Chris Harrison compared this season of “The Bachelorette” with a scary movie.
“It’s like a horror film, for a bad analogy. You know he’s around the corner somewhere, you don’t know which door,” the longtime host told The Post. In this case, it’s not a monster under the bed, it’s the dramatic switch taking place this season.
Rumors have swirled since summer that Tayshia Adams would replace Clare Crawley as the Season 16 leading lady. Though three episodes in, the hit ABC dating show waited until the end of this week’s episode to finally acknowledge what fans have been buzzing about for months.
“We’re not pretending anymore, we’re with you,” said Harrison, 49, of the show’s decision to address “the elephant in the room.”
“It was fun for us and challenging to try to decide how and if and where we’re going to lean into the rumors and lean into what happened,” he said. “Even if things get spoiled or you might know [what’s going on], you don’t really know.”
There was a method to the madness in waiting, he explained. “First and foremost, we wanted to make sure this was Clare’s season of ‘The Bachelorette,’ ” Harrison said, noting he was “intimately” involved with making the decision to bring on Adams.
But it’s a gray area as to whether Crawley, 39, was part of it. “Clare needed to be allowed to drive the show and be in charge,” said Harrison. “It’s tough to come up with a plan when you’re dealing with someone who’s going to make the ultimate decision for you. [She] can’t necessarily be in the planning stages of that.”
However, behind-the-scenes rumors have spread that it was the producers’ idea to have Crawley leave early. Due to the coronavirus, the show could not allow the cast to travel around the world as usual. Blogger Reality Steve alleged the double-Bachelorette decision was made so the season would have a twist and Crawley has liked tweets supporting this theory. ABC exec Rob Mills said the show started making calls to replace her after the last date that aired, in which Clare gifted the rose to herself.
Though he called the situation “a dilemma,” Harrison said, “Clare falling in love is not a bad thing.”
“If we do that in 10 weeks? Great. If we do that in a year? Super. If we do that in 10 days? Wow, OK, that’s a record,” he said. Crawley reportedly leaves the show with Dale Moss, whom she called “her fiancé” on this week’s episode.
Harrison is now in another quarantine bubble, filming Matt James‘ upcoming season of “The Bachelor,” which will start airing in January. He’s also launching a new line of men’s wedding rings with the brand Manly Bands, with prices ranging from $650 to $3,500. “Is there anything more on brand and on point than that?” the father of two said.
Typically, engagement ring designer Neil Lane brings rings on “The Bachelor,” and Harrison saw a stark contrast between the number of options for men and women.
“There’s this massive selection of rings: What cut you want, what kind of lay you want, how many diamonds, what color, what material,” he explained. “But when you get a men’s ring, there’s like three choices. Men really like to dive into this stuff too.”
One of his favorites from the collection is, of course, a rose-gold band. “I’ve been wearing a bunch of them. If I’m at a rose ceremony I wear one ring, if I’m sitting around in my blue jeans and my flannel shirt I wear another ring,” said Harrison, who is dating “Entertainment Tonight” host Lauren Zima.
Normally, “The Bachelorette” films in the spring, but was pushed this year because of the pandemic. The filming of one show and the airing of another have never overlapped before. “This is definitely crossing streams. It’s a lot to keep straight,” the host said. “It’s a lot of promoting one show and walking out the door and shooting the other, trying to remember what I need to keep secret.”
Though — like always — he promised that this run of “The Bachelorette” is “the most dramatic season ever,” Harrison is sure he’ll be saying those magic words on Adams’ season too.
“When I say it, I really believe it,” he said. “But we always outdo ourselves.”
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