Photo by Todd Wawrychuk
By all accounts Bachelor Pad host Chris Harrison is a really nice guy. Let’s face it — every week the guy let’s a string of lovelorn reality stars cry on his shoulder. And he’s been known to let a suitor or two have it when he thinks their actions are less than honorable.
But these days it seems like Chris has lost a little bit of patience when it comes to the way magazines and blogs are reporting on the details of the show and his personal life. In a recent conference call interview, the Bachelor host remained cool, calm and charismatic but took the opportunity to make a few salient points about what he considers some questionable journalistic tactics.
Perhaps the worst culprit in the Bachelorette gossip mill has been US Weekly. They’re the rag that first leaked word that Emily Maynard was kicking Arie Luyendyk Jr. off of the show because he dated a producer. That didn’t happen. They said that Emily was in love with Chris. Don’t tell her fiancée Jef Holms. And then they switched their story to say that Maynard would only correspond with Chris via text or Twitter. Who knows why they’d need to chat on the phone anyway.
So when the operator announced that US Weekly had a question for Chris in a recent conference call interview he remarked, “What has “Us” got for us this week?... Please tell. Please. I would love finding out about my life.”
They kept it clean and asked about the show. But another writer caught a well-mannered dig from Chris when they asked about rumors that Emily was moving to California for a Bachelorette spin-off. Chris noted, “That would be the least of the ridiculous things I've read about Emily over the last few weeks.”
When they continued to dig for his feedback on the concept, he pushed back, “Is she doing that?” But when the reporter responded that according to online reports, “That’s what the buzz is, yes.” Chris retorted, “What is your source for this buzz?... I do have feedback. You are a better journalist than that. And when you get credible sources then we can go with the story, but until then please don’t go with buzz off the Internet.”
For the record, one source that Chris doesn’t find credible is former Bachelor and Bachelor Pad contestant Vienna Girardi. One blogger noted that Vienna went on record to say that she knew that her vacation buddy Chris is in love with Emily, and that’s what recently ended his 18-year marriage.
He cleared the air, saying, “The one thing that really, really bothered me about that entire story was I don’t want anyone to ever believe that Vienna and I have ever been on vacation. That I can’t have floating around. So no, Vienna and I, nor my family, nor my wife have ever hung out with Vienna. That was shocking, horrible thing to come out of that story.”
Chris was adamant about the fact that the controversial former contestant is not one of his confidantes. “I haven’t talked to her in years. And by the way, the vacation we were on in Saint Lucia was the finale of her season with Jake. I was there working, watching her and Jake get engaged. And my family wasn’t even there, which by the way I know would take a lot of digging for a journalist to figure that out, but heaven forbid. They just give Vienna a check and take a quote.”
As for the nature of his ongoing relationship, or lack there of, with Emily, Chris commented, “I don’t know. I read one magazine that we hate each other and don’t talk and the other one says we are madly in love. So I don’t know, it’s somewhere in that spectrum for sure.”
There is truth to one ongoing rumor about Chris, he’d be more than happy to permanently fill the seat that Regis Philbin left open next to Kelly Ripa. As for whether or not he’d take a full time gig on Live! with Kelly, Chris confessed, “Of course. Who wouldn’t? It is one of the greatest hosting jobs that’s come open in my lifetime. You look at probably the three top jobs that have come open in my life are Johnny Carson, leaving The Tonight Show, Bob Barker and Regis’s job. It’s a phenomenal vehicle and those opportunities and those types of shows don’t come around very often.”
He continued, “Even to be co-hosting with Kelly and to be brought back… this would be the fourth and fifth time I’ve had hosted the show. It’s a blast. It’s an incredible show to do, and Kelly is amazing at what she does and [Executive Producer Michael] Gelman runs an amazingly tight, efficient ship over there. It’s fun just step into that vehicle and drive it. It’s like someone give me the keys for a Ferrari for a little bit.”