THE BACHELOR Season 20 Premieres TONIGHT on ABC!
Are you a fan of the hit ABC show The Bachelor? I am. I have literally been watching this show since day one. WOW, right? I watched it when I was single and fast forward all these years, I’m still a loyal fan. Why? Probably a combination of things. First of all, I believe in love. Second of all, I can be very skeptical about love. Third, I love football. (see below) Combine these three points and you already have a wonderful little tornado of reality television. Add in a boatload of diverse women who are seeking love (or fame?), a man who is seeking a woman seeking love, a big sorority-like house setting, some booze, a swimming pool … it’s reality t.v. at it’s finest people and I am not ashamed to say that I can’t get enough of this show.
It’s like Football (kind of)
As I mentioned above, I really think that my love for football plays into my love for this show. It’s like a mini whirlwind football season where you watch teams compete for the Super Bowl (Rose Ceremony). Only the teams are women and it’s far more rough and tumble than a football season. Injuries include broken hearts. Penalties include party fouls and potty mouths. Ladies are cut from the team and the last few seasons we have even seen a few walk-ons. I’m an armchair quarterback of sorts to this whole mess of reality dating. Thankfully, I have never dated on camera (oy! I am the first to say that I would be a mess on a show like this!) but I do enjoy throwing out judgement here from my comfy little corner of the sofa every Monday night! It’s horrible, I know this! But I love cheering for my favorites and I must admit, while I never do well in a football pool, I’m your gal for picking The Bachelor finalists!
Interviewing Chris Harrison
Imagine my excitement last month when I found out that I would have the opportunity to interview Chris Harrison. Aside from being the awesome host of this show, he is also one of the few people that I have ever met that have watched the show as long as I have! Clearly he knows this show better than anyone, so it was kind of neat to pick his brain about why this show still works and what keeps the fans (moi included!) coming back for more!
Here is what he had to say about everything from season one to the present day Bachelor, Ben Higgins:
15 years on television, how?
The wonderful thing about The Bachelor is I think that’s why we can all empathize. It’s why you can relate to what’s going on, and it’s why the franchise has spanned 15 years and now 20 Seasons of just The Bachelor, not to mention The Bachelorette. It’s a very simple concept really.
There is this man and this woman, scared to death, hoping that they found true love. And as cheesy as that may sound, it is that one thing that no matter where you go in the world, kind of connects us all. It’s companionship, it’s that hope, that dream of finding somebody. I think that is why the show has just been so relatable.
Ben was an easy choice for us. You know, it’s always nice when you have options and we did options this season. But this was a bit of a no brainer. You look back to Caitlin and Brit and that decision and we had options but we were really torn. here was really no right or wrong answer and we ended up doing both, but I don’t know if that was a good answer or not but it was the answer.
With Ben, it was just such a no brainer and it’s nice when you have something that’s such an easy choice. Bachelor Nation made that choice for us and we were all 100% in. He’s just such a genine, sweet, humble, good guy but there is also that fragility and there’s that vulnerable side to him. He does have some issues to deal with and some things to get over. And I know, it’s hard to believe with a guy that looks like that, has issues.
Luckily, I think we hit a home run with this guy. It’s a great Season, he’s a good guy, the women are fantastic. When you have a guy that is a catch like Ben, obviously the level of interest and the level of competition brings us along with the count so from night one it was on. When the women came in and saw what they were after, and it was on.
On how and why it all works?
To go through with Ben and the idea of him having trouble finding love is a theme you’ll see throughout the season. And inevitably, there’s that bottom out. This always happens. There’s a point in the season when everybody just gets gutted. Not to be related to alcoholism or some kind of addiction, but there is that bottom that you reach.
Everybody has a different bottom when you go through something like that and inevitably, every Bachelor and Bachelorette gets kind of strung out. That’s one of the great things about how we produce this show and this process that people probably outside the show don’t understand. It really does strip you down naked and then you kind of start new, and you start to build. You can’t fake your way through this. Whether you’re one of the 25 or 28 this season or if the guy or girl himself, you can’t fake your way through it, you just can’t. The first, maybe the second night. But you will be found out. And you really, you come in and say, you know what? I’ve never done this but I’m gonna be the wild person. I’m gonna go in there and I’m gonna blow the doors off the place. You can’t. You can’t fake it for that long. Eventually, you show up and that is kind of the duty of this show. We yell at our TV screens, “Get rid of that person! Don’t you see what’s going on?” Well first of all, they don’t. They don’t get to see everything we do. But eventually they do get found out, you get shown for who you are. Kudos to the producers and the process that we created that kind of exposes that.
