'Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison Talks Bad News Bentley: He 'Crossed the Line of Decency'
'Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison Talks Bad News Bentley: He 'Crossed the Line of Decency'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
In lieu of any of Monday night's three eliminated Bachelors, ABC decided to put host Chris Harrison on the phone with the media this morning to discuss this season's biggest villain, Bentley Williams. ABC's press release for next Monday's episode reveals that the guy who said he'd "rather swim in pee" than marry Ashley and only wanted her to "tickle his pickle" will continue his "huge, selfish ruse" on The Bachelorette when he "delivers a knock-out blow to Ashley when he gives her the crushing news that will put an end to her hopes, and has her questioning if she can move on."

Next week's episode won't lack for other drama, as Jeff will finally unmask himself, and William will "go for it" at the group comedy roast with "disastrous results," but Harrison's chat today was all about the "emotional juggernaut" about to hit Ashley in the form of Bad News Bentley. Here are the highlights from the conference call:

On what he thought of Bentley from Night One:

"I thought he was going to be trouble the moment Ashley told me he was going to be trouble. ... I was pretty adamant about my feelings towards him. ... When you have information before the guy even gets out of the limo, that is beyond a red flag. And she never heeded any of the warning signs. ... We actually gave her the option before the limo pulled up -- you don't have to meet this guy. She said, 'No, I want to meet him. if I don't like this guy, I'll kick him off.' She made the decision to go forward."

On how hard was it for him to watch the drama unfold:

"Really hard. She's a friend of mine. But it gets to the point, and this is one of the things I find fascinating about this how, where I'm no longer a host, I'm a friend and I'm about to watch someone have their heart broken. ... Now all I can do is stand by and watch it and be there for her when it happens. This isn't just TV, this happens in life all the time. You just have to be there for them ... You'll see in the deliberation Monday night, it was very much not a deliberation. This was a friend walking in to pick up the pieces of another friend who had just had her heart ripped apart."

On why Ashley was so head over heels for Bentley:

"She never really could answer that. Is it the bad boy? Was it, 'I wanna fix him?' Is it the mother syndrome? Maybe it was a little bit of all of that. I couldn't put a finger on it, but I found it very perplexing myself. What do you see in this guy? He's bad news, he's going to hurt you. But he was so smooth, so caring around her, she never got to see his true colors and eventually he was able to use that and crush her."

On Bentley's "tickle my pickle" comment:

"I think you've got to see what the guy said. If it upsets someone's sensibilities or if it went too far, as far as any of our fans are concerned, I do apologize for that. But this is what this guy was saying. This was what he thought of Ashley. I think in true context you need to see what this guy was about and what his game was. Ashley didn't get to see or hear a lot of that ... you really had to show both sides to show exactly just how bad it was and how badly she's going to have the rug ripped out from under her on Monday night."

On whether Bentley's comments have been edited or taken out of context:

"You can't splice together when you see somebody like that. And honestly, you can't really take the things he said out of context. Even in joking they're not appropriate. You don't talk about a woman like that. I would love to hear what his friends have to say about the stunt he pulls when he's leaving, because I think that is worse than anything he says before."

On whether they would have shown Ashley some of this footage eventually:

"You have to understand, we're only two weeks into this. ... If it had gone on longer, I don't know the steps we would've taken, if we would've finally shown her these things. She was privy to a lot of information and lot of what we thought. Some of the producers had told her, 'This guy's not good for you,' and I had told her some things. She had so much more information, more than Ali or Jillian ever had about Justin or Wes ... She had that information, she had everything she needed, but she always wanted to believe the good in the guy."

On what Ashley thinks of Bentley now:

"She called me last week and said, 'I can't believe all these things. I feel like such a fool and so played.' Again, this is hindsight. ... She's seeing him for who he really is. It's funny, she said, 'Why didn't you say something?' 'Ashley, I did.' And she'd say, 'I know.' That's the way it works. When you're friends with someone, that's all you can do. Let them fall on their face, then give them a big hug, pick them up and move on."

On whether Bentley was a plant by the production crew:

"Couldn't be further from the truth. We didn't put this guy in there. People give us too much credit, and it doesn't turn out to be a good thing for Ashley or for us, and we almost had to shut down production. ... This made her question everything. The rest of the guys, herself, if doing the show was worth it. It was rough for her, but it was rough for us to keep her on track."

On how Bentley got cast in the first place:

"He obviously didn't say all those derogatory things in casting. He obviously didn't say, 'If it's Ashley, I'm going to use her and destroy her.' He wasn't that open and forthright in casting."

On what Chris will ask Bentley if he returns for the "Men Tell All" special:

"I have a son and I have a daughter, and I can't fathom treating a woman, I couldn't fathom treating a woman like that anyway, but much less someone who has a daughter. I really hope he comes back to the 'Men Tell All,' not so I can rip him apart, but so I can hear his explanation. Can you imagine a man treating your daughter that way? I'd love to hear his response. I don't know what his end game was or what his motivations were. Things he said and things he did really cross the line of decency, as far as I'm concerned."

Finally, on Jeff's unmasking moment:

"The joke went on a little too long, and it almost took over the person he is. It's another big bomb being dropped on the show. It's ironic that the guy wanted to Ashley to see him for who he was, but by the time he takes it off, I think he doesn't know who he is anymore."

(Image courtesy of ABC)