Chris Harrison on How Matt James' Season of 'The Bachelor' Will Work Amid COVID-19 (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Matt James is gearing up for his Bachelorjourney, and yes, it will still take place in a bubble. The entirety of Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette was filmed on set at La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, California, and while James is shooting somewhere else, he'll also be constrained to a single resort, Chris Harrison told ET.
"Number one, yes, we are still in a quarantine pandemic bubble. I think the most important things we learned from last season -- it worked, it was successful. What we did was 100 percent successful. We had no issues whatsoever, so if it's not broke, don't fix it," the longtime Bachelor host told ET's Lauren Zima. "So, we're gonna get right back in that bubble."
The "Bachelorette bubble" ensured that production could take place amid the coronavirus, and that the cast and crew remained safe after quarantining. With the pandemic ongoing, the Bachelor team decided to "do all of that again."
"Different location, we're not gonna be in Palm Springs," Harrison said of the Bachelor set, which is reportedly Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania. "This is a little more expansive. I can tell you there's gonna be a lot more offered to us as far as being outdoors. It's not gonna be 155 degrees, which helps. Shooting on the surface of the sun was difficult this summer. So, this place is gonna give us a lot more outdoors, a lot more activities."
Harrison joked that James' good friend, Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron, "can't make it, but his abs will be there." James, meanwhile, has surrendered his phone to production, and getting ready to potentially meet his future wife.
"People are going to absolutely fall in love with this guy. He is so unbelievably genuine, smart, kind, has such a great head on his shoulders. He's a perfect Bachelor, he is the kind of guy this show was made for," Harrison raved of the 28-year-old, who was originally announced as a contestant on Crawley's season in March. While production on her cycle was shut down, Bachelor producers decided James was a good fit for Bachelor, and announced his casting as the franchise's first Black Bachelor was announced in June.
"The women that are coming in to be on the show are unbelievably lucky. They're going to find an amazing man to fall in love with. And I can't wait to get on set, start shooting for him, night one begins and we get going again," Harrison added. "I did see that [a headline] claimed we have started shooting the show. I'm still home in my office. Matt, if you're out there, dude, don't give out any roses yet!"
Crawley's season of The Bachelorette will premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. ET learned last month that her journey as lead had come to an end when she fell for a contestant roughly two weeks into filming. Tayshia Adams was brought in as a new lead, and both women's journeys will be featured on The Bachelorette.
James' season of The Bachelor is set to debut early 2021. See more in the video below.