Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All'
I’ve said this before about the Men Tell All, but I like to repeat myself, so I’ll say it again. It’s always hard to write a blog about this episode because what you see is pretty what you get. If I think something I write it in this blog, or if I think it while on the show I say it or ask it there. So let me say that again, it’s always hard to write a blog about this episode. See what I did there?
We’ve been breaking into houses and crashing viewing parties for a few years now, and I love it. Des and I had a blast that night we crashed several parties in LA. This show is truly unlike any other on television and our fans are equally as unique. I hear so many stories of these amazing Bachelor watching parties and it’s been a real honor to be able to go out and meet some of “Bachelor Nation” and say thank you.
I was a little surprised at just how contentious the Tell All was. Obviously I was disappointed that Brian chose not to come and face what he had done, but I wasn’t at all surprised that he opted not to. Honestly I would have been shocked if he’d been man enough to show up. That’s just not the kind of man he is. Look at a guy like Jonathan, who was a colossal moron that first night as he repeatedly tried to get Des in the “fantasy suite.” He admitted he was a mess and made a huge mistake and he apologized for it. Wow, what a novel idea — owning up to your mistakes, and offering a sincere apology. That’s just not a Brian kind of move.
Ben took the hot seat and it was really odd. I think the guys may have had a point in being so upset with Ben, but they had a very difficult time articulating that point. I see this quite a bit on the show. People have very different ways of pursuing a man or woman. Ben made it very clear he wasn’t there to make friends and he would go after Des with everything he’s got. Right or wrong, that was his attitude. Is it attractive when you shine a spotlight on it and show everybody how he acts? No, of course not. But is it effective and does it work for him? Yes! So should he apologize for doing exactly what he intended to do when he wasn’t necessarily hurting anybody else? That’s the big question. The rest of the guys obviously took issue with his style and took offense to everything he did. Ben still feels like he did nothing wrong, other than the comments in the limo on the way out. Like so many things on this show it’s a social dilemma that will be debated at length by members of Bachelor Nation.
The James situation was also interesting in that it really wasn’t a black-and-white, right-or-wrong situation. Is there room in this process to have a “bro” or “girl” talk that you wouldn’t necessarily want your significant other to hear? And to take it a step further, were the other guys — namely Kasey and Drew — out of line in running to Des to tell her just because they were offended? One thing is for sure: Mikey got caught in the middle of all this and was thrown under the bus by James and the other guys, and he wasn’t having any of it. I was a little surprised when he got up in Kasey’s face but then again he’s a fiery, proud guy and had had enough. Although they are friends, he was even a little upset at James for backing the bus over him more than a few times. So who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation? I do feel that I asked all the questions that could’ve been asked and I feel everybody got a fair chance to speak their mind and give their version of the truth. My guess is the truth is somewhere in between and that James, in what he thought was a private “bro” moment, said some stuff he probably wouldn’t have said in front of Des. But did it warrant all the drama it caused with the other guys? Maybe not. But once again this will be discussed at thousands of viewing parties around the country and the verdict will be made by all of you.
I loved sitting down with Juan Pablo and really introducing him to all of you. It’s true what I said about him, that nobody has ever been shown less but been talked about so much. Juan Pablo was a house favorite — he’s just one of those guys you can’t dislike. I got to know Juan Pablo as we bonded over our love of soccer. We had a blast knocking it around on the Española pitch in Barcelona. He has a zest for life that is just contagious. He’s obviously a family man first and foremost, as his daughter is everything to him.
Zak was also a great interview but on a very different level. Zak was incredibly open and honest about his experience on the show and his relationship with Des. I really respect just how vulnerable he was. When you listen to a guy like Zak you know that this show is real and sincere. You just can’t make up that kind of emotion. Some people have said Des made a mistake in letting him go. Obviously people are entitled to their opinions, but it wasn’t the fact that Des didn’t’ see these great qualities it was that she didn’t see him as her husband. She didn’t see forever with him.
Easily the most talked about part of the Men Tell All will no doubt be the tease of the dramatic special two-part finale. All I can tell you at this point is nobody will come out of this unscathed. It’s hard to believe that after eleven years we still run into situations we’ve never seen before, but that’s the case here. Des and the other guys will be tested emotionally like never before. So, next Monday night will be the first part of this special finale. Then, Monday August 5th join me for a live three-hour television event that you won’t want to miss. Let the speculation begin!
More Bachelorette from EW: