Five weeks into The Bachelor season 22 and still not everyone is on board the Arie Luyendyk love train. Despite all the criticisms, host Chris Harrison is confident that viewers will have a change of heart by the end of the season, which will air in March.
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“If you are a critic of Arie’s season, I would tell you to wait. Just wait and prepare to have your mind blown,” Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter. “It will be a phenomenal finish. If there are critics out there, then trust that it’s going to be phenomenal.”
Simultaneous to the production of The Bachelor, the team behind the reality dating franchise is also gearing up for the upcoming Bachelor Winter Games, which will kick off this month. The Olympics-themed spin-off will bring together fan favorites, as well as international stars of the Bachelor franchise, and will air across two weeks.
“The whole show overall, I could not have been happier the way it turned out,” he said of Winter Games. “I’ve seen the first couple of episodes. It may be some of the best television we’ve ever produced — which scares me because now, instead of a one-off, we might be doing this every winter now.”
“You will probably miss out on the best television of the year,” he said to those who won’t tune in.
Though it’s the first time two shows from the franchise will air over the same period, the crossover production process on Bachelor and Winter Games isn’t that different compared to how the production team works on The Bachelorette, which airs in the spring,and Bachelor in Paradise, which airs in the summer.
“It’s kind of like an athlete: We play every game hard; we play every game the same,” Harrison explained. “We were producing and working our butts off with Arie, but at the same time, some of our crew was peeling off and going to Vermont. Towards the end of Bachelorette every year, we start peeling people off so we can seamlessly go from The Bachelorette and move into Mexico [where Paradise films]. When the [contestant] numbers get down at the end, you don’t need as many people on-hand, so we start sending people off so they can move on to the next production.”
“To reinvent a show, everything was on the table: let’s be as creative as we can,” he added. “Let’s throw it against the wall and see if it sticks — and I can attest to the fact that at times, it felt like we were making things up as we were going. For Bachelor Winter Games, we went into it thinking things were going to go one way, and then they took a different turn. You have to be able to adjust and be ready to go on the fly.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Bachelor Winter Games premieres February 13 at 8/7c on ABC.
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(Image courtesy of ABC)