It wasn't the best week to be the star of The Bachelorette. First, Ashley was roasted on a group date as jokes focused on her small chest and being third choice to last year's The Bachelor. Then, Bentley decided to leave, not only momentarily breaking Ashley's heart, but further proving to viewers just how awful he is. Host Chris Harrison addresses why producers didn't step in to stop Bentley and hints at his return.
Do you think having the men roast Ashley was a bad idea?
Chris Harrison: The dates that push the envelope like that, I actually like those the most because it tells me a lot about the guys. We like to put people in situations where they have to use their own head and make some decisions. With the roast last night, 95 percent of the guys got up there and ripped on each other and maybe took a little side swipe at Ashley and then sat down. William didn't have to go up there and make fun of her boobs and then say he wished it was another woman. What guy does that? A guy who wasn't thinking with his head ... It was a dumb-ass thing to do, but he knew it at least.
In addition to the roast, Ben C. also had a public date. Doesn't the show usually shy away from that?
Harrison: It's opened some doors for us as far as dates early on and it makes the show feel much more real when there are other people involved and there's interaction. At a certain point we have to go back indoors and behind the curtain, but for the time being it's fun.
Ashley seemed a bit let down when Jeff finally revealed his face.
Harrison: Ironically, it became the story when the whole point was for it not to be the story. He came on and was like: I'm going to show her who I really am. But when he took the mask off, he didn't know what to do with himself. He built it up to be such a moment that what could've possibly happened unless fireworks went off in his eyes.
Let's get to Bentley. Was anything that he said edited to make him look worse?
Harrison: Every bad guy, villain, person who comes off looking less than glamorous on the show always runs behind editing and if you notice it's only those people. Is the show edited? Yes, every show on television is edited. Our show is edited down to a less than two-hour show after a week of taping. And you have to understand he was only there for two weeks. It wasn't like Roberto where he's there for the entire time on Ali's season and we can pull interviews from weeks and weeks if we wanted. If you listen to his words, he couldn't have been talking about anything else on the show. "I'm going to make her cry, does my hair look good? She's straddling me..." obviously he's talking about those situations. Even conspiracy theorists have to agree, there wasn't enough time for us to manipulate it.
People are questioning why producers didn't step in and do something to stop him.
Harrison: I'm catching heat and the producers are catching heat, but the only way we could have told her everything about Bentley was to completely affect her journey. What line do we not want to cross? Then it really opens up Pandora's box and where to we stop the line? Do I tell her a snide comment that J.P. just made or "Oh I heard William said something about you too"? Why would she even date these guys when she could just go to the producers and watch the tapes and see how they act. It completely undermines everything we've been about for the entire show. I know it's a sketchy grey area, but that's the line we've drawn and we've stuck to it.
Is Bentley really coming back?
Harrison: It's not the last we see of him. Last night you saw that things weren't resolved and there wasn't closure and I think she will definitely want closure.
Will he look better this time around?
Harrison: I don't know. Can a guy change his stripes like that? Probably not.