Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock was absolutely crushed last week after the shocking departure of frontrunner Brooks Forester. It was no secret that Desiree had fallen hard for Brooks right away. She did her best to pretend to have feelings for the other guys, but you could tell she was always pining for Brooks.
So the shocking sudden departure of Brooks after a sit-down situation with his family left Desiree and the whole Bachelor production crew reeling. There was no way producers could force a love relationship between Dez and the two remaining guys, Drew Kenney and Chris Siegfried.
That was it. Show’s over!
How did The Bachelor and most importantly Chris Harrison handle this unprecedented situation?
Host Chris Harrison told EXTRA, describing his shock after Forester’s decision.
“I was incredibly shocked. When I got a call from the producers that Brooks had gone home to talk to his family and that it didn’t go well and that he was very much considering leaving and pulling himself out of this, we went to go talk to him the next day.
“So I got up and went to his place (that’s what you saw when I visited with him) and I think looking back now I got to see everything. The writing was on the wall, and I think he’d already decided prior to meeting with his family that he was kind of done.
“It wasn’t that he didn’t care for her or even love her, he just wasn’t where she was. He saw how dead-set she was on marriage and maybe where this was heading and he just wasn’t there.”
Harrison also provided some clues for next week’s finale part 2, where fans will finally see what happens to Hartsock.
“There’s a million possibilities now. Between all three guys. The way that it ended last night. Last week is as good, or maybe even more riveting than last night.”
Chris also told Reality TV World this about Brooks’ decision to walk out on Desiree and what’s to come in next week’s finale.
Chris Harrison: I think he did have regret. I think that you could definitely see — and again, that’s the interesting thing about Brooks, is even when I was talking to him, I think his mind was kind of made up when he talked to his parents. And then the more I talked to him, that’s why I had such a difficult time getting him to articulate his feelings and tell me what he was thinking.
He was almost looking for a way out; But he was almost looking for a way to stay in. So I don’t know if he was 100%. And then once Des started professing her love and telling him how she felt, you could see how broken up he was. He was emotionally crushed.
And so, as wishy-washy as he is, I think there is definitely regret there. He said as much to us after he left. So there’s definitely that element that he probably did regret saying what he said and doing what he did. So, that’s definitely open as well as we head into next week.
Chris said this about the unprecedented-ness of the situation in show history:
Chris Harrison: Yeah, I mean, it’s really funny. Heading into every season, I always joke with the producers, I say, “Something will happen this season that we’ve never faced before,” and we’ll laugh. We’ve done this so long — it’s been, what, 28-something seasons and 11 years? Surely you’ve kind of seen everything.
But inevitably, there is a moment on the show where you run into this situation that you just never faced. And this time, it was this deal with Brooks. It just led to a finale in the final two weeks that, as producers, we kind of weren’t prepared to face. We all were kind of scrambling and trying to figure this out.
One thing I love, is that episode you saw last Monday was so different from anything we’ve ever had before. I was watching it, thinking, “Is this even a Bachelor episode?” It was so organic and raw, and we just really let you see everything, and I love that.
I love that our viewers and the fans of our show kind of demand that now, seeing behind the curtain and seeing really everything — warts and all, even to the point where they’re walking into the jungle and there’s bad lighting and you can’t really see well and our cameras are scrambling and having to run around.
Even when Des walked back on the dock, we weren’t really ready for that either. One of our camera guys was literally wading out 400 yards into the water waist-deep holding a camera over his head to try and get a shot because we’re not set up for that.
We just really let things go now, whereas maybe in the past, early early on, we would’ve said, “Okay, stop. Let’s get the cameras set,” and it looks a little more produced and it looks prettier. But now, we kind of just show you everything that’s happening, because that’s really what this show is now, and that’s where our fans are.”
We love watching Chris Harrison handle a brand new situation!
When is The Bachelorette finale on? Monday August 5th ABC, 8 ET/PT