As Brad prepares to make his big decision on March 14, host Chris Harrison answers your burning questions.
You mentioned that the racetrack date was already planned before you knew about Emily’s deceased fiancé being a race-car driver, but did you ever discuss changing it?
We’ve never shied away from making those situations happen. We’re not naive and we’re not stupid — we knew this was going to be a moment and it was going to force something to happen on a relationship level, but at the same time create television. It’s something she and Brad needed to deal with. He needed to know her real history. If you wanna play armchair psychiatrist, it really forced Emily to get past some issues. I think she said men always leave her when they find out. Well, I think she realized and admitted to herself that she sabotaged her relationships to a certain degree.
Was it Shawntel’s idea or the producers’ idea to take Brad to the funeral home?
— David H.
A little bit of both. Shawntel had explained several times, what makes men run away is her job — it’s a thousand-pound elephant. But what I think most people thought was going to be tacky was kind of beautiful. It really caused Brad and Shawntel to face a very big dilemma, which was her dad. I don’t think he had any idea that she was thinking about leaving Chico [Calif.]. And that was a very uncomfortable situation where her dad was like, ”This community needs you,” and Brad was like, ”Whoa, I’m not going to come in and steal this girl from her dad.”
Where was the rest of Emily’s family [on the hometown date]? Why didn’t Brad ask about them?
That was Emily’s choice. It’s the Bachelor and Bachelorette’s choice to decide where we’re gonna be, who you’re gonna be introduced to, and with Emily, as far as the show is concerned, the big story and the big question was the daughter. Will Brad get along with the daughter? Will he even get to meet the daughter?
Do you actually personally handwrite the notes for the fantasy suite invitations?
I have before, but usually I don’t. And only because my handwriting is so pathetic and so bad that it would really be embarrassing to even see it on television.
What does Brad’s contract stipulate about saying ”I love you”? Is he forbidden to say it back?
— Maggie P
That’s a good question. Actually, I’m gonna go a little bit broader. There is no mystical contract. People always allude that they’re under contract, they have to get married or whatever, but there is no contract that states ”You have to sleep with two girls” or you must do this. It’s kind of an understanding. And the Bachelor or Bachelorette gets that we’re also doing a TV show in that we really want to allude to things and be able to misdirect. I mean, really, it’s not like we have a shock collar or a gag. They have free will. Obviously they can do what they want to do. We just hope they won’t give it all up, because that would ruin the show.
Host Chris Harrison answers more of your Bachelor questions at ew.com/harrisonburningquestions.