“The Bachelorette” family suffered a terrible loss in late April. Contestant Eric Hill passed away after being placed in a medically induced coma following a paragliding accident in Utah. The 31-year-old had already been eliminated from the ABC reality show.
The 2014 season of “The Bachelorette” was dedicated to the explorer and extreme sports enthusiast, but the series also took time out to film the cast and crew’s reactions to his death. Fans of the show were able to see host Chris Harrison break the news to Andi Dorfman and the remaining four bachelors during the emotionally charged episode 8.
This episode was going to be hard no matter what because the bachelorette would be forced to say goodbye to one contestant after meeting his entire family. But the blow of the rose ceremony was made worse by the news of Hill’s death.
Before the rose ceremony, Harrison called Andi, Nick V., Chris, Marcus and Josh M. to his Los Angeles home to inform them of Hill’s passing. Andi and the four remaining contestants simply sat in silence as they processed the news. For some, it was just too much.
Marcus got up and walked outside to compose himself, and Andi followed him out shortly after. After sitting side by side for a few moments, Andi told the 25-year-old sports medicine manager that they needed to go inside and face it together as a group.
Andi then rejoined Harrison and the other men. She told everyone that she was glad they were together, and that the situation really put things into perspective. In a move rarely seen on the show, crew members of “The Bachelorette” made their way on camera to console each other over the passing of their friend.
When the camera wasn’t fully focused on her, Andi broke down. “I kicked him out,” she sobbed to one of the crew. “I can’t believe that was my last conversation with someone.”
The bachelorette was referring to the episode 4 fight that led Andi to eliminate Hill before the rose ceremony. Viewers will remember she wanted more openness from Hill, which he thought he was being.
“I’ve been really open with you,” he said to Andi when he pulled her aside during the cocktail party. “I think it was a total miscommunication and misunderstanding … I feel like it’s the opposite. I feel like you’re not being the real Andi with me.”
Andi immediately became defensive after Hill accused her of wearing a “poker face” while on camera and told her that he joined the show “to meet a person, not a TV actress.”
The bachelorette told him that she didn’t want to waste another minute of his time, and that she couldn’t “fight for somebody who does not believe in me.” They hugged and parted ways, and Hill told the cameras that he felt “more ready” to find that special relationship.
After Hill left the show, his sister, Karen Tracy, posted her thoughts on Facebook:
“I spent a little time getting to know a bit more about the other bachelors from the show. I looked up Brad's website, JJ's business, Chris's farm, saw pictures of families, stories of success ... These are all real people with some pretty remarkable achievements, and Eric had a great time with them. A few I got to meet in person. A reality show will be here today and replaced tomorrow, but to those who know them, they are friends, brothers, and sons forever. To some they may be heroes and inspirations.
"I'm glad Eric's off the show. He and Andi are two impressive people who obviously weren't compatible. Is anyone who knows him surprised? I don't fault Andi for her response. She gave that show her all. They both happened to touch on some sore spots. Eric really felt bad he made her cry. I'm just happy Eric left us with so much more to remember him by than his time in a mansion. I'm looking forward to reviewing some of his videos jumping off cliffs and dancing with African tribes -- the real Eric I know. GOwithEric.com #livelikeEric
"Whew! Glad that's over. Thanks, ABC. It's been real (sort of).”
Tracy hasn't commented on “The Bachelorette’s” decision to air its final goodbye to Hill in episode 8.