Chris Harrison on Why 'Bachelorette' Contestant Luke Parker Was Allowed to Return Twice from Elimination

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Luke Parker just keeps coming back. 

ET's Lauren Zima guest hosted this week's episode of the Bachelor Party podcast on The Ringer, where Chris Harrison confessed it was "hard to shake" the controversial contestant from Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette. 

Fans saw Parker return on Monday's Bachelorette: Men Tell All with a ring in his pocket, determined to win back Brown after she eliminated him in a fiery confrontation about sex and religion. It was his second elimination this season, after previously having been sent home during his first one-on-one date. 

"There were a lot of discussions about Luke [coming back the second time]," Harrison admitted, but was quick to note that he and producers weren't just keeping Parker around for the drama. "We, as producers, were thinking there's going to be some Luke P. fatigue setting in about now, and, if left to our devices, we probably would have gotten rid of him and that story line earlier to get Hannah on track for what we would hope to be a happy ending."

"We knew there would be fatigue, but Hannah and Luke P. couldn't resolve their relationship and their issues, so therefore it lingered on, and he needed to come back, because it wasn't done. And he wasn't done," he added. 

During Parker's rose ceremony ambush, he told Brown that he didn't believe she really wanted to end their relationship. He was convinced that they could work through their issues, despite previously saying he would leave the show if she had sex with another contestant. She revealed that she and Peter Weber "f**ked in a windmill" during their fantasy suite. 

"One hundred percent, in Greece, when he came back, [she was] done," Harrison said. "He still didn't get it, still didn't see it."

Harrison said at first, he didn't realize that Brown's remaining men -- Tyler Cameron, Jed Wyatt and Weber -- didn't know Parker had been sent home. He thought there might have been a physical altercation between the guys, but he and his "muscle," Pauly, stepped in. 

"I could have pushed it even further, and it could have been a mess, if we really wanted that as television. That's not what we wanted there. I didn't want Hannah to have that in her life," he explained. "An altercation... had no purpose for us. The purpose [of having Parker come back] was, make your final choice, make it in front of the men... let's move on."

The drama, of course, didn't end at the rose ceremony in Greece. Parker returned for the show's Men Tell All special, though Harrison revealed he didn't know if their tense sitdown would even happen. The Gainesville, Georgia, native had "gone dark" on production since ending things with Brown, Harrison said. 

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I want you all to know why I went on this TV show and why I went back for @alabamahannah after she sent me home. I never wanted to go on the show to begin with, my sister in law @hleaparker22 signed me up and I kept an open mind. Going through the interview process I watched Colton’s season and a beautiful southern girl stood out to me during the intro videos. She told the cameras she respected Colton’s virginity and that it was super appealing to her that he was a virgin, and was the bachelor because sex was a big deal to her. I saw her Instagram and in her bio read “I love Jesus with my whole heart”, I was sold and if I was going on this TV show it was for her. I also noticed she told Colton how she wanted to be a wife of Noble character. I knew she was quoting Proverbs 31 which gave me the impression there is a way God could use this show... yes, even the “Bachelorette” as a way to bring him Glory. The first night I made her a Proverbs 31 bracelet then explained to her that I noticed what she said to Colton and I knew where it came from and how important my faith was to me. Shortly after that, I get the first impression rose. On my hometown date I brought Hannah to a bible study with my college church group, where I shared my story of how God transformed my life and gave me a desire to live my life for him in obedience, that included waiting until marriage for sex. Hannah on the date, stands up and tells the group her story of how she was convicted to live a life in pursuit of Jesus. She also told them that she wasn’t going to use the fantasy suites for sex but for conversation, no matter how @abcnetwork made it look. I had to go back and fight for her, I believed in my heart she was making the biggest mistake of her life based on what she was telling me, I wanted her to know that we could get through this and I was here for her. #thebachelorette

A post shared by Luke Joshua Parker (@luke_parker777) on

In the days before MTA shot, it was Parker's brother who stepped in to run "interference with producers." "We weren't even sure if he was going to show up, which would have been tough, because he was half the show. So we weren't really even sure until a couple days before, was he really going to be there. His brother was kind of speaking on his behalf, and he was the counselor and really prepping him for this," Harrison said. "I really didn't know if he was going to be nice, if he was going to be contentious, if he was going to be confusing, if he was going to be upset... I really didn't know. I was kind of prepared for everything." 

Harrison thought Parker's brother, who appeared on his hometown date earlier this season, had prepared answers for him to repeat during the taping. "My plan is to not make it contentious, unless it needs to be. If it goes there, I'm fine going there, but he will have to take it there. My plan was to actually be benevolent for the most part and let him explain himself," he said. 

During several points in their sit-down, Parker appeared angry at Harrison, asking the host to think about his questions. "He is extremely condescending," he said. "I thought there was going to be blood coming out of my mouth when he said, 'Think.'"

Harrison considering picking some "low hanging fruit" in retaliation. "When he said, 'I still believe in the traditional man leading a woman.' I mean, the first thing that came into my head was, 'OK, let's dabble into the same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships. ... Who is leading that household, by the way, in your traditional world?'" he admitted. "[But] you go down that rabbit hole, that's another four acts of television."

The Bachelor franchise will showcase its first same-sex relationship on this summer's Bachelor in Paradise, so the topic has some relevance. "I could have easily just piled on and been a hero in that, but where does that get me? Where does that get us?" Harrison said. "He had hung himself so many times in that interview."

The longtime Bachelor host intends to similarly interview frontrunner Jed Wyatt on next week's After the Final Rose, to get to the bottom of the musician's alleged girlfriend scandal. 

Brown's season of The Bachelorette wraps up with a two-night finale airing July 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here

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