A Sneak Peek Into Season 20 of The Bachelor!
During my visit to Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I spent some time at ABC to conduct some fun show interviews! Today I am sharing an interview with the host of THE BACHELOR, Chris Harrison!
The season premiere airs TONIGHT at 8/7c. Season 20 – can you believe it?
Fans won’t have to wait too long to see Ben Higgins try to find love on The Bachelor. ABC has announced The Bachelor Season 20 will premiere with a two-hour episode MONDAY, JAN 4 8|7c. Higgins is no stranger to Bachelor Nation, the handsome software salesman stole America’s hearts when he was sent home by Kaitlyn Bristowe last season on The Bachelorette after confessing to Kaitlyn he thought he was “unlovable.” Now, Ben is ready to open himself up again to love and will attempt to put his heartbreak behind him and overcome that fear as he searches for his soulmate.
Here is what Chris had to say about the upcoming season of THE BACHELOR!
“Ben was an easy choice for us. It’s always nice when you have options and we did have options this season, but it was a bit of a no-brainer. You look back to Caitlin and Brit and that decision and we had options but we were really torn. There was really no right or wrong answer and we ended up doing both, but I don’t know if that was a good answer or not but it was the answer.
With Ben, it was just such a no-brainer and it’s nice when you have something that’s such an easy choice. He’s just such a genuine good guy but as you see, he also has something that, as a producer, is nice because there is that fragility and vulnerable side to him where he does have some issues to deal with and some things to get over. I know, it’s hard to believe a guy that looks like that has issues.
I think that’s the wonderful thing about The Bachelor is that’s why we can all empathize. It’s why you can relate to what’s going on, and it’s why the franchise has spanned 15 years and now 20 Seasons, not to mention The Bachelorette because it’s a very simple concept. There’s no catch. If you think of most shows, there’s all of the shows that have ripped us off over the years with a twist or a catch. He’s not really a millionaire, he’s not really a man at all, or he’s a woman. You know, there has to be something at the end that differentiates you from The Bachelor.
At the end of the day, it’s a very scary concept to produce because there’s Caitlyn and Sean staying out on a beach or mountain or wherever, or Sean Lowe, Catherine or whoever, and there’s just these two people and they just look at each other, and they hope and they wish and they dream, and it’s very simple. I was doing an interview yesterday and someone asked, what’s changed? If you think about the last 10 minutes of our show, that has never changed.
I think in the history of mankind, that 10 minutes of our lives has and never will change. That 10 minutes includes no dating websites, no social media, no moms and Dads. It’s just these two people. There’s this man and woman, scared to death, hoping that they found true love. As cheesy as that may sound, it is that one thing that no matter where you go in the world, kind of connects us all. It’s companionship, it’s hope and that dream of finding somebody. I think that is why the show has been so relatable. It’s probably more social relevant now, more popular than it ever has been.
It’s a great season. We were a little bit pressured cause we wanted to really stand up to this 20th season although you can’t really do that because you can only work with what you have. Luckily, I think we hit a home run with this guy. It’s a great season, he’s a good guy, the women are fantastic. When you have a guy that is a catch like Ben, obviously the level of interest and the level of competition brings us along with the count and from night one it was on. When the women came in and saw what they were after, it was on. So, it’s good a season with some familiar faces and twins.
Everybody has a different bottom when you go through something like that and inevitably, every Bachelor and Bachelorette gets kind of strung out, and that’s one of the great things about how we produce this show and this process that people probably outside the show don’t understand is it really does strip you down naked and then you start new, and you start to build. You can’t fake your way through this. Whether you’re one of the 25 or 28 this season or if the guy or girl himself, you can’t fake your way through it, you just can’t. The first maybe, but you will be found out.
This season is interesting because the drama is more Ben-induced and caused because of who he is and how he holds himself, carries himself throughout the show, which is extraordinarily well, and he’s very open. The best way to go through with this is to really just wear your heart on your sleeve and give yourself up to the process.
I think Ben’s the same type of guy, how sincere and humble and faith based, and he really just gave himself up to us. It’s scary when you have someone’s life in your hands. We kind of took it and ran. He really just gave himself and threw himself into the fire, the drama will follow when that happens.”
We asked Chris if he had any interesting stories that he wanted to share.
My own tragic experiences? I was married for 19 years. Having 2 kids, and being a family man, and that being so important to me, I hope to be a really good host and being a rock for these people.
I think oddly enough, the last 4 years, since my divorce, has made me empathize with the contestants a lot more and realize why they’re all here and what they’re going through. It’s really interesting how my opinions have changed a little bit. I think I’ve become probably a better host and listener and therapist and friend since then.
If you watch the evolution of this show, we started 15 years ago. It was this crazy concept and reality was very edgy. Survivor had just come on the air, and then we were next. I remember running into Jeff Probst at an event and I said, “what is it?” I was a sportscaster and I knew how to host but this was very different. There was no template, there was playbook for this is how you host a reality show.
Jeff actually just said, “you’re gonna have to figure it out. I had to figure it out on Survivor. Your thing is gonna be so different.” I was just trying to keep my job at the time. I was scared to death, my first network show, and we picked up with 6 one-hour episodes. That was it. That was the original concept. No Bachelorette. That was never intended to happen. This is just a one time deal that we thought we would do.
We then asked Chris which season of THE BACHELOR is his favorite.
You know, it changes, but I would go back to Aaron, Trista, which is our highest rated Season from start to finish. Aaron I think, is our highest rated show ever, with like 33 million. I think we had outdrew the Oscars that year. Trista came along and that was a huge controversial idea. How dare we put a woman in charge and have The Bachelorette? It was really crazy back then.
It seems so benign and commonplace but back then, it was a wild idea. Trista was just a perfect storm and I think that legitimized our franchise. Ryan and Trista are so incredible. That was the fairy tale and set the stage for everything that happened after.
THE BACHELOR returns TONIGHT at 8/7c!
Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles.