Never mind what happened on this week's episode of The Bachelor. All anyone can talk about is the preview footage for next week, in which it appears that Brad takes Emily, aka the one whose late fiancé was a NASCAR driver, to a racetrack! Host Chris Harrison warns people not to prejudge the unorthodox date, saying it will be therapeutic, not exploitative. Plus: Harrison explains how Chantal scored the lucky "helicopter date" and Brad stops by our studio to weigh in.
It looks like next week Brad takes Emily to a racetrack. Given that her late fiancé was a NASCAR driver, why would he — or the producers — choose that specific setting?
Chris Harrison: If you take it at face value, I get why people are angry, but people need to see the date and see how it plays out. This is another watershed, breakthrough moment and it's therapeutic for Brad and Emily. It's a very moving episode and obviously a moving date. It's definitely scary, but again if you play armchair psychologist, it's kind of a hurdle they need to get over. We have to force the issue because we have such a time constraint. It puts Brad on the spot, puts Emily on the spot, like you guys are either going to deal with this and go forward, or it's not going to happen and it's over.
Did you solve the mystery about Michelle's black eye?
Harrison: We have no idea what happened! She said something about the stress causing the black eye, which I don't think is possible. We don't have any cameras. On Bachelor Pad we do, but that's a totally different show, so we have no idea.
Why is Brad keeping her around?
Harrison: When she's with Brad, she likes to be that girl that's kind of hard to get, is feisty, and guys tend to like that to a certain degree. We'll see if she wears out her welcome, but right now he finds it appealing.
It's a good sign that Chantal got the first "helicopter date" of the season.
Harrison: Historically speaking, that's the best date you can get — apparently, it goes straight to engagement after that. When I see them together, they're like old friends; it doesn't feel like they just met. It's like their relationship has already evolved well past three or four weeks in.
Could Britt be a dark horse?
Harrison: They have a great connection and this week Britt took a huge step forward. Not to disparage the other girls, but the riffraff is gone, it's getting down to the girls he is building a relationship with. From Emily to Chantal to Britt to both Ashleys — well, one is now becoming a little dependent and jealous — you're starting to see all these personalities emerge.
He's clearly smitten with Emily, but they have more hurdles to overcome.
Harrison: Although he's as captivated by her as he is Chantal, you see a huge difference. He's intimidated by Emily a little bit and I get it: She's beautiful, she's sweet and now that Brad knows her story, he knows what he's dealing with. There's that constant thing in the back of your head: If I'm not really serious about her, then I need to let her go. You don't want to take her through that and break her heart. I think he's constantly thinking about that with her.
Watch our exclusive interview with Brad below.
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