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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' finale -- part 1

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In the history of this show we have never seen an episode like this. As I lived through this, and as I watched this back, I was trying to think back through the years to compare this situation to something… but there’s nothing. It was strange watching it all happen in an “exotic” episode — which is usually filled with Fantasy Suite talk, loving embraces, and speculation about an eventual proposal.

All of this drama took place on the beautiful island of Antigua. We have never visited this island before but I would definitely go back. The beaches and water were almost as beautiful as the people. But I’ll admit, it was hard to fully appreciate this spectacular island as soon as I heard what was happening with Brooks. When I arrived I got word that Brooks was heading home to visit with his family. All along there have been red flags regarding how he feels about Des. I’m glad we showed the conversation about them trying to come up with terms to describe where they are in their relationship. At the same time Brooks said he was jogging, Des said she was running to the finish line. First of all, when you love somebody at this age you don’t need conjured up “adjectives” (or in this case verbs) to describe your feelings. When you love somebody at this point in your life, you say it like Chris and Drew have done. And if you look at Brooks’ body language and his eyes as Des says she’s running, it really says it all. His look screamed out, “What the…? Oh really?”  READ FULL STORY

Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All'

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I’ve said this before about the Men Tell All, but I like to repeat myself, so I’ll say it again. It’s always hard to write a blog about this episode because what you see is pretty what you get. If I think something I write it in this blog, or if I think it while on the show I say it or ask it there. So let me say that again, it’s always hard to write a blog about this episode. See what I did there?

We’ve been breaking into houses and crashing viewing parties for a few years now, and I love it. Des and I had a blast that night we crashed several parties in LA. This show is truly unlike any other on television and our fans are equally as unique. I hear so many stories of these amazing Bachelor watching parties and it’s been a real honor to be able to go out and meet some of “Bachelor Nation” and say thank you.

I was a little surprised at just how contentious the Tell All was. Obviously I was disappointed that Brian chose not to come and face what he had done, but I wasn’t at all surprised that he opted not to. Honestly I would have been shocked if he’d been man enough to show up. That’s just not the kind of man he is. Look at a guy like Jonathan, who was a colossal moron that first night as he repeatedly tried to get Des in the “fantasy suite.” He admitted he was a mess and made a huge mistake and he apologized for it. Wow, what a novel idea — owning up to your mistakes, and offering a sincere apology. That’s just not a Brian kind of move.

Ben took the hot seat and it was really odd. I think the guys may have had a point in being so upset with Ben, but they had a very difficult time articulating that point. I see this quite a bit on the show. People have very different ways of pursuing a man or woman. Ben made it very clear he wasn’t there to make friends and he would go after Des with everything he’s got. Right or wrong, that was his attitude. Is it attractive when you shine a spotlight on it and show everybody how he acts? No, of course not. But is it effective and does it work for him? Yes! So should he apologize for doing exactly what he intended to do when he wasn’t necessarily hurting anybody else? That’s the big question. The rest of the guys obviously took issue with his style and took offense to everything he did. Ben still feels like he did nothing wrong, other than the comments in the limo on the way out. Like so many things on this show it’s a social dilemma that will be debated at length by members of Bachelor Nation.

The James situation was also interesting in that it really wasn’t a black-and-white, right-or-wrong situation. Is there room in this process to have a “bro” or “girl” talk that you wouldn’t necessarily want your significant other to hear? And to take it a step further, were the other guys — namely Kasey and Drew — out of line in running to Des to tell her just because they were offended? One thing is for sure: Mikey got caught in the middle of all this and was thrown under the bus by James and the other guys, and he wasn’t having any of it. I was a little surprised when he got up in Kasey’s face but then again he’s a fiery, proud guy and had had enough. Although they are friends, he was even a little upset at James for backing the bus over him more than a few times. So who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation? I do feel that I asked all the questions that could’ve been asked and I feel everybody got a fair chance to speak their mind and give their version of the truth. My guess is the truth is somewhere in between and that James, in what he thought was a private “bro” moment, said some stuff he probably wouldn’t have said in front of Des. But did it warrant all the drama it caused with the other guys? Maybe not. But once again this will be discussed at thousands of viewing parties around the country and the verdict will be made by all of you.

