Longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who presides over rose ceremonies for a living, has always assumed an older-brother relationship with the men and women of the reality series. But he never really gelled with this year's Bachelor, the much-despised Juan Pablo Galavis, who's now trying to repair his public image and defend his newly formed relationship with winning contestant Nikki Ferrell.
In his weekly Bachelor blog for EW, Harrison played down rumors of a rift with Galavis, stressing that he doesn't hate the former soccer player.
"For some reason I feel that there is some notion that I dislike him, and that’s just not the truth," he wrote. "One of the many things I love about this show is every season is different because every Bachelor or Bachelorette is different. They bring in their own culture, background, issues, and baggage."
Harrison said he still believes Galavis had the best intentions, but "struggled" with the process.
"From the beginning something just didn’t seem right and something didn’t fit. We can debate over what that is, but the truth is that is irrelevant," Harrison added. "The only thing that matters is this was a struggle for Juan Pablo and it was a struggle almost all the way through. I, along with all of our producers, tried as hard as we could to figure this out and make it easier on him, and I know he tried to find those answers himself. At times, he did seem to let his guard down and enjoy and embrace the process, but overall it was a struggle."
"I’m not angry at Juan Pablo nor do I dislike the guy," Harrison repeated. "Am I often confused and puzzled by his behavior and his thoughts? Absolutely, but that doesn’t anger me. I wish he and Nikki well. I truly hope Juan Pablo especially can find peace somewhere in his life."
Harrison also told E! News that he didn't "dislike" the now ex-Bachelor, but admitted that the "show owed everybody a little bit better finish."
"We have this couple, who I think love each other, and yet it was so unsatisfying for everybody, so it was just so confusing," he said.
Galavis, meanwhile, has made an effort to prove that his feelings for Ferrell are genuine. He's taken to social media to share photos of them, post-Bachelor, and even posted a video recap of their relationship.