By Chris Harrison
Updated May 31, 2011 at 05:01 AM EDT

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day holiday. I hope you also took a moment to remember what it’s all about. To start this week I’d like to thank all of those that have served or are still bravely serving our great country.

There’s so much I want to talk to you about this week, but there’s a dark cloud hanging over this show right now and it’s really hard to talk about anything other than Bentley. I’m going to put him on the back burner for a moment and talk about a few other things before we deal with him. The first thing we did this week was move the guys into the mansion. Usually this is a very easy, uneventful morning and this time was much the same, except for one small problem. Once I talked to the guys in the driveway and sent them in, I noticed there was something – rather, someone –was missing. Jeff “The Mask” rode alone with a producer to the house and he was still in the car when I moved the rest of the guys in the mansion. We quickly realized “The Mask” was missing and we did it over again.

I then told the guys about the dates this week. I have to admit it’s not easy to keep a straight face when I’m talking to the guys and I’m looking at a guy in a mask. But I also have to admit Ashley is right. He’s not a bad guy at all, and he’s got some guts to hold out and play this out as long as he has. He obviously came very close to revealing his true identity but was cut off. Don’t worry though — before it’s all said and done “The Mask” will be revealed. I have to give Ames credit for a great line when he mentioned it was ninety degrees and asked if Jeff wished he had a white mask instead.

Ashley’s one-on-one dates with William and Mickey went very well. William opened up and showed a much more serious side of himself that Ashley loved. Mickey also opened up to Ashley, earning a rose. The private concert with Colbie Caillat was perfect, but I really want to mention the dinner William and Ashley enjoyed in the Bellagio fountain. We’ve done some pretty cool things over the years but this date was truly a one of a kind experience, and I give our producers major kudos for coming up with these ideas and then executing them at such a high level.

Now let’s deal with the elephant in the room, Bentley. Many of you have asked why we allowed Bentley to stay on the show and why I along with the producers didn’t warn her about him. I usually stay pretty impartial while talking to the Bachelor or Bachelorette. I am free to give my opinion but I don’t think it’s my place to ever tell anybody on or off TV what to do and who to love or not to love. I give my opinion and ask probing questions that will help get my point across, but I really think its important for the person to figure things out for themselves and it’s presumptuous to think I know what’s best for them. With that said, this was not the case with Bentley. Ashley will attest to the fact that I told her that first night she might want to nip this in the bud and send him packing, or at the very least be extremely careful with this guy. She convinced me and everybody else that she was going to give him a chance and follow her gut. Once the show starts I can and did continue to warn her and talk to her about this guy. (You’ll see more of my deliberations with her in future episodes.) To say Bentley is not here for the right reasons is a gross understatement. But it seemed the more I warned Ashley and told her to run for the hills, the more she protected and defended him. At some point you have to let the person find out for him or herself what the truth really is.

Let me be very clear the things he said about Ashley and his feelings for her weren’t cute and they weren’t funny. They were out of line and disrespectful. He knew for a fact he wasn’t into Ashley and wanted nothing to do with her, yet he continued to lead her on emotionally and physically as well, and that in my book is not cool. Bentley played Ashley this week and got a rose on the group date. As you saw in the preview things come to a head and unravel in a major way next week. We’ve had so-called bad guys or villains on this show before but we’ve never had anything like this. What you will see next week will easily be one of the most talked about moments ever. There won’t be one viewer that won’t have a very strong opinion about what unfolds. We’ve had plenty of dramatic moments over the years and I even joke about using that word all the time. This is different and it is nothing to joke about. You will see the wheels completely come off this ride for Ashley – so much so we came very close to having to shut down production on our show. There was a very real chance that Ashley was done and so was this season. It was a mess, and you will see every bit of it next Monday night. I know many of you will have a lot to say about Bentley and this episode and what’s to come, and I look forward to reading them all. You can always find me on twitter @chrisbharrison, and you can catch up on full Bachelorette episodes at

More Bachelorette: Check out Ashley’s blog on

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The Bachelorette

Chris Harrison hosts the romantic reality competition series in which one single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs. Will you accept this rose?

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  • ABC
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