Chris Harrison
January 20, 2009 AT 11:00 AM EST

I’m so happy that many more of you have found this weekly blog. Thank you for making it (and the show) such a success. I have to admit that this is tougher than I thought it was going to be. I want to give you as much info as I can, but it’s hard to talk about the women without giving anything away. Obviously, I know how this turns out, and I’d hate to ruin it for you. A couple of comments to deal with before we break down this week’s episode. Amy, you get the best comment of the week award: “I’m not sure you’re justified to pull away any one’s man card.” That was damn funny and made me laugh.

The men and women on the show can and do workout, but they have to get creative with how. The women do lots of yoga and water aerobics. There is also a very steep hill that comes up the back of the house by the pool that the ladies trek up and down every day. This season, Jason’s house is less than a half-mile away from the ladies’ house. Mike Fleiss (the creator of this show) came up with the idea to put the guys down in the “outhouse” last season. He likes the fraternity house feel for the guys. It just wouldn’t be cool to do that to the women. Making the guys shower outside is just funny, making the women do that, not so much. After date notes are delivered, we tell the girls as little as possible about the dates. Obviously we tell them when to be ready and how they should dress, but that’s it. We really want it all to be as much of a surprise as possible. The dates last different amounts of time depending on where and what they are. For example, the date at Lego-Land with Stephanie’s daughter this week took an entire day. We obviously keep the house stocked full of anything and everything the girls need. Every day we would get a new grocery list of things from certain kinds of salsa to specific acne cream to ping pong paddles. The girls get what they want. Megan was the bartender of the house. Every day she would whip up this concoction she called sangria, but it was really a mixture of every kind of booze she could find. No wonder the girls were so happy! Many of you mentioned my role in this show and that you wish I could do and show more. Well, me too. But this is the way it needs to be on this show. Early on, Fleiss and I got together and agreed that this can’t be a host driven show like Idol or Dancing. The bachelor or bachelorette needs to be the star. If I’m ever the focus of the show you know it’s a really bad season. I do like it when the show is expanded to ninety minutes or two hours. We always shoot longer date intros and deliberation room stuff, but we often just don’t have the time to include it.

Let’s talk about this week’s episode. Stephanie was completely shocked and surprised that her daughter Sophia showed up on their date. This was something Jason was very excited about but also told me he was a little sad that Ty wasn’t there as well. Lego-Land shut down the entire park for that date. It was a great date and the conversation between them was fantastic. How many of you cried during this date? Be honest guys! How about the Lego Rose? That is the first time in Bachelor history we have used anything other than a real rose.

One last funny note on this date. Sophia brought about 10 outfits with her that day and it’s a good thing. She had so much fun and got so wet and dirty at the beach and Lego-Land, she ended up changing several times. You might have noticed that she always had on a different outfit in every scene.

The group date was a bust…get it… a bust. Sorry, too easy. I have to give it to our producers, who are challenged each season to go out and find new and different dates. Not only did they achieve that, but they also found a way to raise awareness for breast cancer. We were honestly very worried the women would freak out that we were asking them to strip down naked behind a screen on camera. We were pleasantly surprised and happy that they got it and really went for it. Megan let us know the women don’t understand half of her depth. Then stunned us with her depth when she explained her fetus design. Okay, how many of you fell off your couch and then rewound your DVR to hear Melissa explain that not only did she have a breast reduction but at one time had double F’s? As Jason put it, that’s a Big problem. Jillian got the rose on this date. I always find it interesting just how easy it is for bachelors to be with certain people. I certainly see that with Jason and Jill. (See how I’m trying to open up for you?)

Natalie’s date was a dream come true. I believe it was also what caused her nightmare. Playing into all of her superficial wants and needs really exposed a side of her that didn’t appeal to Jason. As he said himself, the happiest he saw her was when she saw the diamonds. Good for Jason for looking past the woman in the hot dress and realizing it just wasn’t happening. That’s something that sounds so easy but so many of us fail to do. Natalie isn’t a bad person, not by any means, she just wasn’t right for Jason at this point in his life and he knew it. One thing you didn’t see on the show: After taking off the million-dollar jewelry, Jason gave her a very nice diamond necklace to keep. She was so upset with him she refused to take it and left the necklace in the limo.

The cocktail party was wild. Maybe more than ever the women were really vying for Jason’s time and his lips. They were all trying to one up each other. Shannon was beyond stressed and didn’t feel good that night. The tension was high and then Lauren let loose and told Jason about the other girls. Some bachelors don’t care much about what’s going on in the house but not Jason. When we got to the deliberation room I could tell he wanted to know more, so I figured let’s have it out. Jason didn’t know I was going to bring him out to do that before the rose ceremony. It was a win-win situation; Jason got his info and it made for really good TV. When I told the women to open up and speak freely about what was going on in the house, they were a little reluctant, but as you saw they did indeed open up. Megan and Lauren went after each other pretty good and Erika jumped in a little. Poor Shannon had enough and was feeling so much stress she made a dash for the bathroom. I was just happy to see that after getting sick (she did throw up) she didn’t try to make out with Jason. Megan was so understanding about Shannon, she should be a nurse! In the end Megan got a rose and thus set up more drama next week. At this point in the show the women are so on edge and so sure they’ll be going home they stopped unpacking and just started living out of their suitcases.

Sorry this blog couldn’t encompass more. It’s been a crazy week. I kidnapped my wife and took her to Vegas for her birthday, Happy 25th B-Day, Gwen! You’re welcome for that. Monday I left for Washington D.C. to cover the presidential inauguration. You can check out my coverage this week on Hollywood 411, TV Guide Network. This Sunday I’ll be on the red carpet for the SAG awards also on TV Guide network. Until next week, keep your comments coming, and I hope all of you have the most dramatic week of your life!

Check out our exclusive deleted scene below and read Kristen Baldwin’s ‘Bachelor’ TV Watch.

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