Every season of The Bachelor has an emotional wreck, and as viewers saw on the premiere, Jenna is that girl this time. Host Chris Harrison says that both he and producers initially pegged the New York City blogger a front-runner until they saw her meltdown almost lead to a missed rose ceremony.
We're back with our weekly chats with Harrison who shares his thoughts on the women, which entrance he thought was the worst and how Ben did on his first night running the show.
So did you turn up the crazy dial for this season's women?
Chris Harrison: I think we just got lucky. It's like fitting the right pieces of a puzzle together. On their own Courtney, Jenna, Kacie B, they're not going to be that antagonistic, but then you put those personalities together and they're fighting for the same guy. It's not that they're all crazy, but together they don't mix and it leads to a very combustible situation.
Did you feel bad or embarrassed watching Jenna's fight with Monica and her breakdown?
Harrison: As far as the Jenna and Monica stuff, Ben barely knows his own name [that night] much less is able to be attune to the feeling in the room or what's going on. I felt for Jenna that night. She was, in my mind, a front-runner. We thought, based on paper, she was someone who was going to last a long time on this show. We all though this girl is cute, smart, from New York, but that's how quickly things can change. It just got the best of her and she had a meltdown —and it doesn't get better next week.
What did you think about Monica and Blakely's flirting?
Harrison: I don't know if anything is really there, but it was so bizarre. I think it's probably almost happened in the past, but that was as blatant as it's ever been. We were in the control room like, "Wow."
Ben was immediately attracted to Courtney, but it looks like she's this season's villain?
Harrison: If you're a tall, gorgeous brunette who caught the eye immediately of the Bachelor you're going to be an easy target. I wasn't sure how America would act, but it seems like they're a little put off by her as well. Courtney has obviously set herself aside [but] she's not the only one who makes waves and is an antagonist on the show.
What was your favorite (and least favorite) entrance of the night?
Harrison: The worst was Anna. It could've worked on someone else, but he wasn't having it. After the limo empties I walk in and talk to him and he said, "What was that about? You get one chance to make that first impression and you just walk by me and not say anything?" ... He took it as a snub. The best was Lindzi. It was classic, and her charisma and charm was perfect.
Do the producers decide one girl will ride a horse, another will bring a grandma, or do the women ask for that?
Harrison: The producers say, "Do you have anything you want to do?" and we have to be prepared. So if they say, "Hey, I'm a chef I want to cook Ben a soufflé," we have to make sure they have what they need. Linzi put it together and called a friend to borrow a horse.
What's should fans be most excited about for this upcoming season?
Harrison: There is nothing shy about Ben. You want to drop trou and jump in the ocean? Sure you bet I do. He's an anything goes guy, and at the same time he was really open to doing everything. It made for great TV.
Watch our interview with Ben about the first night: