Bachelorette's Chris Harrison: Ali Knew the First Night It Was Roberto
In a surprising twist to the typical Bachelor and Bachelorette endings, Ali Fedotowsky only had one man show up to the final rose ceremony. She took a leap of faith, and Roberto, in turn, proposed. Host Chris Harrison calls that moment "lightning in a bottle" and tells TVGuide.com his advice for the new couple. Plus: Will runner-up Chris be the next Bachelor?
TVGuide.com: What was it like to watch the finale?
Harrison: I watched it last night with Ali and Roberto at the big wrap party. We're the most jaded people in the world — the producers, camera people. We've seen it all, but when the proposal was happening ... you could've heard a pin drop. When it was over, everyone burst into applause, a standing ovation, and [were] hugging him. I look around and I'm like, "This is why it's such a great show. When it happens like that, you get that lightning in a bottle and it's an awesome moment."
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TVGuide.com: Throughout taping, did you always have a feeling she would choose Roberto?
Harrison: She knew the moment he got out of the limo Night One. I knew she thought he was ridiculously hot, but the more it went on, it got to the point where it was like, "You got to give other guys a chance, too." I do feel like she definitely had feelings for Frank, definitely had feelings for Chris, but Roberto was something from the start.
TVGuide.com: What's your best advice for the new couple?
Harrison: I love that neither one of them are trying to start a career in showbiz. They're trying to start a life together; they're getting out of L.A., living in San Diego. If you look at our couples that have truly made it, it's Ryan and Trista, who moved off to Vail, and Jason and Molly, [who are] living in Seattle. I really thought that's what Jake and Vienna were going to do; that's why I argued and fought for them ... but you saw them get caught up in the game. [Ali and Roberto] just have it — they have that love. It's so natural between them that you feel these guys have what it takes. What happens from here on out is life, and life isn't always easy. This is where it really gets tough because you have to work at it and start a life together. Obviously there [are] obstacles we all face in our relationships, but they are off to a good start.
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TVGuide.com: So Frank was a no-show at After the Final Rose?
Harrison: I was really surprised. We had intentionally kept him off of the Men Tell All to have him on After the Final Rose. He didn't get that as a sign of respect — it's not going to be with the audience and all the guys ragging on you, but just you and Ali talking, totally chill. She's with Roberto and there's no animosity. He would've gained a lot of respect from Ali and the fans. It was really a way for him to cure all ills and instead, once again, he took the easy way out. As soon as he was faced with any confrontation or tough situation, he bows down to the pressure ... tucks his tail and hides — and that's the worst thing you can do as a man. Even Ali said, "I wasn't mad, but now I'm disappointed." He is with the girl he left Ali for, so how can you blame him? I just can't believe he made such a huge P.R. blunder, but again, you look back at all the decisions he made on the show — [they're] all out of fear, escaping and not having confrontation. At this point, you realize it's a character trait.
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TVGuide.com: How hard was it to keep the ending a secret while hearing all the rumors that she ended up alone?
Harrison: It was so hard, so brutal, especially when you hear people tearing your show down. I do take it personally because I knew we had such a beautiful ending, and it was such a great season. I knew we had so much to offer, and part of me sickly enjoyed all the people saying, "I know for a fact she ends up with no one" ... while I'm talking to Ali and Roberto and I know they're doing great. So it was tough — the toughest season by far to keep my cool and not scream from the rooftops, "We have the happiest couple ever" and "Screw you guys."
TVGuide.com: So is Chris the next Bachelor?
Harrison: It's not a done deal, and people are like, "C'mon, you haven't named him yet?" We actually haven't. Production doesn't start for awhile. There's no reason to jump to a knee-jerk reaction. We're going to let this die out, let Bachelor Pad get going, keep casting around the country, make sure we have all candidates in front of us before we make a choice. Obviously, he's out there. Your first reaction is, "Oh my God, he'd be the best Bachelor ever," but I think he would really struggle with it because he's not the kind of guy that can date 25 women, go on group dates, feel comfortable in that. It's a very awkward and unnatural thing to do that. I will love it if he is the guy, but at the same time, I can definitely see a lot of obstacles and I can see it being a really tough time.