It's always surprising when a man rejects the fantasy-suite card on The Bachelorette, but host Chris Harrison says Constantine was ready to "pull the cord" on his relationship with Ashley. TVGuide.com chatted with Harrison about the eleventh-hour exit, why he didn't feel bad about letting Ryan show up in Fiji, and how Ashley's family won't give a "glowing report" on J.P. Plus: Who steals the show at Sunday's upcoming "Men Tell All" (9/8c, ABC)?
Were you shocked that Constantine decided to leave?
Chris Harrison: I was surprised he left, but I totally get it. Why hang around for a rose ceremony when it was so obvious it wasn't happening for him? And it's something we don't deal with often, but I'm guessing that with him being Greek Orthodox and she's not, there were a lot of obstacles in their way. I'm proud of the fact that he didn't get to the fantasy suite and have a disaster of a date. He just pulled the cord, said this isn't going to happen, I'm not going to propose, let's go our separate ways.
It seemed a bit sudden during dinner. Was there something viewers missed?
Harrison: There was, but what's tough for us in those situations ... we don't want to show 20 minutes of a date dissolving when you know what's going to happen the entire time. So we had to show just a little bit of "it might happen" before quickly showing, "no it's not, he's leaving."
Both Ben and J.P. said they were probably going to tell Ashley they were in love, but didn't.
Harrison: It's definitely odd for a guy to be the one to say, "I love you, I love you," but you know you're not getting anything back. She can't reciprocate it so they only go as far as they safely feel. I think it's very clear they both love her and I think she understands they both love her.
At this point, it doesn't seem like one is ahead of the other anymore.
Harrison: In Ben's and J.P.'s minds, there's not a front-runner, either. Neither one of them feels like they're behind, neither one of them cares about the other guy, neither one of them even thinks there's another guy. That is a great thing, but also a dangerous, scary place to be because obviously only one guy is going to win this race. When you have two guys that are that in love and feel like they are that much in control of the relationship, somebody is going to go down in flames and that's exactly what happens.
Did you feel bad letting Ryan get on that plane to return when it was obvious Ashley wasn't going to take him back?
Harrison: No. I had a long talk with him and said, "I don't think she's going to take you back, but if you're going because you want to hear it and have some questions and maybe in the back of your mind you're hoping, then that's OK. But don't go there expecting a miracle." He went there realistically, but when he got there, he got his hopes up.
Can you see Ryan becoming the next Bachelor?
Harrison: I think he would make a good Bachelor. Is he the Bachelor? No, I promise you that we have not made a decision. When you see Ames on "Men Tell All," you'll think the Bachelor is Ames, so those guys are both very solid candidates. The No. 2 guy from this show is going to blow people away next week. I think we're going to have three fantastic guys that could be the Bachelor and that's a great problem to have for a change.
What can you say about Sunday night's "Men Tell All"?
Harrison: Tim steals the show. I know people think of the guy as a cocktail joke, but I promise America will love him and they'll want to have a drink with him after the show. He did exactly what you should do when you make a fool of yourself — take it like a man.
Were there any fights?
Harrison: It was a little bit more heated than I thought it was going to be. They gave William a hard time and he had a tough night defending himself for what he told about Ben C. He sold him down the river [to Ashley] and the guys didn't appreciate that at all. William has a very rough "Men Tell All."
Onto the finale: It looks like Ashley and her sister will butt heads.
Harrison: I mentioned that this isn't going to stay smooth for J.P. and Ashley and what I was referring to was next week. Ashley's family comes to town and J.P. doesn't exactly get a glowing report from the family. It stirs things up.