Although viewers weren't surprised to see Frank leave Ali on this week's Bachelorette, host Chris Harrison tells TVGuide.com his exit left more questions than answers. Why does Harrison think Frank took the easy way out? And with Ali's intense chemistry with Roberto and her deep connection with Chris L., can Ali "screw this up?" Plus: A surprise guest stops by the Men Tell All.
TVGuide.com: What's your take on Frank leaving Ali for his ex?
Chris Harrison: At the time I felt a little sorry for him. I wasn't mad at him. Say what you will. But what's he supposed to do? He's in love with someone, he has to leave. I don't love the way it went down, how late it took him to come to grips with everything because obviously he was having these thoughts for weeks. So why wait until then to even say anything?
TVGuide.com: Will we hear from him again?
Harrison: He's going to be with me at After the Final Rose. We're going to sit down because there are a lot of questions I have. How did you leave it? How serious were you? It's not uncommon for people to come on this show and realize what they had at home maybe was genuine or real. Even Melissa Rycroft went back to her ex. ... Maybe that's what happened, but to me it also seemed like an escape; an easy way out. He was having a tough time dealing with Ali and the situation so it seemed a little convenient that it all piled on his shoulders and then he bailed. The way it went down doesn't feel right, or cohesive. It left more questions than answers.
TVGuide.com: Do you think Frank was genuine?
Harrison: By no means do I think of him as a Justin/Rated R. He wasn't doing it as a jerk move, he wasn't playing anybody, and there was no malice. He's a good guy and the guys will attest to that. ... Like [with] Jason Mesnick with Molly, I was like, "You know you're going to be vilified for this. So if you're going to do it you must really love this girl because you're going to get crushed." He said, "I do love her that much. I'm going to do it." So that raises the question then of what are you doing here? I don't know if that's the whole story, but definitely part of it was it was easy, it was an escape, it was a way out for Frank.
TVGuide.com: How do you think Ali handled it?
Harrison: She was devastated. ... It was a rough day for her. As producers we had no idea how this was going to affect her. We're a week away from finale at this point and we're sending our Bachelorette into a tailspin. She spent time alone that day and that night and by the time she gathered her thoughts for the rose ceremony the next day she felt good.
TVGuide.com: We'll never know if she would've kept Roberto and Chris L.
Harrison: The good news for Ali at this point is she hadn't made up her mind. That's the million-dollar question: What she would've done? I'll ask her on After the Final Rose, but I think she'll probably answer the same thing. She didn't know because that date was going to be such a pivotal part and she never got to see it.
TVGuide.com: Did you like Roberto's reaction to your fantasy suite invitation?
Harrison: I'm guessing he's heard of the show, probably seen parts, but probably hadn't seen that part. I'm like, "That dude had no idea what I was giving him." You could see his innocence and you don't get that very often anymore. I like how it's controversial. People don't know how to act, what to say. And some people say how dare you give them that, but it's up to them and whether they go in there and talk and hang out or whatever. I love the moral and social dilemma that the fantasy suite creates.
TVGuide.com: Do you ever find out what happens in there?
Harrison: I would never listen and tell, but I will say I have heard details of fantasy suites past and some I wish I hadn't.
TVGuide.com: Both Chris L. and Roberto really opened up to Ali this week.
Harrison: That moment when Chris was by the pool in the fantasy suite and was like, "God, I love you," I'm like wow. ... They both absolutely laid it on the line which was why it was going to put so much weight on Frank's date. I can't remember a final four or a final three where it's been like this to have all three guys dead even in the race. At this point, America's going to say, "Ali, you better not screw this up. You have two of the most amazing guys maybe in the history of this show, you better come through." And that's why it'll be interesting with the finale of how America reacts to what Ali does when every woman in America is like "If she doesn't pick Roberto have him call me," or "If she doesn't pick Chris, have him be the bachelor."
TVGuide.com: What can you preview for next week's Men Tell All?
Harrison: First of all, I don't know how much America will hear because we'll have to bleep out 90 percent of what was said. It got heated. I was pleasantly surprised it didn't take long for the guys to really open up about each other, whether it was Weatherman and Craig, or Kasey talking about his tattoos. They were very outspoken about Rated R's moves. And I can definitely tease we have a surprise guest and you're going to learn even more about that situation.