Chris Harrison has emphasized again and again that The Bachelorette will return despite COVID-19 ... even if a few things are different.
But he's slamming other reality shows that have improvised, saying that The Bachelor franchise will never film trashy, DIY episodes.
The venerable face of the franchise did not hold back when he spoke to Entertainment Tonight this week about Clare Crawley's season.
While despite some fan campaigns to cancel Clare's season, it will continue, Chris has definite ideas about what that won't look like.
"I am seeing a lot of stuff on TV that I am not loving," the host complains.
He asserts that, in his view, "[watching reality TV] is an escape."
Shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and 90 Day Fiance have filmed Self-Quarantine editions with stars filming themselves on their phones.
That is not Chris' plan, however. He wants real camera crews or nothing at all.
"Right now it is still up in the air as far as timing goes," he admits.
In reference to ending all lockdown guidelines, he opines:
“The state of California just took a big step back."
"Who knows what is going on," Chris expresses, "so maybe we leave. Maybe we have to go to a state that has their stuff together and we can shoot."
Interesting and a little alarming that he would suggest that California's continued lockdown is the result of not having "stuff together."
What he is actually suggesting is the opposite - traveling to film in a state with a grotesquely irresponsible government.
This would not be the first time that the franchise has filmed in a different mansion than usual.
Previously, The Bachelorette did the same with Emily Maynard (below) during her season in 2012.
At that time, the show filmed at a mansion in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
This, of course, would be different. Emily was a single mom who wanted to remain close to her daughter for the first part of the season.
"Maybe we are doing this in Texas," Chris suggests of our pandemic summer season, before quickly admitting: "I don’t know."
Well, if he wants a state with a less responsible government than California's, Texas at present sounds like it's right up his alley.
"But right now," he adds, "we are just waiting and seeing where we can do this safely."
Chris says that he and the rest of the shot-callers will continue to wait and see "until we can do it the right way."
Keep in mind that filming, which would have begun in the first half of March, would still be a ways off.
Chris explains that filming would not begin until the second half of summer.
Summer begins on the Solstice on June 20 this year. The "second half" of summer would begin in early August.
Harrison is clearly eager to do the show, despite the uncertain times we live in, so long as it can be done "right."
What does that mean, exactly?
Chris has viewed the "quarantine edition” aesthetics of other shows - filmed on webcams, tablets, and phones.
He insists that the DIY video selfie vibe “is not what the show is about” and “it’s not what people are watching it for."
"I don’t want to make this a quarantine version and I don’t want it to look weird,” Chris says of the 2020 campaign.
“People want to get away, and I want to do it right. And when we can do it right, I want to do it with Clare."
"And yeah," he confirms, "we are re-casting still."
Chris explains that they are re-casting her suitors "because who knows what the world is going to look like when we get done."
Or even after that.
The second wave of the 1918 Spanish flu was significantly deadlier than the first. These past few months could be just a taste.
"I think whatever you do, we are not going to be back to normal flying around the world and just doing what we want," Chris admits.
"But," he expresses with more optimism than most of us can muster, "I think there is a happy medium."
He says that the solution may include the cast being in one location where they can be tested and then “lock it down.”
Chris even teases the idea of still having them travel “a little bit."
He wants the show to stick to its roots whenever possible.
Harrison emphasizes that, at this stage, "we are just throwing out ideas, nothing is definitive."
“But I still want it to look like ‘The Bachelor’. I want it to look like ‘The Bachelorette,'" he reiterates.
Chris says that he wants this "so people realize, ‘This is my show. OK, I can escape, I could fall into this.’"
Sure, but aren't we all likely to cringe when they hug, stand close together, and kiss anyway?