Chris Harrison Gets Real About the Struggles of Filming ‘The Bachelorette’ in a ‘Fishbowl Environment’

Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams aren’t the only ones who may feel stuck at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs. Bachelor producers were forced to get creative during season 16 of The Bachelorette — and we’re breaking it all down on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

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“We’re gonna have to really medicate our producers who come up with these dates because they are at their wit’s end,” Chris Harrison exclusively told Us. “There is only so much you can do in a half-mile by half-mile block of the hotel. They really did an unbelievable job of making it as creative as possible.”

During the Tuesday, November 24, episode of the ABC series, fans saw Tayshia and Ivan hang out in her room for the evening portion of the first group date. The twosome kept it casual, eating a giant sundae and pretending the floor was “lava” that they couldn’t touch. They also got candid about the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality during an emotional chat.

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On the second group date, the men who weren’t on the date card could hear the contestants playing truth or dare. During previous episodes, the suitors who weren’t on the group date were able to steal time with the lead … much to their casemates’ dismay.

“Well, you can’t get an audience. So, we used the one we had back at the house. We did as creative of a job as we could. And I think we pulled it off,” Harrison told Us. “I think we did a great job.”

After wrapping season 16 in Palm Springs in September, Harrison and season 25 Bachelor Matt James headed to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

“There are aspects of the intimacy of this pressure cooker in this fishbowl environment that I do like, but at the same time, I miss having the world as our playground,” the host admitted.

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While Matt’s journey was filmed in one location, Harrison is holding out hope to return to the show’s normal format sometime in 2021.

“This [coronavirus] vaccine is on the horizon, there is hope on the horizon and where there’s hope, there’s roses and there’s The Bachelor. We’re always right there,” he told Us. “In all seriousness, our dream scenario is Bachelorette is next. That’s our normal schedule. You know, we shot The Bachelor in the normal timeframe, we’re going to shoot Bachelorette in the normal timeframe — this winter/spring — and then that’ll lead us into hopefully the Bachelor in Paradise that we normally have in June. … I’m not Anthony Fauci here, but my dream is that the vaccine is working by then and we’re right back to normal.”

For a complete recap of Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelorette — and more from Harrison — listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast!

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