Bachelor host Chris Harrison recently spoke to reporters about the special and this season, so read on to find out if AshLee's upset with Sean, what he makes of Tierra now, Sean-Desiree chemistry, and who he thinks could be the next Bachelorette (funnily enough, he's not backing Tierra...)
Obviously we saw AshLee go home this week and she was so upset and maybe angry - is she still feeling that way at the Women Tell All? Is she still angry with Sean?
"I'm not even sure she was angry the day she left. I think that probably discretion was the better part of valour there - in lieu of saying something she might regret, I think she probably took the better path and reserved judgement for once she kind of corrected herself and figured out what happened. But she definitely wanted answers at the Women Tell All. I think the fact that they had an incredible date, and she was obviously a frontrunner - Sean would admit this himself at Women Tell All that she was a frontrunner from the start. It was interesting how blindsided she was that final rose ceremony in Thailand. I think it was not really, 'Why?' because I think later she was able to see between Lindsay and Catherine there were very different relationships. But when did he know? How did all this come to be when everything seemingly was so perfect between them just a few days earlier on their date? It was a very interesting exchange. It wasn't exactly emotional as much as maybe confrontational."
Were you surprised at AshLee's reaction when Sean sent her home?
"To me, I thought it was a brutally honest representation of what I think really happens and how I would feel in that situation... I think when I saw AshLee's response, I thought, 'Well, there's a woman who's upset and is probably pissed off that she was blindsided by this'. To me it seemed like a very honest reaction to a situation, and quite frankly I'm probably surprised she didn't say something. It was probably smart of her to walk away and not say something she'd later regret... But I think it goes just how sincere these people are and how real it is. When you get a reaction like that, you can tell there's no acting because obviously if we had it our way we'd have this long drawn-out talk and whatever, but it was brutally honest and that's what we let play out."
Do you think she was harsh? Do you think she was too intense to be the Bachelorette?
"In that moment? No, not at all. I mean, again, I think Ben made a good Bachelor for that reason. I'm a very small sample size, but I think people kind of respect when either a man or especially a woman kind of stands up for herself in that situation and shows how strong she is and how committed she was to this. I think it just shows how deep into this process that she was, and also Sean was as well. He was a little bit disappointed he didn't get the chance to speak and kind of explain himself, but again I think it was a very real break-up and as unfortunate as it was and sad, awkward and all that, it was amazing to watch, for sure."
What did you think about AshLee's mindset at the Women Tell All?
"To be honest, I think she was over Sean coming into the Women Tell All, but that's not to say that she didn't want some answers. I think she was still a little raw from how it went down. I think there were some things that were said or done in the fantasy suite or in their one on one date, that exotic final date, that led her to believe that she was not only going to get a rose, but was probably the one for him. And when you go from that feeling, from being uber confident to, 'You're going home', it was an absolute slap in the face. She was completely blindsided. So I think while she was over Sean emotionally, I think there were still some emotions there that were still raw and some answers that she wanted. I think she wanted to put him on the spot a little bit and if that was the goal, I think she did a great job of achieving that."
Do you think she's over him now?
"Oh yeah, I do. I do. If only because you look at the time frame and all that. I think she's past being in love with him or whatever, but I think there were still some emotions and still some questions that she had that she wanted to get answers to. It was a difficult, awkward moment for Sean, for sure. Of all the moments at the Women Tell All, that was definitely one that I think if he could have dug a hole under the couch and dove into it, he would have."
You recently said that you think Sean might have made a mistake by sending Desiree home. Do you still feel that way?
"Honestly, what I felt with Des was just that it reminded me of one other break-up over the last 11 years, where I felt like... I'm not saying it was wrong, but it just felt like, 'Wow, it wasn't time yet'. There was still just something there, and there was definitely that chemistry between him and Des that just seemed like, 'Wow, this shouldn't be happening right now'. And you know, when you see them together at the Women Tell All on Monday, I guess I'll let the viewers judge, but you can still kind of see that chemistry and that little something between them. It's just interesting. I've only seen that one other time in the history of the show. Did he make a mistake? Obviously not - it's what he decided to do and who am I to even say that? But it was just something that I definitely noticed that was kind of palpable between the two of them."
Tierra was clearly a huge talking point throughout this season - did your view of her change during the Women Tell All?
"No, not really! I was hoping it would. I don't hate Tierra, I don't think she's a bad person, I don't think she's the devil. I think she is young, maybe misguided in certain ways. I was hoping a la Courtney [Robertson] or Michelle Money that she would kind of maybe see some of the errors of her ways. People do that - when they watch the show back they learn something about themselves. I don't think she necessarily learnt that lesson. I was a little bit surprised and maybe a little disappointed that she didn't come back a little more contrite and a little more apologetic and just say, 'Look, while it's not all on me, maybe I was a little harsh, maybe a little strong, maybe I should have changed things', but she really didn't come with that. So it got a little awkward with her as well, because I think some of the girls were a little bit surprised that she didn't come back and maybe throw herself at the mercy of their court."
