The Bachelor host Chris Harrison might be biting his tongue again. After fueling rumors, since shot down, that Tim Tebow was in contention to be the next Bachelor, Chris told ET another certain star athlete and an A-list plus-one would be golden for ratings.
Should beauty Stacy Keibler ever be added to George Clooney's ex-files, Chris thinks she has what it takes to be The Bachelorette. NBA hunk Kris Humphries is famously on the market after Kim Kardashian filed for divorce. "He would be good," Chris nodded in approval. "Obviously he's ready to get married. Hopefully it'd last more than 72 days!"
Just to clarify, ABC and The Bachelor/Bachelorette have not extended an offer to any of these aforementioned celebrities. Chris stressed that the challenge in casting athletes is they are looking for someone "sincere" about finding love and not just to get camera time in the off-season.
As if his hands aren't full enough hosting the three-show-a-year franchise, Chris picked up a "side gig," offering to officiate the wedding of successful Bachelorette couple Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum. "JP is Jewish. I would somehow have to become a Rabbi," he realized. "I would definitely bless them" as a justice of the peace and let a spiritual leader do the religious portion of the ceremony. If ABC is able "to find a hole in primetime" to air the wedding and if the couple agrees to it, the nuptials may be broadcast as a special event.
Chris certainly has proven himself an expert at mediating not so joyous occasions too. Coming off last night's After the Final Rose, Chris said being the ring-bearer was "very awkward." Not sure how it would end up, he "waded into the water slowly" until the "pivotal moment" arrived when Ben Flajnik slid the Neil Lane diamond ring back on Courtney Robertson's finger. This was far from the first time Chris was stuck between a rock and a hard place. "Probably one of the most difficult things was the Jason [Mesnick] and Molly [Malaney] situation" when The Bachelor broke off his engagement with a fuming Melissa Rycroft, only to ask Molly to give him a second chance mere moments later.
In fact, the show used that messy example as a learning experience. It perplexed some viewers that runner-up Lindzi Cox did not partake in After the Final Rose, but Chris offered a rational explanation. The producers wanted to keep the emotional story going forward after playing back the proposal scene for Ben and Courtney. They wanted to allot sufficient time for that to unfold and decided it would have been jarring "to go backwards" and revisit Lindzi's relationship. She was actually backstage during the taping, but without "unanswered questions," they kept her sequestered rather than bring her on stage for a segment.
Witnessing Ben and Courtney's troubled relationship first-hand, Chris evaluated their chances of making it last. "The simple thing to say is no. The more bold and daring thing to say is maybe it will work. It all depends on the effort they give," he assessed. "It's up to them to write the rest of the story." The couple will maintain their separate homes, her in Santa Monica, him in Sonoma Valley, but spend time together as much as possible.
"Lindzi was a family favorite this season" after Chris' daughter saw her ride in on a horse. Perhaps Ben went with the less-fan-favored choice because "good guys are dumb. I think we've figured out we're not very smart animals." Despite her antics in the "modern day soap opera," Chris sees a "genuine side to Courtney… I'm not saying she's Mother Teresa. This situation got the best of her. She did not handle it well." Further, Chris was "surprised and disappointed" in Ben for being nonresponsive to Courtney when they hit their rough patch.
Onward and upward to Emily Maynard's impending fairytale as The Bachelorette, Chris calls the pretty blonde "lightening in a bottle." He's looking forward to telling the "compelling story" of her life as a single mom. The host has found the response to be a "double standard" that a single mother is finding love on television, yet fans and press had more compassion towards single dad Jason. The show's home base will be in North Carolina so she can be close to her daughter, but they'll keep with tradition and span the globe too. "I think it's something the fans have gotten to love. Part of the escapism," Chris said with his passport all ready to go.
Get your roses and tissues ready for The Bachelorette premiere on ABC on Monday, May 14.