"The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison is happy to be raising two environmentally concerned children. "I didn't learn about it in school, but they do, and it's really cool that they take offense to trash and litter. They get mad if they see it on the beach or in gutters. They're like, 'Why would anyone do that?' For them, it's not a choice; it's just the way it is. God bless our generation for trying, but it will be their generation that will change things exponentially," he predicts.
Now in his tenth year of hosting the ABC dating franchise, Harrison thinks the current season of "The Bachelor" is one of the best. He describes Ben Flajnik as the right mix of city and country, "debonair, romantic winemaker and frat boy who'll drop his trousers and go skinny-dipping in the ocean" that brings out both sides out in the women. Despite the pretty dismal track record of couples from the show, he points out that Ashley and JP from the most recent "The Bachelorette" are still in love, and Ali and Roberto were until their recent breakup, and is optimistic about Ben's outcome.
In the Jan. 16 episode, "one of the craziest we've ever had, this girl from Ben's past but also from our past comes back. I knew it would be a big deal but I didn't know how big," says Harrison. "I don't think any of us knew how it would affect the women. She had a connection with them before that I didn't know about. She asked to come and we allowed it to happen and it was Category 5."
Having already traveled to Sonoma, Calif., Ben's hometown, it will head to San Francisco, where Flajnik now lives; Park City, Utah; Costa Rica; and Panama before the finale in Zermatt, Switzerland at the base of the Matterhorn. "It really looks just like the one in Disneyland," says Harrison. He already considers Ben a good friend, and has remained close with other people from the show, including Andrew Firestone, Bob Guiney and Trista and Ryan Sutter. "They stay at my house when they come in to do the triathlon and we go skiing with them in Vail," he reports, noting that great friendships are just one of the perks of the job. "To say this show changed my life would be a gross understatement," he says. "I never dreamed my life would be like this. I was hoping it would be on for a couple of hours and I might meet a network executive and it would turn into a real job. Since then, I've traveled the world and have seen things and have met people that I never dreamed of."
He's looking forward to hosting another season of "Bachelor Pad" this summer and "The Bachelorette" before that. No announcements have been made but some reports cite Emily Maynard from Brad Womack's season as a possibility. "There are rumors out there, and if they're true I'm over the moon excited," says Harrison. "It's someone we all know and love and she will be America's sweetheart."