Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelor': The finale and 'After the Final Rose'
So there you have it. Now you all know how it ended and you get to judge for yourself what the circumstances were that surrounded Jason’s decision. Today’s blog will give you the facts, as I know them, of what happened, but in the end it’s your decision what you believe. I’m going to deal with most of what took place on the show today, but I will also put up another more detailed blog on Wednesday after you have all had a chance to see ATFR part 2. Just to give you all a timeline of the events, here’s what went down.
Jason proposed to Melissa right before Thanksgiving over in New Zealand. It was an awesome day and night. They couldn’t have been happier. I have an amazing picture of the three of us that I took on my phone right after the proposal. They were both very much in love and the scene couldn’t have been better. It appeared to us he had found a terrific woman who would become his wife. You have to understand that we want a proposal and we want a true happy ending. I would have sworn up and down that that is what we had that night. I thought on the flight home that you, the viewers, are going to eat this love story up. I talked to Jason and Melissa several times after the proposal and all was going well.
After the holidays something changed. Jason was struggling with Melissa, and he told me something was wrong and things had changed between them. A few weeks after that I heard that Jason was going to break up with Melissa and that he still had feelings for Molly. I will be honest when I tell you that my heart sank. I loved Jason and Mel as a couple and selfishly knew that their success together would be great for our show. A true love story with a perfect ending, but all that was shattered with that phone call. My first thought was: Oh my god, he’s going to do the unthinkable and make the switch. Turns out I was right. Jason knew he and Melissa were through and wanted another shot with Molly, who he had also fallen in love with. So here we are in the middle of the Bachelor season on TV and our Bachelor is breaking up with the woman he chose and going after the one that he let go. We had a decision to make. What do we do with this situation and this information? Do we let all of America just keep going along with this happy little fairytale only to find that in the end it all blew up a month and a half prior? It’s not like Jason was breaking up with Mel and just going away. He was asking for a shot with the girl you saw him break up with in New Zealand. I know this has been controversial, but in my mind the only thing we could do out of respect for all of you watching was to show, as delicately as possible, what the hell was happening. Not that it makes it any better or easier, but the fact is everybody knows when they sign up for this show everything about their story will be public. It’s a TV show and that is not a big secret. They are well aware of what they got into.
We quickly put together the first After the Final Rose special and brought the three of them together to play it out. I won’t speak for Melissa, but I can tell you she wasn’t blindsided. She knew things weren’t going well. Did she know Jason was going to break up with her? Honestly, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her, or you could ask your double top-secret source who’s second cousin knows a guy who saw the Bachelor once ( I love the ”Source” — great stuff). Believe me when I tell you that was the hardest, most uncomfortable show I’ve ever hosted. I like Melissa very much, and in fact we’ve talked several times since the taping including Friday before the second ATFR special. Of course, she was hurt and pissed that night we shot the special, but she feels, as do I, that everything happens for a reason and that she’s better off. I consider Melissa a friend of mine, and when I go home to Dallas, she’ll be the first person my wife and I will call to have a cold one with. I know it’s hard to see this but these are real people trying the best they can to deal with real issues. As I’ve said before, that’s what makes this show so incredibly compelling to watch.
Because we shot the special and because what happened was so explosive, I assumed it would leak out. We could have been real A-holes and held off till we were closer to the end but that wouldn’t have been fair to anybody. So we shot that special six weeks ago. It’s unfortunate things leaked out like they did but we know how that happened and who’s responsible. We were also well aware of the ”bonus” information you have been given. I’m not sure why ruining the ending of one of the most successful shows on TV wasn’t enough for people, but it should have been. To hear these ”people” go on and add their own twists and turns to the story was not only laughable but flat out ridiculous. To be quite honest, I could care less, but I know Jason, Molly, and Melissa have been hurt by all this and that’s where I draw the line, and I do care about that. We said this on the show but I want to make it very clear to you, that when Molly walked on that stage six weeks ago that was the first time she had seen Jason since the finale was shot. A quick side note: When you’re making up stories, try to make it somewhat realistic. Do you really think we would fly anybody into the Bachelor’s hometown for a date after the show was wrapped? Not even Melissa met him in Seattle. Come on people, I expect better rumors and lies from you by now. Try meeting in Mexico or Canada that would have been so much more believable.
A lot has happened in the six weeks since we shot that first special and that is what you will see on March 3 on After the Final Rose part 2. I think we did a pretty good job of answering most of the tough questions surrounding the decision and what has happened since. I wasn’t real sure, since we have never done this before, how it would go and if it would help at all, but it did. I’m not saying that if you’re really mad it’s going to make everything all better, but I could tell from the audience that they could at least now understand and see both sides. I know many of you have sworn to me that this is it — you will never watch again. To those of you who have said that and feel this way I say this: I’m sorry your feelings were hurt and I’m sorry you didn’t get the magical ending you thought you were going to get. My promise to you is that no matter what happens on this show, good or bad, we’re going to show it. We can’t have a show where we only show the good parts and when things turn ugly, as life often does, we stop pack up our stuff, apologize to the millions watching, and just go home. Jason chose this path. I hope you will come back and watch the show, but if not, thanks for your support and thanks for seven great years together. I’ll keep your side of the bed warm in case you decide to come back home. Again, I will be back with a special blog on Wednesday that will wrap this up and give you what final thoughts I have on this season. Unfortunately, I can’t wait to read your comments and then write Wednesday’s blog, but I will be reading all of your comments as usual. See you tomorrow!
Now check out our exclusive deleted scene below and then read Kristen Baldwin’s ‘Bachelor’ recap.
More on ‘The Bachelor’: