Chris Harrison on Fantasy Suites rooming twist: “We needed to force that conversation”

ABC/John Fleenor
ABC/John Fleenor /

Are we being trolled by Chris Harrison? Our favorite host of The Bachelor divulged some shockingly intricate details of production’s role in Pete’s season – a sharp contrast from his typically mum self.

The Bachelor has always maintained a facade of The Man Behind the Curtain; while production’s influence has never been a secret, the show tends to exercise a certain level of restraint. However, Peter’s season has seen an unprecedented level of manipulation that any illusions of discretion have been shattered. Not only that, Chris Harrison is straight-up admitting to being in on all of it.

Our favorite host joined Ashley Iaconneti and Ben Higgins on the Almost Famous podcast to discuss the Fantasy Suites invasive new twist. In a significant departure from his six degrees of production separation, Chris bluntly confessed the decision to room the women together during Fantasy Suites was to force Madi’s hand.

"There are things we do as producers that will force you into this uncomfortable zone and force you into making this decision. [Madi] gives Peter this ultimatum, and she really hasn’t come clean as to all of the details of saving herself for marriage and the whole thing. This was a situation where I felt like [we] needed to ask producers to force a conversation, and force a situation that would bring about a resolution,  because we’re getting way too far into this to still have something so huge hanging over [them] that they’re really not dealing with."

Chris divulged they gave Madi that time after the Final Four rose ceremony to specifically broach this issue; when she ultimately declined to come clean, in his eyes, she set Peter up to fail.

"She never set him up to succeed, and that’s what bothered us, because he’s not really getting the full story and he’s being set up to fail here, and we gotta kinda step in and help him because we’re getting down to crunch time."

He was clear that none of this is to pass judgment on Madi’s beliefs nor decisions; in fact, he had no problem with the ultimatum. His issue was her failure to make her stance clear, that “if [you’re] not going to share that info with someone you care about in a timely fashion to where they can use that information to help or succeed, then, I don’t know, that’s where it got a little murky and muddy for me.”

I don’t disagree that Madi dropped the ball on disclosing to Peter the true magnitude and extent of her ultimatum to in a timely fashion. It was fair to wait until Bachelor’s Fantasy Suites week to share her decision to save herself until marriage, but the ultimatum directly affects his relationships with the two other women. Not only that, the other two dates had already happened, and he quite literally had no ability to fix things. That said, there are hundreds of other ways to nudge her along than shoving her in a room to unravel as each girl failed to come home for curfew.

Further, it feels weirdly…voyeuristic to have Chris straight-up admitting that they, in a way, exploited this storyline by shoving it in a pressure cooker. Maybe, I don’t know, pull Pete aside and just tattle next time? I can understand where they’re coming from with respect to Peter’s journey and the necessary information to guide his decisions.

This discussion needed to be had, and it’s quite possible, had they not stepped in, that Madi may have never given Peter the full story. However, I would’ve much rather they pulled one of the two of them aside and just straight up forced it on the hangar than to completely exploit the Fantasy Suites entirely.

It may come to be that all of this was indeed necessary – Chris implied it may change the course of Peter’s season. “She never gave herself to Peter in that way, emotionally, where he needed to know the truth and to hear all this, and that may have changed the entire direction of Peter’s life, and the show.”

What I absolutely cannot deal with is Chris Harrison the troll. Is he hinting at a Shakespearean tragedy of Final Rose proportions? By all accounts, this conversation appears to have a significant effect on how all of this ends. In two weeks time, it may become clear that The Bachelor production was indeed right to step in and force her hand. Regardless of the outcome, however, their method of doing so remains disturbingly unethical.

Next. The Bachelor Season 24, episode 9 spoiled recap: Intimacy issues. dark

Are you shocked at how much Chris Harrison is gossiping about this season of The Bachelor? Were they right to step in and force the ultimatum conversation? Share your thoughts!