The latest installment of The Bachelorette (Mon, 8/7c on ABC) has barely begun and already some men are holding back while others are perhaps revealing too much. TVGuide.com spoke with host Chris Harrison about Ali's awkward first episode, what he thought of Derrick's tale about his nickname "Shooter," why the guys are ganging up on Justin, and who's going to be sticking around for a while.
TVGuide.com: How do you think Ali did on her first night as the Bachelorette?
Chris Harrison: The first episode it's always a tough one. It's like starting to date — it's so uncomfortable. Who in the world is prepared to sit there and watch five limos of 25 people pull up? It's so awkward, but that's part of meeting everyone and she obviously rallies and is much better down the road. Most women would really relish putting on the gown and going to castles and that's not Ali. She's the girl who wants to put her hair up, throw on some tennis shoes and meet you at Starbucks.
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TVGuide.com: When Derrick revealed why he was given the nickname "Shooter," were you embarrassed for him? Or do you give him props for his full disclosure?
Harrison: No, I don't give him props for that! That's horrifying. Why would you do that? I'm sitting there in the control room listening to all these guys babbling on [with] boring first conversation like, "Where are you from? What do you do?" and this guy comes out with, "I got the nickname Shooter from premature ejaculation." I just launched the tea I was sipping on across the room.
TVGuide.com: Ali must've felt the same since he didn't get a rose.
Harrison: He probably felt the same that night [as] he did in college. It just amazes me what people will do and say.
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TVGuide.com: Why did you have the men vote on who was there for the wrong reason?
Harrison: It's something we weren't going to do originally, but because some of the guys had started mentioning to Ali that they felt guys were players, we threw that in that first night. We kind of thought Craig M. was probably the guy to get the most votes; we didn't think Justin was the guy. We were a little surprised he was the overwhelming favorite.
TVGuide.com: Do you think they were right about Justin?
Harrison: I don't think it's warranted right now. It's one of those things like the battle with [last season's] Wes: Do you see the Justin that Ali sees? He's kind of a momma's boy and a real loving guy... but the guys see "Rated R." Immediately when they heard he's this wrestler they thought, "OK he's here to promote himself." It's going to be this constant battle.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think Chris L. told Ali his parents were still together, when actually his mom has passed away?
Harrison: When I went back and watched Episode 1, it blew me away when I heard him. Really, there's no other way to say it: He lied to her. Is that one of those white lies where it's OK? Why can't you just say, "My mom passed away"? That's not a crazy bomb to drop on Night 1.
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TVGuide.com: But he seems really likeable.
Harrison: Everybody will fall in love with Chris. He's one of the most amazing guys we've had on the show. He completely gave up his life and career to take care of his mom [and] take care of his dad and two younger brothers. And so now this is his time. You'll get to know him along the way, and he'll be around for a while.
TVGuide.com: So what kind of drama is in store this season?
Harrison: Craig M. is obviously an instigator. I don't know if he means to do it or if it's just part of his personality, but there are people that point out the awkwardness of the situation that didn't need to be pointed out or poke the bear a bit to stir things up. That's him. Obviously Craig's going to be dealt with, and that'll come to a head.
There's definitely a lot of roller coaster rides, and I don't think Ali exactly helps herself a lot finding love. I don't know if you call it self-destructive nature or [if] she doesn't believe she deserves love, but she almost finds ways out of it. She has these defense mechanisms where she just doesn't believe she deserves love, and she doesn't believe she'll be loved back. When you have a guy like "Rated R" and Craig M. on top of her own insecurities, it makes for a wild ride.