The Bachelorette Finale - Interview with Chris Harrison

"The Bachelorette" Season Finale is tonight (8:00. - 10:00)

Followed by “After the Final Rose” at 10:00 on

ABC Television Network. 



How unexpected was Brooks last minute break up with Desiree compared to other Bachelor moments.



Q: Will Des be settling by picking one of the remaining men?


CH:  I absolutely understand that perspective especially considering what we all just saw and what we've

seen in the last couple of weeks.  So I get that, but the fact that you know there are these two other guys

here that A have no idea  and B they're head over heels in love with her and I guess if there's a C to this it's

that Des needs to figure out what this means where she is and where she wants to go from here.

If she just wants to pack up her bags and be done with this or if she's going to continue on.


But I fully understand everyone's perspective, but you also have to kind of watch the rest to see how it unfolds.


Q: Obviously by this point you must be feeling very close to Des and quite protective of her, were you upset with



Chris Harrison:        No, I wasn't before I talked to him you know I usually probably could have been.

But after I talked to him he's not a bad guy you know he didn't do this with you know malice or ill intent.

He didn't come on here to you know screw her over and be the bad guy.  He was very sincere and very

sweet and when I talked to him you could tell that he was torn about this.  And he had really done his you

know due diligence and he had thought this out talked to his family.  And just made sure that you know this

wasn't right for him.  I would have been disappointed and more upset with him if he had gone through with all

of this and then she picked him.  And he has this fake proposal and they just kind of go out for a few weeks

and it doesn't mean anything and he breaks up.


Like I would have been disappointed with that guy, you know it kind of takes me back to (Brad Womack) when

people were so upset with him for turning down both girls.  You know it was Deanna and I forget her name who's the other girl, I want to say Kelly but that's not it.  Anyway when Brad turned down both girls at the end you know everybody was outraged.

Then I thought you know why is there such a bad thing if he's not in love what would be what would people be

happier with a fake proposal.  So I thought he did the right thing, so I thought Brooks did the right thing

it just sucks to have to do that on national television.


Yes that makes sense.  And also next week we'll see you speaking with Des about her feelings.

Hodid you approach that conversation were you trying to persuade her to stay?


Chris Harrison:        So you know the great thing about my job especially now how it's evolved is you know I

am not necessarily the impartial judge or referee or even a host, I just went in honestly as a friend.  And you

know the cameras were rolling and I knew they were there but I really just went in.  Because she needed to

talk to somebody and just listened to her and that was a lot of what I did was just sit and listen.  Kind of like what

I did with Brooks and let her tell me where she was.  And then you know I asked a few questions and kind of

let her guide me through what she wanted to do.

CH: But it was really just an empathetic figure that was kind of there for her.

And that kind of the beauty of my job is you know I can be that I don't have to be impartial I can care about

Her and care about how everybody is doing.


Q:        Was their a fear on your part and the producers part that she would actually walk out and leave the show?


Chris Harrison:        Oh absolutely I mean I knew after I left Brooks obviously that what we was going to do.

And you know the first thing I said you know to the producers when I walked out of his I said you know w

e might be done, you know we might not have anything to show in the final episode.


Other than the fact that you know we have to play this out.  And you know there are still a lot of questions out

there and it still may not be much of anything next week other than her saying goodbye and having to talk to the

other two guys.  But that was definitely a fear but you know that's what?  It's part of the beauty of our show is

and part of the scariest thing of our show as far as the producer goes is at the end we have kind of have to take

our hands off the wheel.  And it's really after all this work all this preparation it's really up to free will and it's up

to a woman or a guy making a choice.


And that's a scary thing as a producer no matter you know what show whether it's you know Idol or Survivor or

whatever those were kind of game shows they have a beginning and an end.  Our show really at the end is pretty wide open.


Q: And what can you tell me about Desiree's state of mind right now you know two months after

Brooks walked out.


Chris Harrison:        I mean the last time I saw her it was at the "Tell All" a couple of weeks ago.  And you

know she's good.  The great thing about Des and I am assuming this comes from her background and the

way she grew up.  Is that she's a survivor and she's strong. When we started this thing she said look I am going

to allow myself to be very vulnerable.  And I said you know there's a good chance you could get hurt like that.

