ABC Executive Robert Mills Talks ‘Bachelor’ Arie Luyendyk Jr. And The Decision To Air Breakup

ABC exec opens up about Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s on air breakup
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Every season Bachelor host Chris Harrison promises the most dramatic season finale ever. Most seasons that prediction turns out to not be completely justified, until now. Arie Luyendyk Jr. broke the normal this season and shocked the world when he told all three finalists he was falling in love with them, proposed to Becca and then later changed his mind. Luyendyk not only decided he loved Lauren Burnham more than Becca Kufrin, he broke her heart while The Bachelor cameras were rolling. Now that the five hour finale has aired, ABC executive in charge of The Bachelor, Robert Mills, is speaking out about what prompted the network to film and air Becca’s heartbreak.

Variety caught up with Mills to get the behind the scenes scoop on why ABC decided to air Arie and Becca’s breakup unedited for the world to see. Mills shared that when he learned Arie was having second thoughts about his engagement to Becca he initially thought it would be great television, but that it also involved real people with real feelings. He said allowing the public to witness the breakup gives them the opportunity to see the relationship from beginning to end. Having it unedited and raw leaves no doubt in the viewers mind how Arie felt and why he ended things with Becca.

Nothing like a strong bond over the love for gravy. #twinning

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Ironically this was the first season of The Bachelor that production crews followed the new couple around after the final rose ceremony. Mills shared the reasoning behind this is that the show must constantly evolve to get even better. Mills used the example of seeing the morning after following a fantasy suite date. He said after that night together everything changes and it’s important for viewers to see that. Mills also says fans will be seeing more glimpses into the real life of the couples following the proposal in future seasons.

While it turned out to help show the entire span of Arie and Becca’s relationship, Mills says initially filming them together was not purposeful. They simply wanted some goofy footage of the couple relaxing and having fun together. He says a lot of it was filmed on iPhone’s which later they were able to incorporate.

Mills was also able to clarify the timeline of events for fans. He says the proposal between Becca and Arie was just before Thanksgiving and Arie ended it in January. As everyone now knows, Becca was named the new Bachelorette during the After the Final Rose special. Mills said having a few months between the breakup and having Becca on board to make the journey as The Bachelorette gave her a little time to heal. While he isn’t completely sure she is over Arie, he says they will do everything they can to make her season successful.

The Bachelorette will premiere in May on ABC.