Well, $4 million worth of pink rose petals has been swept up, following Trista and Ryan's Wedding, and it's time to move on. Starting Jan. 14 on ABC, the next Bachelorette follows in the bride's footsteps, seeking a man of her own. This time, it's Bob Guiney's reject, Meredith Phillips, who'll get her group-date on. And, as usual, Chris Harrison will be along for the ride as host. According to him, this season's stunner has all the makings of a fine dating-show drama queen."I hate even using the word, because it is a reality show, but Meredith is probably the most 'real' person we've had," says Harrison. "With Trista, the great thing for those of us producing [ The Bachelorette] was that she always [understood it was] a TV show, and did what she needed to do." As for Phillips, though, "if she's happy, she's happy. If she's sad, if she's pissed off, that's it. She is who she is," he assesses. "She's not faking it." That lack of poker face led to some wet eyes on last season's Bachelor. Remember when the 30-year-old makeup artist from California lost her beloved grandma, just hours before what turned out to the saddest one-on-one date kissy-face Guiney ever had? "The whole thing with her grandmother, it kind of sucked, because she was cheated out of the whole process," says Harrison. "I'm glad that she's getting to go through [this] for real, on her own terms. No one could have a normal dating process when you're taking [a guy] to your grandmother's grave." Not that looking for love on national TV is all that normal, anyway. But despite the recent Andrew Firestone-Jenn Schefft split and rumors of Bob and Estella Gardinier's estrangement, Harrison is quick to point out that only his show has successfully sent anyone to the altar. "After all the rip-off shows, you know for a fact that none of [them] are going to create a couple that [will] last. You watch Average Joe and you know it's a joke," he laughs. "They literally took our script, at times, and used it on their show. It's hysterical." Let's just hope Miss Meredith ends up with a reason to smile, too.
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