It’s the “Bachelor in Paradise” season that almost wasn’t.
Alleged misconduct between two contestants shut down production of the ABC show that unites former contenders for roses on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” Taping eventually resumed in Mexico, with the Season 4 premiere delayed to Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 14 and 15. Franchise-staple host Chris Harrison knows whatever transpired between Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson is the elephant in the room – for others on the show as well as for the fans who make up “Bachelor Nation” – and he vows it will be covered.
Harrison says he knew of the situation well before the public did, “probably the next day. The whole ‘incident’ happened in a matter of three days, from the time we started shooting until the shutdown happened.” Ultimately, he issued a statement, asking for the audience’s patience while “Bachelor” parent studio Warner Bros. Television conducted an internal investigation that concluded no wrongdoing had taken place.
“It’s a rather interesting position,” Harrison allows. “I’m the host, but I’m also kind of the face and the voice of the franchise. My role has been that for the last 10 years or so, and when things happen, (viewers) kind of look to me for guidance … and people within the franchise, even. This is more of a delicate matter than we’ve ever dealt with before, so I just felt we owed it to everybody to say something, as much as we could.”
Without detailing the circumstances, Harrison confirms Olympios and Jackson do appear on the show. Not saying anything about the matter, he reasons, would have “made things worse, because the situation was kind of spiraling out of control with all the allegations and innuendos. The things being said were just insane, and it wasn’t fair to DeMario nor Corinne nor the franchise. I thought, ‘If I can at least stop this for a second, and let things take their course … .’ ”
Also returning as host of the Miss America competition Sept. 10 on ABC, Harrison admits that after the heightened “Bachelor in Paradise” drama, he was glad to begin taping the new season of the syndicated game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in Las Vegas. “I have never been so happy to walk in and hug my ‘Millionaire’ family,” he confirms, ”and to be where the most controversial thing was, ‘How much money am I going to give away today?’ ”