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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' finale -- part 2

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Wow, where do you start with a season and a finale like this? To say we have never seen anything remotely close to this in the eleven years we’ve been doing this show is a gross understatement. It might actually take me a while before I’ll be able to utter those famous words again, “It’s the most dramatic episode… ever.”  To really talk about the ending I need to step back to last week when Brooks gutted Des by saying goodbye and going home. At that moment, for the first time, we really weren’t sure of much of anything.

You see, the crazy thing about this show that’s very different from anything else on TV is that our finale is dictated by the free will and choice of not just one person — the Bachelor or Bachelorette — but also the men or women who make it to the final two. It’s what sets our show apart; it’s what makes it so successful but also what makes it scary as hell for the people behind the scenes. After Brooks left we weren’t sure there would be a “next week” at all. There was a very real chance that Des was done and in turn, so was our season. We really had to sit back and take our lead from Des. Could she bounce back, and would she want to continue? It was all up to her. Thankfully, Des is an incredibly strong and resilient woman. She was somehow (with the help of an amazing host and confidant) able to put the ordeal into perspective and realize that not only had all not been lost, but this was actually a blessing in disguise. READ FULL STORY

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

'The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All': 'I still think he's muy caliente'

Not that I’m complaining, rose lovers, but there was an awful lot of attention paid to Juan Pablo on tonight’s Men Tell All special, don’t you think? Is it possible Team Bachelorette is conspiring to make my dream come true by anointing El Guapo the next Bachelor? I don’t suppose we’ll know the answer to that for awhile, so for now let’s focus on what we do know (mild spoilers ahead): Ben is still an a-hole, Zak is still in love with Des (for the love of God, dude, stop singing!), and Des cries a lot in the upcoming “two-part finale.” Did anyone surprise you tonight, rose lovers? I suppose Jonathan the “fantasy suite” freak did seem slightly less creepy once he apologized, and Dan (I think it was Dan?) sure came out of nowhere with that story about Ben’s baby mama in Vegas. Other than that, it was a fairly standard Tell All, but I could have done without the visit from Ali, the Mesnicks, and Ashley and JP. (If you’re not currently handing out/receiving roses, you are dead to me.) Stay tuned for my full recap later tonight (UPDATE: Click over for Kristen’s full Bachelorette: Men Tell All recap and Chris Harrison’s exclusive Bachelorette blog), but in the meantime post your thoughts about tonight’s Tell All brawl below. Go Juan Pablo!

PopWatch Confessional: I took Chris Harrison's dating site At First Sight for a test drive

I was bouncing around on ye olde Interwebs today when I noticed a tweet from Bachelor Pad enemy No. 1 Chris Bukowski informing the showmance-franchise’s beloved (and super-dreamy) host Chris Harrison that he’s joining Harrison’s new dating app At First Sight. My first thought: Why can’t the (semi-)newly single Harrison himself be the one setting up a profile?* My second thought: I gotta see this thing in action!

Keep reading as I take At First Sight for a spin — and send a gentle nudge to a few other celebs I’d like to join me in my “journey” to love online.
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

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

'The Bachelorette' host Chris Harrison takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test -- VIDEO

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The Bachelorette has entered the luxury travel portion of the season, having been to Munich last week and heading to Barcelona tonight. As last Monday’s tear-soaked promo demonstrated, this point in the season is also typically when feelings intensify and hearts get broken — and this year’s Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock seems to bring it out in the guys more than ever, says Chris Harrison.

“This season gets very emotional, and that has everything to do with Des,” notes Harrison. “These guys see that she’s a catch. They really start falling in love with this woman quickly.” He adds, “From here on out, these guys are laying it all on the line. … We definitely have some Mesnicks coming up — I don’t know if it’s a full Mesnick, but we have some pretty solid Mesnicks coming up.”

Before Harrison teases what’s to come in Spain and beyond, he sat down to take EW’s Pop Culture Personality Test. Which pop stars does he guiltily admit takes up prime real estate on his iPod? Which iconic geek franchise made its way into two of his answers? And what movie makes him do the full Mesnick? Watch below. READ FULL STORY

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

Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 4

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It’s always great when I get to walk into the mansion and let the guys know that it’s time to pack their bags and hit the road. It’s also fun to see how excited they are when they learn where we’re headed. Our first stop on this trip around the world with Des is Atlantic City, New Jersey. We stayed at the beautiful new Revel hotel.