She says I know but that's the only way you can do this.  And I was proud of the fact that that's how she went

through it the entire time of just really put herself out there.  And unfortunately you know she did get hurt and she

got hurt bad but she has incredible resolve and she's a strong woman.  So you know she's bounced back and she seemed happy.


Q: You are a friend, but also the host and can you talk about how it was for you? did you feel torn between

What worked for Des and what worked for the show?


Chris Harrison:        If I guess you know yes and no you know when I heard about it.  I think y my first thought I

think this was for as Des's friend and I thought this was going to suck and this was going to be brutal.  Because

at this point you know ratings wise and drama wise you know usually we're done.  And we're really just trying to

set up this really great happy ending and hopefully what would be a magic proposal and that's going to be good

enough.  You know a great proposal and ending you know like Catherine and Shaun that will give us great



This, this was a little bit of a curve ball that was more of of a hindrance and more of a pain for us as producers

than the thought of this is going to be great drama.  Just because we were kind of in that home stretch and

thought you know we this was going to be a great season with a great ending and we're home free.  And then

the entire show was kind of dumped upside down you know in the final two weeks of shooting.


Q: Going back to the point where you know Des tells Brooks that she loves him and he said

why didn't you tell me this earlier?  And she says I can't can you talk about that a bit because the whole,

the whole goal is for the bachelorette to find love.  But at the same time she's encouraged not to say

her feelings or she's not allowed to say her feelings.

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Chris Harrison:        I guess a little bit of both you know.  But I think that was a little bit of a defense mechanism

for Brooks and a little bit of a cop out if you will.  You know I think anybody could have seen that Des was falling

for this guy and you know Brooks had been around her enough to know unless he completely misread every

signal she had ever put out.  It was pretty simple to see she was falling for him, they even made up those silly

whatever verbs they thought they were adjectives they were really verbs.  That described their love.   she said I am running and I am close to the finish line or whatever.


So I think again that was Brooks wanted to come off as a good guy in front of everybody during the breakup.

I really don't think it would have made any difference whatsoever if she had been on one knee begging for his

hand in marriage three weeks ago.


Q: how did you feel when Des told you that she loved Brooks pretty early on in this season.  I am wondering

if that's kind of common for the  contestant to reveal so early on in the game and you guys let that appear

on camera too.  Did you think that would bode well that she was already admitting love.


Chris Harrison:        You know it's funny too though you know we did do that early but you know in the next

sentence she also said she loves Chris.  And then in the next sentence you know I don't think she used, she

actually used the L word with Drew but she said she was like falling for him or falling in love or whatever.

But it is funny how everyone really picked up the Brooks thing and then they kind of just forgot about Chris

and then forgot about Drew.  But you know I guess it was just the way she spoke about it or maybe the fact

that he was first.



Chris Harrison:        But it was at the time I think it was in Munich when we showed that when we were in

Germany the next day I was a bit surprised that people forgot about the next three sentences she said

about the other guys and everyone just kind of forgot about that.   we, you know we knew what had had

happened too and we kind of knew this was coming.  And so that way we kind of needed to set up the fact

that’s how she felt about Brooks before we got to this point.   if there was really no context once we got to this

point you really wouldn't understand why she was so upset.


Q: what doyou attribute his decision to call everything off to?   is it perhaps the pressure of having to propose

at the end of the show is that too much for some guys?


Chris Harrison:        I don't, you know I don't know I mean I think it was two separate questions there.  I am not

sure what Brook’s issues were or are.  They could be as simple as Des isn't the one or the fact that I think he

has a history of not quite being able to commit.   I am not sure where that stems from whether his childhood or

what's happened in his life, but I can't, I don't know I really couldn't pinpoint that and he had a really tough time

articulating to me what he was thinking and what he wanted to do and I found that very peculiar.


You know I kept almost having to treat him like a hostile witness on the stand.



