The Bachelorette is back, and the week of Becca Kufrin's season premiere has already brought a lot of drama! Her notorious undergraduate ex, Arie Luyendyk Jr., went on television to announce his new girlfriend's wedding date, Lauren Burnham, just days before the first episode. There's also a scandal surrounding a top candidate, Garrett Y, who likes offensive posts on Instagram.
We called Robert Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President for Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night Programming, to break everything down and find out what else fans can expect.
ET: When you approached Becca's premiere, how much did you want Arie to be part of the premiere, right? Obviously, Becca is here after dating him, but he was a very controversial bachelor.
RM: The key to this is not to ignore that Arie was directly the last leadership, [but] you do not want to do too much because it's about to move forward. Honestly, it's really about the new generation of guys and getting to know them, because these are the guys with whom you've invested not just in this season, but also in Bachelor in Paradise and possibly in the next one become Bachelor . … You saw in the [season] super-tease that there is a two-to-one where a guy says, "You're worse than Aria." And you'll also see that there's a point where Becca is emotionally rocked by something one of the contestants does, and she says, "I feel like I was when Arie did that."
Arie and Lauren went on The View and announced their wedding date, and many people talked about the timing, because it was only a few days before Becca's premiere. Were you involved in this interview and this announcement?
We were not involved in that. I learned about it as did most people by watching The View . So we were not involved. I'm going to meet Arie in person … sometimes Arie does things that are questionable … maybe that's not the smartest thing. But he is certainly not a malicious person. I do not think it was Geez, how can I ruin Becca's premiere? Oh I know, I will announce my wedding date five days before! & # 39; … Maybe it was right in front of the Indy 500 and he knew he would be there. I do not know what it was. I'm sure it was a ridiculous reason, but I know that Becca should not be hurt.
They also said that their wedding will not be televised. Was there ever a discussion to transfer it?
No. You announced it; They did not tell us, "Are you interested? We want to get married, you've announced it yourself, I'm sure they have their reasons, which are completely understandable. …
In a recent Interview Chris Harrison called Arie a Knucklehead ̵
I just think Arie, you know, his heart is definitely a bit bigger than his brain sometimes, why he was such a good bachelor and why people really loved him in Emily Maynard's season [from The Bachelorette is because he's a guy, who loves wholeheartedly, even if he is destroyed like he did Emily … He acted the same way as the bachelor, and I think he got an unfair, bad name for some of them.
Aria also claimed in a new In terview with GQ that his break with Becca, which was touted as "unedited", was actually "edited". He says that he sees it as "edited" because producers are nearby and advise him to stay and continue talking to Becca. How do you react to that?
Nothing was done that was not done at any other time of the year. I have to say, in the production and defense of the producers, if that was so unorthodox and so wrong, why did not Arie say something? It is unprocessed. You do not see a cut anywhere. So why did not Arie say, "No, I do not want to do that, it's not right, you make me do something I do not want to do, you force me, I do not want to do that." It's as if to accuse a bartender of being drunk. There was no point where Arie said, "No, that's not what I want to do, you force me to do it."
There is also a controversy surrounding Garrett, Becca made her first impression. Screenshots appeared with an alleged Instagram account from him. What social media advice is given to the participants, if any? Do you have any rules?
I do not think they are getting rules, and of course we are not blind to the fact that last summer there were social media issues that started with Lee [Garrett]. We've gone to great lengths to make sure things do not happen, and we're starting to scrub social media accounts. … In the case of the Garrett thing, first of all, as you said, it's an alleged account, and it's likes, it's not things he's actually posted, things you can not scrub except the ones Person has a certain number of followers. … Obviously, we want to know every possible thing about these candidates. So we work harder. I mean, it's such a new frontier, social media, and I think it's important to us that we're really up to date, and of course we never want a situation like what happened to Lee last year happen again. … We are here to tell everyone that we are bringing the best men and women forward for leadership, so I think we want to make sure we do that absolutely.
Do you know if that was a …? Account of his, "sympathy" these controversial posts?
It's starting to be investigated and addressed, but I do not think anything is definite. … It's pretty hard to do anything now that the show was shot, but I think we'll probably think about how we'll address that on the show once we've got all the facts.
Which guys do you think fans should keep an eye on this season?
Jordan I remember the minute he came to the casting … he has such an interesting philosophy about the life that fascinates me. … We have been very, very diligent in making sure that they are real people and even people who say, "Oh, Jordan is kind of ridiculous, he's a male model." I mean, he really believes these things and there is more depth for him than it would seem. … I love Leo, who I think is a very different person than we had in the show. Wills is someone you should really pay attention to … he's a really dynamic, charismatic and really stylish guy. David, who was the chicken suit man, is someone who could actually overcome the stigma of being first night in costume and really becomes a truly three-dimensional type for Becca. I think you will see a very interesting thing with Clay, the very gentle giant footballer. His story revolves over the next few weeks. But really, really a sweet guy.
What appeals to you most about Becca's journey?
Both in Aries season and this season, the casts in diversity were both ethnic and personality types. … but I'm really excited about how dynamic she is. … She's one of the first I've seen that nine out of ten do everything you yell on TV!
The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8 pm. ET on ABC. Keep up with all the drama with ET's Bachelor Nation Summary, Roses and Rose.