Chris Harrison was not prepared for Colton Underwood to hop the fence.
That much was obvious by the way he was cursing (a rarity for Chris on this show) and yelling Colton's name into the darkness, like looking for a lost puppy. As he told us after the taping of The Bachelor: Women Tell All (which airs tonight), he was nearby during Colton's emotional date-turned-breakup with Cassie, but he was not ready to go on camera.
"I happened to be there, and as you saw, I was kind of in street clothes...wasn't exactly dressed to go on," Harrison tells E! News of that now iconic moment. "But when things started taking the direction they were, and I saw him throw off his mic and start walking out, I'm like, let me go talk to him. So I start walking down this driveway, about a 100 yards or so, and I thought OK, well there's the fence, so he's gonna stop...and you saw what happened. He was up and over. It was pretty spectacular."
Chris thought that Colton would have landed on more of the production crew, so he wasn't all that worried.
"In all seriousness, I thought there were people on the other side. I thought he was pissed at me and pissed at us and just needed his moment, but there were people there. When I opened the gate and I realized everyone was gone, and it was just darkness in the middle of Portugal...he was just a ghost, gone."
Chris then thought he would be able to quickly find Colton, but that turned out to not be the case.
"After a few minutes, I quickly realized we lost the Bachelor. Like we don't know where he is at all, and we're yelling and we're running around, I thought I heard him, I thought I heard some dogs, so I'm sprinting down the street, and I'm yelling his name like a lunatic. And then I'm calling back to the United States, like, guys, what are your thoughts? I'm like, at some point, we have to call the authorities. We decided we were going to give it about five more minutes and we were going to call the cops."
The crew split up and eventually found him, which we will see play out in next week's finale.
"Inevitably things happen that you just don't foresee happening, and once again, it's just a situation we've never faced before, and he truly, at that time, was done. 100% done. And what unfolds is unbelievably raw, emotional. It's not pretty, on any of our parts—the producers, myself, Colton. We just were like, let's just let it all hang out. I think you're gonna see it, warts and all."
The Bachelor: Women Tell All airs tonight at 8 p.m. and the two-night finale airs next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.