During the week's group date, which included a zombie hunt, Ashley S. continued to stun with her bizarre personality and nonsensical behavior. In fact, Chris was so perplexed by what she was saying to him, she sent her home for the night. But by the time the cocktail party rolled around, the Iowa farmer still gave her a rose - and not even host Chris Harrison knows why.
"He doesn't see everything; we're getting a lot more of her bizarre behavior, but I think what he saw should've been enough!" Harrison told TVGuide.com.
So why did he ultimately give her the rose? And whose date was a disaster? Plus: What does Harrison think about Andi and Josh's breakup? Read for this week's weekly chat.
Let's first talk about the live premiere. How do you think it went, especially your interview with Nikki?
Chris Harrison: I want to do it again for sure. I think it went well, but I would like to take the reins a little more and I think a lot of the producers were scared to let go and do a full live production. But I relish in that.[With Nikki], I found out the day before she was coming. I really didn't know until she got up there if she was going to talk to me or not and because... I probably wasn't her favorite person. It meant a lot to me that she'd get up there. I think now she's out of the fog and she sees the light everyone saw a long time ago. But I got a lot of crap on social media for beating her up and I was like, 'It couldn't have been a softer interview!' I'm privy to information, but none of those details are for me to say. It's her story and Juan Pablo's. If they want to talk about it, great. The goal wasn't to have her come out and trash Juan Pablo. She gave me a hug after and said thanks and that she thought it was fair.
You also spoke to Andi and Josh, who broke up just a few days later. Did you know?
Harrison: I had no clue. The only thing was that I felt [they] were a little off, but... they seemed happy and played the part. By no means did I know they were broken up and did that interview because honestly, having been through a crappy breakup, I would've protected it more and stayed away from wedding talk and I wouldn't have put them on the spot. That had to be horribly uncomfortable and awkward knowing they were probably going to break up. I was surprised, considering everyone seemed good on Monday. I hope Andi will sit down with me whenever the time is right for her because I'm interested [to know what happened]; it felt sudden to call it quits. But I hope people give them a break.
Were you surprised Chris took Kimberly back?
Harrison: The only time you can do this is on Episode 1. For Kimberly, she felt like she came all this way and didn't get a fair shake, so when I talked to Chris, it didn't bother me that he thought, I'll give it another shot. I found it interesting that the women that came into this episode and needed to redeem themselves from a first impression still went home. Tara got drunk [on Night 1] and Kimberly was already out the door, and it takes a lot to overcome a first impression.
Well, speaking of, how did he not get rid of Ashley S.?
Harrison: He doesn't see everything; we're getting a lot more of her bizarre behavior, but I think what he saw should've been enough. When it came down to it, he had a certain number to send home and he had some definites with Tara, Kimberly and Jordan.
Mackenzie and Chris had such a bizarre mini-date; I was shocked they ended up kissing. Harrison: It was such a disaster. When you talk about having a nose fetish and aliens — it was awkward at best. I also never understand why having a kid is such a big deal [and] why it's such a moment [to reveal to him].
And then she came home and told the girls about all their kisses!
Harrison: What the heck is wrong with these women the way they're talking after they make out with the guy?! They're running around kissing and telling. I'm like, 'Stop, nobody wants to hear that,' but they all did that and I found it so bizarre and they're encouraging each other to make out with him. For the group that isn't acting like schoolgirls, it's off-putting.
Britt and Chris shared another kiss during the group date, and then later she sobbed because he's dating other women. Will she continue to act like that?
Harrison: It's the double-edged sword of the first impression. In most relationships, you'd be off a good start, but it's not how it works with this show. So, the person who has that first spark, it's really hard for them because they get brought down to reality real quick, and Britt is feeling that. She was expecting to get the group date rose and Kailtyn did. It's tough.
What about Megan? They had a great one-on-one.
Harrison: You saw the rise of another star and that first impression was great, but he's just now getting to some of the others. Britt is going to feel the repercussions of all these new relationships now starting and there is a lot more women to meet.
What did you think when Ashley I. revealed that she's a virgin and then had Chris kiss her stomach? Harrison: Once she said she was a virgin, you get a preconceived notion of the person you think she is and about her sexuality, and then she immediately does a 180 from what you think she is by having him wish on her belly button and make out with her. She's a mixed bag. The oddest thing was Mackenzie having envy over her as if she were a unicorn flying into the show.
At the end, we got a sneak peak of Jimmy Kimmel waking Chris up. What can you say about him joining in on the show for the week?
Harrison: We really let Kimmel come in and do his thing and that [teaser] was legit. We were in the control room and Jimmy was like, "Let me go in," and grabbed a cup of coffee and went and woke him up and it was hilarious. The episode is a little bit of him spending a week in my shoes. He's been such a fan and champion, so we had some fun. He set up the date card and is part of the deliberation and rose ceremony.
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
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