While it seemed Colton Underwood had enough drama to last a lifetime during his season of The Bachelor, it turns out, that was only the beginning. In a recent podcast interview, the reality star aired some of his grievances with the franchise — including its host. So, uh, what actually happened between Colton Underwood and Chris Harrison to cause this Bachelor rift? (Elite Daily reached out to reps for Harrison and ABC for comment about Underwood's quotes but did not hear back by time of publication.)
It's no secret Underwood has complicated feelings toward the franchise that gave him fame. In a late March 2020 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said that while writing his book, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, he realized a lot of what he went through during production didn't sit well with him. "I felt like I lost control of my life, where [production] did what they needed to do to make a TV show — but at my expense."
In a podcast interview with Bachelor Nation expert Reality Steve on Aug. 13, Underwood spoke out again, and this time he spilled the tea about his "falling out" with the Bachelor franchise and Harrison himself. Though the two previously appeared close, (so much so that Harrison has called Underwood his "little brother" multiple times), it seems things have changed, in part because of a July episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever in which Underwood's ex, Cassie Randolph, was interviewed.
During the epsiode, Harrison asked Randolph about the couple's May breakup, a conversation which seemingly set off a social media feud between the exes. At first, it seemed like Underwood was upset with Randolph for speaking publicly about their split, but he's now saying it's actually the franchise and Harrison who upset him. "Cass stayed extremely professional and extremely quiet about our breakup, which I was so happy and thankful for. I even texted her. I said, 'Man, I appreciate that. Like, thank you'," Underwood told Reality Steve "What bugged me was the fact that the show took advantage of her."
Underwood then said Harrison's interview with Randolph painted him in a negative light. "You have Chris Harrison pointing questions saying, 'I sense you don't want to make Colton mad or you're afraid you're going to upset Colton.' It's like, 'No, Chris. I literally talked to her the morning of that interview. We're good.' Stop worrying about me or painting me to be this controlling or angry person," Underwood said on the podcast. "I'm not angry. If there's anybody I'm upset about or upset with it's you guys."
It wasn't just the aftermath of his breakup with Randolph that made Underwood want to distance himself from the franchise. He explained on the podcast that being on the show negatively impacted his mental health. "I had so much anxiety and so much depression that I was like, throughout the majority of my season [being on air], I was pretty heavily medicated," he said.
He recalled the February 2019 incident in which he left a charity event after allegedly being groped by a fan: "I just remember feeling so powerless and like such a piece of meat. That, for me, was a big turning point in my mental health, of like, 'Wow, I have no clue what I'm in for right now.' And it got pretty bad. It got dark."
From the sound of it, Underwood is fully done with the Bachelor franchise. "There's just been too many things that I've found out about, and that has happened, for me to feel comfortable working with them again on a professional level, not even personal," he told Reality Steve. s of now, it's unclear exactly what things Underwood has "found out about," but here's hoping he continues to do what's best for himself.