August 04, 2010 05:18 PM by Candace Young
The creators ofÂ The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are bringing something a little different to ABC starting August 9 with the premiere of the new reality show, Bachelor Pad. Teaming up with Chris Harrison for co-hosting duties will be former The Bachelor contestant, Melissa Rycroft! Reality TV Magazine caught up with Melissa to find out what’s happening in her life, and to get the inside scoop on Bachelor Pad. Keep reading to find out what it’s all about…
Reality TV Magazine: Congratulations on your pregnancy – you must have so much going on!
Melissa: Busy, crazy… yeah, everything! [laughs]
Reality TV Magazine: You recently moved as well?
Melissa: We’re still in the same area; we’re staying in Dallas, but we are in the process of moving into a new house, which will now be our family house!
Reality TV Magazine: Exciting! So you’ll be planning a nursery soonâ€¦
Melissa: We will be planning a nursery! We got this house before we knew we were pregnant, so we weren’t really looking for a room that could be a nursery, but it worked out perfectly that there is a room right by mine and Ty’s room that would be a perfect little baby room!
Reality TV Magazine: You also have a new project; you’re co-hosting Bachelor Pad with Chris Harrison – he seems like he would be a lot of fun to work with. How was it?
Melissa: Here’s what’s fun about Bachelor Pad – you see a very different side of Chris than what we’re used to seeing. The first time I saw him on set he was in a polo and jeans, which is almost unheard of for Chris Harrison. He’s normally in his suit, decked out, coming in with a rose, and being very dramatic. [On Bachelor Pad] he’s more fun, he’s more ‘Chris’; he gets to let his personality out and interact with the contestants and with me. He’s a really funny guy and I’m glad people are going to get to see that side of him.
Reality TV Magazine: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are about romance and finding love – what is the goal in Bachelor Pad?
Melissa: The end goal, I think, is subjective. Everybody came into the house, probably, with a different goal; some for love, and obviously, some for money, and that’s what happens when you change the rules of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette – you’re not just mixing the romantic elements, but now you’ve got money in the end of it. There’s definitely people who came into the house with the dollar signs in their eyes; and that’s what they wanted, and I think that’s fair. When you put a prize at the end of the competition like that, I think it’s okay to say, “Yeah, I came for the money.” There were also people, though, who came, and who really wanted to find love, so that’s where it kind of gets tangled and twisted – who came for love, who came for the game, and who gets hurt in the process!
Reality TV Magazine: How exactly does it work?
Melissa: Well, you’ve got all contestants living in one room together – not even one house – it’s one bedroom, and they’ve got to figure out how they want to play the game, if they want to, or decide if they want to make friends, romances, or alliances because, ultimately, they’re going to be competing in challenges against each other that will produce one guy and one girl winner, which will give them immunity from elimination. The big thing about elimination is that they vote each other in! The guys vote the girls in, and the girls vote the guys in. So, there has to be some strategy going in, but strategy can get overshadowed by love and feelings sometimes.
Reality TV Magazine: So there’s one winner at the end?
Melissa: Yes, there’s one winner who gets $150,000.
Reality TV Magazine: From the previews, it looks like there will be plenty of drama in the house; do some of the past rivalries pick up where they left off?
Melissa: You’ll absolutely see some past rivalries pick up, and there are rivalries that have been made along the way as well, and some that you didn’t see on camera that you’ll get to see pick up on camera. When you take all the elements that go into this show, which is the romantic part; you’ve got the dates, and you have the competition against each other, you have voting against each other all rolled into one, you’re going to have more emotion than we’ve ever seen on Bachelor and Bachelorette, just because the stakes are so much higher and there’s so much more invested.
Reality TV Magazine: After seeing these people on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, we have an established sense of who they are and what they’re about – are there any surprises in this sense. For example, someone who came across like a jerk on The Bachelorette comes off looking like a great guy on Bachelor Pad, or vice-versa?
Melissa: You’re definitely going to see different sides of people. You feel like you know who the contestants are going in because we’ve seen them on past shows, but again, what the money does, is it brings out true colors in people, and it can get ugly at times. You’re definitely going to see some surprises; you’ll see some things from people that you don’t expect – all in the name of the game!
Reality TV Magazine: Who will enjoy this show more – those who already are familiar with the contestants, or viewers who are seeing them for the first time?
Melissa: I think the great thing about Bachelor Pad is that it would be great for both. Obviously those who know the contestants from past seasons are going to love it because they’re already invested emotionally in who these people are, but it doesn’t leave the viewers out who don’t know who these people are. Some of them go back to Season One, so there’s an audience there that isn’t going to know who everyone is in the house, but its going to introduce you to everybody, and you’re going to see all the different sides to these people, so I thinks it’s fantastic for both those who have watched the franchise, and for those who have never seen the franchise.
Reality TV Magazine: Since the latest edition of The Bachelorette concluded recently, there has been some skepticism expressed in the media about the ability of these shows to really produce a lasting love match since the track records of marriages isn’t that great – what is your opinion on this as someone who experienced the process first hand?
Melissa: Well, my experience through the process was a little bit different, but I think to say that the show does not produce successful relationships is a very unfair statement, I think to say the show doesn’t produce marriage is probably more accurate. Having two [couples] out of the last twenty make it down the aisle is not the best track record, but I think what the show does want to promote is the journey; meeting this person that you otherwise never would have been introduced to. I know when I talk to Jill [Harris], who is one of my good friends, about her relationship with Ed [Swiderski], there are no regrets there. It was a really good relationship, a successful relationship, it just didn’t end in marriage and there’s nothing wrong with that. There have also been several relationships that have started among different cast members from different shows – you’ve got Deanna [Pappas] and Stephen Stagliano – there’s a bunch of those that have spurred from old seasons and who are romantically involved now and have a good shot at lasting.
Reality TV Magazine: Do you think a show like Bachelor Pad, which isn’t focused solely on finding love, could produce a lasting couple, since there is less pressure, or does the competitive aspect make it impossible to trust anyone completely?
Melissa: You know, it is hard because Bachelor Pad is only partially focused on the romance, and partially focused on the competition and elimination. That being said, though, the contestants get to spend a whole lot more time together than those who are on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette where the time is very limited. In the Bachelor Pad house you are literally living together twenty-four hours a day, so there is a lot more time to make a genuine connection. The only little tease I’ll give you is that you have no idea who is playing the game and who really wants to find romance!
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Photos Courtesy ofÂ ABC, AP