From Andi's follow-up of last episode's ending to Kelly's emotional reaction to Juan Pablo's off-camera remarks and a bunch of stuff in between, Juan Pablo certainly took his fair share of heat. But it was also surprising who came to his defense, especially when it came to the almost unanimous claim that all his conversations were superficial.
"I think Andi, Sharleen and Renee had a good point and defended him because they did have a relationship with him," host Chris Harrison tells TVGuide.com. "I hate to say this to the other girls, but he just didn't want to have a relationship with them. There's no nice way to say that."
It was great to see Sean and Catherine. Does it make it more fun when you have a success story?
Chris Harrison: They were in my dressing room before the show, and we were hanging out, talking about the honeymoon and about real-life stuff. They're just a normal couple so ridiculously in love. It's validating, but more just cool to see these kids in love.
Did your sit-down with Sharleen go like you expected?
Harrison: Exactly; it was confusing. I never expected her to be easy and direct and I still don't understand everything she went through and was feeling other than the fact that if you really break it down, she thought he was hot and loved being with him on a physical level, but wanted nothing to do with him beyond that.
Renee hinted at a relationship [and she's reportedly engaged]. Did you get any more scoop?
Harrison: I didn't get a chance to see her afterwards and find out how serious it was, but I love her and I'm glad she's in a relationship. If anybody was going to have good perspective after the show it's Renee.
Were you surprised that the girls really stood up for Clare and gave her props for doing what she did? Especially since Courtney [Robertson] had the opposite reaction during her Women Tell All.
Harrison: The Courtney and Clare situations were just so different. Courtney did things, it appeared, out of spite to the women, whereas with Clare, right or wrong, she was doing it for her and her relationship. I found it interesting they cared more that he spent so much time with her on the date and then took her to the hot tub during the date and how disrespectful they found that. And also they felt bad for her when they saw how she was treated. I think if it had gone well maybe they'd think differently, but he really blew that and he made her a very sympathetic figure.
Once Juan Pablo took the hot seat, the girls went at him. Did you feel bad for him?
Harrison: No, I didn't feel bad for him at all. He's a big boy and has made his own bed. Juan Pablo can be his own worst enemy. Whether this was a good fit or not or the best decision, I feel like he's fought it. For me, he gets really defensive and short and that's when he says, "OK" or "perfect," whereas normally you'd have a response. He either gets defensive or goes into dad mode and he talks to them like they're his daughter, and says things like, "Don't be sad," and touches their hair.
What did you think of his response when Kelly brought up his remark about gay people?
Harrison: He actually made a really nice remark and I wish he had made that kind of impassioned remark immediately after it happened in the first place. Whether you agree with those views is beside the point, I was just glad he had passion, and you could tell he meant what he was saying whereas there are so many times he's just cruising along and there's no depth.
His go-to phrase lately seems to be, "I'd rather not be appreciated being honest, than be appreciated not being honest." What does that even mean?
Harrison: The point was brought up by Andi when she said, "There's a difference between being an a--hole and being honest." Basically he is saying, "I'd much rather hurt someone and be considered an a--hole than not be fully honest." It's like look, "I'm going to end up hurting them anyway, so why not just be honest right away?" But it's really just making him feel better and doing what he wants and I wish the women had been better about bringing those issues up. I've had this discussion with Juan Pablo — I've had 1,000 discussions about this — you'll never permeate his way of thinking. He'll placate you, and you can tell he doesn't care about your point of view. He's set in his ways.
Moving on to the finale, would you have predicted this final two?
Harrison: Yeah definitely. There were five including Sharleen, Andi and Renee I would've predicted. These were definite favorites.
Will we get a full Mesnick?
Harrison: I don't know if we get a full Mesnick; it's not that kind of a finale.
Give us your best tease for the finale.
Harrison: This thing ain't over yet! I can't wait to get to the After the Final Rose special. One thing about this season is I haven't been able to be a big prognosticator of the fans' reactions. There is such a wide variety of feelings, so I just can't wait to get the feel of the room to see if people are happy, disappointed — I just don't know where it's going to go.
The Bachelor three-hour finale begins Monday at 8/7c on ABC.