Although The Bachelorette's two-on-one dates usually end with at least one happy guy, on this week's episode Ashley axed them both. "Ashley was in a bad mood," host Chris Harrison tells us. He also admits that Ben C.'s exit looked abrupt because of bad editing. In our weekly chat with Harrison, he says he stands by the violent group date, tells us why Ames is the most fascinating guy he knows, and how next week's return of Bentley leaves the remaining men a bit upset with the girl they're fighting for.
Let's start with the two-on-one date. Why didn't Ashley let Ben C. explain himself?
Chris Harrison: I think that might have been a little misconstrued in the edit [because] it did seem very abrupt. I know he had said some stuff [about wanting to date after the show] so we should've gotten a little deeper into it and we probably should've shown a little more.
Do you think William's tattling on Ben C. lead to his exit?
Harrison: I think it had a little bit to do with it, but I think it also had a bit to do with the fact that Ashley was in a bad mood. I don't think J.P. or Ben F. would've survived that date. She was in a cranky place ... I don't think she was fully sure about William, but they never really had that chemistry.
And his comments about not wanting to grow up didn't help his cause.
Harrison: I think he was trying to be cute and funny, but it just shows he's a bit young and naïve because men don't say stuff like that.
He's going to be on Bachelor Pad — don't you think he'll be eaten alive?
Harrison: Maybe he's learned from his mistakes and is a little more savvy this time around. It's like Wes [Hayden], if he came in acting like Wes he would've been a dead man, but he learned and changed. So, hopefully, William will learn from the error of his ways.
Did you see Ashley's attraction to Ben F. coming?
Harrison: Ben F. is the dark horse in this that has slowly but surely captivated Ashley.
Do he and Constantine look like twins?
Harrison: They look very similar. The first couple of rose ceremonies I had the toughest time telling them apart. Now that I know them it's not even close, they just have the same hair, but Ben F. is a dead ringer for Rafael Nadal.
The group date was intense!
Harrison: I still love that date. I stand behind it. I know people are angry like why are you doing this, but one of the biggest traditions in Thailand is Muay Thai boxing. It's a crazy event, something out of a Tarantino film, where you go to the back of this alley and there's a boxing match going on. ... Testosterone and human nature took over and they started fighting like crazy. For most of the guys it was no big deal, but Ames really couldn't defend himself. But that's Ames ... Unfortunately he took one in the head even with the head gear on that knocked him silly.
He's surprisingly growing on me.
Harrison: Once he gets under your skin he's fascinating. The more you talk to him he's like, "Yeah I was in Phuket last week and I took a cooking class" or "I was in Nepal and I climbed Everest," and you're like: What? He shows up like he walked out of a Ralph Lauren ad, but there's no pretension there ... He's a good guy who everybody wants to be around and he's very endearing.
Next week is the big return of Bentley. It better be the last we see of him!
Harrison: We got to a point in Chiang Mai where I was sitting there telling her this isn't going to work, what you're doing is a disaster, you're not going to find love and these guys are going to hate you. She said, "I need to do something" and I said I will make this happen, I don't know how, but we were able to figure out how to get him to Hong Kong. ... But I was like: These are good guys, a million people are going to be watching the show, screaming at you, saying are you out of your mind wasting this opportunity. I think she needed tough love at that point.
Does the situation get resolved when they meet?
Harrison: People are anticipating the Bentley thing so much, but what really happens next week is telling the guys. She gets to this happy place and is almost a little arrogant and cocky because of it, but I don't think she thought through the effect it was going to have on the guys. It's like you walking up to your boyfriend and saying, "For the last couple of months I've been sleeping with another guy, but the good news is I don't want to have sex with him anymore." She didn't really understand it until our deliberation and all of a sudden things start to unravel in the cocktail party in Hong Kong.