Although The Bachelorette's Ashley Hebert has a strong group of guys to choose from, one suitor stood out in the season premiere, but not in a good way. Before the night began, Ashley explained to host Chris Harrison that she had been warned about Bentley and that he was going on the show to promote his company and not find love. Despite Ashley's intel — and Bentley admitting to producers he had hoped Emily Maynard would be the Bachelorette — she gave him a rose. Harrison tells TVGuide.com he begged Ashley to cut him, but she went with her gut. Plus: Harrison weighs in on some of the night's more memorable men.
How do you think Ashley handled her first night?
Chris Harrison: I was pleasantly surprised. It's so hard and walking in, dominating a room full of 25 men, and to own that situation, really control it and command that attention, she did a really good job, I was impressed.
What's the deal with Bentley? He seems like a jerk, but it looks like she's going to fall for him.
Harrison: He reminds me of every bad guy in all the John Hughes movies. His name should be Blaine and he should drive a red Porsche or something. Everyone says the producers are jerks and how could [we] do that to her, but she always has the decision, she can always get rid of this guy. You didn't even see how much I begged her and bagged on this guy on Night 1. When she's telling me the story, I'm like, "His name's Bentley. Right there, run!" She said I'm going with my gut and she gave the guy a rose.
What about Jeff and his mask?
Harrison: I'll be honest, I told Ashley, "You realize there's a guy in a mask out there, right?" She said, "Yeah, but he was sweet we had a good talk," and I said, "Ashley, he has a mask on; the conversation, in my opinion, should probably stop there." But because things went so bad [on The Bachelor] with Brad and she felt like she did everything wrong, now she's doing the opposite. She gave Jeff an honest effort and said there's more to him, I don't love the mask idea, but I get it and I'm going to give him another shot.
Will we ever get to see his face?
Harrison: Yes, at some point, the mask will be revealed.
Were you laughing or appalled at drunk Tim?
Harrison: He had obviously had a bit of liquid courage before he got out of the limo and then proceeded to get absolutely obliterated. The guys, to their credit, they tried to help him out, give him some water and food, but he kept going and going and finally just lost his mind. As funny as it was, that's not appropriate. Night 1 is your first impression and if you can't not drink — talk about a red flag.
Did you expect Ryan to get the first impression rose?
Harrison: That night she was all about who made her feel comfortable and who put her at ease. She was worried guys would reject her and had hoped it was Emily, so when Ryan said, "I'm glad it was you," that meant a lot to her.
Overall, the men seem like a solid bunch.
Harrison: Having gotten to know them and knowing who makes it to the end, I think it's one of the strongest group of guys we've ever had. They're a little older and a little more professional than what Ali [Fedotowsky] had — you get a little less frat house.
Who will stand out?
Harrison: Ames, the more you to know him you're going to be, like, this guy is so interesting. Ryan, J.P., Ben C. and Ben F., Constantine, and William — my wife thinks William is the winner and should be the next Bachelor already.
Watch our interview with Ashley as she discussed Night 1 and the men she has to choose from: