I sat down to write this blog and suddenly I felt exactly how we all felt when we watched the full episode with the rose ceremony attached. You see as we went through this tragedy and mourned the death of this bright young man, Eric Hill, we were at the same time truly trying to figure out how to deal and mourn his death professionally. Early on, as I stated in a blog, it was clear to us we should show Eric’s scenes, and I still believe that was the right decision. But we’ve honestly made these decisions as we’ve gone along this season, each time just trying to do what’s right by Eric and his family, but also still telling everybody the story of what really happened to Andi and the rest of us during this journey.
One of the game-time decisions we made was to not show last night’s rose ceremony. Originally we had it in like normal, but as we watched the show after Eric left, it just didn’t make sense. As I said, the only thing that felt right was to talk about Eric, so that’s what we did. So as I sat down to write this blog I guess I just felt the same way. I’m just not compelled to talk about the dates and roses given out while we were in Connecticut. The only thing that feels right is to write about Eric and the scenario that played out in putting this episode together. I understand this may bug some of you and you may even stop reading this, but like everything else I’m just gonna do what feels right.
There was a long debate back and forth on if we would remove the rose ceremony and if we did replace it with an interview, what would that interview look and feel like? The night Andi and I got together to shoot that interview, we both sat there and looked at each other in silence and thought the same thing. So we just did what the two of us always do: We just started talking. We just decided to dive into it without a real clear idea of where it would go other than we would discuss Eric. Andi is such a sensitive, bright young woman, and I think it turned out perfect. I felt she was able to articulate her thoughts and feelings incredibly well. It’s very rare I’ll watch anything I’m a part of and think, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” You can’t ever reach perfection in this business, but that’s one of the things I love. It’s something that can’t ever be mastered, but you can attempt to get as close as possible. While I don’t think by any means it was perfect, I wouldn’t change one thing about the interview you saw Andi and I have about Eric that night. Eric was a smart guy and he was an instigator. He loved to stir the pot a little bit, and that’s what he did with Andi. When I saw that sly little smile slide across his face while arguing with Andi that night, I just laughed. Even in that moment, he was having fun. At the end of it all, they ended their disagreement with a hug goodbye. When does that ever happen on our show? We said goodbye to Eric that night having no idea obviously that we were really saying goodbye. I didn’t get a chance to see him as he left as I often do. I just assumed I’d see the guy at the Men Tell All special; we all did.
Something I explained during the interview that you need to understand while watching the show is Eric’s accident didn’t happen for a few more weeks. It wasn’t until Andi’s final hometown visit that we learned of the tragedy. I’m not exactly sure how or what we will do to handle this on the show. As I said above, we are making these decisions as we go. But my only promise is, as we have done up until this point, we will continue to do the best we can to be honorable and respectful. But when you see the tease after the show or the next episode and think, “How can Andi and the guys just act like nothing happened?” It’s because at the time, it hadn’t happened yet.
I want to thank you for allowing me to use this space this week to express these thoughts and feelings. There are no rules to situations like this, but it’s what felt right, and I’ll be honest: It’s a bit cathartic for the author. I leave you tonight with some of Eric’s last words on our show, and his quote has to do with love. “It is the reason to live. Love leads to family, and those two together is what life is all about.” Amen!
For more information, please visit LiveLikeEric.com.
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