Last night, fan favorite and frontrunner Arie Luyendyk, Jr. almost lost his footing with Bachelorette Emily Maynard
because of a so-called deep, dark "secret" ... that he didn't even realize he was keeping.
Arie dated Bachelor
producer (and one of Emily's close friends throughout filming) Cassie Lambert many years ago, but it wasn't until they were several weeks into the season, when Arie and Emily were getting so serious that she was contemplating going home to meet his family, that Cassie happened to mention it. This sent Emily into a truth-seeking tizzy that, unlike most Bachelor
drama, actually ended agreeably: Cassie hadn't mentioned it because their relationship was so long ago, casual and brief that she didn't want to color Emily's opinion of Arie, and Arie hadn't mentioned it because he pretty much forgot it ever happened. Emily realized no one was hiding anything worth knowing from her, and she and Arie moved on. Turns out, sometimes truth is tamer than (tabloid) fiction.
Also unlike most Bachelor
drama, the most pivotal moments in this little, err, misunderstanding, went on behind the scenes. But in her People.com blog today
, Emily shared a closer look into what went down, revealing that she had
been told in the beginning that one of her 25 guys dated Cassie a long time ago, she just didn't know which one: "I remember being at Dollywood with Arie and saying how I felt so close to him without having the "awkward ex-girlfriend talk" yet. I could tell the word "ex-girlfriend" made him nervous and I think from that moment on I had a feeling I was missing something.
Before we started filming I had been told that there may be one contestant on the show this season who had dated Cassie, and I was asked if I would mind. Once I knew it was almost a decade ago, and knowing that Cassie is engaged to another one of my favorite producers, Pete, I was fine with it. I put it way out of my head as I was gearing up to meet the men, so when Cassie took it upon herself halfway through the season to tell me who the guy was, I was definitely surprised.
We had all been together so many times and it was never mentioned that they had ever met before and that's where my feelings of mistrust came in. If you knew Cassie the way I do, you would know what a great person she is, and that I'd be lucky to have a chance with one of her exes! Although I wish I would have known the specifics earlier, I understand the show didn't want to color my opinion of him. But I was concerned that Arie hadn't told me. I kept feeling like I should just come out and ask him about their relationship, but I didn't because I'm looking for someone that would just be straightforward with me. It was such a relief to finally have it all out there, and as you can see, we picked up right where we had left off."
Here's the scene in which Emily attempted to beat around the bush about the "secret" by asking Arie about his feelings on honesty. Turns out she
was the one not being totally honest about what she knew, but as Arie's favorite writer Shakespeare once wrote, "all's well that ends well."
Rosemaster Chris Harrison also weighed in on the non-scandal in his EW blog
"I feel like we handled this situation well. Was the story big enough that it needed to be touched on? Yes. But was it a huge scandal? No. So I think we did a good job of showing you the truth about what happened and how it absolutely didn't affect Emily and Arie's relationship whatsoever. Later that night during the date, Arie was the first man to tell Emily he's in love with her and by the look on her face, she was happy to hear it."Bachelorette
spoiler/recapper Reality Steve says
that the show (intentionally) missed the point when they addressed Arie and Cassie's past. The problem isn't that they dated, says Steve. The problem is how suspicious it is that Arie ended up on the show in the first place: "Yes, we ALL agree the fact that Arie dated Cassie 9-10 years ago isn't that big of deal now, especially since she's engaged to be married to another producer from the show in August. We're not saying it was. What we're saying is if you guys hold ALL these open auditions in cities across the U.S. and claim that you guys are casting guys who are seriously there for Emily, why are you even bothering casting someone who dated and is friends with the leads main producer? You couldn't find ANYONE else? Really? I find that hard to believe. Kinda fishy when the show is casting people who have a past relationship, and a current friendship, with one of the main producers. Why even bother and open yourself up to the criticism? Oh yeah, because that's exactly what they were looking for."What did you think of the Arie/Emily/Cassie issue in last night's episode?
Do you agree with Chris that the story even deserved to be aired on TV? Any thoughts on which of the guys remaining -- Arie, Chris, Sean and Jef -- is Emily's frontrunner coming into the Hometown Dates? If you read my recap
, you know who MY favorite is now!(Image courtesy of ABC)