Through some heartbreak and drama, Andi Dorfman’s quest for love on “The Bachelorette” has brought viewers on an emotional journey. But what no one expected was for the ABC reality show to lose one of its own – contestant Eric Hill.
During episode 8, “The Bachelorette” decided to air the cast and crew’s reaction to the untimely passing of Eric Hill. The contestant, who was eliminated during episode 4 earlier in the season, passed away in late April due to complications from a paragliding accident in Utah. He was 31-years-old at the time of his death.
The ABC dating show dedicated Andi Dorfman’s season of “The Bachelorette” to Eric Hill, and aired an interview with Andi following his shocking departure in episode 4. In episode 8 it was revealed that the producers decided to film and broadcast how the cast learned about the contestant’s fatal accident.
Host Chris Harrison told TV Guide that he stands by the show’s decision to film and air the reactions of Andi and the then four remaining contestants – Chris, Nick V., Marcus and Josh. During a press call on Thursday, episode 8 eliminated contestant, Marcus Grodd, told International Business Times that he too supports the reaction episode.
“I think it was a positive thing for the show to air the passing of Eric Hill,” Marcus told IBTimes. “He was a good close friend of mine; we had a lot of friends in common in Dallas.”
For Marcus, who was eliminated after hometown dates, the decision to air the personal and emotional reactions gave viewers a chance to see where everyone was at, and the close friendships that they developed while filming.
“I think them not showing it is pushing it under the rug and not giving him the respect and the opportunity of him being portrayed on the show as he did,” Marcus continued. “I think he did a phenomenal job and it was sad to see him leave; and hearing that news was really devastating. So, it’s a great thing that America saw that and saw our reaction and saw the great, great person that Eric Hill was.”
For “Bachelorette” fans that missed the episode, Chris Harrison pulled Andi and the four contestants together at his Los Angeles home to share the devastating news. While the group was initially silent after learning about Eric Hill’s death, they soon broke down once the show’s crew gathered on-screen to console each other.
“I kicked him out,” Andi sobbed to one of the crew members. “I can’t believe that was my last conversation with someone.”
Andi was referring to the episode 4 fight that resulted in her kicking Eric out before the rose ceremony. Eric, who had landed the coveted first date of the season, had disagreed with Andi’s claim that he wasn’t being open with her.
“I’ve been really open with you,” Eric had said to Andi at the time. “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.”
The bachelorette was offended by Eric’s words, and decided to send him how after he said that he had joined the dating show to “meet a person, not a TV actress.”