After enduring 18 seasons of The Bachelor and 10 seasons of The Bachelorette, it takes a lot to surprise host Chris Harrison. But in its inaugural run of Bachelor in Paradise, Harrison says there is one coupling that has him stunned.
"Cody and Michelle are the most surprising couple ever in the history of the show," Harrison tells TVGuide.com. "I got to know Cody pretty well and I've known Michelle for awhile and I told her to see where this goes and she did. I have to give her credit. It's been fun to watch."
But while a handful of pairings have remained together, there's always at least one player in the bunch. In this case it's Jesse Kovacs who's already "dated" three different women. Harrison shares his thoughts on the drama, explains why Clare should be kicking herself in the butt about now and previews what's to come in the final two episodes. Plus: Is a reunion special in the works?
I did not see a Cody and Michelle pairing coming!
Chris Harrison: The thing about Cody is that it almost seems disingenuous and too positive and happy, but I'm telling you that's the guy. It threw Michelle off a bit, like, this guy can't be real. Michelle is pretty down-to-earth and has a good bullsh-- meter, and I think it was off the charts when he first arrived. But this is him, nothing but sunny days and happy-go-lucky, and he's sweeping her off her feet. Clare is going to be kicking her own ass on this one.
With Clare leaving this week, do you think she just wasn't cut out for it?
Harrison: I don't even know how to explain Clare and her behavior. I guess she just got so frustrated she couldn't take it and left. I felt bad forZack who just didn't know what to do. He was trying to let her know, "You seem nice, but do I want to marry you today? Probably not. Maybe we can date for a second before you put me on the spot and make me decide your future and mine." It's funny; she and AshLee come across the same way. They're very forthright and aggressive and, by the way, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time you better know your audience because more often than not that scares the hell out of a guy. If it was a guy like Cody who's more gung-ho, then they are great; you're off to the races.
Speaking of AshLee, it seems Graham has become more and more weary of her.
Harrison: Since Day 1 I've said that the foundation was cracked the moment they started dating, and three hours in, she pressured him not to see anybody else. I know Graham, and that's not the kind of guy he is. Most smart, independent guys would like to come about a decision on their own and not be forced into it. They've had ups and downs all along, and people are asking how Bachelor in Paradise ends, and this has a lot to do with it. Only the strongest survive from here on out.
Was Marcus and Lacy's makeout session during the rose ceremony as long and awkward as it seemed or was that just the editing?
Harrison: A little bit of editing. It was long, but we had a little fun. They just became an old married couple right away and they might as well have kicked everyone off the peninsula and moved in themselves. They became a couple fast and separated themselves from any of the bullsh-- or drama and did their own thing. They had a great vacation.
Was Jackie keeping Jesse over Marquel the worst decision?
Harrison: Yes and no. Yes, it was a bad move because obviously Jesse is a playboy and a player and using and abusing. But no in that Marquel wasn't the right choice either. God bless him, but whether it's that he's not interested or has no game, you're like, "Ohhh, wow." You can tell he's a little uncomfortable with physicality, and he told every woman he hugged [when they arrived], like, warning them before he touched them. Even when he got his one kiss, he warned her. It's like the way I talked to my kids when I was feeding them strained carrots; he did everything but made the choo-choo sound when he was coming in for a kiss. Would it have been great to have Marquel around another week because he's a good guy and we like him? Yeah, but it wouldn't have made a difference as far as a relationship goes.
And then there is Robert and Sarah. What will we see from them?
Harrison: Well you saw that Sarah is there and she seems to have the maturity and understanding of what she wants, but is Robert on the same page or capable of being on the same page? From here on out, these relationships are going to be put to the test in a much more dramatic way, and people will understand how this show ends. It's not a game show, but yes there will be winners and losers as we wrap up.
Are you surprised so many people did couple up?
Harrison: It was hard to know what to expect. But if you concentrate on just one thing you usually get that task done, and although it sounds superficial, the same thing goes for dating. If you go to a villa and just date, then your chance of success is very high. We eliminate all the distractions and concentrate on the one thing: love.
Any chance for a reunion special?
Harrison: We are in heavy talks. As I said, if there was ever a show that needed it, it's this one. So we're desperately trying to figure it out.
Bachelor in Paradise airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.