Chris Harrison:        I didn't mean to beat him up, but I honestly for the life of me I could not understand

what the heck he was trying to say to me and I thought my God if he's going to act like this with me how bad

is he going to be with Des?



Chris Harrison:        And so and I really thought maybe he didn't want to leave maybe he just needs more time.

And the pressure of proposing or whatever.  I wanted to make it clear that there is no pressure and if he needs

more time if we need to extend this or they want to whatever.  There's a ton of options beyond hey there' s a

proposal next week.  So if that's the problem let's work on that if you really care about her and there's still a shot.

if we want to play psychiatrist it probably goes to a deeper issue somewhere.


Chris Harrison:        Because he also had that same problem with Des I mean honestly for the first 10 minutes

of that talk with Des If you had stopped I think Des would have thought he might be about to propose to me,

that's how odd that breakup was.   He spent 10 minutes telling her how much he loved her and how great she

was and oh by the way I am breaking up with you and so  I just found it all a little peculiar.


Q: I am a dead inside jaded journalist and it was brutal to watch her on Monday night.  How long did that kind of

crime don't come near me cameras from afar episode go?


Chris Harrison:        after, so Brooks and her set up there for quite some time and talked and then they walked off.  We were obviously on the beach kind of tucked away.  And then she you know afterwards kind of walked out there to kind of have alone time.  And we let her sit for I mean I am guessing probably a good 10 minutes, 10, 15 minutes to kind of just sit out there and be alone.  And then I did go out there and I talked to her but you know we were going to show that but we, you know we stopped this episode there.  I think where we'll pick up though is where you'll see Des and I speaking you back at her house, because we had another chat.


Bachelors in Snow on Bachelorette Courtesy of ABC

she just needed time to decompress and figure out what just happened and figure out where she is.

Give her a little time to pull herself back together and then we had a chat back at her, back at her place.

Where we had to kind of decide where we go from here and what we want to do and oh by the way there's Chris

and Drew what do we do with them?   They know nothing about this and how should they find out and so there

we were you know a lot of questions that we kind of needed to deal with, but that wasn't the time or place

to hammer her with all of that after what had just happened.


Q: The guys in the house talked about how differently she acted around Drew and knew she had feelings for him

That she didn’t have for the other bachelors.



Chris Harrison:        I knew there were red flags, warning signs that you know something was amiss and

something was a little off when I would talk to her.  I am trying to think wait if I even brought it up in Munich or

probably in Barcelona I was trying to think there like Chris and Drew and Zach professed their love,

but at some point all of the final four had professed their love and then I said well what about Brooks and she

said no he didn’t. I just kind of kept bringing that up and she kept really reassuring me that he had

affirmed his feelings in other ways non-verbally and she just felt sure about him.

while I knew there were red flags and there were warning signs in no way did I think this was going to happen.

I don't think anybody saw this coming. I kind of took her word for it that she was pretty sure about him and as

you know nothing led us or I think any other producers to think that this guy was you know going to really just do

a 180 and bolt, but there were definitely signs along the way that she was much further along than he was,

and much easier at expressing her feelings than he was.   I mean we even showed it in our last episode

when they were making up thoseverbs that he said jogging at the same time she said running.


Just the fact that by the way they needed that kind of silly game to even express their feelings at this point in

their life is a red flag to me.  I mean as a grown adult if you can't say can't look a woman or look a man in the eye

and say I have serious feelings for you.  Then instead you need to say do you like me check yes or no like

we're in grade school.  That to me is a red flag of immaturity as far as a relationship goes When you look at
Chris and Drew they have no problem expressing their feelings whether it's to pull in the song or anything else.


Brooks is really struggling with that and again I don't know if it's because he has deeper issues, but there's

definitely issues there to be shared.


Q: how normal is it for these guys at this point to go back to their family?  We don’t usually see that.


