He said… now he says. Longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison addressed several lingering, burning questions regarding that dramatic Bachelor finale, as well as subsequent claims made by Arie Luyendyk Jr. this week regarding the entire fiasco. While much of the country (including franchise alums) was outraged that producers aired unedited footage of the split, Harrison stood by the team’s decision on Wednesday to broadcast the uncomfortable moment on national television.
“I felt the controversy and the drama behind it,” Harrison told E! News. “I will never ever say that we’re always right in what we do, but I definitely stand by showing what we showed and how we showed it. I really do. You know, it’s funny that people often say, ‘The show can be edited. It’s scripted and you guys made him do this and made him do that.’ And then when we show you completely uncut, unedited, no bells or whistles, everybody’s really pissed off. I find the irony in that tragically funny.”
In fact, Harrison feels that the entire execution of the finale was done appropriately. “For me, as a producer and a host and a friend to everybody, I think it was the right thing to do. I like the way it was shown,” he continued. “Relationships aren’t always pretty. They’re not always perfect. It doesn’t always work. And you can’t just show the pretty parts. That’s not how the world works, that’s not how love works. So I’m okay with showing the nasty and the ugly and the sad sometimes because that’s what makes the good stuff so good.”
In fact, Harrison thought Luyendyk and Becca Kufrin were great in Peru. “It seemed he had really come to terms with the fact that this was the woman for him and this was the woman his family really liked and he liked, and would make a great wife,” he mused. “When I left Peru, all I heard was, ‘They’re doing great. They’re off on the happy couple hideaway and they’re doing fantastic.’ And I’m like, ‘Good. Another happy couple. All is good.’”
About six to eight weeks later, they broke up. Luyendyk eventually went on to propose to his runner-up Lauren Burnham with a 3.5-carat Neil Lane ring on the After The Final Rose special Tuesday, March 6. The next morning, the season 22 lead claimed that filming the breakup with Kufrin was for her long-term benefit.
“I wanted her that opportunity, honestly, I wanted her that opportunity to be the potential Bachelorette,” Luyendyk told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. “I hope I gave her that closure. I’m very happy for her. I’m happy that she’s going to be able to find her true love through the show.”
Harrison, however, seemingly questioned the race car driver’s claim. “Well, then, he was thinking far ahead of the game,” the host and show producer said. “That’s a decision that the Bachelors are never involved in, so unless he was just being incredibly creative and thinking as a producer and trying to produce the show as well as break up with a girl and make the switch, which, if he did, I am incredibly impressed.”
Luyendyk and Burnham, meanwhile, are already wedding planning, and potentially toying with the idea of airing their nuptials on TV. Kufrin, herself, will get yet another chance at lasting love with a new crop of suitors on season 14 of The Bachelorette.