There was no way ABC was going to have a repeat of last season’s disastrous final rose ceremony on The Bachelor (Brad Womack wimped out and left both girls empty-handed). So the network traveled to England to find a hot new specimen, 27-year-old financier Matt Grant, who had never seen the show. I spoke with Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who gave me the scoop of the upcoming season. (We can only hope Matt hasn’t learned that the Bachelor is supposed to dump his new love within weeks of the show’s finale!)
Chris, why is this the season to watch?
It’s probably the best season we’ve ever done. We have really good girls, dynamic, whether it’s craziness or cattiness, and we have this foreign bachelor. It was kind of like starting over with the Bachelor from day one because he had never seen the show. It was kind of fun to be with someone who didn’t fall into the same traps and the same bachelor speak they all fall into. It made it very interesting.
Did the girls come in knowing Matt is English?
They had no clue. They had seen no pictures, no names and no background. We told Matt not to tell the girls he was from England to see if they could figure out where he’s from.
Is Matt genuine in his search for love?
I was very skeptical of him because my thoughts were, “Why is this guy coming over from London to do The Bachelor? What could his motivation be?” But the more I got to know him and the more the season went along, the more I saw that he’s incredibly intelligent and a very genuine guy. It’s very rare the more a season goes on, the more we like our bachelors and bachelorettes. But everyone really loves Matt. He’s very sincere.
Since no Bachelor has ever gotten married, why should viewers believe this one will?
This is not a game show. You don’t have the promise or guarantee you’re going to win a million dollars, or that we’re going to roll out a priest and get a wedding. The interesting thing about our show is that it’s kind of a double sword, it’s up to human will in the end. Like Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft, I would have bet a million dollars that they would have gone on and gotten married. They were living together in San Francisco and had this fairy tale life and then they break up. Then you have a guy like Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice, who I would have guessed would have stayed together maybe 30 seconds after the tape stopped rolling. And they lived together and stayed together for several years. Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado are still together and they might get married. This season, we’ll just have to see what Matt does. I know he’s very happy with who he chose and they are very much in love. Our fingers are definitely crossed for them.
So we do get a happy ending?
We know for a fact he is very happy and very much in love, which is surprising for this show. Our crew, we get just as sucked in as the viewers do. We’re sitting there at that final rose ceremony just hanging on every word. Is there going to be a proposal? How’s it going to end? Is he going to stay? I know some of our fans were peeved after what happened, but after seeing this, they’re going to be very back on board.
The Bachelor, season premiere, airs at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.