I want to start this week by saying congratulations to Desiree and Chris, who were married this Sunday down in beautiful southern California. For those of you who wanted this wedding to be televised, so did I. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as that. You don't get to just make a television show out of whatever you want, whenever you want. There is a lot that goes into doing any network show. We came very close to working out a deal for a special that would've included Chris and Des's wedding, but things just didn't work out in the end. I'm very sorry for that because as fans of the show, I understand that you want to see this journey come full circle. Most importantly, please know that this was not a sign of disrespect for Des and Chris at all by the Bachelor family. They are very much beloved by all of us and we are so thrilled they tied the knot this weekend. So to Des and Chris I say, "We love you, and congratulations on a beautiful life together."
Now from a great love story to a good comedy. Yes, The Bachelor turned into an AMAZING comedy this week (that'll cost me a dollar). Hey, maybe after thirteen years of Emmy snubs in the reality category, this year we should apply in the comedy category. Jimmy Kimmel has been a huge fan and champion of The Bachelor since day one. He's had many of us on his show for years, and I know he's watched every single season. I've gotten to know Jimmy over the years and I just want to say that off-camera he is a great guy — he's just as funny, self-deprecating, and spot-on as he is on camera. So when his folks pitched us the idea of him coming over and taking my spot this week, we all thought it would be a great idea and a thrill for everyone on the show.
When I shoot my morning stuff with Chris and the ladies the night after a rose ceremony, we've only had a couple hours of sleep so usually there's very few of us there — everybody else is grabbing what little sleep they can before returning to work. But the funny thing is, the morning Jimmy was there just about everybody suddenly "had" to be at work. When I arrived on the famous driveway in front of the mansion that morning, there were already about 10 producers and handlers gushing over him. It was a sight to see.
The idea of waking Chris up the way we did was completely Jimmy's. That morning we were discussing ideas and Jimmy said, "Hey, give me a cup of coffee and let me just walk in and do my thing." You have to understand Chris truly had no idea, and may have been asleep for all of two hours, so he was completely out of it as you could see. There are some surreal moments when you are the Bachelor, and waking up with Jimmy Kimmel standing over you with your morning coffee is definitely one of them. I wasn't sure what the girls' reaction would be when I brought Jimmy into the house, but it was complete and utter joy.
The first date Jimmy set up was incredibly clever, because everybody assumed with Jimmy involved the date would be over-the-top awesome. They apparently don't know Jimmy very well. He pulled the rug out from under Kaitlyn and Chris pretty well by sending them to Costco to do some shopping. For years now people on social media have said to me, "Why don't you ever just do what normal people do?" Well, here ya go: Costco. Chris and Kaitlyn really embraced this simple date and had a blast laughing their way through it all. It meant a lot to Chris that Kaitlyn went with every curve and embraced it and made it a great day.
The dinner party was back at Chris's place. I don't know about you, but there was so much laughing and smiling I found myself just laughing and smiling along with them for no reason. They enjoyed each other so much it was contagious. Jimmy eventually came along that night and was his usual hilarious self. He had all of us rolling the entire night. I feel like Jimmy is my alter ego — he got to say and do all the things I've wanted to say and do over the last decade. At the end of the day, Kaitlyn got the rose, Jimmy got chicken wings, and everybody was happy.
The group date was also a Jimmy Kimmel creation. It kind of reminded me of the race we put the girls through on Sean's season. Jimmy created a farm-themed competition that included such gems as chugging fresh, warm goat's milk (even writing this makes me almost gag) and wrestling a greased pig. Jimmy clearly has no clue that other than shucking corn, Chris absolutely does none of this on his farm — but I'm pretty sure he doesn't care because it was funny. The girls really got competitive and went after this race; Jillian wasn't even slowed down at all by the censor's black bar across her butt. In the end Carly, who we haven't seen much of, grabbed the pig and won the race. The night portion of this date was interesting because the kissing bandit was back. Chris has been very open with his affection for all the women; there has been a lot of kissing this season and especially on this date. The interesting thing is the girl who wouldn't kiss him, Becca, really grabbed his attention and got the rose. Hmmm, is there a lesson in here somewhere?
Whitney is another girl that hasn't gotten a lot of time with Chris. She got the one on one date to the vineyard, which quickly turned into a wedding crashing date. We did an OK job of showing this, but you should know this was not planned and it was not our idea at all. None of this was set up by our producers and we didn't know those people at the wedding. Whitney is really the one who came up with the idea. The more she and Chris joked about it, the more they wanted to do it. Finally as you saw one of our producers said, "Hey if y'all want to do this, then go do it."
We were pretty close to the house so we drove them back to change and dress up so they could crash the reception, which was in the same place as you saw the wedding. Whitney grabbed some prop out of Chris's house and wrapped it as a wedding gift to the couple. The truly entertaining thing was the closer they got to actually crashing the wedding, the more nervous Chris and Whitney got. It was one of those things that sounded funny and cool, but when you're actually about to truly crash a wedding, you're nervous as hell.
I have to give massive props to our crew that night. With just a few cameras and the cover of darkness, they hid from a distance and somehow covered the wedding as best they could without being seen. As Chris mentioned, a producer or two also snuck in and shot some video on their phones as if they were family or friends just capturing the moments. It was genius on-the-fly television producing that was so well done it looked planned, but I promise you it wasn't. Towards the end I think people started recognizing Chris, but for most of the night they just blended in and had a blast at Nick and Shannon's wedding. I don't know Nick and Shannon but I hope to meet them soon. We are going to do our best to get them to the Women Tell All so we can officially meet this couple. I want to wish them the best and say congrats — and sorry we ate so much of your wedding cake.
After a shower with Jimmy Kimmel and some workout time to pop the abs, it was time for Chris to join the ladies for a pool party. The party started out on an incredibly emotional note as Juelia told Chris about her past and how her husband committed suicide. If nothing else comes from this moment on the show, I'm glad we could once again help shine a light on an issue that is far too often swept under the rug in our society. Juelia is an incredibly strong woman and I'm grateful she shared her story on our show.
The rest of the party was pretty much a feeding frenzy on Chris's face as girl after girl went in for the kiss. I think he may have actually wanted to talk to Britt this time but couldn't get a word out. The women are being really aggressive this season, going after what they want and assuming this is the way to get Chris's attention and a rose. I have to say it appears in most cases to be working. Chris certainly doesn't seem to mind.
That night at the rose ceremony we had a little more fun with Jimmy before it was time for him to take a moment and say his goodbyes. Having Jimmy around this week was a blast for everybody in front of and behind the camera. I was with ABC a year before Jimmy got his big late-night break. I'll never forget being at an ABC dinner at the Super Bowl in San Diego when they announced Jimmy as the network's first late-night star. He's a great guy who's worked his butt off to be the success that he is. I consider us very lucky to be able to count him as a proud member of Bachelor Nation. Next week, I get my job back — and I promise that it's going to be AMAZING.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.