‘Bachelor Pad’ Host: Rachel Truehart Was ‘Played’ by Michael Stagliano

Chris Harrison is the host of all of ABC's "Bachelor" shows, including "Bachelor Pad" (Photo: ABC)

Leave it to host Chris Harrison to be the expert in seeing the highs and lows (and the nuttiness of Erica Rose) on “Bachelor Pad.”

In the sneak peek of the two-hour finale (airing Monday night at 8/7c on ABC), we see some major breakup drama between Rachel Truehart and Michael Stagliano, along with the biggest surprise engagement everrr, so we felt compelled to squeeze whatever juicy details we could get from the ABC host.

In a conference call with reporters this past week, Chris H. threw out the following crumbs about this season’s colorful characters and couplings, and as always, we snatched them up like little mice just for you …

When are you going to announce the next Bachelor? Obviously, we’ve narrowed it down considerably to our kind of finalist. But this — as far as the business goes, this goes really high up the food chain, including Paul Lee, the president of ABC.

So it’s just vetting these guys out and then taking it up to all the bosses and making sure that everyone signs off and there’s an agreement, but we’re very close as we have to be as we kind of start production fairly soon. So I would say the decision should be imminent in any day now.

Get ready for the season finale of “Bachelor Pad” by watching last week’s episode:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Bachelor-Pad/106405/2275634725/Week-7/embed 580 476]

Can you tell us if Ryan Lochte was really in the running to be the next Bachelor? Yes, oh, yes. Like when crazy rumors like that get started or whatever, like we’ll always go ‘Well, what do you think? What do you think?’ Well, he’s pretty, but in the end, what we have to look at is we can’t just go on public emotion or popularity or whatever. In the end, what we have to do is kind of stick to what’s made this franchise great.

And in the end, you need a guy who’s extremely sincere, open, honest, and really wants this to work. And I don’t know how far it got with him. I don’t even know if there was a meeting.

Turning to the finale of “Bachelor Pad,” it looks like Rachel gets played big time by Michael Stagliano. Can you give us some deets on what’s going to happen? It’s unfortunate, you’re going to see the fallout — Rachel definitely fell for Michael. And he did not in return, and she feels a little used and a little played and a little violated and maybe rightfully so. I don’t know what went on behind closed doors with those two before or after the show.

You’ll see next week that [Rachel] was pretty strong and pretty adamant about her feelings and how she felt like he kind of played her. It was a tough situation. It was like very uncomfortable to sit there, and I think Michael … he’ll catch a little heat for that.

Considering Nick popped up out of nowhere and is now in the final four, why wasn’t there more camera time given to him throughout the season? Did you guys intentionally leave him out so he’d be a surprise factor for the audience? No, he really didn’t do anything. I mean he ate protein shakes and eggs, and I think did a lot of push-ups.  And that was about it. He didn’t have a love interest, he didn’t have any battles, he didn’t win any challenges. I mean he got along with everybody but that was just it.

He was kind of that forgotten guy. And I think every time that there was a vote that came up, I think everybody just felt, ‘We’ll worry about Nick later, we’ll worry about Nick later; we’ll take care of him, he’s an easy kill.’

I just don’t think anybody thought [it] through — and again, the most pivotal moment, if you go back and look at gameplay with Erica taking Michael Stagliano down … Because when Erica takes Michael down, that changed the dynamic of the game completely.

Were you shocked that Chris was such a player hater? Very … and you know what? We talked a lot about that coming up into the finale. Obviously, he had to own up to it, and as a host, of course, you have to ask that question. But I’ll give a little hint of something he talks about and that was his family was disappointed in him.

Were you surprised at how Jaclyn reacted when Rachel didn’t choose Ed and her to be in the final four with them? I get where Jaclyn is coming from … Think of your best friend standing there, and they’re about to vote and there’s a quarter of a million dollars on the line and you’ve been in the same alliance. You would never let money or something like that get in the way. And then all of a sudden, they stab you in the back. Like, I get why Jaclyn was pissed. And you add on top of that the pressure in the moment.

It’s kind of like when Erica went off on Michael Stagliano. Do I understand why she did it?  Yes. Was she completely out of line and went over, kind of crossed that boundary? Of course, she did.  But I get why she did it.

I mean it’s hard to explain unless you’re there how much emotion and how much tension is in the air. But at the same time, I look at Rachel and the reason why I feel sorry for her is she fought like crazy to keep Jaclyn in the game. And I don’t know if Nick just wore her down, if she was just emotionally spent, I don’t know. But all of sudden, he came back and everything he was saying just kind of made sense to her, and she was like fine … but for a long time, they were in an impasse.

But [Rachel] had a disagreement in this alliance with Jaclyn, and you’re going to find out more about all that [in the finale].

Do you feel bad for Jaclyn falling for Ed, considering he did some suspect things with her under the sheets but was adamantly noncommittal? I feel a little bit sorry for Jaclyn for getting caught in that web. But with Ed, buyer beware. It’s been well documented how this is going to turn out for you, getting snared in that trap.

And I get Ed. I mean, he has great charisma, great charm. You can’t help but kind of like the guy and want to be around him. But just know that you just want to be around him and have a good time. Don’t fall in love. And Jaclyn, I think, made a mistake. And you’ll see again — I gave Ed another chance [in] the finale. And again, he just didn’t really do a good job of explaining himself, and it kind of becomes the running joke throughout the show with Ed and Jaclyn. They still just don’t know how to communicate. They’re still not on the same page. And in that regard, I do kind of feel bad for her because I know she really, honestly has feelings for this guy.

Now that it’s known that Tony asks Blakeley to marry him on the finale and she ends up saying ‘yes,’ we’re wondering what your reaction is to all of this craziness? I love it. I love the fact that they’re together as a couple. And the way they met on “Bachelor Pad” is — I don’t want to say odd — but I guess if you lined everybody up and picked somebody for Blakely or picked somebody for Tony, you wouldn’t pick them. You wouldn’t put them together. But the more they kind of started coming together on the show as partners, you can just see it really made sense.

Catch all this drama and more on Monday’s “Bachelor Pad” season finale at 8/7c on ABC.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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