by Free Britney at

The Arie Luyendyk scandal involving his past relationship with The Bachelorette producer Cassie Lambert was real, Chris Harrison says, but also isn't THAT big a thing.

Chris, the show's venerable host slash pimp, admits that Arie will become a lightning rod for conflict on next week's episode and that Lambert is the reason why.

At the same time, Harrison promises a full explanation about the whole situation when it comes up in the episode. The entire week, he says, was "very intense."

Emily Maynard and Arie Luyendyk

"Emily does find out about the relationship Arie had with our producer and we deal with that. It’s very straightforward, we show clips and raw footage," he adds.

"We just show viewers what we have and the conversation that took place. It was just a decision of whether we sweep it under the rug and act like it didn’t happen?"

"We want to show people that yes there was something there, but it wasn’t the biggest calamity in the history of the show,” Harrison told TV Guide this week.

Indeed, if you've read The Bachelorette spoilers this season, you know it's very unlikely that this is the end of Arie's run on the show. We'll leave it at that.

Of the celebrity gossip stories going around, Chris says "next week we will deal with this ... you will get the complete story, and more importantly, the truth!"

Here's ABC's promo of the episode, which teases the confrontation:

Our prediction is that as upset as she may be initially, Emily will be angry that they did not disclose the relationship sooner ... and that's pretty much it.

The two dated years ago, and not for a very long time; it's obvious he's into Emily at this point, and maybe Cassie simply wanted her to form her own opinion.

In any case, tell us how you think it'll go down on Monday!

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by Free Britney at

The news of Chris Harrison separating from his wife of 18 years took many by surprise yesterday, but the venerable TV personality will still be back in his familiar role as The Bachelorette host and pimp on May 14.

In a recent article for EW, he previewed six guys to watch this season.

Will any of these fellas end up in the final four, or beyond? See The Bachelorette spoilers we've compiled so far for more on that. Then read the primer on a half dozen fellas who undoubtedly will be major players this summer ...

Kalon McMahon Photo

Kalon McMahon, 27: This "luxury-brand consultant" is, Harrison says, "cocky, brash, and arrogant" and arrives on the first night in a rented helicopter.

"He makes a huge first impression, but the big story is, will it fade quickly?" Sounds that way ... considering his equipment wasn't that remarkable.

"I don't know where that helicopter came from, but it was pretty unimpressive," Harrison says. "It would be like showing up in a Prius instead of a limo."

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by Free Britney at

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and his wife of over 18 years, Gwen, are divorcing.

The couple announced their separation "after much heartfelt consideration" today.

"Though we have made this incredibly difficult decision to separate, our love and mutual respect remain, and we look forward to sharing in the lives of our wonderful children," Chris and Gwen said in a joint statement Thursday.

Chris Harrison, Wife

Harrison, 40, is best known for hosting ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. In 2010, he was accused on-screen of hitting on a producer's wife.

At the time, he was hardly ruffled by the "cheap shot" of controversial contestant Rozlyn Papa. "I had nothing to hide," he said. "My wife was there."

The couple live 35 miles from Hollywood with their kids Joshua, 9, and Taylor, 7.

Harrison, who coaches both kids' soccer teams, is "an amazing father," Gwen says. "He's very loving and involved." He's also amazing at his job.

No word if he will also be the next Bachelor, but Harrison will be back running the show for its popular spinoff (see Bachelorette spoilers) May 14.

[Photo: WENN.com]

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by Free Britney at

Rumors that next season will star Emily Maynard as The Bachelorette are greatly exaggerated, according to venerable host-pimp Chris Harrison.

Still, he left the door open for that possibility later.

“It is way too early, way too presumptuous of anybody to say that Emily is The Bachelorette," Chris said this week on Access Hollywood Live.

Emily, Brad and Pimp

Harrison said that despite the Bachelorette rumors, Emily's split with Brad Womack is still too raw, and she likely won't seek love on TV again.

“It’s obviously been bantered about. We’re not idiots, we've talked about it, but it hadn’t even been broached to her," he said. "It is way too soon.”

“They're barely even broken up. As far as TV goes, we don’t go into production for six more months. We would never pigeonhole ourselves."

In a tear-jerking interview Monday, Emily said her split with Brad boiled down to commitment issues and her being a single parent to Ricki, 6.

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by Free Britney at

In our Bachelorette recap earlier, we touched on many burning questions from last night, most of which we may never fully know the answer to.

Why did Bentley Williams go on the show? Why did he treat Ashley like garbage? Why didn't ABC boot him? How can he be allowed to return!?

