Chris Harrison on Why 'Bachelorette' Reunion Was Missing Two Former Leads (Exclusive)
The Bachelor franchise organized the biggest Bachelorette reunion ever in celebration of the series' upcoming 15th season -- though not every Bachelorette will be a part of the special two-hour show.
The series has been teasing the reunion for weeks now, featuring Trista Sutter (season one), DeAnna Pappas (season four), Jillian Harris (season five), Ali Fedotowsky (season six), Ashley Rosenbaum (season seven), Emily Maynard (season eight), Desiree Hartsock (season nine), Andi Dorfman (season 10), Kaitlyn Bristowe (season 11), JoJo Fletcher (season 12), Rachel Lindsay (season 13) and Becca Kufrin (season 14). Noticeably missing from the get-together are Meredith Phillips (season two) and Jen Schefft (season three).
While speaking with ET's Lauren Zima on Wednesday, host Chris Harrison explained that leaving out the two women wasn't intentional -- it just came down to scheduling.
"Unfortunately Jen and Meredith couldn't be there because we had to settle on a date. At the end of the day, we had to shoot this thing," he shared. "So, we just picked a day where we could get as many as we possibly could, but unfortunately schedules, vacations, was one of them, just couldn't be changed. And we just had to pull the trigger and do this thing."
"I was grateful that we had as many as we did, which was 12 of the 14. Obviously [new Bachelorette] Hannah [Brown] is not a part of it, she's shooting the show," he added.
Absolutely can’t wait for #BachelorNation to see the “Mother” of all #TheBachelorette reunions Mon May 6th #ABC Loved spending time with all these incredible women
A post shared by Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:28am PDT
Schefft, who is now married to Joe Waterman and has two daughters, has stayed away from the public eye in recent years. Phillips, meanwhile, came forward last May alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a masseuse while filming her season. She said she didn't tell anyone about what had happened for a long time. Both ABC and Warner Bros. had no comment at the time Phillips' allegation surfaced.
According to Harrison, both Phillips and Shefft will still be "represented" and "celebrated" in the reunion.
"Jen and Meredith are represented, they're celebrated in this thing, we love them very much and they're a part of our family and this sisterhood, but they just couldn't join us," he said.
The bachelorettes are all back at the Bachelor Mansion! Who knows what will happen on Monday! #TheBachelorette
A post shared by The Bachelorette (@bacheloretteabc) on Apr 30, 2019 at 2:37pm PDT
"I just watched the whole thing last night, and I was like a 5-year-old at Christmas, I really was. I had this weird sense of pride... It's my baby," he said of the show. "I really love these women, and I really liked that at the end of the day, we had all these Bachelorettes together for the first time, and we've never done anything like it."
Harrison said the women found common ground in more than just their time trying to find love on TV.
"They were just sitting around and talking, telling stories of motherhood and just being women today and being Bachelorettes and going through this show and I just thought, 'This is great.' It's just celebrating these badass women doing their thing. And there was no producing, no nothing. It was just raw them," he revealed. "And then having them lined up in the driveway later that night, like, looking from Trista to Becca like, 'Wow, we did this.' Like, all these kickass women doing their thing. I thought it was pretty cool."
The Bachelorette reunion airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, with Brown's season of the show kicking off the following week, on May 13. See more in the video below and join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.
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