I'm extremely proud to be debuting my weekly blogs here at Yahoo TV this season. Yahoo TV has always done a fantastic job covering our show and they'll produce even more great content for Bachelor Nation this season. I will attempt to continue to entertain, have fun with the show, and give you behind-the-scenes tidbits and knowledge you can't get anywhere else. I'll also answer your burning questions, and starting this season I will include personal photos from the shoot right here on my blog.
I was excited when I heard rumors months ago that we were tossing around the idea of doing a live premiere. We've had such great success with the live finale shows we thought, why not kick off the season with the same fanfare? One of the things I wanted to bring to the live premiere was a red carpet. It was great seeing some of my old friends from past seasons, and getting a chance to say hello to so many Bachelor fans that have supported us for many years. It never ceases to amaze me how devoted Bachelor Nation is and how much you love this show.
When I'm doing press to promote a new season I often get asked, "What makes this Bachelor different?" As you know, no two Bachelors are ever alike. I know reporters are desperate to try to stir up more dirt on the Juan Pablo season, but the truth is you can't compare Chris to Juan Pablo any more than you can compare him to Sean, Brad, or Jason. Each Bachelor brings his own history, hopes, issues, etc. to the show. We get to know these guys and try to tailor each season to who they are. And how I interact with each Bachelor changes, too; the relationship I had with Sean is different than the one I had with Chris. The best way to describe it is to compare it to the way you act around your different friends. Chris is a good man who's been brought up in the heartland, and he has a healthy respect for a hard day's work. As you saw, Chris just doesn't have the opportunity in his small town to be exposed to very many women. He really appreciated and relished the chance to meet so many dynamic women from such diverse backgrounds.
Related: 'The Bachelor' Season Premiere Recap
Speaking of the women, after an hour of fun and previews with the live studio audience it was time for the limos to arrive. Compared to some seasons, it was a pretty tame arrival process but here are some moments that stuck out for me:
Britt: She was first out of the limo and first into Chris's heart. They had an immediate connection that led to Britt not only getting the first impression rose she also got the first real kiss of the season.
Reegan: She walked up with a fake heart in a cooler. I can finally, literally say, "Bless her heart."
Tara: She showed up in a cowgirl outfit and quickly ordered a scotch on the rocks. She's also the first girl I can remember who did a wardrobe change and who sneaked back into the limo to make a second arrival. I was happy Chris noticed her. Of course, the arrival was probably the last thing Tara recognized or remembered that night.
Amanda: She was the secret admirer. Sure, it's a callback to Chris's secret admirer days on Andi's season, but I'm not sure the best way to make a first impression is not to make a first impression?
Kaitlyn: "You can plow the f--k out of my field any day." Need I say more?
Nicole: So, she thought it was a good idea to show up with a pig nose on? Note to future Bachelorettes: Don’t. Ever. When a guy calls your arrival gimmick "very brave," trust me — it didn't go well.
Carly: I'm a little on the fence on this one. I defer to Chris who thought the singing machine and her song were cute, so I'm letting her have a pass.
The big note during arrivals is that they didn't stop. Women and limos just kept coming all night. Thirty women finally arrived the first night, and that is a lot. It might sound odd because it's only five more than normal but it seemed like there were a hundred women in the house that night. It may have been too many, as we were barely able to fit everything we needed to into one night. You may have noticed at the end of the show the exit interviews were shot in the daylight. It was so late it actually turned into an early morning wrap that first day.
I have to give a lot of credit to our crew for being so professional and pulling these nights off season after season. A lot of coffee, good craft service, and the adrenaline of night one get us all through the night. I think the same can be said for the cast as well. The excitement of being there and experiencing such an event really pushes them through the long hours. The best way to describe it is it’s like being in Vegas. You walk into the mansion and the next thing you know the sun’s coming up.
We had to give Chris as much of a chance as possible to get to know these women so he could make informed decisions during the rose ceremony. It's a fun night to be a part of, but with so many people and so much to do it's a very long night, this one was especially long. Some of my favorite moments from this (almost) never-ending shoot:
Pomegranate Girl: You have to remember Chris isn't privy to all the interviews and moments you see, so I hope you didn't throw anything at your TV when he gave Ashley a rose. Trust me there's more gold to come from her. By the way, how many points do you get in a Bachelor fantasy league for picking the woman that picks a pomegranate assuming it's an onion? Has to be a lot!
Alfalfa Doubts: When Mackenzie asked Chris if the alfalfa he grows from the ground is organic, the look on his face was priceless.
Rose Rage: You might have noticed by the time Chris gave Britt the first impression rose, it had been manhandled by the ladies and wasn't looking too good — so we gave her a nice new one for the rose ceremony. Chris and Britt walked arm and arm back into the party after he gave her the first impression rose. That may not have been a good idea; he might as well have painted a massive target on the poor girl's back.
Chris and I had a little chat in the foyer before the rose ceremony. In an attempt to really embrace who Chris is and make the show as organic as the alfalfa he grows, we'll be doing more of this kind of stuff in the weeks to come. It’s nothing that Chris asked for, it's really just adjustments we've made as producers. We're always looking for ways to improve the show and embrace who the Bachelor is as a person. This, less formal, style seemed to fit him. We've done similar things in the past with guys like Brad and Sean, but it didn’t always make the show. This season we've found a better way to make it all work. I'll be interested to hear what all of you think of this approach.
The rose ceremony the first night is always a mix of excitement and nerves. What can you say about our girl Tara? It appears her friends Jameson, Johnny Walker, and Jim Beam did not treat her well. Tara had a little too much to drink. It happens every season and even though these people do it to themselves, I always feel a little bad for them. During the night several girls tried to get Tara to dial it back but she kept rolling. Sometimes you can't be saved from yourself.
Chris didn't notice just how sauced she was until the rose ceremony where she could barely stand up. He walked out of the room so we could talk. To be honest, he was pretty turned off by it all. He came extremely close to pulling her rose and sending her home. He ended up giving her a first night pass, but she clearly has a lot to do to make up for that performance.
As the first night (or really, morning) finally came to an end, it didn't. We were watching the interviews in the control room when we noticed that Kimberly took off. Our producer told us she was walking back in the house to talk to Chris. That's where we left you after a long, wild first night but I can confirm that you'll definitely see more about Kimberly next week.
So we're off on another adventure together and I couldn't be more excited for what's to come this season on The Bachelor. Thank you so much for being here with us each and every season. I love this show and the hundreds of people that give up their lives to make it all happen. I know what's in store in the coming weeks and I can't wait for all of you to experience it! Again I'm happy to be here at Yahoo TV, and I'll continue to work with them each week to bring you fun, interesting, behind-the-scenes information. In the meantime, you can always find me via Twitter and Instagram @chrisbharrison.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.