Chris Harrison, The Bachelor
After a season of shocking exits and surprising choices, The Bachelor is down to its final two women: Vienna, the 23-year-old who butted heads with the rest of the women, and Tenley, the 25-year-old divorced girl-next-door. Although Ali made a plea to win back Jake after she chose to leave the show for her job, Jake made it clear he had moved on. So will Ali become the next star of The Bachelorette and was the fact that Gia was unable to tell Jake she was in love with him the reason for being sent home from St. Lucia? Host Chris Harrison weighs in.
TVGuide.com: Were you shocked that Jake told Ali not to come back?
Chris Harrison: I was. I didn't think he would have it in him to do that. I know that he was falling in love with her and I know it crushed him. I was proud of the fact that he stood up and was like, "No, you made the choice to leave and these other women haven't. I'm also falling for them and I've moved on and you need to do so as well."
TVGuide.com: Ali told Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday that she'd consider being the next Bachelorette. What do you think about it?
Harrison: She definitely has a shot. I think she would be a fantastic Bachelorette. I like women that have loved and lost, have learned a lesson, and you have Ali, obviously beautiful, a very down-to-earth, career-driven woman who learned a great lesson about love.
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TVGuide.com: Ali would be connected all the way back to Brad Womack's season. Do you think it's time to start fresh?
Harrison: I go back and forth. I totally understand people that are like, "Let's start new," but obviously Ali, or even Jake, had nothing to do with Brad Womack; had nothing to do with Deanna Pappas. There's the lineage there and a chain, but a lot of them have nothing to do with the other, other than the previous season. I understand where people want fresh, but I also understand where a producer has a built-in story with Jake and you have a built-in fan base, good or bad.
TVGuide.com: Do you think Gia's elimination this week was because she couldn't tell Jake she was in love with him?
Harrison: I do and, as silly as it sounds to say aloud, I know for a fact Jake was falling in love with all three of them. So there was a fine line in what was going to be the deciding factor and obviously Vienna completely gave herself and so did Tenley and then there was Gia who was always just fighting it. At that point, having been through this with everybody, they're looking for anything — that one difference that can make that deciding factor.
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TVGuide.com: What did you think about Jake and Vienna discussing wedding rings?
Harrison: Obviously viewers can absolutely read into that and it's partly why we left it in because it is such a glaring, obvious thing, but Jake meant that as more of a joke. They were like, "What do you want to know?" and his smart-aleck response was the wedding ring. It was just too good not to leave it in.
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised Tenley accepted the fantasy suite?
Harrison: If I was a fan watching the show, I'd be surprised. But knowing her and knowing Jake and having seen the situation and knowing where she was, it didn't surprise me.
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TVGuide.com: So how much of the fantasy suite time is really shown?
Harrison: Very little. We shoot the dinner, when they get back there's the dessert, and maybe they'll sit in the hot tub for a second. Then we clear out. There's no camera, no microphones, no nothing. We take all our equipment and we leave them and they are not seen until the next morning. If they choose to stay there, if they choose to stay up all night talking, they choose to leave and go back to their own room, it's completely up to them; they can do whatever they want. The only way we would ever know is if one of them said something. No one else is around to see or hear anything.