Chris Bukowski: Bachelorette crashing was staged; Chris Harrison: Bachelorette crashing was not staged

As was obvious to anyone who watched Monday’s premiere, The Bachelorette alum Chris Bukowski’s attempt to see Andi Dorfman was scripted and staged by the producers. At least, that’s according to him, while the show’s host, Chris Harrison, says the opposite.

“I was initially interested in meeting her towards the end of Juan Pablo’s season. I thought she was really pretty and really smart. So I started talking to the producers about the idea of me showing up there. At the time, it was something I wanted,” he told E! News.

He told TMZ something similar: “They made it seem like they didn’t know I was coming, but they knew.” The roses came from producers, he also told TMZ.

On Ryan Seacrest’s show, Chris said, “I almost got on as a contestant but it was too late, so I flew to L.A. and at that point there was no turning back.”

Meanwhile, Chris Harrison insisted it was not staged and that the producers had no idea, writing, “I know some will think that we were in on it, but we really weren’t. It was a grand gesture by him to show up like that and I hated being the one to look him in the eye and tell him it wasn’t going to happen.”

Would it be possible for him just to show up randomly? The house’s location is very public knowledge, so it’s not surprising he was able to make his way there; the more surprising part is that he showed up at exactly the right time on exactly the right night.

There was also a discrepancy in what Bukowski told Harrison on screen: “I’ve been out here for seven days,” he said, although as Steve Carbone noted, he wasn’t actually in L.A. for seven days according to his tweets. Tweets suggest he was watching the Bachelor finale on March 10 in Virginia, and later tweeted when he flew back to Virginia from L.A. March 13, the day after filming began.

What remains is that the version presented on television came off as total bullshit. After Bukowski showed up, someone radios, “can we get these producers down here ASAP?” while an absolutely unenthusiastic security guard blandly intones, “I’m gonna have to escort you off the property.” After Bukowski talks to someone with an earpiece, saying he wants to talk to Andi, the crew member says, “Okay, let me talk to Chris,” as if Chris Harrison is the arbiter of all that happens on The Bachelorette. Say what you will about Chris Harrison, and I say a lot, but he is no Jeff Probst.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.