Chris Harrison and his role as host (and listener and therapist and friend….)
It’s funny, I was married for 19 years. I love the show and I love doing it and I think that being happily married, having 2 kids, and being a family man, and that being so important to me, I was always hoping to be a really good host and being a rock for these people.
But I think, oddly enough, the last 4 years since my divorce, has made me empathize with them a lot more and realize, you know, why they’re all here, and what they’re going through. I think I’ve become probably a better host and listener and therapist and friend with these people since then.
On Trista and Ryan (best season EVER, IMO)
The Bachelor series quickly led to a spin off show called The Bachelorette. (and yes, I loyally watch that too…) I was excited that I had the opportunity to ask Chris about my favorite Bachelorette season (Season One) which was Trista and Ryan (who are still married, by the way!) I personally feel like, for me, that was a huge turning point in these shows. This was when it really became clear that it COULD be about love.
If you aren’t familiar with that season, Trista hadn’t found love during her time on the Bachelor, but ABC brilliantly created a spin off called The Bachelorette in which Trista was now in control and she was going to find her husband. It came down to these two very different men. One, Ryan, was a darling fire fighter from Colorado, who was very simple. The other was Charlie. A more flashy party type guy. I was watching this season yelling out loud to the television that I was done forever with watching this show if she didn’t pick Ryan. (whew! so glad that worked out….) Anyway, Chris Harrison was explaining how instrumental her season was in getting people to buy into this theory that maybe you CAN find love this way. Of course, I think that had she picked Charlie, it would have never had this same effect, and he agreed:
Right, it was Charlie vs. Ryan. Trista was a good example of that first lesson. You have Charlie who everybody says on paper, is the guy, right? I mean he has the looks, the money, just that ‘it’ factor. You’re crazy to not end up with a guy like Charlie. But then there’s Ryan and he’s the right guy because he’s the guy inside your heart, inside your head. He’s the guy you can’t stop thinking about at night and when you wake up in the morning. So that was the first time when you saw this real dilemma of what do I do and I think a lot of times, it’s interesting. The women will make that right choice. Guys often don’t.
They’re not smart animals. You can quote that, that’s true, if you haven’t already figured that out. But right, when she chose Ryan, I think everyone in America was like, ” Thank God.”
I can personally say that I was among those watching who just was going to die if she didn’t pick him. But at the same time, and over time, I have come to realize that is the thing with this show. It plays on the psychology of people and love and the idea that you know what, maybe you CAN love more than one person. You probably shouldn’t, BUT it’s human nature to seek love, and when put in this kind of setting, it really sets off different ideas as to what love might be. (and it might be lots of things, right?)
The Perfect Letter
And, just as the show exposes this idea of having the potential to love more than one person, Chris Harrison used his experiences to pen his book“The Perfect Letter“, which is based on the idea that we might have the capacity to love more than one person. I was so impressed with his genuine passion for love and this concept of the show that I’m reading it right now, and if you are looking for a good read, so far — I highly recommend it!
About: Chris Harrison, the beloved longtime host of ABC’s The Bachelor, explores the perils and rewards of risking everything for love in his first novel.
As the longtime host of ABC’s hit shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison has witnessed the joys and heartbreak of men and women searching for everlasting love. A true romantic at heart, he believes that everyone deserves their own fairytale ending. Now, in his first work of fiction, Chris draws on his unique insights and wisdom in a remarkable debut novel that explores love and its consequences—a must-read for Bachelor fans and hopeless romantics everywhere.
And hey!! My little Bachelor love story (ok, interview, whatever) had a happy ending … I FINALLY got a rose:
Make sure to tune in TONIGHT, JANUARY 4TH, 2016 for the premiere of Season 20!