One thing is clear: We need Chris Harrison like never before.

Below are excerpts from Chris' EW blog this morning, in which The Bachelorette host addresses the scourge of society that is Bentley:

Bentley Williams, Ashley Hebert

On whether Bentley Williams is the show's worst villain: My first thought about that is that’s really something for you guys to judge, not me.

My second thought is the “villain” title really doesn’t do justice to what went down. It softens the blow and simplifies things too much in my opinion.

On why Bentley left and when: I’m not positive, but something about not getting the rose on this group date seemed to set the wheels in motion.

Whenever he decided he was going, he pulled the trigger the next morning. Let me be very clear about my thoughts on Bentley and him leaving.

I have no problem with him coming on the show, even if he hoped The Bachelorette was Emily, or with him deciding it was time to leave. That's up to him.

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by Free Britney at

Bentley Williams is already establishing himself as one of The Bachelorette's all-time villains. When Wes Hayden is calling you out on Twitter, you know things are getting uglier by the day - and we're only two episodes into the season.

Despite admitting that Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert wasn't his type, Bentley is basically wooing her just for kicks. That has Chris Harrison pretty upset.

Here's what the ABC show's host had to say about the drama:

Ashley Hebert and Bentley Williams

On how he even got cast: "He obviously didn't say all those derogatory things in casting. He might have said, 'It would be cool if it was Emily [Maynard].' Bentley obviously didn't say, 'If it's Ashley, I'm going to use and destroy her.'"

On whether he warned Ashley: "If you have information about a guy before he even gets out of the limo, which we did, that's beyond a red flag. We gave her the option, telling her, 'You don't have to meet this guy. We can pull him.'"

"We justify everything by giving Ashley the power."

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by Free Britney at

Bentley Williams was cast as this season's villain on The Bachelorette - sort of like a Wes Hayden / Justin Rego hybrid - before he even got out of the limo.

Before the night began, Ashley Hebert explained she had been warned about Bentley by someone from last season (Michelle) who loosely knows him.

According to this Deep Throat, he was coming on the show promote his company and not find love ... a.k.a. NOT THERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS!

Bentley admitted to the producers he wished Emily Maynard was The Bachelorette, then acted ambivalent about Ash ... who gave him a rose anyway.

Bentley Williams Picture

Despite all the warning signs - Chris even begged Ashley to cut him - she went with her gut, and from the looks of this season preview, she may well regret it.

"He reminds me of every bad guy in all the John Hughes movies. His name should be Blaine and he should drive a red Porsche or something," Harrison says.

"Everyone says the producers are jerks and how could [we] do that to her, but she always has the final decision, she can always get rid of this guy."

"You didn't even see how much I begged her to bag this guy right there on Night 1. She said I'm going with my gut and she gave the guy a rose."

More reflections on the premiere from Chris after the jump ...

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by Free Britney at

As soon as Ali Fedotowsky declared in the opening moments that she has never felt better, you knew The Bachelorette was going to be good. But not this good.

Not even the spoilers we've known all season long could have prepared us for the unspeakable awesomeness that was the ABC show's outing of Justin Rego.

According to reports, it wasn't even faked. Rated R was legitimately busted, undone by his two-timing ways in Canada, a scandal dumped in producers' laps.

It was classic.

Obviously, you can't help but wonder what was re-edited, re-shot or flat-out contrived, but does it really matter? This is reality TV entertainment at its best.

The rest of the episode was pretty dull, but that can be forgiven, thanks to the opening sequences? THG breaks down all the action below in its +/- index ...

An Ali Fedotowsky Picture

RATED R FOR REJECTED: Ali sent Justin packing.

In Turkey, venerable Bachelorette host Chris Harrison is the bearer of bad news for Ali Fedotowsky. Plus 9, because as a pimp, you gotta protect your employees.

Ali's friend and former co-star on Jake Pavelka's season, Jessie Sudilis, NEEDS to speak to her now. Minus 3, though, 'cause it takes 50 rings for her to answer.

Somehow, Jessie knows Justin Rego's girlfriend, Jessica Spillas, who just found out Justin was cheating on HER with Kimberly Kerekes. Plus 5. Nice, Rated R.

After a loooong phone call, we learn from Jessie that Justin only went on The Bachelorette for publicity. Minus 7 because we don't buy Ali's "stunned" face.

Plus 3 for the documentary-style filming, (relatively) unedited and without music, and Plus 6 more for Chris busting out an iPhone pic of Justin and Jessica.

