We just strapped Bachelorette host Chris Harrison to a polygraph machine and he nailed it!
But wait, before you start printing your "Free Chris" baby tees, please know that this was simply a mutually imagined polygraph test. See, Chris is a super stand-up guy, and agreed to do this interview under the following scenario: "Someone's holding a gun to your head and you are strapped to a polygraph machine while pinky-swearing every fan of Bachelor Nation." So there. You are going to get some real answers, y'all, about last night's finale and the insanity we saw.
In case you missed the three-hour extravaganza, you should know that Desiree was completely in love with another man (Brooks), who dumped her, and then one week later (one week!) she got engaged to another man on the show, Chris. It was bananas, and we're still having a hard time seeing straight after so much eye-rolling.
You too? Then you'll be surprise by Chris' first answer…
Remember. Gun to head. Polygraph machine. Do you really believe that Des is in love with Chris?
I do, yes.
Are you sure? Wasn't the proposal just for TV? Didn't you guys give them a little nudge?
I have to tell you, when I saw what happened with Brooks, I was just as skeptical as everyone else. We said to each other, "We really don't even have a finale, much less a proposal!" That really wasn't on anybody's minds. We had fully embraced the fact that we were not going to have a proposal. Our show had never been predicated on the fact that it's always successful. We were thinking, "How to we soft land this plane that has no landing gear?" And then a week later, we were standing in a room watching this proposal. Our producer turned to me and said "How did that happen?!" And I said, "I have no idea." We were in shock. I can't tell you how unproduced it was. We were not expected it and that's why we had this crazy good proposal.
Don't you think Chris is crazy for staying with her after seeing how she felt about Brooks?
It was a perfect storm, I guess, because any other man may have folded under jealousy or the pressure, but he's not that man. It kind of empowered him, I think, to stand by her and that's true love, I guess. He said, "I'm not going anywhere, I love you." He just was that guy that said, "We're going to fix this and I'm not going to leave." And good on him.
Do you actually think Chris and Des will get married?
I mean, let's be honest. What are the odds? Most relationships don't make it down the aisle. They just don't. We've been on a good run lately with Ashley and J.P. and I'm full convinced Sean and Catherine are going to get married soon. But married? I don't know. The odds are no, but you never know. These past few weeks they have been phenomenal off-camera, I've seen them. And what happened on the show has really only made them stronger. The fact that she's willing to leave Hollywood and chase him up to Seattle tells a lot. That is very telling.
When Brooks left, did you honestly think the show was over? And did Desiree stick around till the end because she had a commitment to the show and it was TV?
Totally, 100 percent there was a chance it was over. Because as far as obligations and contracts, there really isn't one in that regard. It's just this honor code of "you'll go do your best" and she did. She fell in love. She thought she found the guy and he broke her heart. She fulfilled her obligation, so we couldn't ask her for more. We had a talk and then we had a day to regroup and pull ourselves together. I just sat down and talked to her and let her guide me. The producer said, "Whichever way she goes, let her go. If she wants to go, we will embrace that." Producing-wise, God knows what we would have done. But we were really going to embrace her saying goodbye. For our fans, everyone is so savvy now, everything gets out, they would have found out if we had forced her to do this. We can't get away with it, not on our show, anyway.
The hotness that is Juan Pablo is the next Bachelor, and the world has rejoiced appropriately. I think I read somewhere it's become an international holiday. Who else was in the running?
Zach was in there. Drew was in there. Brooks was in there. They really were all on the table. I thought Drew would have been a great candidate just because he's such a nice, nice, man. The way he takes care of his family and all of that. But Juan Pablo may have been the easiest decision we've ever had. We've never had anyone leave so early and be such an overwhelming choice. After Women Tell All…we had never had anyone who had been seen so little get a big response. When you see the reaction when he walks in a room, it's silly. No one else gets that reaction. You should have seen the response last night at the live taping. It was insane. I can only equate it to how people reacted to The Beatles. We made a mistake not showing the audience during the reveal.
What about Brooks? He was obviously the most memorable as far as being a part of the drama.
We did talk about Brooks. It would have been a hard sell. He's not ready. He's just not comfortable. There were a lot of red flags with him.
Like what? What is Brooks' problem?
I still have questions for him. I didn't get enough time to do an in-depth interview with him. There were some things he said that I would have followed up with, "You're not really ready to commit are you?" There's just things that happened and things he said that made me believe he's not ready to actually settle down. I don't think it was just that he didn't feel strong enough for Des, it was his own issues. And the way he tried to explain it, that "When I'm with you I feel one way and when I'm away from you I feel another way," it made no sense. He had a hard time articulating.
Are you traveling again for the next Bachelor?
How in the world are you going to cast that show? Everyone wants to meet Juan Pablo. Totally hypothetical here, but if you had a "friend" who was married with two kids who wanted to come be on the show…could that happen?
[Laughs] Maybe not for the entire season, but just for a fantasy suite.