When Bachelor host Chris Harrison said Michelle would blow people's minds, he was right, as she found herself the center of the Women Tell All attack. Even Harrison admits she was falling apart, and as much as the show plays to the drama, "sometimes enough is enough." Harrison shares with TVGuide.com why Shawntel never made it into the "hot seat" and why he loves the new Ashley H.
Where do we begin with Michelle?
Chris Harrison: Three-quarters of the people seem to be happy [that I comforted her] and then there's a small faction that's like, "You stuck up for her. You fell for it." What I felt I needed to do was calm everybody down. ... In the middle of the commercial break I had to get her more Kleenex. She was absolutely falling apart. At the same time Stacey and other girls are going nuts, and didn't even break a stride. At one point I'm looking at them, like: Really, what the hell's wrong with you? I don't mind you jumping on board or stirring things up, but just wait to make it a fair fight. People always think we always want the drama, but sometimes enough is enough.
It seemed like Stacy just wanted TV time.
Harrison: She didn't even really know Michelle that well; she just watched the show with the rest of us. Whether you like Michelle or not ... when she jumped on Brad's lap never once did I hear Brad complain. Everything she did from the moment she stepped out of the limo absolutely played Brad perfectly and the other girls; of course, they were intimidated and jealous.
How come we didn't hear from Shawntel at all?
Harrison: She was scheduled to sit with me in the hot seat, but things got so crazy and out of hand with Michelle that we did another segment with her. Also, with Shawntel, we felt like you saw everything [during her final episode] and there was no lingering question. With Ashley H there was a question out there and with Ashley S a moment to be resolved.
Were you surprised to see Ashley H doing so well despite being the last eliminated?
Harrison: Ashley H had a phenomenal attitude. I didn't expect her to come in heartbroken and devastated and I think she assimilated the whole thing pretty quickly and moved on. Whether she finally admitted it or not, she was in love with Brad, but I don't think anybody wants to admit they were in love with somebody who dumped them. But I think she was, and I think she learned a lot from it. I love the new woman.
Do you still see her as a likely Bachelorette?
Harrison: Ashley H, as far as fans go, is a big front-runner. Everyone has sympathy for Ashley S, but from what I can tell from the fans, they're not clamoring for her ... She's one of those girls you just want to hug and tell her it's going to be OK and you hope she will get that self-esteem. That's the only thing she's lacking is the self-esteem a beautiful girl like her should have.
Chris Harrison: I promise we do not have a Bachelorette picked
Give us a hint about next week's finale.
Harrison: For Brad to come out and say, "I'm in love and this girl has changed my life," doesn't do justice to what he's going to go through in the two hours you'll see next week. I don't think it's as simple and easy as people might be thinking. It's safe to say, there will be tears.
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