Eight years. Twenty seasons. And a whole boatload of roses.
We have to have seen pretty much every possible outcome on The Bachelor and Bachelorette, right?
Wrong! At least according to expert rose-giver and all-around cool guy Chris Harrison, who just gave us some exclusive inside details on this Monday's big Bachelorette finale, while also weighing on who'll be the next Bachelor...Could it be Kirk, Roberto, Chris. L or...wait a minute, Jake?!
Rumor has it this finale differs for from every previous season. Is that true?
Chris Harrison: It is. It's true from the last chance dates. And from those on into "proposal day," at the end. Everything is different than what our fans have seen in years past.
Do you think people are going to be surprised by the ending? And is it a good ending?
C.H.: People will be surprised. Whether it's good or not, Ali's happy with it and she's sticking by it. It'll be interesting. I really just want to sit back and watch the fan reactions, what the comments are and how they feel it all played out.
Do you believe Ali is still happy with the decision she made?
C.H.: I do. The past two weekends in a row I've gotten to see her. And I actually finally got to sit down and talk to her for the first time alone since we were in Bora Bora [shooting the finale]. And she's good, she's really happy. She looked like the old Ali. I think so much [of this process] got to her. We joke that she's an overanalyzer. She contemplates everything, and overthinks things and sometimes is afraid to just let things happen. So she looked healthier, she looked happy. She had a smile on her face and a bounce in her step again. The season took a lot out of her. It was a rough road, but she's good. She's very happy and content with what she did.
Do you think it was more challenging for Ali for any particular reason, or do you think it is taxing on anyone who's the star of these shows?
C.H.: No, it is that taxing. We've been on this run for quite some time where we bring back a former contestant. And it's a lot harder than you would ever imagine. They come back and they think they know what they're getting into, but it's totally different when you are the one. The pressure is exponentially higher. You don't have to carry a show, you're basically carrying a date here and there. You just feel like everything is riding on you and everybody is watching. And for a person that's as analytical as Ali is, that's enough to kill ya!
Who do you think might make a good Bachelor for next season?
C.H.: I can tell you in 100 percent straight up, we have not decided. Nobody has been signed as the Bachelor. But look at the final two: Chris and Roberto. Both are ridiculously good guys. Personally, I like both of them. I mean, super, super good guys and I'd be happy to hang out with either one of them as the Bachelor, depending on what Ali decides. I think they would both be terrific. It's definitely not gonna be Frank. In all, even if Frank wasn't with Nicole, which I hear he is, he's just too much of a risk. It would eat him alive. And it wouldn't be good TV, it would be a disaster. And yeah, I also think Kirk would make a good Bachelor. He's a sweet, good guy.
Would you ever consider bringing Jake back to be The Bachelor again?
C.H.: No. Never. [Laughs.] That will never happen. Not with me as a host anyway. For many reasons. Once you go have gone through it then the sincerity would be gone. And it would just be about being a star and being on TV again.
Your new show Bachelor Pad is coming up next. What can you dish?
You're going to love it. We talked about how we could ever do an All-Star season, and this is it. Viewers are going to get totally sucked in, because they already know these people, and it turned out even better than we expected.
Are you amazed that these shows just keep doing so well? How long do you see them all going?
C.H.: I'm going to be Bob Barker of The Bachelor. You're gonna have to cart me off the rose stage. It is amazing to me how the phenomenon took off. I love how my role expanded, too. That's been fun. [And] the show is just cruising.