Chris Harrison:      I'm so sorry.  You said something about a bachelor of color.

Delaina Dixon:      Yes.  And I'm just saying …

Chris Harrison:      For some reason it's kind of muddled; so I'm sorry.

Delaina Dixon:      I'm sorry.  I'm in a building and it's kind of hollow in here.  But I'm just asking if that's lucky timing this season.

Chris Harrison:      I'm sorry.  What's the luck?

Delaina Dixon:      About having a bachelor of color on the show.

Chris Harrison:      Who?  Us?

Delaina Dixon:      Yes.

Chris Harrison:      Oh, no.  I mean we – I don't know.  We just produce the show and cast it the same way every season.  So you know, how were they casted, that's how it turned out.

Delaina Dixon:      I'm sorry.  Say that last part again?

Chris Harrison:      However they cast the show, they do the same process every season.  We just look for great guys, great girls.  And, you know, whoever they feel is the best fit for that bachelor or bachelorette, that's who ends up on the show.

Delaina Dixon:      OK.  Well, that's great.  And also, I noticed there's been talk of people saying that they think that Emily's final goal was to become a Bachelorette.  Are we going to see something that (inaudible) this season?  Or how would you answer that question?

Chris Harrison:      That her goal was to be the Bachelorette?

Delaina Dixon:      Yes.  A lot of people, you know, right after she had broke up with Brad said, "oh, her real goal was …"

Chris Harrison:      Oh, no.  To the contrary, her goal was to never be the Bachelorette.  I don't know if you'll see that and get the (gist) for the season.  But I just know personally in talking to her many times throughout the process of becoming the Bachelorette that she was as skeptical as anybody we've ever approached.

                              And again, it was, you know, for several reasons but, you know, mostly because she's a single mom.  And you know, Ricki and how would that work and how would she handle it.  And so, no, she's quite the opposite of that.  She was very skeptical and elusive to becoming our bachelorette.

Delaina Dixon:      Thank you so much.  Sorry for the bad connection.

Chris Harrison:      Oh, don't worry.  I'm sorry.  We're talking to the soup cans.

Delaina Dixon:      I know.  I'm outside (inaudible) here in New York City.

Operator:               You have a follow-up question from Beth Kwiatkowski from Reality TV World.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Hi, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Beth.  Sorry about this; this is painful.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      So before the season began, there has been a lot of talk there about the possibility of Bentley coming back on the show.  And I think you even commented on how you'd only let him compete on The Bachelorette if he sincerely convinced you he wanted to go on for the right reason.

                              So was Bentley interested?  Was he actually considered?  And if so, did you guys decide he was trying to go on the show for the wrong reasons, or what happened there?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  It was definitely discussed.  And I know our producers discussed it.  I mean because there was such an obvious storyline, but it was, you know, to me it just felt like such low-hanging fruit.  And not that we are opposed to drama and twists and turns, of course, you know, you get them as you do every season, but to me it's just – you know, I don't know if we ever talked to him.  I don't know how far it got; I really don't.

                              I just know that if he had come back, if he had wanted to come back, which I don't even know if he did, but he had to have really done a 180 and really shown that he was sincere because the whole point of the show was not to pull a fast one on Emily.  And to do that the first night, especially, say, he comes back or even whenever, you know, any night if he had shown up, you know, it wouldn't have been about that joke and that surprise and pulling a fast one on her.  And that's not at all, you know, how this season goes; and it's not the tone of this season at all.

                              And you know, she is vulnerable and she had her insecurities.  And to mess with her just to be messing with her I think would have been pretty uncool of us.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Sure.  And I've seen the screener of The Bachelorette premiere, I'm not sure which one it is at the moment, but he obviously rides in a helicopter which seems a further step-up from Lindzi's arrival on the horse during Ben's Bachelor season.

                              So how did that entrance come about?  Did the show arrange and pay for that?  Or was that all something he did on his own?  And is there any limit at this point as to what type of entrance the show is willing to have the contestants make or is there just no line anymore at all?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  I don't think there is a line.  I think these guys will just come up with an idea and say, "Hey, do you mind if I," you know, I don't know, skydiving to, you know, (night one) which – that's a great idea by the way; we haven't done that.

                              And I don't know how the helicopter was procured.  I know Lindzi, that was her friend and her horse obviously, you know, now that you've seen Lindzi, you know that meant a lot to her.  I don't know Kalon how – what that meant or why he pulled that off, but he did.  And it definitely caused a stir on night one.