I loved sitting down with Juan Pablo and really introducing him to all of you. It’s true what I said about him, that nobody has ever been shown less but been talked about so much. Juan Pablo was a house favorite — he’s just one of those guys you can’t dislike. I got to know Juan Pablo as we bonded over our love of soccer. We had a blast knocking it around on the Española pitch in Barcelona. He has a zest for life that is just contagious. He’s obviously a family man first and foremost, as his daughter is everything to him.

Zak was also a great interview but on a very different level. Zak was incredibly open and honest about his experience on the show and his relationship with Des. I really respect just how vulnerable he was. When you listen to a guy like Zak you know that this show is real and sincere. You just can’t make up that kind of emotion. Some people have said Des made a mistake in letting him go. Obviously people are entitled to their opinions, but it wasn’t the fact that Des didn’t’ see these great qualities it was that she didn’t see him as her husband. She didn’t see forever with him.

Easily the most talked about part of the Men Tell All will no doubt be the tease of the dramatic special two-part finale. All I can tell you at this point is nobody will come out of this unscathed. It’s hard to believe that after eleven years we still run into situations we’ve never seen before, but that’s the case here. Des and the other guys will be tested emotionally like never before. So, next Monday night will be the first part of this special finale. Then, Monday August 5th join me for a live three-hour television event that you won’t want to miss. Let the speculation begin!

More Bachelorette from EW:
Bachelorette: Men Tell All special: Battle of the Exes

Alyssa Milano weaves a tangled web in 'Hacktivist,' a new graphic novel -- EXCLUSIVE

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Alyssa Milano wears many hats. She’s a cheating wife, a witch, the Boss (arguably)… and a comic-book writer.

Milano has collaborated with writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, artist Marcus To, colorist Ian Herring, and letterer Deron Bennett to create a new graphic novel called Hacktivist, a “fast-paced cyber-thriller” that follows a pair of Silicon Valley wunderkinds who lead a secret double life. By day, Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft are the founders of an innovative social media company; by night, they’re a notorious team of hackers.

“I’m very involved with in global activism and philanthropy. I like the idea of everyday people doing good,” Milano explains in a statement. “My inspiration for Hacktivist is actually Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter and Square. I picture him leaving the office at night and going home, where he locks himself in his room and starts hacking to change the world.”

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Comic-Con gets videogame treatment in 'Comic ConQuest' -- First look reveal

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Having already been featured in television, books, and film, it was only a matter of time before Comic-Con culture got the videogame treatment. Inspired by San Diego’s annual gathering of sci-fi-, fantasy-, and superhero-loving geeks, Comic ConQuest is a tactical role-playing game adventure set within a sprawling comic book and science fiction convention. Much like the crowded show floor at SDCC, Comic ConQuest is filled with fans dressed as their favorite fictional characters; unlike ComicCon’s cos-players, however, the game’s costumed attendees actually possess the powers of those they’re pretending to be. READ FULL STORY

Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 7

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This week we found our way back to the country of Portugal. The last time we came to Portugal was with Ali and we stayed in the city of Lisbon on the mainland. This visit took us well off the coast, to the small island of Madeira. It’s actually a lot closer to Morocco in Africa than it is to Portugal. Madeira is a small island known for its gardens and amazing hikes.

The week began with Des getting to visit with some friends from last season: Jackie, Lesley, and Catherine. Catherine had a smile on her face, but believe me she was exhausted. Due to some travel complications, she barely made it into town at the last moment and her luggage never actually made it at all. Then she had to hop on a flight the very next day to get back to the States for an event with Sean. Even through that, she was thrilled to get to catch up with her old friends and dish about the five remaining guys. Des also enjoyed the visit with the girls and it put her in a great place going into her dates. READ FULL STORY

'Pretty Little Liars' star Keegan Allen to make NYC stage debut in 'Small Engine Repair' -- EXCLUSIVE

Pretty Little Liars star Keegan Allen will make his professional stage debut this fall in MCC Theater‘s Off Broadway production of  Small Engine Repair. And it sounds like he hasn’t left the intrigue of Rosewood behind. Allen will play a privileged college jock who turns up at an out-of-the-way repair shop and sets off an explosion of resentment among the three former high school buddies who regularly meet there under shady circumstances. The buddies will be played by James Badge Dale (World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3), James Ransone (The Wire, Treme), and actor-playwright John Pollono, who wrote the script. (Dale replaces The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal, who had previously been announced for the play but had to bow out due to scheduling issues.) READ FULL STORY

Dane Cook announces new 'Under Oath' tour: 'Let there be hate!' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Guess who’s back?