Chris Harrison:        What happened was so this you know after the hometown dates the guys are still in their

Hometowns and the hometown dates are spread out over the week obviously, because you know Des has

to fly into different cities.  Then the guys will stay where they are for just a little bit longer until it's time to fly in to

the next city here it was Antigua or wherever our exotic dates are.  So we don't all travel at the same time and

so a couple of the guys were already in Antigua and they were having their dates, but Brooks was still home

and so it really just lent itself to the fact that he was already there and our cameras were still there that's why we

were able to capture that and set that up.


And the other thing is typically the guys know how they feel at this point.  They've just seen their families and

they've just had that talk some of it's off camera and some of it's on, but o they were at the hometown and they

get some time to speak to their families and so they're pretty sure about how, how they feel and what they're

going to do.  It was just Brooks who was really confused and he asked to kind of go back and speak to his

family.  We really wanted to facilitate that thinking really it was only going to lead to a positive end and

we didn't think he was really looking for that reassurance to leave.


Lori Peters:  Hi Chris how are you?


Chris Harrison:        I am good Lori how're you're doing?


Lori Peters:  Good so I was wondering if some of Des's reaction was more of a shock.  That she just found out

that he wasn't interested so that  that may have made her more interested and at that time she felt like he was

the only one.


Chris Harrison:        Yes I mean look I am the last person that's going to tell you I figured out women or

one's emotional state at this point, but you know I do think that to a certain degree Brooks was someone

she had to chase a little bit and that definitely made him more intriguing, he wasn't.  It definitely wasn't the bad

boy syndrome where you're trying to change or fix the bad boy.  But there was a certain I think degree of fixing

him ,chasing him a guy that she knew has trouble committing and a guy that never really gave her everything

verbally and emotionally that she wanted.   Whereas Drew and Chris were all over that,

CH: and again why women wouldn't go straight to a guy that's giving them everything they want I will never know.

  But maybe you can answer that in your column someday.



But with Brooks there was definitely a little bit of that I really think so and the more time he was breaking up with

 her the more she tried to profess her love and I think that is a very interesting dynamic.   Again one of the things

that makes this show so beautiful is we all saw that. We all saw the warning signs ahead of time. I don't think

any of us could say we were that blown away that Brooks pulled this considering the way he acted all along.

It was a little bit of a curveball but not the biggest surprise in the world and it's just one of those things why

would, why do women or why do men for that matter chase after something that is not perfect and not there,

when you have two relationships that are.


Lori Peters:  Right, right maybe there's some of that Grouch Marx saying ” I don't want to belong to any

club that will accept me as a member.”


Chris Harrison:        (laughs) Exactly that's why they have the velvet rope up and that's why they have a line

 When nobody's inside.



Q:        I just had one question and I want to know how this affects Brooks chance of becoming the next Bachelor.


Chris Harrison:        Well I mean you definitely have to wait and see what happens next week to be sure, but

one way is that obviously he has trouble committing to a relationship that would be a red flag for sure and although I think he was sincere in coming on the show he definitely has that trouble when push comes to shove of expressing himself and really

letting himself be vulnerable.  That's something that Shaun did really, really well and something that Des did

really well is they allowed themselves to really be out there and be open and it's a weird process that if you

go through it guarded and you're thinking about what's America’s going to think about who is going to judge me

what should I do? what's the cool thing to do on camera it's going to be a colossal failure.


the reason these last two seasons have been so good is just because of our bachelor and bachelorette.

That have really allowed themselves to be so open and I just don't I don't know if Brooks has that in him.


Q: When do you think that Brooks truly made up his mind that he needed to go home?


Chris Harrison:        I think before he went and saw his parents.  I hadn't heard that until I saw the episode

the cut, because the way it works for me is I was home when he was on the hometown and I was already flying

to Antigua and I had gotten wind from one of the producers that they were going to go back and talk to his

parents again By the time I landed in Antigua a day later I heard that it had not gone very well that I was going

to have to go talk to him when he got to Antigua in another couple of days.  And so I thought well this that's not

very good.   I’m just finding out watching on TV now that he was set in his mind that he was going to leave

walking in there and he just needed that reassurance.


Brooks & Desiree Hartsook in Clouds Courtesy of ABC

Q: you said in the promo in Monday night's episode where will Des

go from here?  Is there any other teaser you can kind of give us info on?


