by Tierney Bricker | Mon., May. 19, 2014 7:00 PM
The Bachelorette family is still grieving the loss of one of their own.
During tonight's premiere of Andi Dorfman's season of the reality hit, viewers were introduced to her 25 suitors, including Eric Hill, who died after a tragic paragliding accident in early May while the show was still filming. (He had already been eliminated.)
Before officially kicking off Andi's journey, host Chris Harrison took a moment to honor Hill and to dedicate Season 10 to him.
"Throughout the years, many hundreds of men and women have come on this show in search of love and they've all become a part of what we consider he Bachelor family. At this moment, we'd like to take a moment to honor one of these men, our friend Eric Hill," he said. "Eric passed away shortly after concluding his filming. In the coming weeks you'll see that Eric was a vibrant man. Every day, he impressed us with his passion and his courageous spirit. He will be greatly missed and we dedicate this season to him."
Though she and the contestants and crew members only spent a limited amount of time with Hill, a world traveler and philanthropist, Andi Dorfman told E! News that his death has had a lasting impact on the Bachelorette family and the rest of Season 10.
"It definitely affected the rest of the show. I don't know how it couldn't. It still affects me and everyone on the crew and everyone on the cast to this day," Andi said. "We lost somebody who we considered a family member and even though we didn't know him for an extended period of time, we still had a bond with him. We still got close with him, all of us...we're still trying to cope with it and coping with it together. But it's something that I don't think will ever go away, it'll never leave our hearts."
In the second episode, viewers will see that Hill actually was the first suitor to go on a one-on-one date with Andi. Though Andi said it will be "sad" to watch, she told us she's also "excited" for fans to see how full of life the 32-year-old was.
"The thing with Eric I think is it's obviously devastating to us, but Eric was a guy who lived his life to the fullest and he would want everybody to see that," she explained. "The first date, I'm so glad Eric was on it because it was an amazing, exciting date and I couldn't think of a better person to have gone on it with."
She continued. "So I'm excited to see that one of his last dates was so grand and so amazing and to see the smile on his face. Even though there is that sad part of it, you've gotta smile. That's what Eric did. He smiled and he lived his life and I think it's going to be a beautiful thing to see."
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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