By Chris Harrison
Updated September 14, 2010 at 05:05 AM EDT

Bachelor Pad

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Image Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABCBefore I get into the fantastic finale of Bachelor Pad, I want to once again talk about what a great little community of people we’ve created with this franchise. Last week, former contestants Amy Bean, Natalie, Deanna, Holly and their Stagliano boys showed up to support the premiere of a movie called Heaven’s Rain that my production company had a hand in getting produced. If you have a second, check out the story at Then on Sunday, Andy Baldwin, Ryan Sutter and I took part in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Well, to be honest, they competed and I just finished it. The point is, though, that I love the community of friends this show has created over the years, and I very much appreciate their support.

Now that season one of Bachelor Pad is complete, I can tell you the things I was a bit surprised by (aside from Wes and Gia’s romance, that is). From day one, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize Kiptyn and Tenley were extremely powerful and had to be dealt with. I was surprised week after week how they managed to slide by. Honestly, I thought they would be gone a long time ago because they’re so nice and so good that you wouldn’t possibly want to run into them in the finals. But once they made it to the final three couples, I thought this game was over and that they were a sure bet. I was thrown a curve ball when the cast kicked them to the curb and chose Dave and Natalie to advance to the final round. Another thing I was constantly amazed by was the fact that the “outsiders” had the strategy and the numbers but never took down the “power couples.” After the studio show, I now realize that despite the fact that they had the numbers and the strategy, they didn’t have the unity to pull it off. One thing the “cool kids” had was a solid team that stuck together to the bitter end. Even after it was over, the “outsiders” were still bickering about what happened and whose fault it was. I was also slightly surprised at how pissed off Michelle still was at Tenley. With that said, I do agree with Michelle that she got screwed over by Tenley, but Tenley realizes this, and I truly think she feels bad about what she did. In the end, it came back to bite her and Kiptyn in the butt, and that was part of what got them voted out of the game.

If you take away the ending and the money, easily the best moment of the episode — and probably the entire season — was Gia and Wes falling in love. We all knew when Gia was voted off that there was something serious between them. I think they make a great couple, and I’m happy they are together and wish them the best. Say what you will about Wes, the guy is honest, and what ya see is what ya get with him. Gia is a very sweet woman, and I think oddly enough that these two opposites are perfect together.

While I was surprised Dave and Natalie were chosen as the final couple, secretly I was excited, if only for the fact that I was pretty positive Kiptyn and Tenley would split the money, but I wasn’t so sure about Dave and Natalie. Since they made it very clear that they aren’t a serious couple, it wasn’t a stretch to think that one or even both of them might take a shot at keeping the money for themselves. I loved the twist at the end of the show about keeping or sharing the money. To me, it brought the whole show back to the Bachelor franchise’s main themes of trust and relationships. Now I have to give it up to Natalie for sucking everybody in and making people think she was going to choose “keep.” She did that all on her own. I found out the results right before I welcomed them back in the studio. I was also told to move quickly once I got Dave’s answer, because Natalie doesn’t have a good poker face and we didn’t want her to give it away. So when she originally asked me if she could say something before her reveal, I said “No,” because I was worried she would blow the end of the game. Oh, how I was wrong. She pulled off a great bit, convincing everybody she was going to stab Dave in the back and keep the money. I knew the outcome, so I was watching Dave and he looked like his head was going to explode. I would hate to have seen what would have happened if she had actually done that to him. The crowd was booing, Dave was reeling and then Natalie let everybody in on the joke and revealed that they would be sharing the $250,000. A great finish to what was a very fun show this summer.

Once the results were revealed, that’s where things got a little awkward, at least for me. Unbeknownst to me, Dave had told producers earlier that day that if he won, he was going to lay one on me. Unfortunately for me, Dave did win and he did keep his word. He came over to hug Melissa, then I thought we were going to share a good “manly” hug, but instead he pulled me in for the real thing. There are some things that just don’t wash off, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Other than I would really appreciate it if Dave shaves before the next time.

Now that all is said and done, congrats to Dave and Natalie. I’m really happy for them both. This money will mean a lot and go a long way in helping both of them. Congrats to our new couples Tenley and Kiptyn (or “Kip-Ten” as they’re called) and Gia and Wes. Nice goin’, amigo! Who says love don’t come easy? It was a great, fun summer stay at Bachelor Pad, but now it’s time to put away the great summer clothes (including the polka-dot tie and checkered shirt) and pull out The Bachelor uniform. Thank you very much for your support and for watching our new franchise; I hope you had fun with it. I’m excited to be getting back to work on season 21! We’ll see you in early January with our new season of The Bachelor that I promise will be shocking and, yes, the most dramatic EVER!

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