Did The Bachelorette get too real on Monday night?
On the June 2 episode of the ABC reality hit, viewers finally learned how Eric Hill, the contestant who died in a paragliding accident in April, left the show, with producers choosing to air the heated argument between him and Andi Dorfman, which led to his elimination prior to the rose ceremony. At the end of the episode, rather than show the rose ceremony (Sorry, Tasos Hernandez, the eliminated suitor.), producers had Andi sit down with host Chris Harrison to talk about Eric's exit and death, with the Bachelorette admitting the fact that she'll never have a chance to settle things with Eric is "a tough pill to swallow."
On a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Harrison talked about the producers "carefully and respectfully wading through this, trying to do the right thing," which even meant showing the dramatic fashion in which Eric left the show.
But The Bachelorette almost didn't air Eric's elimination, Harrison revealed, before the producers realized it would've been "inappropriate and insensitive" not to.
How did the show's producers decide to handle Eric's exit from the show? Harrison revealed that "originally, we even had [last night's episode] just regular with the rose ceremony cut and the cocktail party as usual," with Eric's exit being edited out of the episode. However, "We all sat down and watched it and it just didn't feel right whatsoever and it seemed inappropriate and a little insensitive," Harrison explained. "We adjusted according to just the mood in the room from all of us watching it."
In handling Eric's death on the show, "Nothing's been abundantly clear throughout this entire situation and the tragedy with his death," Harrison said. "We've really been playing it as we've gone and have made a lot of game time decisions with respect to how we feel and how everybody feels at the time and what we feel is right."
What did he think of the final conversation between Andi and Eric? Following a laugh, Harrison said, "I feel like Eric stepped in something that every guy who's ever dated ever has stepped in before. It was wrong place, wrong time and wrong sentiment."
Why? Because Andi was "tired" and "emotionally on edge" after the show "had kind of taken its toll," Harrison explained, "so when Eric came in and said what he said, which wasn't horrible, I think any other day, maybe in another situation, it wouldn't have been nearly that big of a deal, but I think Andi was just emotionally done."
And while Harrison, who called the conversation "an interesting confrontation," was careful not to put words into Eric's mouth, he said, "I think what his sentiment was, 'We are in a position to give, we have to give, you are in a position where you are not allowed to, so if anybody is withholding, I feel it's really on your part.' He made a salient point and I think he probably didn't articulate it the best he could have and I don't think she was in the right frame of mind to take that anyway."
Will the show air footage of Andi and the remaining contestants learning of Eric's Death? "The answer is I'm not sure yet. I'm not sure what we will see and how we will officially deal with it…we're not 100 percent sure," Harrison admitted. "We're going to feel this out as we kind of have this entire time and just try and do what we feel is right and respectful."
Harrison did reveal "we shot several things as it happened just to have it because once you move past that, you can't go back and reshoot those types of things. You can't reshoot that moment, so we shot things and captured it not knowing what and if we would use anything."
But the longtime host acknowledged that the producers "will have to deal with in some way because it affected Andi and it affected the guys that are left on the show. And all of us. It's something you can't just brush by and ignore because it had such an effect on everybody. I think it would be confusing, like why is she sad; why the guys are saying what they're saying if there's nothing to relate back to what's bringing on that emotion. Obviously we're going to have to deal with it in some way, we know that. We're just not sure to what extent and how."