Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelor: The Women Tell All'
To be honest this week I don’t have a whole lot of dirt for you: The name of the show — The Women Tell All — really speaks for itself. Obviously, we don’t leave any of the good stuff out. My interview with Brad where we go over the season and talk about the unseen moments is always a fun night for all of us. We shoot it at the Bachelor house a few weeks before the Tell All special. It’s fun because it’s a relaxed, laid back, pressure-free atmosphere with just a few of us at the house, so we all share some good stories and have some laughs. I think this is where you see the “real” Brad. This is the guy I see all the time, and wish you got to see more of this season.
We shot the show in a new studio. It was much smaller than the one we usually use. For this reason it was a very tight, intimate setting. When I introduce the women, I always find it interesting to listen to the audience’s reaction to each woman. Ashley S., Ashley H., and Shawntel got the loudest applause. Madison got an odd response, like the fans still don’t know what to make of her. Michelle definitely got a mixed response. Fans obviously feel very strongly about her one way or the other. As soon as the ladies came out, so did their claws. I honestly figured by the time everyone came back for the Tell All, all would be forgiven and the girls would try to make nice with each other. Not so much! During the season I felt that Melissa really came off as the instigator and the woman at the center of all the drama. But on this night it was Raichel who just wouldn’t let it go. There is just something about Melissa that just drives Raichel crazy. I still don’t think Raichel fully understands the ramifications of her actions. Even when Brad came out and flat-out told them both the reason he sent them home was because of all the drama they caused, Raichel still blamed Melissa. She would claim responsibility for her actions but in the same breath blame it all on Melissa. At the very end of my interview I gave Melissa a chance to apologize to Raichel and the other girls and she did. I then gave Raichel the same opportunity and she once again followed up her apology with the dreaded “but,” as in “but it was Melissa’s fault and I just don’t like her.” As Melissa said, “You can lead a horse to water…”
Ashley S. was a tough interview for me to do. I feel bad for this woman. You can tell she’s been deeply hurt before and she really thought this time would be different. She just seems so vulnerable. I truly hope my words got through to her. She is a very sweet, intelligent woman and I’m guessing she will find love quickly after this show now that she knows what she’s really looking for. I also enjoyed my talk with the new Ashley H. I, for one, love the new look and new attitude she was showing on the special. The main thing I got from her was that she has a lot of regret. Ashley H. really regrets not putting herself out there more and questioning everything so much. She feels that had she not fallen on her own sword she might have been the final woman standing, and I can’t say for sure that she’s not right. Brad said himself back in South Africa that he couldn’t believe he was saying goodbye to Ashley when just weeks before he had such strong feelings for her. One thing I love about the Tell All is to see how people change and grow from this experience. It was good to see Ashley H. has grown and learned a lot. She really did seem like a new woman to me.
Have I left anybody out of this blog…? Oh that’s right — Michelle. After ten years of hosting this show not much surprises me anymore. Michelle surprised me. The moment I introduced the ladies, the attacks on Michelle started. Instead of fighting back Michelle got very emotional and started crying. We took a commercial break, Michelle composed herself, and then I brought her up to the hot seat. She immediately lost it again and really broke down. It shocked all of this to see this strong personality so frail and vulnerable. Then things really got bad when Stacey attacked her and brought up her daughter. Let me say something to the folks out there who don’t have kids: You can say a lot of things about people, but questioning someone’s parenting skills or decisions is not smart. Michelle understandably got very defensive but also really lost it emotionally. She was literally shaking and hyperventilating. The bizarre thing was despite Michelle cowering and sobbing, the girls just kept right on talking and taking shots at her. That’s when I got a little protective and had to step in and calm things down a bit. We took another break so Michelle could try to calm herself down but she never really recovered. She had a rough day.
Before I wrap this up I want to talk a little bit about the best part of this season for me. During the special we showed a piece about the Henna School in South Africa. This was a local school Brad and I visited our first week there. As you saw this is an amazing school with some inspiring children. I’m happy to be apart of a family like The Bachelor that gives back like we do. Brad and I both agreed that was a day we’ll remember the rest of our lives. There is much more that can and needs to be done for these children. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, please go to our website or ABC.com.
We are a week away from the finale. A week away from seeing if Brad can exorcise his demons and find what he so desperately came back here to find. The finale next week is an amazing two-hour event that you won’t want to miss. Then stay tuned for a special edition of After The Final Rose immediately after the finale. Until then, you can find the show and myself via Twitter: @thebachelortv and @chrisbharrison.
More on The Bachelor: The Women Tell All from EW:
And check out Brad’s Bachelor blog on people.com.