Here we go, "Bachelorette" fans. Season 11 kicks off Monday night with Part 1 of the two-part premiere, and it's about to go down. Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe will duke it out for the coveted, official title of the Bachelorette as 25 men choose among them in the opening episode. (Yes, the men, once again, have the power, despite the fact that this is a female-led show.)
"Immediately, one of the girls will be going home," host Chris Harrison told The Huffington Post in an interview Monday. "Tonight is kind of a two-pronged rose ceremony," he continued. "Early on, I come in and say there’s a ballot box and you can choose which girl you would like … it’s traumatic. And then Tuesday, in the second part of our premiere, the tables are turned and it’s business as usual as the Bachelorette gets ready for a rose ceremony. So, we kind of have two separate cocktail parties -- the first one is really more about the girls and then the next one is about the guys."
But Harrison is totally against the idea that ABC and the producers of the show are "pitting two women against each other," and adamantly denies that the girls were enemies during filming.
"Obviously, ideally, this isn’t how they wanted it to go," he said. "But life doesn’t always go as planned, and so, I love the fact that they embraced what could have been an awkward or bad situation, and made the best of it. They empowered each other instead of being divisive and catty and adversarial. Some people thought, ‘You’re pitting women against each other.’ Well, are we? Because it’s what they make of the situation, and good on them to be strong women and empower each other and take control of the situation. Yeah, one of them is not the Bachelorette right now," Harrison continued. "Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just she wasn’t chosen to be that part right now. It’s not like she’s not going to date anymore ... they’re both beautiful. They’ll be okay."
So despite the fact that either Britt or Kaitlyn will get voted out by a group of handsome, somewhat fame-hungry men on the premiere episode, Harrison feels that the so-called "loser" in this situation will be just fine. Still, it's hard to believe that whoever ends up getting sent home won't feel subpar to the chosen Bachelorette. Let's face facts here: One of these ladies will feel diminished, and hurt, and embarrassed, and less beautiful, etc., etc., etc. But apparently while the battle of the Bachelorettes went down on set, Britt and Kaitlyn were nothing but kind to one another. (As they should be!) They "became kind of buddies," Harrison insisted, and would judge the guys together as they introduced themselves. "It was just these two friends going through this awkward moment," Harrison added. "It was cute."
Cute while it lasted, that is. According to the host, the whole exchange between the girls was edited to be more dramatic, of course. "You’ll see in the edit that it’s a little more competitive, because in editing we want to make it a little more dramatic or whatever, but it really didn’t play out that way in person. It didn’t feel that way." Okay, gotcha.
Still, Bachelor Nation tunes in for the drama, especially when Harrison teases each season with his trademark promo line -- and Season 11 of "The Bachelorette" is set to be pretty high up there on "The Most Dramatic Season Of 'The Bachelor/Bachelorette'" lists.
"It’s pretty damn close," Harrison told HuffPost. "If you are a student of the game, there is a full Mesnick. That’s how dramatic this season is ... there is a full Mesnick."*
*The Full Mesnick is "wailing over the railing," according to Harrison. Exhibit A:
The two-part "Bachelorette" premiere airs May 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET and May 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.