Chris Harrison:        Well I mean obviously the other big issue is you know where do we go from here what does she want to do you know are we going to pack up our bags and be done.  Or does she want to continue on but the main thing is you know where does that leave her.  You know with her relationships with (Drew) and Chris who absolutely know nothing about what just happened.  And you know I know she's hurting but she also owes it to these two guys to let them in on what's going on.  And you know and do we and again you know the main thing is do we call it quits and how do these guys play into that.  So those are the main, you know those are the main questions that we kind of have to answer and deal with immediately.


Q:  Good before Monday night's episode aired as US Weekly reported that Brooks chose to quit the show.  But felt so strongly for Des that he regretted his decision quote almost immediately unquote.  I guess could you confirm whether that was the case and if so how clear did you make that afterwards.  And how would you guys have handled it if he suddenly wanted to change his mind and come back.


Chris Harrison:        I think he did have regrets you know I think that you could definitely see.  You know and again that's the interesting thing about Brooks is even when I was talking to him and you know I think his mind was kind of made up when he talked to his parents.  And then the more I talked to him you know that's why I had such a difficult time getting him to articulate his feelings and tell me what he was thinking.  Because I he was almost looking for a way out he was almost looking for a way to stay in.  And so I don't know if he was a 100 percent.  And then once you know Des started professing her love and telling him how she felt, you could see how broken up he was.


And he was emotionally crushed and so you know as Wishy Washy as he is you know I think there is, there is definitely regrets from here.  And he said as much to us you know after he left.  So you know there's definitely that element that he probably did regret you know saying what he said and doing what he did, so you know that's definitely open as well as we head into next week.


Chris Harrison:        Yes I mean it's really funny, heading into every season you know I always joke with the producers.  I said you know somethings, something will happen this season that we've never faced before.  And you know you laugh I mean we've done this so long we've done what 28 something seasons in 11 years.  Surely you've kind of seen everything but inevitably there's a moment on the show where you run into this situation that you've just never faced.  And you know in this time it was you know this deal with Brooks.  And it just led to a finale you know a final two weeks that as producers we kind of weren't prepared to face you know we all were kind of scrambling and trying to figure this out.  And one thing I love is that that episode you saw last Monday was so different than anything we've ever had before.


I was watching it thinking is this even a bachelor episode it was so organic and raw.  And we just really let you see everything and I love that you know I love that our viewers and the fans of our show kind of demand that now.  Of seeing behind the curtain and seeing you know really everything awards and all where even.  To the point where you know they're walking through the Jungle and there's bad lighting and there's bad lighting and you can't really see them well and our cameras are scrambling and having to run around.  And even when Des walked back on the dock you know we weren't really ready for that either.  And you know one of our camera guys is literally waiting out 400 yards into the water waist deep, holding a camera over his head to try and get a shot.  Because you know we're not set up for that and we just really let things go now whereas maybe in the past you know early, early on we would have said OK stop let's get the camera set.


And you know it looks a little bit more produced and it looks prettier but now we kind of just show you everything that's happening.  Because that's really where the show is now and that's where our fans are.


Chris Harrison and Desiree Courtesy ABC



Q:    say hypothetically if Brooks because he was super wishy washy and I agree with that assessment.  So hypothetically he decides oh wait I screwed up I didn't want to go home I do love her now I know she loves me oh wait I am going to make, I am going to make this right.  Do you think it's even possible hypothetically for him to re-correct and come back into the game or do you think that like she's like in no way, shape or form willing to accept that.


Chris Harrison:        I mean of course I think I think it's absolutely possible for him to come back in the game.  You know she cared about him she you know she loved him she said as much and you know you saw you know him in tears you saw his look.  So absolutely you know that's a possibility just because of where they both were.  And you know we've had a situation before on a much lesser degree where I don't know if you remember Jillian Season where Reid Rosenthal came back and professed his love.  But you know Jillian wasn't really having that and she was kind of set on where she was going.  In this situation you know you know our bachelorette was there and was prepared for that.


