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‘The Bachelor’ Finale Part 1 Exit Survey

We need to talk about Chris Harrison

Colton from ‘The Bachelor’ looking exasperated alongside pictures of contestants Tayshia and Hannah G. ABC/Ringer illustration

When Chris Harrison announces that a finale of The Bachelor is going to be “the most dramatic episode of television your eyeballs have ever seen,” it’s widely known that he’s exaggerating for effect. But not Monday night, an episode that picked up after Colton’s notorious wall jump and included multiple breakups, a new haircut, and the most savage moments of Harrison’s hosting career. After watching the episode, the Ringer staff let off their takes.

1. What was the most savage moment from Part 1 of The Bachelor’s finale?

Alyssa Bereznak: Every time Chris Harrison reminded us that Colton is “still a virgin” right before cutting to commercial.

Juliet Litman: Playing the audio of Tayshia and Colton’s breakup as the camera stayed fixed on the door was a cutthroat moment of TV production. Chris Harrison dropping the “maybe she’s just not that into you” line on Colton will live in infamy. Chris was already having an MVP night, so it doesn’t matter if he was thinking about Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin or if it was just a line that came to him in the moment. It’s what viewers have been asking all season long about many of Colton’s ladies. Chris performed a public service.

Jackson Safon: “What if she’s just not that into you?” This is the first season I’ve watched of The Bachelor, but I feel supremely confident in saying that was the most savage thing Chris Harrison has ever done in his entire life.

Ben Lindbergh: The correct answer is Chris’s deadpan delivery of the “just not that into you” bombshell, but the correct question is, “What was the most savage moment from the first 23 seasons of The Bachelor?”

Amelia Wedemeyer: I really enjoyed when Chris Harrison dropped the “maybe she’s just not that into you” line. It wasn’t necessarily savage, because he was just trying to be honest with Colton, but he definitely didn’t do anything to soften the blow.

Andrew Gruttadaro: Imagine your friend telling you he’s desperately in love and that he’s going to fight for this girl, and your response is, “But have you considered the possibility that she hates you and finds you repulsive?”

2. What was your favorite Chris Harrison moment?

Gruttadaro: There were several, but anytime Chris transitioned from the heaviness of genuine heartbreak to the pure, gleeful curiosity about whether Colton has done sex yet.

Wedemeyer: I loved when Chris finally caught up to Colton post-fence-jump. He was exhausted and panting, while Colton was unfazed, even after jumping that fence and wandering around rural Portugal for several miles. The cherry on top was Chris exclaiming, “WE’RE NOT WALKING BACK,” with his last breath.

Safon: How far was that jog? 30 feet? 50? No matter—Chris’s commitment to the content was so strong that he was willing to exert himself more than he had in years.

Bereznak: When he and Colton were discussing Cassie and he just straight-up asked, “What if she’s just not that into you?” I snortled. I have always felt that Chris Harrison secretly hates Colton, and this moment confirmed it for me!

Lindbergh: It’s a tie between every time he pivoted from someone having their heart broken to reminding us of the real stakes: the status of Colton’s virginity.

Litman: Not only did Harrison drop the “he’s just not that into you line,” but he also: jogged to catch up with Colton and ended up winded; maneuvered two iPhones at one time; helpfully announced the time when Colton was on the run so viewers had chronological context; seemingly ad-libbed on live TV as Hannah G. cross-examined Colton; and, crucially, asked Colton whether it was indeed true that he thought about Cassie when he was with other women. Yet none of the moments were as hilarious and cold-hearted as when he tried to sell Colton on Tayshia and Hannah G., moments after Colton had been found in the Portuguese night. Chris, ever the host and facilitator, reminded the recently dumped heartbroken man-child that he had two other women. Always a company man.

3. What percent raise would you give Chris Harrison?

Gruttadaro: One dollar for every calorie he burned running through the Portugal night in a sweater.

Safon: The maximum percent that allows The Bachelor to still exist. He’s a reality television hero.

Wedemeyer: Zero percent! He already makes a ton of money! This was the seasonal episode when he actually does something and earns his keep.

Lindbergh: I’ll always love Chris and the weird way he pronounces “finale” (it rhymes with tamale), but I think it says something about his typical Bachelor workload that the first time he has to exert himself physically or appear on screen for more than a minute, we’re talking about raising his salary.

Litman: At least double. This riveting two hours of television was built on the severity of Colton’s tears and the strength of Chris’s performance.

Bereznak: [Pauses exit survey to Google how much Chris Harrison makes per episode. Takes a deep breath. Reconsiders all life choices.] He makes plenty.

