Something’s different this time around. The Bachelorette season 16 After the Final Rose special was scrapped this year — but Chris Harrison gave a pretty good reason when he announced the producers’ decision to hold off on the live reunion episode.
“It pains me there’s no AFR live special this #TheBachelorette season,” Chris tweeted in December 2020. “Due to being pushed into the holidays and the difficulty of bringing people safely together during this time it just wasn’t possible.”
Despite canceling the highly anticipated live show, the ABC dating series was able to have its Men Tell All special on December 14. Prior to the episode, Chris, 49, exclusively told Life & Style the episode was happening with precautions in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not as easy as it used to be to call everybody and go to a studio and shoot it.” the ABC host explained in November, noting that they were using Tyler Cameron‘s BFF Matt James‘ upcoming season of The Bachelor to test out the best way to shoot the episode safely.
“We have to figure it out as we are shooting Matt’s season, how this all works and logistically, and getting everybody in and be safe and go through the COVID protocol and all that,” the TV personality added. “We’re going to do it, but what that looks like, we’re not positive just yet.”
As for star Tayshia Adams‘ frontrunners — Ben Smith, Brendan Morais and Ivan Hall — they didn’t get to air their thoughts about how things went down with the former phlebotomist, or about her engagement to contestant Zac Clark. Luckily for fans, the three guys have opened up about the Bachelorette star’s fiancé and the winner of the final rose.
Ben, 30, told Bachelor Nation alum Nick Viall on his “Viall Files” podcast that he’s all about Tayshia and Zac, 36, together. “I was in the camp of being, like, there’s no f—king way that any other dude is having the same experience that I am having. But watching it back now, I see, ‘Oh, my god, Ben, dude.’ Like, your relationship was one thing, and it was playful and fun, and I can see that connection that we had, but it’s pretty evident that there was a deeper bond and a deeper connection, ultimately, with Zac. You can see their chemistry, you can see the way they play off of each other,” the personal trainer explained. “I’m so happy for Tayshia, I’m so happy for Zac. Zac and I were close throughout the entire experience. You can see that they’re happy together. The fact that they’re still together, that’s incredible in and of itself.”
Brendan, 30, left The Bachelorette during his fantasy suite date, despite having a connection with the California native. However, he ultimately saw Ivan, 28, as a better fit for her. “I know Tayshia and Ben had a connection, of course. But there was something that she was always wresting with Ben,” the actor-model said on Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti‘s “Almost Famous” podcast. “I thought she was going to end up with Zac. I thought Ivan … they were a better fit together, to be honest. Zac was an amazing guy as well, but Ivan and Tayshia, their personalities seem to be a little more similar. Ivan would have followed Tayshia all over the world. … [But] watching it back, there was a different level of passion that Tayshia and Zac had that Ivan didn’t have.”
Ivan told Kaitlyn Bristowe he “didn’t realize” how much chemistry Tayshia and Zac had until he watched the show. “I guess one would question their lifestyles are on opposite coasts. He’s sober, it seemed like Tayshia honestly liked to drink,” the engineer admitted during the “Off the Vine” podcast. “I don’t know how that plays into it. I know for certain, I could tell, that Zac was in love with Tayshia. Like, before all of us he was there first and he’s a great guy and he’s going to treat her right. I wish them the best though.”