Brad got the first date this week and it didn’t exactly go well. You could quickly see that he and Des had no connection. Des is big on chemistry, and unfortunately they had none. When you add to all this the fact that he’s a caring dad, Des really felt compelled to let him go as soon as she knew there wasn’t anything serious between them. The only sad part was how many stairs Des made him climb to get to the top of that lighthouse just so she could dump him. In all seriousness, it was obviously the right thing to do, because at this point there are guys here that she does see a possible future with.

The group date this week was near and dear to my heart. The last time I was in Atlantic City was back in 2004 when I hosted the Miss America pageant for the first time. I’m extremely excited the pageant is coming back to where it all began when it airs on Sept. 15 on ABC — and I’ll be hosting again, now for the fifth time. I loved that the reigning Miss America, Mallory Hagen, was able to join us and help out with our first ever The Bachelorette‘s Mr. America pageant. Mallory has been a great ambassador for Miss America and she shared her personality and wicked sense of humor with everybody. I always enjoy when we get to do public dates, but to actually get to host an event like this for a live audience in an Atlantic City showroom was awesome. We had a packed house and the crowd was great.

As for the actual competition, well, let’s just say there are things that will never be erased from my brain. Chris walking out in high heels with hula-hoops around his arms was just one of many bad images. And don’t even get me started on the bathing suit competition. I have to admit I was a little surprised Kasey won the crown. I thought Zak W. might have won with his song; it played well with the crowd and it seemed to impress Des. At the after-party Ben continued to draw Des in while he manages to push the guys further away. Zak W. pulled the guitar out again, which is sometimes a sketchy move, but it worked and he got the rose.

James got the final one-on-one date this week. No, I’m not going to even get into the shots of him eating strawberries while in the bath. Like most of high school, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen and move on. This was easily one of my favorite dates this season. I was so happy that while in New Jersey we were able to shed some light on the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I’m even more proud of the fact that we promote an organization like the Red Cross that does so much for victims of devastating events like Sandy or the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. I hope all of you will take a minute and go to www.redcross.org/thebachelorette to find out how you can help rebuild the Jersey Shore and Moore, Oklahoma.

It was very cool that not only did we show the destruction, but we also introduced you to an amazing couple, Jan and Manny. Des and James gave them their date and it was beautiful to see how grateful they were for this night. I went over to the Foundation Room at the House of Blues before the date and our art department was so happy to be setting up for a regular couple that would get such a treat out of a fancy night out. There is so much love between these two, and the book of restored pictures from the Red Cross was just priceless. I was also lucky enough to spend some time with the talented Darius Rucker that night. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Darius over the last few years and I can tell you as talented as he is, it doesn’t compare to what a generous, great guy he is. Manny and Jan’s date was such an emotional date, you almost forget about Des and James — but they had an interesting night, too. I’m curious to know what all of you thought about James admitting to Des that he cheated on his college girlfriend. Do you think honesty was really the best policy here? I know Des ended up giving him the rose, but do you think she’ll ever forget what he told her? It will be interesting to see how that affects their relationship in the weeks to come.

The cocktail party and rose ceremony were held in suites at the Revel Hotel. The view from the rose ceremony was stunning as you could see the entire Atlantic City boardwalk. Zack K. was sent home this week and you know what that means? There’s only one Zak now, so Zak W. can officially drop the W and just be good ol’ Zak. As you saw, Atlantic City was just a jumping off point as we now head over to Europe and Munich, Germany. We’ve talked for years about going to Germany and I’m glad we finally did. It’s a beautiful and historic city — but it turns out it’s also a very dramatic place to visit, too. Or maybe these guys just made it that way. Ben will continue to stir things up, but James is really the one who will step into the crosshairs next week with some ill-advised words. These guys are really falling for Des and are very protective of her, and this is going to lead to some explosive confrontations. We’ll see you next week in Munich, and in the meantime you can always reach me via Twitter and Instagram @chrisbharrison.

More Bachelorette on EW:
Bachelorette recap: Jersey Boys

Plus check out Desiree’s blog on people.com

 

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