It's no secret Bachelor producers look for new and ~dramatic~ ways to stir the pot in the middle of every season. But according to one very public producer, the current mid-season twist wasn't actually part of the plan. Despite what viewers suspected, former contestant Heather Martin's arrival on Matt's season apparently was a shock to the execs behind the scenes. So, who did plan Heather Martin's Bachelor arrival? Chris Harrison said Hannah Brown was the one pulling the strings.
To recap, during the Feb. 8 episode, security footage showed Heather (who was a contestant on Colton's season of The Bachelor) pull up to the resort and ask to speak to Chris Harrison. When Chris walked out and asked what she was doing there, Heather explained she needed to meet Matt. She said her close friend and former Bachelorette Hannah Brown told her Matt would be perfect for her and she needed to see for herself.
In case you blocked it from your memory, Hannah B. and Matt bonded when they were part of The Quarantine Crew with Tyler Cameron back in March 2020. After this, according to Heather, Hannah B. insisted she meet Matt. "Her telling me that meant something ... I couldn't let him get engaged and not meet him — or try my best," she told Chris during the Feb. 8 episode. "I know you're halfway through ... I just want to meet Matt."
After some back and forth, Chris agreed to talk with "the people up the hill" to see what they could do. While fans were pretty sus that Chris was in on Heather's arrival, the host is standing by his statement that he didn't know she was coming. In an interview with Extra on Feb. 9, Chris said:
“The producers didn’t tell me [Heather] was coming — that [Heather] had reached out to producers, and Hannah B. was involved in all this too,” he said. “She had concocted this story and was helping produce this thing from the side. [Hannah B.] thought Heather would be a good match for Matt ... but when they reached out, we said no.”
According to Chris, one of the show's executive producers explicitly told Heather not to go to the resort because she was "not going to be on the show." But lo and behold, Heather pulled up to Nemacolin Resort in a minivan and Chris walked out to the gate, confused as everyone else. After seeing how determined she was, Chris explained: “We said, ‘You know what? Fine. You want to come in? You guys want to do this? We’ll give you a shot.'"
Naturally, the contestants who were already vying for Matt's heart were less than pleased with Heather's arrival. According to Chris, the whole situation put Matt in "a very interesting dilemma," and after seeing all the tears in the promo, it looks things are going to get messy. In response to Heather's decision to go on the show, Hannah B. herself took to Instagram to defend her friend's appearance. “Lord bless the girls that are mean to my Heather,” Hannah said on her story during the Feb. 8 episode. “That’s all I have to say. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
While only time will tell whether Heather and Matt end up together, at least they both have Hannah "the beast" Brown to defend them on their journeys.
Season 25 of The Bachelor continues on Monday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.