Whenever controversy breaks on "The Bachelor" and its spin-offs, chances are that host Chris Harrison will find his way into the middle of it.
It was Harrison who was criticized last summer for his handling of "Bachelorette" contestant Bentley Williams, who admitted on-air that he'd rather do anything else than connect with "Bachelorette" Ashley Hebert, and then walked off the show.
Harrison admits that what happened last summer forced him to take a more proactive role in dealing with now-former "Bachelor" contestant Casey Shteamer.
The Kansas trading clerk was booted off the show Monday after admitting to both Harrison and "Bachelor" Ben Flajnik that she still had feelings for an ex-boyfriend. Shteamer's admission came after Harrison approached her for a private chat the day of the rose ceremony.
"I've been asked by a lot of people why I stepped in with Casey when I didn't with Bentley," Harrison said. "I did so because of that. I should have gone a little further with Bentley, and I could have gone further in protecting Ashley."
Harrison is quick to point out that Shteamer is not a female version of Williams. "Casey had no ulterior motives, and she wasn't trying to deceive anyone. But she can't fall in love with Ben if she still has feelings for another man."
Although some critics have praised Harrison for his handling of the situation, others have questioned the way Shteamer was removed from the show, particularly the way Flajnik appeared to ignore her concerns and focused on her dishonesty. Harrison says he believes Flajnik did the best he could.
"You have to understand that Ben was hit with Casey's news right before eliminating her. If he had some time to think it over, maybe he would have been more sympathetic. I haven't talked about what happened since we finished taping, but I believe he has some regret."
Harrison also says the show wasn't gunning to remove Shteamer from "The Bachelor" based solely on allegations.
"I wasn't a judge and jury when it came to Casey. I gave her chance to plead her case, and she admitted having feelings for the old boyfriend," the host said. "If she didn't have those feelings, we would have moved on."
"I can understand why she came on the show, but it wasn't the right decision," he added. "The show is not 'emotional rehab' for someone to get over a past love."
One less gold digger on tv
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