Can you tease anything about what happens in your Women Tell All interview with Tierra?
"First of all, I will always give everybody the benefit of the doubt, and no matter who comes back - whether it's Rozlyn [Papa], Courtney, Vienna [Girardi], Michelle Money - I like the fact that all these people respect me enough and know that I will never throw them under the bus. They're not coming back for a Jerry Springer attack interview. I always give them a chance to explain themselves and I will push, which I did with Tierra. If I think she's dodging a little bit or she's being maybe not 100% truthful with everything, I will push her and I did with her... I don't know if she'll have the same comment about her side of the interview, but I think it was fair and I gave her every chance in the world to kind of fix some of the mistakes she made. And I do think she made some mistakes... The girls that come in and say, 'It's everybody else in the world, it's not me', you have to at some point think, 'Okay, maybe it's a little bit you'. And take a little culpability and a little responsibility for what's going on around you."
One of the other big moments this season was AshLee and Tierra's huge argument - does that get discussed at the Women Tell All?
"They didn't necessarily go head to head, but all the girls did. Lesley - actually both Lesley and Leslie. And Robyn, Robyn had a lot to say because Robyn was the other girl who back in Montana had that knockout fight with her as well. Here's the way it will play out - first of all, I really asked the girls for the respect of being silent and really just letting me talk to Tierra for a little bit. And let her say everything that she had to say, get it all out there promising that they would have their chance to speak. They were really good about it, because usually when I say that the girls can't help themselves from jumping in. But they really allowed Tierra to talk. I think she did more harm than good during all that! Then the girls jumped in and really Robyn, Lesley, even Desiree, there were a lot of them that were pretty outspoken. But yeah, her and AshLee definitely still don't see eye to eye on how that went down, who was right, who was wrong. But then again I don't think Tierra saw eye to eye with any girl on the show. I think there may have been one or two that she kind of got along with, but none of the girls that were in the final, say, five or six really saw eye to eye with her at all."
Were you surprised by the final two? Lindsay was very close to going home on the first night, while Catherine seemed close to going home after the hometown dates.
"I don't think we've ever had a final two where they could have easily gone home at any point in the season. Lindsay as you said literally came so close to going home on night one. We've never had that before, ever on the show, where a girl is barely saved on night one and ends up being on the final. And the same thing with Catherine. I mean, after hometowns, had Des's hometown not gone so poorly with the brother, I think it's pretty simple to say that she would have been going home. And the next week, she was on the chopping block as well. I am very surprised, and maybe Sean would say that he's surprised as well! But that's who he ended up with!"
We know The Bachelorette returns in May, but we don't know who the star will be yet! Has someone been picked?
"First of all, I am the star of The Bachelorette! Who will be second to that, I don't know. I don't know honestly if it is a 100% done deal. I know that we've severely narrowed it down and we've been discussing constantly. I know word got out really early who people thought it was, but that was very premature, because I know as of the taping for Women Tell All last Friday, we were still very much discussing who it was going to be. I think people feel like we make these major decisions very early, but there's really no benefit for us to do that and we kind of keep it open. Because different things come to light as far as what the reaction was going to be at Women Tell All, and we still want to see how America reacts after Women Tell All. There's other women obviously outside of our group and our family that we are always looking at as well, and so it's close to being a done deal obviously because we're about to announce it in about two weeks, but I'm not sure 100%."
A few of the names that have been thrown around for the next Bachelorette are AshLee, Desiree and Sarah. Do you think they'd be good on the show?
"I mean, Sarah obviously - this is one I think you'll all come to see even more so after the Woman Tell All, but you got to know and see how strong and amazing this woman is. And she does have an incredible story, the fact that she was born with one arm, and that was obviously a huge story throughout our show. But then when you see her come back at Women Tell All and see just how articulate and well-spoken she was about her feelings and about her thoughts on love and how it's gone for her, it would have been an easy choice and she would make a great Bachelorette. Des is kind of that young, not that Katie Holmes is old, but there's this young, attractive Katie Holmes-looking girl next door. It's kind of what the show is built on, finding that diamond in the rough. Kind of like Sean is - that everyday guy, obviously a great guy, and giving him that chance. And again Des, the way she comes off on the Women Tell All makes her a great candidate. And AshLee, I think of anybody on the show definitely showed that she is at a point in her life. She's an incredibly strong, capable woman and I think she is definitely ready for that, maybe moreso than even Sean was, which is maybe one of the reasons it didn't work out. But she'd be a good candidate as well."
What do you think the chances are of Tierra being the next Bachelorette?
"Slim to none... and I think slim just left town!"
Maybe she'd do better in a group of guys.
"Maybe! Maybe it's the girls that never have any girlfriends - that's what we need to do, make them The Bachelorette."
The Bachelor: Women Tell All special airs Monday on ABC.