"I thought there was a great chance Shawn was going to leave," Harrison tells us. "I don't know how close he actually got, but after everything that happened and then when Kaitlyn told him [she had sex with Nick], and he has those trust issues and insecurities. But he reacted incredibly well."
Monday's finale came to a close with Kaitlyn rejecting Nick despite having an immediate and very physical connection when he joined the season a few episodes in. But ultimately Shawn, who received the first impression rose, was the last man standing and popped the question.
We checked in with Harrison to get his thoughts on the happy couple, who he thought Kaitlyn would choose, and what he thought of Nick and Shawn coming face to face at "After the Final Rose."
You previously told me that after the fantasy dates you were almost positive who Kaitlyn was going to choose. So who was it?
Chris Harrison: I was pretty sure it was going to be Shawn, but there was also the Kaitlyn factor and whatever it is that makes her do crazy things, like when she snuck down off camera and told Shawn he's "the one." So there was always the [thought] that maybe she was going to just blow this whole thing up. But I thought all along Shawn was the one and that Shawn was the right one. But then again, Nick got under her skin in some way and I thought: How strong is it with them? Or maybe it'll make her choose nobody.
Did you think there would be two proposals?
Harrison: I knew both were going to propose and that boy guys were just so into her and so much in love and committed to doing it regardless.
Do you think that because they went through so many ups and downs already, they have a better shot at actually making it in the long run?
Harrison: From what I saw yesterday and spending the day with them on and off camera, their resolve couldn't be stronger. I was really interested in seeing Shawn's demeanor and his personality because I haven't spent a lot of time with him since the show starting airing. So it was great to see that he is very resilient and very defensive of Kaitlyn, and it was telling to me. I've done this for so long and I can tell when there are chinks in the armor and if the foundation isn't quite there, but they have this great foundation and I really do feel like they came out of this strong. Does it guarantee anything? No, life is about to happen and who knows. But what I saw yesterday, I was pleased and excited.
How do you think the live "After the Final Rose" went?
Harrison: I felt bad because I know I cut Nick off a lot. He is a thoughtful, slow speaker, but when I have four minutes to get everything out, I was begging him, "You have to be short, sweet and concise! You can't take 45 minutes to say one story, you're killing me."
Did you think Nick and Shawn's conversation would be as calm as it was?
Harrison: Maybe people anticipated we were instigating a fight, but I knew they wouldn't. Nick is a good guy. People give him a hard time and he rubs some people the wrong way and I get that because he says and does things where you smack your head, like, why would you do that? But he's not a malicious guy and he's a sweet guy, and so is Shawn. They are more similar than they think and it's probably why they dislike each other so much. Maybe later in retrospect they'll realize that, but I know they didn't want to [acknowledge it] in the middle of the show. I'm glad they talked and they won't be best friends, and that's fine, but I'm glad they owned up to their shortcomings and failures in this whole thing.
What did you think of this season of The Bachelorette?
Bachelor in Paradise premieres on Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.
Check out our interview with Shawn and Kaitlyn!