                              There was a few good, you know, entries.  You know, Jeff, I remember came in kind of ”Back to the Future” style on a skateboard which is kind of cool.  And we had the helicopter.  And so, you know, for Emily, you know, these guys definitely had to raise the bar a little bit in trying to get her attention because there's, you know, 25 pretty fantastic, successful, good-looking guys in that row.  And so, they were all kind of clamoring to make a difference.  And the helicopter was definitely different.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Sure.  And the premiere showed Emily telling Kalon that she had actually been impressed by that entrance.  Do you think the decision he made would have gone either way in that Emily could have been impressed or put off by a showy entrance like that?

                              And while it did seem to impress Emily, do you think there was maybe a significant downside that he might become a target to the rest of the bachelors throughout the season?

Chris Harrison:      Yes.  You'll have to ask Emily just how impressed she was.  You know, here's one thing about Emily that you will quickly learn when you watch the show is that, you know, she is very sweet, very Southern and she will, you know, sometimes tell you and be very courteous and nice, but it's not exactly how she feels deep down inside. 

                              So I don't know if she loved, you know, him making that big of a deal of himself and standing out like that.  And then, you know, the other guys, definitely, that put a target on his back immediately.  So when you walk in and you show everybody up like that, I mean of course it's going to put a target on your back.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Right.  Right.  And Emily said she's willing to move wherever the guy she picks lives.  However, some viewers are a little skeptical of that because she never picked up and moved to Austin to be with Brad even though he kind of made it pretty clear during his season that he expected that of his final bachelorette.

                              So what are your thoughts about that?  Why do you think it will be different this time around?

Chris Harrison:      Well, I mean the situation with Brad was different.  You have to take it in and of itself.  You know, they – she just wasn't – she was fully prepared to move to Austin and would have loved to move to Austin.  And obviously, that was on her mind but their relationship never got there.

                              I mean it's a big step for her because it's not just, you know, Emily up and moving.  You now, it's Emily and it's Ricki and it's her life and pulling Ricki out of her school and her friends and all that.  And so, you know, Emily doesn't get to just make choices for herself anymore.

                              And so, you know, while that was definitely a consideration of Brad, it was a completely different, you know, situation than what she'll face here, you know, however this turns out.  You know, this will be another decision she has to make.  And I hope she has to make that.  Hopefully, you know, we get this incredible ending and she falls in love.  And they either move to Charlotte or move wherever.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      OK.  Awesome.  And my last question, Chris, a lot of people are skeptical that a racecar driver just happened to apply for The Bachelorette.  How did Arie end up on the show?  Did he really apply on his own, or did the show kind of go out and deliberately tried to recruit a racecar driver?

Chris Harrison:      You know, I don't think – you know, I don't know how Arie ended up coming to the show.  I don't know if like he applied or friends applied for him.  I don't know.  I never get that deep into how these guys like end up on the show.

                              But you know, he's – and I have to explain earlier, you know, what Arie does – well, first of all, he doesn't really race anymore but we was an Indy car driver and open wheel.  Like that – it's not even the same sport, even close to NASCAR and the world that Emily was in.

                              But the other thing is it's still something that, you know, she holds near and dear to her heart.  And racing, in general, is something that she actually loves and still keeps up with.  But you know, if you talk to Arie, which I have, you know, he knows nothing about NASCAR.  You know, it's a very different world, you know, completely and he comes from a very different world.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Sure.  Sure.  All right.  Thank you very much, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Of course.

Operator:               Your next question comes from Carrie Bell from People Magazine.

Carrie Bell:            Hey, Chris.

Chris Harrison:      Hey, Carrie.  What's going on?

Carrie Bell:            On a brief note, sorry to hear about your marriage.  It was really a bummer I'm sure for you more than me.  But you know, I felt for you.

Chris Harrison:      Slightly more for me.

Carrie Bell:            So (inaudible) with the helicopter, (inaudible), but are there any like other guys maybe not necessarily as splashy of a, you know, entrance for the preview trailer of The Bachelorette you think people should keep an eye out for this or these are – give us a little piece of things like we should watch out for.

Chris Harrison:      Yes; oh, definitely.  There's, you know, the guys that, you know, make that first impression.  And you know, we were just talking about, you know, Arie and, you know, that's someone, you know, she's definitely captivated by early on with his looks.

                              Trying to think, you know, Doug, who's a single dad, she definitely finds him interesting early just from having that common thread.  I don't remember his entrance, but I don't think it's anything crazy.  So there's definitely several guys that, you know, just have the get out of the limo, nice hug and a nice conversation that made just as big an impression.