4. How has your opinion of Colton changed after Part 1 of the finale?

Lindbergh: After watching Cassie’s packing-up-and-moving-on montage, I’m starting to suspect—and I know this is hard to believe, but bear with me—that he may not be as good a judge of character as he claims. I don’t like him less, but I pity him more.

Wedemeyer: With each episode I feel increasingly bad for him.

Litman: Colton is even more clueless and fragile than I realized. Much like he insisted on asking all four women’s fathers for their blessing, he insisted on telling Tayshia and Hannah G., “I am in love with Cassie.” Sometimes tact and finesse should prevail over brutal honesty and formal protocol. Colton did not learn this before the show, though maybe he has now.

Gruttadaro: It really hasn’t. Each of the breakups played out exactly as the respective relationships did: Tayshia played the mom and comforted Colton despite being the one who was getting dumped, and Hannah and Colton barely had anything to talk about. Colton’s a genuine dude, and I feel for him—and I’ll always respect him for bailing on the show—but I’m not sure we’ve seen a lot of growth.

Bereznak: Colton is the same person I’ve always known him to be: a dumb, frequently confused football player who is really good at jumping over fences. The only thing that changed is he has dumb hair now.

5. Who gained the most sympathy?

Lindbergh: Chris. Cardio is clearly not in his contract.

Wedemeyer: Colton, obviously. The poor guy has been dumped more than JUAN “I love fucking you” PABLO. Colton seems like a good guy, and I think he fell for someone who clearly doesn’t feel the same way about him.

Gruttadaro: Hannah seemed to have more eggs in this basket than Tayshia did (or maybe Tayshia is just old enough to have a little perspective), and the show forgot about her for close to two weeks. Then again, she is getting good content out of this:

Bereznak: I think Hannah G. drew the shortest stick amid Colton’s meltdown, and she was clearly still very torn up about their breakup. But because I never saw a very deep connection between them, I felt way worse for Tayshia. She has been so poised throughout all of this and never got a fair shot in the Fantasy Suite. The fact she was the one comforting Colton as he broke up with her was tragic for a few reasons.

Safon: Tayshia. She came across very mature as she consoled the childlike Colton, who clearly couldn’t handle breaking up with her. While Tayshia didn’t handle the whole thing perfectly—I mean, how do you keep your mic on after asking to talk off camera?—I thought she did a good job of taking the high road and came out of this well.

Litman: If Hannah G.’s grilling of Colton isn’t enough to win over the audience, the fact she hardly appeared in last week’s episode and was relegated to the second hour of Part 1 of the finale should be. She was in pole position until near the end and was responsible for the most erotic one-on-one in Bachelor history, and yet she has become a barely broadcast afterthought.

6. How would you describe Colton’s new look?

Litman: Practice Squad Tom Brady.

Gruttadaro: If Wayne Rooney scheduled 53 too many hair plug appointments.

Wedemeyer: It’s like he said, “MAKE ME LOOK LIKE I JUST LOST MY VIRGINITY” to the nearest person willing to put their hands in his hair. It was half-messy bedhead, half–“I’m attempting to look like Blake because women like Blake, right?”

Lindbergh: I think it’s thinning-hair camouflage.

Bereznak: Once again, his look matches his mood: confused, flustered, and caught up in the L.A. of it all. His hair looks like it was styled by someone who just recently discovered pomade and is a little too jazzed about it. Also, his tie is Too! Damn! Skinny! And don’t get me started about the print on that suit.

Safon: I’m undecided on whether he’s trying harder to impress Cassie or her dad.

7. Where will Tayshia and Hannah G. go from here (other than to Paradise)?

Lindbergh: They’ll get through this tough time the only way they know how: by drawing blood and creating content.


Gruttadaro: After Cassie rejects Colton on Tuesday night, I would like at least one of them to film a Colton-style, iPhone-filmed confessional in which they just repeat, “I told you so, Colton,” over and over again.

Bereznak: I can’t imagine Tayshia going to Mexico, because she seems so much more grown up than the rest of them and not that into hookups. (But who knows? She’s great at starting drama.) Hannah G. is probably going to reach a million Instagram followers by the end of this, which will elevate her to a new tier of influencer. She’ll soon be able to upgrade her caliber of product endorsements too. Goodbye, Tanceuticals; hello, Lululemon! (She will definitely be on Paradise.)

Litman: Send Hannah on a date with Blake from Becca’s season—two near-winners who thought they had it in the bag but were overtaken in the home stretch. Send Tayshia to CVS to buy some boob tape.