I hope you don’t mind but since it’s been a busy 48 hours, I’m combining my blogs. I figure since there’s really no official blogging rules (yes, I checked) I could make up my own and so talking about the live Bachelorette finale and the premiere of Bachelor Pad in one blog is okay. Before we get to the beauty that is Pad I want to step back to Sunday night and put a bow on Emily’s season and our three-hour television event.

First of all, I absolutely loved the idea of doing the show live and creating what amounted to be one big nationwide viewing party. For me to be able to watch the show along with a live studio audience packed with fans was a thrill for me. To see it through their eyes was incredible and it reminded all of us at the Bachelor why we do this show and how much people really love it. The finale really spoke for itself so I’ll just give a few thoughts on what turned out to be one of the best seasons we’ve ever had.

That final week in Curacao was a wild one, not only because Emily decided she was choosing Jef, but because of how she decided to say goodbye to Arie. Arie is a great guy, and Emily clearly loved him and he loved her. What I found amazing — and I was glad we were able to discuss it on the live show — was how it all continued to play out after we finished taping. The fact that Arie was so in love he took it upon himself to fly to Charlotte to see Emily again speaks volumes about his feelings and his relationship with her. It really lets you know what these people are feeling and going through is real. Arie was incredibly sincere on the show. I think he handled himself well and expressed his emotions very well, but at the same time was very respectful to Emily and Jef.

Speaking of Jef, there’s not much to say about this couple that you couldn’t clearly see in their body language during the show. They love each other very much and are already off to an amazing start. Hearing the stories how Jef has spent so much time with Emily and Ricki, and how much he already loves that little girl, is amazing. Does this guarantee they will get married and stay together forever? Of course not. What they have is a great and beautiful start. They love each other very much, and have the beginning of what will hopefully be a long lasting relationship. I truly hope that it will be.

One more side note from the show Sunday night: Emily did make good on her bet with me and she did the running man! We shot it afterwards with the studio audience and I’ll let you know where you can find that online soon via Twitter.

Thank you again for making this season of The Bachelorette one of the most successful in history, and thank you for following us into Bachelor Pad. Please know that all of us at The Bachelor don’t take your loyalty and love for our show for granted, because we know it’s what keeps us going every year. Congrats to Emily and Jef. I wish you guys nothing but love and I look forward to hearing about the wedding plans very soon!

NEXT: Harrison on the Bachelor Pad premiere

Now, let’s move on to the newest season of Bachelor Pad. It was great to be back to the mansion, as we weren’t there at all for Emily’s season. There were several interesting stories coming in, but one I particularly wondered about was why Michael decided to come back. Being the defending champ, he knew he had a target on his back, so I was looking forward to seeing how he would survive. So far, he’s right back where he left off, completely controlling the game.

The fans’ arrival was my favorite part of that first night. To see how wide their eyes got when they stepped out of the limo and saw the mansion was fantastic. They were so excited to be there, and that’s exactly what we were hoping for when we decided to bring fans into the Pad. Trying to talk to everybody and explain the rules was like trying to keep the attention of a bunch of children. Actually, to be more specific, it was like trying to keep the attention of a bunch of loud, drunk, half-naked children. Ed was a complete and utter wreck by this point in the night. I didn’t know whether to laugh or go drown him in the pool. Somehow Ed and the others survived the first night and made it to the first competition.

With everything so different this season, the competitions are going to be huge. The fact that Dave and the twins won completely changed the dynamic in the house. Well, that is, until Dave made the incredibly stupid mistake of opening his mouth and telling everyone his master plan. The fans could have easily and quietly taken control of the game if Dave hadn’t declared war on the alumni. The dynamic between Chris and Blakeley is interesting, and by “interesting” I mean “a little scary.” Blakeley got a little possessive over her partner, and I think that really drove him away. As you saw this won’t be the end of Chris playing musical partners.

Erica Rose and some of the others really made me laugh when they would talk about the fans as if they were third-class citizens who barely deserved to live, much less breathe the same air as the alums. Erica asked a good question to Dave and the fans: “Who are you?” Well, Erica, these are the wonderful people who have kept our show on the air for over a decade. These are the same people who have given you and everyone else in Bachelor Pad the gift of being there. So maybe instead of a pompous rant, a simple thank you and a hug would suffice.

Because of Dave’s terrible rookie mistake, fans Paige and “Swat” were the first to get booted from Bachelor Pad. That’s too bad because Swat is a good guy and deserved to stick around a little longer, and I really wanted to see Paige and Reid spend a little more time together to see what might happen. Battle lines have definitely been drawn, but as you saw this week, alliances mean very little in this house, and every rose ceremony is a free-for-all. This was just the tip of the iceberg this season, and you should prepare for a wild ride! As always, find me on Twitter @chrisbharrison and check out for new blogs by this season’s Bachelor Pad contestants.

Check out EW’s Kristen Baldwin on ABC’s After Party below, and watch the whole After Party episode here:

More Bachelor Pad from EW:

Episode Recaps

Bachelor Pad
Chris Harrison reassembles former rose-contenders for a second chance at reality fame, love, and televised skankiness
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