Even if that question is in the context of giving her a chance to clear up what did or didn’t happen with Jason Mesnick in a hot tub last season, Harris is having none of it.
“I think that that’s probably the most inappropriate question ever,” she told an unfortunate TV Guide reporter on a conference call last week. “I’m normally really a really open girl about all these kinds of things. But, I mean, it’s one of those things that anybody can assume that I had a steamy makeout session with Jason and I went in the hot tub. That him and I quote-unquote did it. And we can also assume that every Bachelor and Bachelorette in history has done it with those people. …
“Even if I had or hadn’t, I don’t think that’s a topic that I would even want to talk [about]. And actually … I give you huge credit for having the guts to ask that question. Because I know it’s a question that everybody wants to ask. But I always find it really funny — a few people asked my mom that question after last season. And my mom didn’t know how to answer it, and I just told her, tell people it’s inappropriate to ask that question.
“I think being a 30-year-old grown woman who is very successful in her career. And has a great, you know, background and great morals and great values people can take a look at me and who I am as a person. And they’re entitled to their opinion.”
Fair enough. But why, then, would Harris want to put herself under the TV microscope again as she picks from 30 guys on “The Bachelorette”?
“I start finding myself getting heated when answering the questions,” she says. “Then I kind of thought to myself, right, I did put myself in this situation. … But I’m putting my romantic life out there on public, not my sex life or anything like that. … I’m not here to date and mess around with 30 guys. I’m here to hopefully find the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. And that is a very very serious thing for me. And if I have to go through the same criticism that Jason went through, and maybe even make the same bad decisions — I hope that I don’t. But I’m here to find that person and I’m really serious and very passionate about it. So to be in the public eye for a couple of months in order to find a lifelong happiness for me is totally worth it.”
If Harris is as outspoken on the show — which for the first time will still be in production at the time of its premiere, on Monday — as she was on the conference call, this could be an entertaining season. Here are a few more highlights from the 30-year-old Canadian’s chat with reporters:
On whether she felt like a “third choice” for the show after its producers reportedly approached Melissa Rycroft and Molly Malaney:
“I was a third choice on last season. I know what that feels like. I’m comfortable with that. But no, I mean really, in all honesty, obviously there’s going to be other people that are considered for this role. … I’m just a short, little, hyper-quirky Canadian, and I actually don’t feel like I fit the mold of the Bachelorette very well. …
“And just also [having] placed third on ‘The Bachelor’ sort of naturally places either one of them as the natural choice. So, no it doesn’t make me feel like I’m third. It makes me feel really happy that they declined.”
On her decision process during the show:
“Well, I have to admit it’s way harder than I thought. I have all these different things going through my mind: Do I pick the guy who has everything I want on paper? Do I pick the guy who makes me laugh and would be my best friend? Do I pick the guy who makes my heart go pitter-patter? Do I pick the guy that everybody else likes? Or do I pick the guy I know America is going to love but not me? It’s so difficult to know how to choose the right person in the end. And as you know, I have not chosen that person yet, so I’m still struggling with that decision.
“But I think I’m just trying to look at all of those things I just told you and make sure that one of those four or five things are there. And continue to spend time with them and really, like I kept telling myself last season — if I saw one of those guys walking down the street and I met them in a pub with peanuts on the floor, would I be attracted to them? Would I want to call them the next day? Would I be excited for them to walk through the door 50 years from now? I think that’s what I keep on trying to think of.”
On whether the franchise’s poor matchmaking record is daunting:
“Trust me, neither does the dating scene back home– doesn’t have the best track record either. I can tell you that if I walked down the street and I bumped into any of the guys that I have left right now, I strongly believe that I would — my jaw would drop to the floor, I would go home in a mad panic and wonder what I should do next. How I should call this person, what I should wear to the next date.
“And I probably would end up being with one of those people for a long time. I can’t tell you whether it would end in marriage. But all of the people that I have left are remarkable people. I have not met anybody like these guys.”
“The Bachelorette” premieres at 9 p.m. ET Monday, May 18 on ABC.