It was a only a matter of time before Shawn truly confronted "the other guy," and after Kaitlyn revealed that she had sex with Nick, it's no surprise Shawn went after him. But since the episode ended with the beginning of the confrontation, how will it ultimately play out? Will Kaitlyn get involved? And will Ben remain neutral? Host Chris Harrison weighs in on this week's drama, including why he's starting to be less skeptical of Nick, and how he and the crew didn't want to say goodbye to spotty-bearded Jared.
Ben and Kaitlyn have had a slower burn, but their relationship seems to be gaining steam. Chris Harrison: Definitely. The two Bens seem to be fan favorites! There is always the dark horse of the season where their relationship takes longer. Kaitlyn had such an immediate spark with Nick and Shawn, but with Ben H., it's been genuine and sweet and maybe more of what you're using to seeing or hope to see in that fairy-tale Bachelorway. He's also the calm of the storm. He just likes Kaitlyn and that's something else she finds attractive — that he's been above all [the Nick/Shawn drama] and stayed out of the fray.
Kaitlyn sent Joe home on the group date. Were you shocked to see how cold he immediately got?
Harrison: I've seen a lot of breakups on our show and I never begrudge anybody for how they act during them. What's interesting is how the Bachelor or Bachelorette end it with people. They want to talk it out and have their say and have it be an amicable conversation, but it's a breakup! For a man to reveal himself and be vulnerable and then essentially get crushed, you can't expect them to all take it so chivalrous and perfect. He was angry and he was hurt.
Do you think it's a bit immature that Shawn only refers to Nick as "the other guy"?
Harrison: Look, Shawn is head-over-heels in love with Kaitlyn, Nick is either in love or falling in love with Kaitlyn, and Kaitlyn is either in love or falling in love with both of them. All of that is extremely obvious to everybody involved. Maybe there are times when you're not sure [how the Bachelorette] is feeling about the other guys, but Shawn knows that she has feelings for Nick and vice versa. It's a true love triangle of epic proportions. So I don't begrudge Shawn for being upset. You could call him immature, but when it comes to matters of the heart and when you're that emotionally involved, can you really blame the guy for not wanting another man in his life? He also just really hates Nick and they don't get along.
Kaitlyn finally told Shawn she had sex with Nick and he actually handled it very well. Were you surprised by his reaction?
Harrison: Yes. He didn't run, he didn't leap out of the window, or yell or scream or any of the emotions you'd think might come from Shawn because we had seen hints of what could happen. But he handled it massively well considering the situation and considering the person [she had sex with].
Did you think Shawn would confront Nick back at the hotel that night?
Harrison: No, because it's not something you want to talk about with other guys. It's something [Nick] kind of has over him and their relationship, so to bring that up only bolsters Nick and gives him more of what he wants. So Shawn "played" the situation well. But this only creates more of a divide between [him] and Nick.
Before Shawn accepted the rose, he wanted to talk to Kaitlyn — again. It's like, c'mon already!
Harrison: It was frustrating for us to watch [while it was happening], so I can only imagine how frustrating it was to Kailtlyn. We did talk about that. And at the same time, I had to point out to her that these landmines he has stepped on, well, a lot she put in his way. With this last one, especially, you have to be a bit forgiving of him because he's been a little insecure and unsure of his relationship and then she just realized all of his nightmares. You tell him the worst imaginable thing and now everything he was worried about was justified. So you can't blame him, but you also can't blame Kaitlyn for being a human being and saying, "Man up or be done because there are some other great guys here I am falling in love with." And at the end of the day, he signed up for what this process would bring.
Jared was sent home, which was inevitable, but I'm happy he had a classy exit.
Harrison: Jared is the guy everybody knew was probably going home, but nobody wanted him to go home. Even the crew and producers loved Jared; he's a great guy. Could he have a much better beard? Yes, I think America will agree we need to shave it off or make it full. But beyond the spotty beard, everybody loved him and same with Kaitlyn. That's why he was here for so long... she couldn't let him go. His exit was exactly how you thought it would be.
Next, it was time for the first fantasy suite date, which went to Nick. As someone who was skeptical of him, at this point how did you feel?
Harrison: I was definitely skeptical of Nick the entire time. I fall into the guilty category where he hasn't done much wrong to make me feel this way, other than it's the hair on the back of your neck standing up, something doesn't smell right. But at the same time, he's never done anything to Kaitlyn. Yes, he's rubbed people the wrong way, but all he has done is love her. So this is when I started to be swayed and thought, you know what? The last time I saw this guy, all he did was fall in love with Andi and she broke his heart. We didn't love the way he came back and went after her, but that was his broken heart and he was hurt. So why do we not like this guy who hasn't done anything wrong? I'm beginning to believe he's just in love. I think at times it appears he's moving pieces around a chessboard and is pushing buttons to get what he wants, so there is that hint of manipulation that reeks of insincerity. But it may just be how [he comes off], so it's a tough call.
The episode ends with Shawn confronting Nick and calling him an assh---. How big is this blowup going to be?
Harrison: Shawn was like Mount Vesuvius boiling over and at some point this was going to happen. While Shawn was smart enough to not have a confrontation in front of Kaitlyn, you knew there would be one — he loves Kaitlyn too much and hates Nick too much to let this go. [The argument] is pretty incredible and we pick up next week where we left off. And as far as Kaitlyn's involvement? You'll definitely see that as well. A confrontation like this won't stay quiet.
The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
Are you on Team Shawn or Team Nick? See the (surprising) outcome of our poll in the video below!