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Trista Sutter on How The Bachelorette Handled Eric Hill’s Death: It “Felt Odd to Me”

Former Bachelorette Trista Sutter on February 13, 2014
Season one Bachelorette Trista Sutter spoke with Parade about how show producers have handled contestant Eric Hill's death thus far Michael Kovac/Getty

Bachelorette producers found themselves in uncharted territory this season when one of the contestants, Eric Hill, died in a tragic accident shortly after leaving the show. Rather than cut him out in the editing process, they decided to feature him—and his death—very prominently, to the discomfort and disapproval of many Bachelor fans. Season one Bachelorette Trista Sutter thinks it was the right choice to include him in the show, but she takes issue with one aspect of the coverage. 

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"I'm glad they edited the show to still include him because they could have just not included him in the show," Sutter told Parade magazine in a recent interview. "It obviously was part of the process for Andi [Dorfman] and I think it would have been unfair to not include him even if it was hard for people to see."

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That said, the reality TV alum disagrees with producers' decision to replace the rose ceremony in episode four with a Q&A about Hill between Dorfman and host Chris Harrison. (Hill was sent home before the rose ceremony that week; showrunners thought it would be too weird to proceed with the episode normally after his last scene, which involved an argument between him and the Bachelorette.)

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"I thought that it was strange that they didn't do the rose ceremony. I know that they were doing it in a way to honor him, but it just felt odd to me," explained Sutter, who found love with now-husband Ryan Sutter during The Bachelorette's first season back in 2003.

"It wasn't a negative thing, I just maybe wanted them to do a screen shot at the end or have Andi say something at the end," she added of how she wished things had played out. "To get rid of the rose ceremony seemed off." 

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Excepting that, Sutter is "enjoying" Dorfman's search for love. "So far I think she's doing great," the 41-year-old mom of two told Parade. "I think some who have been in her position—I won't name names—haven't necessarily been grateful for the opportunity. It was more of an entitlement type of thing. But I sense her gratitude."

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