Spanning two days and five hours of television, this is the biggest, most dramatic blog ever. I hope you enjoyed the way ABC programmed the Men Tell All on Sunday and rolled right into Monday’s dramatic season finale, which led us right into After the Final Rose. The Men Tell All special was a fun show to host. This is a very good group of guys that I enjoyed hanging around with this season so there really weren’t a lot of fireworks. I was very disappointed Bentley didn’t show up for the taping. As I mentioned we extended an invitation to him but he opted not to come. I would very much like to sit down and interview him. I have a standing invitation out to him that I will interview him anywhere and anytime he wants. As anybody that’s ever been on this show will tell you, I will give him a very fair interview. I’m really not looking to bury the guy. What’s done is done! I just want to find out his motivation and what he thinks about his actions now and how they’ve affected his life. Does he regret what he did and would he like to apologize to anybody? I found it very interesting to see the guys’ reactions to Bentley, as they didn’t really see or hear anything just like Ashley while he was actually on the show. They found out like everybody else while they watched it unfold week after week on TV.
One of my favorite parts of the Tell All was talking to Tim. I really like this guy. In my opinion he did exactly what you should when you make an ass of yourself: Have a good laugh and apologize for your actions. He was extremely funny, self-deprecating and respectful to Ashley. He also gave us some great color commentary on everything that went on this season. I know it’s a bit ironic but he’s the kind of guy you’d like to have a drink with — but just a couple, Tim. As for those that joined me in the hot seat, Ames definitely got the most attention from the studio audience. They went absolutely nuts for the guy. I walk around and talk to the folks while we’re in commercial breaks to say hello and he was easily the most popular. I really enjoyed having Ali, Jason and Deanna on the show. As I said it’s like a little family reunion. I truly care for these people and consider many of the folks that have been on our show friends. I’m looking forward to Deanna’s wedding and looking forward to hearing details about Ali’s.
I really think the final episode was one of the best we’ve ever produced. I think this for several reasons, so first let’s deal with the superficial stuff. Fiji provided a spectacular backdrop that looked more like a fairytale. Thank you to everyone at the Vomo Island Resort. I know I gush about them every week, but our crews brought Fiji into your living rooms in stunning fashion. It was also a compelling finale because you had two fantastic men head over heels in love with one woman. Both men were extremely confident that they were the man of Ashley’s dreams. There’s no way that was going to end well for everybody. Ben was the odd man out this time around. People often ask what it’s like to welcome the person to the final rose ceremony who’s not getting the final rose. Of course I know Ashley’s decision ahead of time, and I’ll be honest — it sucks. It’s by far my least favorite part of hosting this show. I’ve gotten to know these guys and hate walking someone down a path that is only going to lead to a rejection. But I know as tough as it is for me it’s a thousand times harder for Ashley to have to stand there and watch a man she really respects get down on one knee and propose, only to tell him he’s not the one.
I want to talk about Ben’s reaction once he was rejected. I thought it was the most honest sincere reaction we’ve ever had on this show. I know most people want to take the moral high road when they are rejected on TV but I always thought if I was in that position I would be angry and resentful and that’s exactly what Ben expressed. I loved his line good things don’t end happily, it can only end badly and it did. Even at the After the Final Rose special Ben was still upset and a bit resentful at Ashley. To me this really rings true. This is how I think most of us would feel. I found it refreshing to see someone that wasn’t scared or ashamed to show his true feelings. I think Ben has grown so much as a person since his father’s death and has such perspective on his life that he was able to really open up and convey how he truly felt. I know that was tough for Ashley but hey, let’s face it — she got the man of her dreams so I think she’ll be okay. Ben will be the first to admit JP is a great guy and he and Ashley are great together.
I was talking to Ashley and JP at the AFR special and we all agreed that to us, it seemed obvious he was the one all along. It always seems like that to me because once you know what happens, things really stand out more. Their relationship and chemistry together was different than anybody else from their first date back at her house the night Bentley left. I have seen this couple together on and off camera and their love for each other is undeniable. I was really happy that Ashley’s sister Chrystie came back to the AFR special to apologize to them both and admit that she was wrong about JP. I’d hate for this relationship to start with any kind of family drama. I’m also extremely happy to hear that Ashley is moving to New York and moving in with JP. They know in the weeks and months to come there will be media and fans to deal with, but these two seem to be starting from a solid foundation. There will be rumors, speculation, and wild stories created by the tabloids, but these two seem prepared to deal with that garbage. I for one wish them nothing but happiness and can’t wait to have them on the next special we do to announce their wedding date and plans.
This brings this season of The Bachelorette to an end. I want to thank the people I work with every day all over this beautiful world to bring you the show. I marvel at their talent, learn from them every day, and feel blessed to be a small part of what they create. We have been doing this show for a decade now, and many of you fans have been with us every step of the way. This show does different things for different people. It evokes very different emotions in everybody and I love that. I love that all of you have definite opinions about our show and the people and relationships on it. At times certain topics and situations have actually risen to the level of national debate. To me that means we are doing something right and that’s what great television should be. I can’t thank you enough for watching and supporting the show the way you do. There is only one reason I have the job I do and that’s because all of you continue to make the choice to watch us each week. That will never be lost on me, and I speak for everyone that works on this franchise when I say thank you! Normally I would be saying goodbye to you for a little while but next Monday night is the special three-hour season premiere of Bachelor Pad. If you saw the preview during the Men Tell All special you know just how good this season is going to be. I hope you will all come back and join us, as this will be the event of the summer! Thank you again for watching and congratulations to Ashley and JP on their engagement. For more on this season of The Bachelorette and the new season of Bachelor Pad, check out our official website thebachelor.tv or follow me on twitter @chrisbharrison.
More Bachelorette from EW:
Bachelorette finale recap: The bitter end