Is guiding the love lives of reality show celebrities every week in front of millions of American viewers really be all the fun and games it appears to be? It seems that way to ModXMan. On ABC’s hit series The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, Texan Chris Harrison appears into the country’s living rooms to officiate how either one woman or one man seeks their perfect mate, from a selection of 25 eligible singles.
The new season has just begun and in the TV world the ratings don’t get any better, and a part of that success is the way host Harrison presides over the series. Here he divulges a behind the scenes look at the show – and what it’s like to be a Texan who has made it big in Hollywood. (Photos courtesy of ABC)
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have taken America by storm – why do you think the series has become so popular?
We really seem to have struck a chord with the country. It gives our viewers at home a safe place to judge from their own couch in a safe environment. Also, the show really strikes a cord with women – and men, too – because we all want a fairytale relationship in life. Unlike the other reality dating shows that have formats like ours, the twists are there to help. The shows give the best chance for succeeding at a relationship.
The show is filmed over the course of many weeks, to air over ten to twelve weeks – so there’s a lot of action that happens – tell us about that accelerated pace of events.
In the show, everything that happens is happening in reality while the people are living in the house over that same amount of time. There is a painstaking attention and amount of work done by the producers and creators of the show. Many other reality dating shows shoot their entire run in just a couple of weeks, so ours is pretty much real time.
What about the camaraderie between the bachelorettes and bachelors – do they really get along or is there some rivalry?
The unique aspect of the show is that genuine friendships are formed onscreen and off. It’s almost like a weird fraternity, especially after each season ends. Because the house in which the people on the show live has no television, no phones, and no outside news, so the friendships are intense. All they have to think about is the actual “act of dating” for the show, so after the show ends, they take trips that are like mini reunions.
Is the “rose ceremony”, which signifies the choices the star makes for the next round of dating choices, all it appears to be? It looks really stressful on this side of the television screen.
The first rose ceremony is interesting – when people find themselves in the ceremony in a group setting and leave as a group early on. From the second round forward it gets really serious as individuals are singled out as not making it to the next level. It becomes more intense and people feel the rejection on a much more personal level – and the viewers see that, too.
You bring your nice guy sensibility to the series – what is it about being raised a Texan that has helped in your success?
You know, I never really auditioned for the show. A large part of the reason is that the producers wanted someone who is married so there would be no element of that person hitting on the women contestants. Because of this, they wanted the role to be that of the Bachelor’s best friend – again, not hitting on the women. Because of the fact that I am a decent, down home guy, they thought I might be right for it.
Are there some perks of hosting such a popular show?
You bet – there are so many things. I am a big sports fan, so attending the ESPY awards was a treat. I also love to ski, so attending ski events is fun, too. I’ve also had a chance to meet some of my heroes like Barry Sanders and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
What is your favorite part of being a Texan in Hollywood – how do you “keep it real?”
Having most of my family in Dallas makes a difference. So everyone really keeps me grounded. I realize this can all go as quickly as it comes and I’ll enjoy it for as long as I can.