“The Bachelorette” switched up its format Monday night, choosing to not air the rose ceremony of the week in which contestant Eric Hill departed the show.
“We all just watched Eric Hill’s last scene on this show,” host Chris Harrison said in a post-show interview with Bachelorette Andi Dorfman at the end of the episode. “Shortly after he left, Eric was tragically killed in a paragliding accident back home in Utah. Normally right now we’d all be watching a rose ceremony, but that just didn’t seem right tonight.”
Chris said it seemed appropriate to talk about Eric instead.
“It’s devastating to even talk about it,” Andi said. “There’s grief, there’s shock, there’s all these different emotions.”
Andi said Eric had charm and was everything she thought she was looking for.
“He had a way of pushing those boundaries,” she said. “I think that was a big part of how he lived his life.”
Eric’s exit from the show was not the most pleasant, with him accusing Andi of having “a poker face” and being fake in front of the cameras. Andi burst into tears, told Eric she didn’t see a future with him and he hastily departed in a cab.
Chris asked Andi if she would have handled things differently.
“The way Eric left and my last conversation with him is ideally not the last conversation you want to have with somebody,” Andi said, fighting back tears. “All of this happened and we’re all in this bubble, but you know at the end when the dust settles you sit down at ‘The Men Tell All.’”
“Unfortunately we can’t do that,” she added. “I can’t have the last conversation with Eric. He’d probably say something, I’d probably laugh and it would be water under the bridge.”
Andi said the fact that she would never be able to settle things with Eric is “a tough pill to swallow.”
Chris reiterated that despite a cocktail party and rose ceremony taking place after Eric’s exit, it didn’t seem right to show the rest of the evening’s taping.
“It was important to make this about Eric,” he said. “On behalf of everyone here at ‘The Bachelorette,’ our deepest condolences go to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”
Before the tribute, the episode showed Andi’s week at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut with the guys.
Andi took Dylan Pettit on a ride on the Essex Steam Train up the Connecticut River. Dylan opened up to Andi about losing his brother and sister to drug overdoses and she gave him the rose at the end of the date.
“It’s a very, very big honor that someone is wiling to open up to me of all people,” Andi said. “I have never in my life been so moved. Not because I was sad or felt bad for you. But that fact that you were sitting here and willing to tell me.”
“I feel like the hard part is behind me,” Dylan said. “I’m definitely on cloud nine. Probably one of the happier moments in my life.”
The men on Andi’s group date were schooled by some WNBA stars during a scrimmage at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The men also scrimmaged against one another, with the winning team getting to continue the date with Andi at a cocktail party that night.
Andi also went on a one-on-one with Marcus Grodd. The pair went on a classic “Bachelor” date -- rappelling down the side of a building.
“The Bachelorette” returns in two weeks on ABC.