                              You know, I think as you know, yes, you want to make a good first impression.  But you know, in my opinion, if you're meeting somebody, you don't need a fireworks display.  And if you do, then you're trying to show a little bit too much.

Carrie Bell:            That would be my worry with the helicopter guy.

Chris Harrison:      Exactly.  You know, what are you compensating for?

Carrie Bell:            Yes.  Exactly. 

Chris Harrison:      It's the guy that drives up in the orange Lamborghini you need to worry about, not the guy that drives up on a station wagon.

Carrie Bell:            Where do you think the – I know you guys – somebody already had asked about vetting the people for, you know, their values and their drama.  Do you think that, you know, I think people and the public in general has a very like – I don't know.  They're very – they want to protect Emily.  And I know she doesn't necessarily need it.

                              But I think there's this general feeling about her, "oh, she's already in tragedy; she already had this breakup; she's coming back; like we want her to find love."  Everybody's really rooting for her.

                              Do you feel like when they cast the show and from what you saw that they would try to be a little bit more careful maybe about not finding a guy who had a girlfriend still or not finding, you know, a guy who was, you know, obviously didn't have any interest in having children, you know, that kind of thing?

Chris Harrison:      Well, I mean yes and no.  I mean no in the fact that we do that with everybody.  I mean we go to great lengths as much as you can, you know, without hiring detectives to follow somebody 24/7 for six weeks, you know, hacking into their text and all that stuff.  You do the best job you can and that's all you can ever do.

                              You know, our producers and, you know, doing the background checks and all that.  And we only have so many resources and so much money and so much time to try and let these people out.  And you do the best job you can.

                              The great thing about the show is that's kind of part of life.  It's out of 25 people, are all of them going to be perfect and are all of them going to be, you know, the perfect fit for you no?  That's part of, you know, the dating process and trying to figure out who's right for you and who's not.

                              But at the same time, I will say yes to your question in that the entire show was produced with that feeling in mind.  I don't think there's any of us, myself included, that didn't feel protective of Emily.  And whether it's, you know, like you said, justified or not, she doesn't need it, believing she can handle herself, but you just feel that extra level of you want to take care of this girl.  You want to protect her.  You want her to be happy.

                              You want her to have that, you know, fairy tale ending that she deserves because she has been, you know, so heartbroken so many times.  And so, I definitely know that there was that kind of cloud following us around.  Everybody wanted to do a little extra for her.

                              And the cool thing is that the guys, and you'll see this early on, you know, the guys that are on the show are like that.  You know, there's a lot of good guys that really want to protect her and want to take care and want her, whether it's them or not, end up with a good guy.  And this whole season is very different in many ways, and that's definitely one of them.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      And one more, I know you said you don't think you'd be a very good candidate for The Bachelor at this point.  But I wonder if this is going to change your perspective on the show in general because you've always sort of – the feeling I get from you is you've always been very positive towards, you know, the show and the fact that people can find love and it can work. 

                              And you've always sort of been this voice of like, "Hey, guys, like this is a good thing."  You know, you want to find out, one, have a family and be married and like marriage is a good thing like you've kind of always been that voice.  I wonder if this changes how you feel a little bit.

Chris Harrison:      Not at all only because of my perspective of my life.  You know, I had an amazing 18-year marriage to an incredible woman that I have no regrets about.  I mean I really don't have any regrets about, you know, and I'll go back further because we've actually been together 22 years.

                              The last 22 years of my life and the love that I had and the family that I have, and the love that I have now and the friendship that I have, so no; I still hold that very dear and cherish it very much.  And I will hopefully fall in love again and I will find that. 

                              So, no, I actually still, you know, maybe more than ever believe in, you know, the search and what everybody's doing on this show.  And you know, the good news is, you know, I still have – I think what I like about being the host is, you know, I have, you know, I was a part of it but now I've been there and I still live that life.

                              And you know, whether I'm the perfect role model or whether I was ever the perfect role model was never really the point for me.  It's having love, having loved deeply with your whole heart and knowing how great it can be.  I still very much believe in it.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Well, you certainly set yourself up though for dating.  The Bachelor is a hard act to follow for single guys.

Chris Harrison:      Exactly.  Yes.  I can't imagine although, you know, I haven't exactly had a date in 22 years; so we'll see.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      I think girls are going to expect bungee jumping and shark feeding or something.

Chris Harrison:      Yes, the helicopter and private jet.

Beth Kwiatkowski:      Yes.  All right.  Thanks, Chris.

END

Not sure if I have to sign this Hugs, Kisses & Roses, but that's all for today.

Bill

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