Chris Harrison
January 13, 2009 AT 11:01 AM EST

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Holy cow! I had no idea people would actually read this blog. The response to last week’s first episode and first-ever blog was overwhelming. It was so overwhelming that your response helped ABC push our show to two hours once again tonight. I was thinking this blog really gives me a chance to personally reach out to the real fans of my show. So I would like to take this time to say thank you! Thank you for watching and supporting a show that I have loved to host and help produce for the last seven years. I also want to thank you for taking the time to comment below. Believe it or not, I read them all and will continue to do so all season. I love my ladies of course but it’s really cool to see the guys who have the guts to comment. And I like hearing couples that hang out and watch the show together. One of you brought up a great point I wanted to address last week but forgot. The houses and proposal sites we use look good for one reason and one reason only, we have an amazing team that never gets mentioned. Production designer Angelic Rutherford and her team come in to the house and turn it into the magical scene you see on TV. They paint (then have to paint it back its original color) and decorate everything. Even the artwork on the wall is usually their original works that they whip out in minutes. Dennis, the lighting looks great as usual.

I titled this week’s episode Kisses and Claws because both came out in full force this week. I moved the girls into the house to start the episode. This, of course, is the same house where we just held the rose ceremony. Little-known fact: This is not the morning after the first rose ceremony. It’s actually the day after. Because that first ceremony goes all night, we take a day off and give everybody a chance to rest and re-group. This is why the girls looked so nice and put together when I set them up for the first round of dates. The first season of The Bachelor, we didn’t have an off day built in to the schedule, and it was brutal. The first ever rose ceremony wrapped up about 6 A.M. I showed up to move the girls in around 8:30. Needless to say, none of us slept that night. The 15 girls this season have to share 3 bedrooms and most use the big master bath. Aside from the dates, the girls do not leave the premises.

Jason spent the first day at the girls’ house enjoying a little pool party. We used this day as one large group date. A couple funny notes not seen on TV from the pool party: Jillian didn’t shave her legs. Not a big deal right? But then she ended up on Jason’s back during the chicken fight…oops and ouch! Shannon took Jason aside to romantically rub suntan lotion all over him. Well, when she opened up the tube it basically exploded all over Jason’s back making a huge mess. She made a really funny joke about it that’s not really appropriate for ABC, but you can use your imagination. I always find it fascinating how adding a rose to a situation changes everything. The party went from fun and free to tense and dramatic. Jillian, who didn’t shave her legs and bless her heart stuck with the whole ketchup-mustard thing, got the rose and the first date. Say what you will, the hot dog thing works people.

Jillian had the rose in hand already so she got to really relax and enjoy that amazing first date at Disney Hall. What did we all think of the first kiss? I’ll say this about it: If Jason hadn’t stepped up in that ridiculously romantic moment, I would have pulled his man card.

Melissa got the second individual date. Who knew the Goodyear blimp could also be used as a magic eight ball? For the record, Jason hates oysters. He could barely stomach one on the beach date, and as you saw, they’re not Melissa’s favorite either. Jason got kiss number two in the blimp. Judges score: 8 1/2. I thought it was passionate, sexy but I deducted a point because of the blimp headgear they were wearing and another half point for the fact that I know a camera man and producer were less than a foot away from them. Hot air balloons, helicopters, and blimps are romantic but small.

The group date is where we really felt the drama begin to rise. Molly got a rose and she should have with that smooth move asking Jason if he wanted to see her secret talent. How about Naomi calling her shot (for a kiss) but then being denied the rose on that date? So wait a minute. Our little Jason, quiet, little shy Jason got four kisses in one week. Well played, sir…well played! I mean how dare you, sir, how dare you! One last note about the group date: After it was all over Raquel, who wanted some time with Jason, snuck into his limo to steal some time with him. Jason told me he was exhausted after a very long day and it was very late. All he wanted to do was crawl back in the car and go home and sleep. When he opened the door and found Raquel, let’s just say he was rather less than enthused about it. She went home this week!

It was amazing how quickly the stakes were raised by this group of women. That cocktail party was pretty tense. Shannon took her stalker status to level two. Stephanie made us all cry when she shared the story about her husband. But the night was dominated by the drama between Megan and Erica. Here’s my take on Megan. She’s one of those people that we all know who is always trying to figure out why there’s so much drama around them. Meanwhile, it’s very easy for everyone to see that they bring it on themselves. One thing you should all know is that Jason is not privy to anything that he doesn’t see or isn’t told by the girls. He was aware of some drama that night, but at this point doesn’t exactly now why or who’s to blame. The Bachelor, of course, always decides who he wants to give a rose to and this week he gave the first rose to Megan. The look on the girls’ faces was priceless. Next week look for more claws and more kisses. Happy birthday, Sophia! (hint…hint).

Some of you asked or commented on what else I’m up to. ABC is great about keeping me busy. I hosted the American Music Awards red carpet, as well as the Citrus Bowl parade for them. Designers’ Challenge is still airing on HGTV, and you can catch me every week night on my one hour entertainment news show on TV Guide Network Hollywood 411. I also cover the red carpet for all the major awards shows for TV Guide Network. I am also now an official blogger. Enjoy the week, and I hope to see all of you at the next rose ceremony!

Check out our exclusive extended scene below and then read Kristen Baldwin’s The Bachelor TV Watch.

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