Chris Harrison on 'The Bachelorette': 'One of the best seasons we've ever done'

chris-harrison-the-bachelorette.jpg"The Bachelorette" debuts Monday, May 24 on ABC. Host Chris Harrison teases to Zap2it this season's cast, the scandal and Ali Fedotowsky as the new lady looking for love.

It seems like the show has gone through a reinvention the last couple seasons. Would you say that's true?
Eight years ago when we began, things were completely different. All we had to do was produce a good show and people tuned in. That was enough. But television has changed and I feel like we've done a really good job of [changing with it]. It's all in the casting, the producing, we do our homework, it's all about putting a story together and letting it play out. None of it is fake, because viewers can tell when something is fake, it's obvious. But it's a matter of casting the right people and being [on top] of the stories that unfold.

What about websites like Reality Steve uncovering the stories before they even air?

Eight years ago, there was no such thing as Twitter, Facebook, all these blogs that have popped up. Eight years ago, we were making news, but now, we are the news.

Would you say that the show purposely casts people who have stories that will unfold dramatically or you sort of welcome things like Rozlyn and the producer situation?

It's not that we welcome [that sort of drama]. With Roslyn and our producer, that was an unfortunate situation. But with a story like that or, say, like Wes, eight years ago, we would've probably ignored it, let it fade into the background, we wouldn't have pursued it, because that wasn't the show we were doing. Now, I think the producers do a really good job of making sure all those stories are being told. We follow the story, so that by the time we get to [the rose ceremonies], the audience knows what's going on and is like, "Yeah, get that guy outta here!"

Let's talk about Ali. She left in a hurry last season, but instead of shunning her, she's now back as the Bachelorette. Why do you think she was chosen?
It's not the producers who are really making these decisions, it's the audience. The audience tells you what they want. In the case of Ali, yes, she left the show sort of unceremoniously and, in most cases, viewers would turn on [a contestant] for that. But in Ali's case, she was so likable and you felt for her and her situation. I think people are really going to like this new season of "The Bachelorette," it's probably one of the best seasons we've ever done.

Why do you say that?
Just in terms of the stories that unfold, the people. It's a really dynamic season.

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Photo credit: ABC

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