And so you know she may be open to it or maybe she learnt her lesson and you know knows that he's not the guy for her anymore.  But you know I could, you know they wouldn't, it wouldn't shock me at all you know for a guy like that to come back.


Q:   Des brother for instance was such a  he was such good TV.  And  we already found for a pop up at this point and normally in the process this is when you guys call in you know the bachelor and bachelorettes family to meet people and stuff like that.  So was her family already there will we see her family and their reaction to what happened or.


Chris Harrison:        The family had, her family had not arrived yet.  Because you know that, that was kind of a separate week they would come in you know the following week.  Because we were still essentially on the exotic date while we stayed in Antigua it was really a separate week where you know we would.  Because those exotic dates they do they take a full week and then the next week you know we have.  You know typically you would have those last dates and then the family and all that stuff.  So no her family was not in yet by the time that you know Brooks had talked to her.  Because she was that was supposed to be her last overnight date.



Chris Harrison:        Well maybe it's too bad that you know she told her brother you know that she didn't need his help this time, and maybe if he had met everybody.  Then he would have saved her the trouble of this one as well.


Q:    And then do you think that this goes down in sort of bachelor history as you know because we always talk about wrong reasons right.


Chris Harrison:        Yes.


Or the right reasons.   do you think that the people will look back on Brooks in the way that they looked back on Brad, the you know oh I can't believe he walked out on her and blah, blah, blah.  Or do you think people will respect this as just sort of natural process that for whatever reason you know he was there for the right reasons but it didn't pan out.


Chris Harrison:        I don't know I hate to date ourselves but you know when (Brad) did what he did there really wasn't any social media.  So you didn't get that instant response, the response kind of came after you know the tabloids and the magazines.  And that you know it filters us out in the different way back then whereas now you know you get that immediate reaction.  And I, I don't know maybe I am wrong but I haven't seen a lot of anger towards Brooks.  I don't know maybe you have but I haven't really felt that and when was there I wasn't mad at them.


I didn't think God what a jerk so I don't know you know my opinion I just have my own and part of it was being there and then part of it's you know watching Twitter and everything else.  But I think people were disappointed and people were upset for Des but I don't think that he really came off as a bad guy, maybe a guy that can't articulate his feelings very well.  And you know makes a two minute breakup last over two hours.  But other than that I don't think he's a bad guy.

Q:   OK and then finally the Juan Pablo train seems to have left the station.


Chris Harrison:        It has left Venezuela.


Q:  Right with our, with our readers there's definitely a ground swell for him to be the bachelor.  Is it something you guys are thinking about I know.


Chris Harrison:        Sure yes I mean he's you couldn't help.  But here again you know I go back to social media and it's you know what a great thing to have now where we get that instant feedback.  But you also kind of get that it's funny every you know Tuesday morning whoever leaves you know says Zach.  When Zach left you know the next morning I was inundated with Zach has to be the next bachelor you know he's so sweet da, da, da.  And then you know after the tell all it was you know Juan Pablo he's the greatest and so you get a lot of that.  So you have to be careful not to have this knee jerk reaction which is why we, we're really careful about not making it a decision like that and make it right away.


The good news is we don't really have to because the show doesn't start production for quite some time you know after the show is done filming.  So obviously Juan Pablo is a candidate Zach's probably in the mix and again I am saying this because this is well above my pay grade.  But you know they we take our cues from our fans and definitely because we want to give people the show that they want to see.  And we want to give them a leading man or a leading woman that they want to follow, so he's definitely up there.  And there was a strong reaction to him to share.



Chris Harrison:        But there's also three other guys in the mix now you know and Brooks, Drew and Chris that you know may you know depending on how this thing falls out you never know how the audience is going to react to them either.  So you know right now it's kind of strong but you know things could definitely change in the next four to five days.




What do you think Des will do tonight?  Do you think she will just leave or wait and

see if Drew or Chris propose to her? 


To find out more about "The Bachelorette and

author, Lori Peters  visit or contact her at [email protected]

For More information about Chris Harrison and the Bachelorette go to

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