Four years after taking the country by storm with his last major tour — 2009′s “ISolated INcident” — Dane Cook is preparing to hit the road again this fall. He’s calling his latest venture “Under Oath,” a loaded name that wasn’t chosen lightly. “As a comedian, I am obligated to tell you the truth, my truth,” he explained to EW in an exclusive interview. “To share with you my beliefs, my perspective. And I think that we forget sometimes that that’s the oath that comics take, that we will go up and share everything — the irreverent, the scary.”

Cook’s words indicate that he won’t shy away from covering tough stuff in the new show, which he’s been honing for years at Los Angeles’s Laugh Factory — subjects like his failed NBC series Next Caller (which was canceled before airing a single episode), joke-stealing allegations that led to a memorable guest appearance on Louie in 2011, and the army of haters determined to pounce on his every misstep. (A sampling of headlines written after Cook controversially announced that he wouldn’t live-stream his performance at May’s Boston Strong charity concert: “Everyone Hates Dane Cook More After Boston Strong Jerkiness;” “Dane Cook Can Even Find Ways to Make You Hate Him at a Boston Charity Show;”  “Benefit Concert Unites Americans in Love of Boston, Hatred of Dane Cook.“)

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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 6

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This week we landed in easily one of the greatest and most romantic cities in the world, Barcelona. The guys and Des actually stayed in a quaint little seaside town a short drive from Barcelona called Sitges. When I walked up to find the guys at the beginning of the episode, we were actually on the boardwalk in Sitges. Usually when we go to great cities like this I will spend some time telling you why it’s such an amazing location, but I think Barcelona speaks for itself, and it does so with an incredible Spanish accent. If you get the chance you must spend some time in this city.

Drew got the first one-on-one date this week and he and Des made the short drive to spend the day getting lost in Barcelona. We’ve seen a little bit of Drew but we’ve never seen him like we did on this date. Drew opened up to Des and revealed a lot about his personal life, especially the struggles with his dad. These conversations can sometimes get awkward but Des and Drew really seemed to get each other on a very deep, personal level. The date had a heavy start but it really took off from there. At dinner, Drew really seemed to step out of his comfort zone when he attempted to steal Des away to a private place so he could deliver what Des described as a very passionate kiss. It’s a little hard to steal Des away when we have all our cameras there working, but the sentiment is what’s important. Drew obviously got the rose and is definitely someone to be watched as we continue. READ FULL STORY

'Michael Jackson: One': Cirque du Soleil gives us a sneak peek -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Michael Jackson may have left us exactly four years ago today, but his music continues to live on in various forms. If you happen to be in England, you can catch Thriller Live (now in its fifth year on the West End), and in Las Vegas, you can see Cirque du Soleil’s latest wowza extravaganza, Michael Jackson: One (opening Saturday at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino).

The new Cirque show promises 22 MJ tunes accompanied by acrobatics and death-defying feats galore, and below we have an exclusive look behind the scenes of the production to show what you’ll be in store for as an eager audience member. One hint: surround-sound speakers in the seats. (Seriously. In your seat.)
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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 5

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I want to start off this week sharing some great news that many of you have hopefully already heard about. Mike Fleiss, the creator of this franchise, and myself, have helped create a dating site called At First Sight. The app is currently available on iPhone and Android devices and will be available online very soon. For over a decade, people have come up to me and asked how they could be on the show or if I could help them find love. Well, this site, which has been many years in the making, takes what we’ve learned from years of doing this show and put it into an amazingly useful, entertaining and safe site. Download At First Sight and check out the video profiles, then take a minute and make your own. I’d love to know what you think.

Now, let’s jump into this week’s episode with Des and the boys in Munich, Germany. I need to start off by apologizing to a fellow host and the German people. For several days everywhere I went people were raising a glass and saying “Probst.” I like Jeff Probst, he’s a great guy and I respect his skills and his many Emmys, but hearing everybody toast that guy when I walked in the room was more than I could take. I learned later the German word for “cheers” is “prost” and in no way relates to Jeff Probst. I only wish I had learned this before verbally assaulting many good German people. With that little misunderstanding settled, it was time to move the guys into their hotel. As you can tell it was a little chilly this week in Munich, but the city is absolutely beautiful. I’d love to tell you what hotel we stayed in because it was incredible, but as you heard I couldn’t even pronounce it, much less spell it. If you couldn’t tell my German is, as they say, “no bueno.”  READ FULL STORY

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