Minus 1 for the fact that Jessie is gona be on Bachelor Pad, and Minus 5 for the time-honored, scripted line: "I know he's not there for the right reasons."

Ali calls Justin out publicly, asking if he misses his girlfriend in Canada. Plus 10. He reacts how any upstanding guy would ... he makes a run for it! Plus 17.

Pimpin

TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS: Host-pimp Chris makes the call.

It only gets better as Ali gives chase and Justin escapes, only to come limping back later. He tries to talk his way out of it, but he's a really bad liar. Minus 9.

Justin hobbles off, presumably stranded in a Turkish bazaar. Plus 7. As he does so, messages he left Jessica while he was on the show are played. Plus 12.

Finally, we move on to Ty's date with Ali in a Turkish bathhouse, one of many reasons this was the most homoerotic episode of The Bachelorette ever. Even.

Ty talks about his divorce, Tenley Molzahn style, and we know this is supposed to be a powerful moment and all, but Minus 4, because it just can't compare.

On the group date, Kirk, Chris, Roberto and Craig wrestle random Turkish dudes, then each other, while covered in olive oil. See two sentences above. Plus 6.

Craig prevails, but Chris L. is the true winner with his good looks and hilarious comments. Will he get engaged to Ali (see The Bachelorette spoilers)? Plus 7.

On Craig's date, he falls so hard into the friend zone, his fate is sealed. Minus 4. Contrast that with Frank's date, in which they're all over each other. Plus 4.

Oh, Plus 5 for Ali's belly-dancing outfit. They had to throw us guys something.

TOTAL: +58. SEASON: +159.

Roses: Ty and Frank (earlier dates), Roberto, Chris and Kirk.

Out: Justin (abandoned in Istanbul) and Craig (friend zone).

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by Free Britney at

A little over a year after being dumped by Jason Mesnick on the "After the Final Rose" special, Melissa Rycroft is heading back to The Bachelor mansion.

Not to find love this time - she's happily married to Tye Strickland, in fact - but to co-host Bachelor Pad, ABC's new spin-off featuring past contestants.

Chris Bukowski Picture

We kid not, this is a real show.

Joining Melissa Rycroft for co-MC'ing duties will be a man who needs no introduction, venerable Bachelor and Bachelorette host-pimp Chris Harrison.

“I’m excited.” Rycroft says. “It’s fun. It’s a brand new experience for me. I’ve never been on that side but I’m anxious. I’m excited and ready to start.”

The gorgeous Melissa Rycroft made the finals of Dancing with the Stars and has been a correspondent for Good Morning America since her Bachelor appearance.

The show, which has already started filming, will feature an all-star reunion of “some of the most unforgettable contestants and suitors,” says ABC.

Two words, ABC: Wes. Hayden. Make it happen.

The gang will live together in the mansion as they compete in a series of challenges and dates for a chance at winning $250,000 and perhaps more.

Could another shot at love await any of these hotties? ABC couldn't care less, as long as it has a Bachelor franchise installment for every season now.

Works for us! We heart Melissa! On a related note, check out THG's recap of The Bachelorette for a humorous take on Monday night's debauchery.

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by Free Britney at

"The more I got to to know her, the more I realized she's this strong, independent, beautiful woman, but very vulnerable." - Chris Harrison on Ali Fedotowsky

As the star of The Bachelorette, premiering one week from tonight (May 24), she has 25 men vying for her love. Men subject to dismissal at her every whim.

But will the gorgeous blonde herself be the one who's worried?

Ali Fedotowsky, who bowed out of contention for Jake Pavelka on The Bachelor this winter, harbors major insecurities, says the show's venerable host-pimp.

"Everyone brings their own kind of baggage to the show," Harrison told Us Weekly over the weekend. "Ali [is] a girl that has in the past been hurt before."

Chris Harrison debonairly escorts Ali Fedotowsky.

Harrison continued: "She really had this fear of almost being rejected. Like, 'Yes, I'm going to fall in love, but really worried that I'm not going to get love back.'"

"Everyone has bones in the closet they have to deal with. Hers was 'I'm going to put myself out there. I'm ready for love, but are these guys going to love me?'"

He declined to comment on The Bachelorette spoilers we're all wondering about, but he did say this about the upcoming season: "There is a phenomenal ending."

But is it a happy ending?

"I'll say this: Ali had to make a very tough choice at the end, several tough choices, and I think she's satisfied with how it ends and satisfied with her choice."

Typical Bachelorette non-answer - they stopped writing material for Chris years ago. Not that we care - we're counting down the days! We're just saying though.

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