When Bachelorette host Chris Harrison told us the men would unravel after learning Ashley had spoken to Bentley, he wasn't exaggerating. Not only did many of them get mad, but Mickey left the show. Although he thinks Ashley miscalculated how the men would react, Harrison also feels that they blew it out of proportion. Keep reading for more about this week's episode, including Ames' unexpected kiss and Mickey's "mistaken" exit, plus an update on Brad and Emily.
This week's episode finally felt like a true Bachelorette episode!
Chris Harrison: The show's starting over again, it's like we hit the reset button last night. It's the new and improved Ashley, who's feeling good. I know it was a battle [for viewers] — we were battling as producers, too, to get to this point. We would've wrapped it up with Bentley two weeks ago, but we had to let this play out in her own time. Now it gets good.
Was Ashley's conversation with Bentley much calmer than you expected?
Harrison: I think people were making so much more out of it before it even happened so that's why I kept telling people wait to see how it plays out. It wasn't as nearly a big of a deal and, in fact, it was more about her making sure she was ready to move on.
She also seemed much less into him than she was the first time around.
Harrison: I think she was really happy that, when she saw him, she felt so beyond this guy. It reassured her that what she was feeling for these other guys was true.
Were you surprised about which guys were OK with Bentley returning and which guys were furious?
Harrison: I think you can draw a line and see which guys are more comfortable in their own skin, are more confident with Ashley and probably have a better relationship right now with Ashley. I also think the guys fed off of each other and got each other fired up. I think J.P. had the perspective, but her talk with him and his reaction really gave her this false sense of confidence that she came strolling into the cocktail party feeling like, "I can just tell the guys and they'll be as happy as I am." That was a miscalculation on her part. As much as some the guys blew it out of proportion and didn't handle it well, she didn't articulate it well and was a little cocky in the way she talked to them.
Did you think someone would leave like Mickey did?
Harrison: I don't think he meant to leave. He almost talked himself into a corner and all of a sudden he was like, "Well I'm going to leave." I ... don't think he went into that conversation wanting to leave or thinking he was going to leave. I think he was just trying to make a point.
What did you think about Ames kissing Ashley in the elevator?
Harrison: I think Ashley spoke for all of us when she was like, "Ames, whoa!" I'm so glad people are falling in love with Ames because he's a great guy. I knew he'd be one of the dark horses that at first people would wonder why she's keeping him, but I knew in the end he would definitely capture people's imagination.
This season seems to be lacking in hot tubs and helicopters. Why is that?
Harrison: What's to come is sea planes, so I think what we had to do is cut our hot tub/helicopter budget because of the sea plane expense.
The next episode, airing July 11, features an update with Emily Maynard. What can you hint?
Harrison: We're calling them Bachelor updates, catching up with some of the couples. The first is Brad and Emily, and we've actually shot another with Ali and Roberto. If anybody is expecting "Jake and Vienna 2" then they're sorely mistaken. Emily and Brad very much love each other, very much care about each other and they're very good people and that definitely comes through. I talk to Brad all the time so I sit down [with Emily] and say, "This sucks doing this interview with one person and we're talking about a friend." As far as interviews go, even including Jason/Molly/Melissa this was the most awkward and uncomfortable because Brad wasn't there.