Night one of Bachelor in Paradise is in the books, and it did not disappoint. But if Kristina’s words—”I am going to make Blake my bitch”—are any indication, this whole season will be a wild ride.
That’s just fine with host Chris Harrison, who thrives on the unexpected, whether it’s on the sandy beaches of Mexico or in the confines of the Bachelor mansion. Case in point: Look how well he navigated all the Bachelorette fans who were freaking out about the supposed Hannah Brown/Tyler Cameron/Gigi Hadid love triangle. (According to him, “People need to pump the breaks.”)
He’s got bigger things to worry about now that Paradise has started, and we’re not just talking about Dean’s ’70s-era mustache. Here, Harrison breaks down what happened on tonight’s premiere, what’s still to come, and when we’ll see the show’s first same-sex relationship.
Hannah Brown made an appearance in the premiere to catch up with Demi. Will we see her more throughout Paradise?
Chris Harrison: No, it’s really a specific moment and a visit when Hannah comes in. She won’t have a major role or be coming in and out throughout the season. It’s like when Becca came in for a specific reason to talk to Colton last season and then left. Hannah doesn’t have a specific role in Paradise.
Speaking of Demi, she revealed her sexuality is fluid and we know she has the first queer relationship on the show. When will that start to develop?
Chris: Yeah, it’s really interesting because obviously we teased it, so we’re talking about it. But I don’t want to spoil it for everybody. It’s also such…we did a great job of allowing Demi to tell this story, to tell her story, and it’s beautiful and amazing. I’m really proud of it. It happens sooner than later, I’ll tell you that. You don’t have to wait a long time. There’s something that happens, and there’s more to Demi’s story than just this that sets everything up. So, patience, we’ll get there. But there’s more to that story than just that relationship.
As much as the Bachelor franchise has evolved over the years, the last few seasons have really tapped into the cultural zeitgeist. What does it mean to you to see the franchise catch up to where the rest of the world is?
Chris: You kind of hit the nail on the head. And that is, this show has always been about…this is why it’s so popular and why it’s so relatable, is that you’re watching what you’re going through. That’s what makes it compelling. The show has evolved phenomenally well. And it’s not just been lately…we’re always a microcosm of what’s happening in the world. I think what’s happening in the world is really evolving quickly…conversations, lifestyle, whatever it is socially, has been mirrored on our show. I don’t think we’re the tail wagging the dog, I think it’s the other way around. I think what happens in the world ends up on our show. I love that. I like that we’re able to evolve.
Absolutely. At the end of tonight’s show, Kristina says she’s going to make Blake her bitch now. Where this is headed?
Chris: Well, clearly things don’t get better for Blake. To put in a Paradisereference, it’s not smooth sailing for him for quite some time. But then again, he created all these waves. Now he’s going to have to deal with it. Things continue to get rough and evolve and things continue to blow up for Blake. You’re going to see other relationships take shape as well rather quickly this season.
Do you think Blake is unfairly being labeled the villain? Clearly he wasn’t exclusive in any relationship, but we obviously haven’t seen everything yet either.
Chris: I don’t think it’s unfair. Yes, he was single and he is correct…look, I don’t think he’s a bad guy. He was single, having a good time at Stagecoach, but the optics of what he did and then how he handled it is what’s poor. It’s not a good look. The way he handled it and answered to it, not great either.
What is up with Dean’s mustache? Were you shocked to see this?
Chris: It’s horrifying. It’s absolutely horrifying. I love Dean and I’m glad he’s back, but didn’t love the mustache. But that’s Dean. He’s the kind of guy that will try to pull that off. Not many people can unless you’re Tom Selleck.
What about Dean and Kristina? Will they cross paths?
Chris: [Laughs] Yeah, I mean, it’s Paradise! They have a past. It’s funny because you see a guy like Dean, who was Blake, and it’s weird to see a guy like that come back and now he’s kind of the veteran. He’s been around this world for a while. He’s made all these mistakes.
Then Blake will be back next year to coach the next version of Dean/Blake.
Chris: Yeah, but Blake’s got another three years before he figures this out.
Dylan and Hannah G. seem to have a solid start, but he’s clearly so into her. Sometimes that backfires. Should he be holding back a bit more?
Chris: I mean, obviously the proof will be in the pudding if it works out and they end up together. Initially, I think your instincts are correct. He was really smitten and maybe he should have held his cards a little closer to the vest. He just was gushing over her so much that yeah, it probably did drive her away. You’re going to see it in the premiere when Hannah has a little moment with Blake and also with Wills. I think Hannah is handling Paradise like you should, especially early on of keeping her options open, trying to meet everybody, and figuring out the lay of the land. Whereas Dylan was head over heels in love and it was over for him. I think he may have put a little extra pressure on Hannah, and that’s probably not a good idea.
Whose story are you excited for the audience to see unfold?
Chris: I think it’s fun to watch a guy like Dylan. I think Paradise is perfect for someone like him. John Paul Jones as well. These guys…you kind of got a glimpse of them, but you really don’t know them at all. They really didn’t get a lot of airtime on their season, and you forget that until you see them more on Paradise. That’s kind of cool.
Someone else we don’t see a ton of but the audience loves is Wells. He’s now engaged to Sarah Hyland, so is there any chance we’ll see her pop up on the show? Or even mention her?
Chris: I don’t know if he does talk about her, but unfortunately she won’t be popping into Paradise. We would love it [if Sarah came on]. Once they are married and all that, maybe Sarah and Wells both run the bar together! How great would that be? I’d love to hang out with them all summer.
Finally, on The Bachelor and Bachelorette, you guys go to great lengths to hide the final couple on those secret get togethers. What’s it like for Paradise? Do you try to hide the final couples as much?
Chris: Yes, we do try to go to those lengths. Trying to keep one of these people silent is a miracle. Trying to keep 30 of them from talking is impossible. As soon as someone is let go from Paradise, they all run back to social media. They all run to their people. You know, knowledge is key, knowledge is power to these people, and so it gives them a little more press. They all feel like they can get a one-up on everybody. Long story short, yes, we would love to keep things more secret, but we know in this day and age it’s impossible to keep secrets with all these people running around. It’s just impossible.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Monday and Tuesday nights on ABC. Jessica Radloff is the West Coast editor at Glamour. Follow her on Twitter at @JRadloff and on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14