As seen on TV

Chris Harrison talks about the Bachelorette finale


Chris Harrison has been there every step of the way for The Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock. The ABC host turned shoulder-to-cry-on last week when the fashion designer dissolved into tears in Antigua, after her pick, Brooks Forester, admitted that he just wasn’t that into her. At least there are two other men waiting in the wings — Drew Kenney and Chris Siegfried — but it’s looking mighty unlikely Des is going for sloppy seconds.

We talked to Harrison about what to expect from the season finale airing 8 p.m. Monday.

Where does Brooks’ decision to break up with Desiree rank on your list of unexpected things?

I can’t really remember in 11 years anything happening this late in the game and being this devastating to our bachelor or bachelorette. It was so organic and raw. We just really let you see everything, seeing behind the curtain. To the point where they’re walking through the jungle, and there’s bad lighting, and you can’t really see them well, and our cameras are scrambling. One of our guys is literally wading out 400 yards into the water waist deep, holding a camera over his head to try and get a shot. We’re not set up for that.

How is the show going to deal with the remaining bachelors?

The interesting part is that Drew and Chris have no idea that any of this went down. That’s part of the problem we have to solve in the finale. We have these two happy guys that have no idea that the bachelorette just had her world rocked.

Was there a fear that she would walk off the show?

The first thing I said to the producers when he walked out is, ‘You know we might be done. We may not have anything for the final episode.’ There are still a lot of questions, and it still may not be much of anything there than her saying goodbye. That’s a scary thing, no matter what show — whether it’s Idol or Survivor — they have a beginning and an end. Our show at the end is pretty wide open.

How is Des doing now?

The great thing about her is that she’s a survivor. When we started this thing she said, ‘Look, I am going to go for it, and I am going to allow myself to be very vulnerable.’ And I said, ‘There’s a good chance you could get hurt like that.’ She says, ‘I know, but that’s the only way you can do this.’ Unfortunately, she did get hurt and she got hurt bad, but she has incredible resolve.

What’s happening with Miami’s Juan Pablo Galavis as the next Bachelor?

The good news is we don’t really have to [decide] because the show doesn’t start production for quite some time. Juan Pablo is a [top] candidate. We take our cues from our fans. There was a strong reaction to him.

Madeleine Marr

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