Not even men in Speedos and platform heels can help it!
As you may have heard, ABC's The Bachelorette is having its lowest-rated season ever, starting off with an all-time-low premiere last month, and dipping even lower in its latest episode—despite featuring a ridiculously entertaining (and scantily clad) "Mr. America" pageant among all the men.
So what gives? Is reigning rose-giver Desiree Hartsock that boring?!
Not so! At least according to host Chris Harrison, who just chatted us up to reveal the show will "turn a corner" very soon. "It becomes incredibly dramatic and emotional," he promises. "It's a wild, emotional ride toward the end."
For the record, Harrison blames the ratings woes mostly on the show's Memorial Day premiere slot, which he calls a "nightmare," saying: "They literally could not have picked a worse time! We were also up against the final three weeks of The Voice. When I found out I was like, ‘Great, I won't even be watching the premiere!' But it speaks to the confidence that ABC has in the franchise."
Harrison also puts part of the blame on Desiree's dating strategy—which she apparently borrowed from former Bachelor Sean Lowe.
"It's a slow start," Harrison admits of the current season. "I found with Des more than anybody that it's hard to find out who her front-runners are. I knew she liked some of the guys, but it was really hard to tell who she really falling for. It was harder to read her than others. It took a while before she really zeroed in on certain people. And it made my job challenging, to figure out what to ask her about, and where to go."
Like Sean before her, Harrison says 27-year-old Desiree was able to keep a very open mind throughout much of the season. "She was able to keep everybody separate and different, as if their date was the only one she had," the expert rose-counter explains. "It's smart if you think about it. You aren't putting all your eggs in one basket and then if that doesn't work out, regretting giving someone else a chance. Sean did a great job of it, and Des took a page out of his book and did the same thing."
In tonight's episode, Des and the guys travel to Munich, where she goes on a very tense, two-on-one date with Ben Scott (the one all the guys hate), and Michael Garofola (the one who hates him the most). And let's just say things do not end well. "There's much more drama with Ben that will drive the other guys crazy," Harrison teases. As with all two-on-dates, Desiree must eliminate at least one of the guys, but it's so awkward, "she considers letting them both go," per ABC.
And it doesn't get any easier from there. "Des really struggles," Harrison says of the rest of the season. "It's not easy. And it's not what anyone expects."
The Bachelor/Bachelorette is currently in its 26th season (really!) and 11th year. Out of seven prior Bachelorettes, two have gotten married to the men they picked on the show (Trista Rehn and Ashley Hebert).
Harrison, who has hosted the series since its inception, just launched a new video-based dating app called "At First Sight," along with Bachelor and Bachelorette executive producer Mike Fleiss. A promo video can be seen on You Tube.