Last season, America watched Ben Higgins tell JoJo Fletcher that he loved her… only to then propose to someone else. Now, it’s JoJo’s turn to find the man she (hopefully) will spend the rest of her life with.
Ahead of JoJo’s season premiere, we talked with Bachelorette producer/host Chris Harrison about what viewers can expect when JoJo takes the reins.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Does JoJo remind you of any past Bachelorettes?
CHRIS HARRISON: She really doesn’t remind me of any Bachelorettes. She’s very different, very much her own woman. If I could probably connect her to anybody, it might be Ben just as much as everybody on the crew and the producers really just liked her and she got it. It might be a weird thing to say but she gets it and she understands being the Bachelorette, the fact that we’re doing a show here but at the same time it’s really important to us that this works out for her and so it made it very easy. She was very easy to work with.
What can you say about this group of guys?
It’s a really good group of guys. This was a very wide spectrum of guys in their walks of life to the way they look. They also run the gambit as far as really good guys. There are going to be some guys you really love to hate, then there’s going to be some guys that you’re not really sure about through the entire season — “Is this a good person? Is this a bad person? Is JoJo going to figure it out?” So it adds a lot to it and it makes for a very dynamic season.
Did anything surprise you about this season?
I guess what surprised me is how well JoJo really gave herself up to the process but at the same time was just very worried of whether this was going to work for her. I was really shocked at how open she was about her love for Ben. She was very open about the fact that she did love Ben, she really respects Ben, and that Ben really showed her what it is she’s looking for. She really referenced that several times and I was a little bit surprised at how much she owned it. I was really impressed with her that she was able to not be bitter about what happened but actually learn from it and bring it into this season and use it wisely. That was well beyond her age; you shouldn’t be that well adjusted. [Laughs]
Are you confident she’ll find love?
I hope so. She’s supremely confident that we can do that for her, and that puts a lot of pressure on us. It really speaks volumes to me and it always means a lot that these folks come back — that Ben decides to come back and be the Bachelor, that JoJo decides to come back and be the Bachelorette, and that they trust us with their life and with their family and the things that are important. That means a lot. I told her when this thing started, “I hope this works for you. I think you’re a great woman.” She said the same thing: “I’m going to do everything I can to make this work.” And that’s all you can hope for. And the rest is life and the rest is what makes this such a great show is you don’t know what’s going to happen; there’s no guarantees.
I just want to see her brothers again.
Right? I think that’s what everyone’s hoping for, the mom tipping back some wine and the brothers — that’s going to be a big part of the show. This will be one of the best seasons we’ve had in a long time. There are some crazy dynamic characters, maybe one of the wildest guys that Bachelor nation will love to hate this season. But at the same time, there’s some great love stories happening, so whatever you love about the show, it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a good season.
The Bachelorette premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.