Monday’s episode of the The Bachelor exploits one of the front-running contestants, Emily Maynard‘s, sad past. The date takes eight women on a date for The NASCAR Experience, which makes Emily seem visibly shaken. Brad takes her aside to see if she’s okay, and, according to Reality Steve, ultimately gives her the rose
Maynard was engaged to NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick about five years ago, and found out she was pregnant a few days after he died on a plane crash (which she claimed she didn’t go on because she was sick.) Since then she stayed in the NASCAR dating circle by briefly dating Dale Earnhardt Jr., but now she’s moving on to competing to date Brad Womack.
Many people have criticized the producers’ decision to put Emily Maynard on this NASCAR date, considering her background, but Emily has come out and said that the date “gave her closure.”
She told People, via The Hollywood Gossip:
“Although I appreciate everyone’s concern, I ask that you reserve judgment until [it airs]. As you’ll see, the experience actually helped me gain some closure.”
She even had a little fun behind the wheel.
“The first few laps were for Ricky,” the Southern Belle said. “And the last lap was for me. And I’m just really ready to move on and find love again.”
Chris Harrison’s PR on this event has involved talking out of both sides of his mouth. He initially said that the date was intentional. He told tvguide.com:
“We have to force the issue because we have such a time constraint. It puts Brad on the spot, puts Emily on the spot, like you guys are either going to deal with this and go forward, or it’s not going to happen and it’s over.”
A few days later he told Reality TV World during a conference call:
“I have the luxury of hindsight, in that what I was [saying] is it allowed in this very time-constrained environment, to force a moment and it did force a moment. It was something intentionally that we didn’t set out to do in the beginning of the season, but it ended up that we had this opportunity and Brad and Emily had this opportunity.
“It was somewhat of a coincidence, but again, I don’t want to come off — and you guys are smart enough, and so are our fans — to realize that we are not stupid and naive little children [who were] like, ‘Oh really?'”
Mmmm, he came off more credible the first time when he sort of admitted that the producers were trying to make the most out of a storyline. Either way, it doesn’t seem “cruel” the way some viewers have labeled it. Emily Maynard knew what she was getting into when she signed up to be on The Bachelor and talk about her past.