With years under his belt, and current bachelor Peter Weber‘s season well underway, the longtime host of a franchise that consists of those looking for love is often tasked with diffusing situations or moments that happen on any one of the series within the “Bachelor” slate.
And after 18 years of standing on the front lines with those searching for their soul mates, Harrison says he has become a better person for it.
The 48-year-old recently spoke to reporters at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif., and when asked by Fox News how much of his role as host has shifted to him becoming more of a counselor to contestants and suitors, Harrison said that in nearly two decades being on the show, the change has been staggering for him.
“Eighteen years ago, it was probably 90/10 or 80/20 [percent] where I was host because I know you have to earn those stripes. You have to earn the respect. You have to earn the trust,” Harrison explained.
He continued: “But as I’ve gotten older and I’ve lived through my own life experiences and obviously they’ve seen me host, and word has gotten around throughout the [‘Bachelor’] family that I am someone to be trusted and someone to be leaned on.”
“I think I’ve earned the spot of being the friend and the confidant.”
— Chris Harrison
“And I have never thrown anybody under the bus or backed the bus over anybody that didn’t deserve it,” Harrison added. “And so I think I’ve earned the spot of being the friend and the confidant. And so now it’s probably 75/25 [percent] of being that friend and the confidant. And then 25 percent is probably hosting and producing the show.”
The father of two also opened up about the lessons he’s been able to take away, not only from his life experiences outside of hosting the beloved programs, but through living out the intensely emotional predicaments that play out on the show with those who are involved and invested in their own love stories.
“You know, I’ve learned a ton. I mean, honestly and obviously growing old on the show and going through what I’ve gone through personally since the show’s been on, but also just watching that everybody does have this insatiable appetite for it,” Harrison said.
Chris Harrison attends Build series to discuss “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and “The Bachelor” at Build Studio on September 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images)
He also equated the fanatical recipe of “The Bachelor” and its overall impact across the global landscape, adding: “It’s the one currency that trades around the world, no matter where you are.”
“Everybody understands companionship, wants it, gets it, no matter what it looks like,” Harrison said. “And so I think I’m a better listener. I think I’m a better dad. I am much less of a black-and-white guy. And I think maybe when you’re younger, you’re a lot more like ‘my way or the highway’ when you’re a dad or even in a relationship. And life’s not so black and white.”
Harrison said that, as a much wiser man, he tends to look at things from a much different perspective, often processing all of the varying elements attached to a situation before making a determination.
“There’s a big gray area. And I think when you quote-unquote, run into the villains, say a Chad [Johnson] or someone like that… People are so quick to just crush these people and go after them,” he said. “And my thing is, what makes him tick? Why is he the way he is? What is it in his life? What is it with his family and his mom, and [what is it] that makes him want to blow relationships up?”
“And Chad’s just one example,” Harrison added. “But I think I am a better therapist, listener, interrogator. And I would hope, you know, you’d have to ask my girlfriend if I’m more understanding of a human being. I think I am.”