Peter Weber’s rocky season of ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ ended with a proposal, a breakup, a second chance and a very awkward family feud.


Can a new “Bachelor” series take us far from the shallow (now)?

Bachelor Nation, we know you’re (hopefully) quarantining  because of the coronavirus pandemic – and some of you may have been since just after the “Bachelor” finale last month. But we’ve got good news for you: The franchise’s latest spinoff, “Listen to Your Heart,” premieres Monday, April 13.

The series features 20 single men and women who will go on a journey to find love through music.

Think of it as “The Bachelor” meets “A Star is Born,” host Chris Harrison teases. “Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss came up with the concept after watching Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s chemistry during the 2019 Oscars.

“Everyone thought, ‘Oh my gosh, are they gonna have sex on the stage?’ ” Harrison told USA TODAY over the phone from Los Angeles, where he has been quarantining with his girlfriend, entertainment reporter Lauren Zima, and his kids.

Eligible bachelors and bachelorettes will live together and go on “Bachelor”-type, musically focused dates.

Can the same love and musical chemistry be recreated in a “Bachelor” kind of way? 

Here’s what he had to say about the new show, why it’s (ironically) perfect to watch during a pandemic, and some lingering thoughts on how “The Bachelor” ended last season.

What is ‘Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart?’

“Bachelor” franchise fans can expect the new series format to look somewhat like “Bachelor in Paradise,” where former “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” contestants try to form bonds in a tropical paradise.

“It’s about forming a true partnership offstage first,” Harrison says. “We’ve always learned at ‘The Bachelor’ that’s always the bedrock of our show but also everything that comes out of it.”

Women and men will alternate handing out roses in rose ceremonies at first, and then the show will start leaning into musical performances featuring celebrity judges. They will in turn decide who goes home after their performances. “Bachelor” couples will also be a part of that judges panel, because chemistry and musicality are both critical.

“It feels fresh and it feels new, but at the same time it does have that familiarity, which is great,” Harrison says.

During performances, you have to be talented but also have believable chemistry. “Do you believe that chemistry on stage? Do you believe this couple is falling in love or already in love?” Harrison says.

Why is ‘Listen to Your Heart’ a good show to watch in quarantine?

People lack a sense of community right now, something Bachelor Nation knows all too well.

“Ironically, ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ have always provided that,” Harrison says. “We’ve created this community that people feel like they’re really a part of and ‘Listen to Your Heart’ is gonna be an extension of that. … It’s something you can feel a part of.”

“The timing sadly couldn’t be better,” he adds.

The show was shot and produced before the coronavirus onset; no live component was planned.

As for the status of the rest of the next season of “The Bachelorette,” which was slated for May 18? That remains on hold. Harrison has been in touch with the next “Bachelorette” star Clare Crawley, who is quarantining alone.

Final thoughts on ‘The Bachelor’

As Harrison points out, Peter Weber’s journey for love hasn’t totally ended. “He’s in Chicago quarantining with Kelley from the show,” Harrison reminds us. “I guess maybe his love story’s not over quite yet.”

As for the end of Weber’s season, which resulted in a failed engagement and a horrible family feud on live TV? Harrison didn’t expect it to go that way.

“I felt a little guilty and a little responsible for it,” he says. He didn’t mean for Peter’s mother, Barbara, to take that moment away from her son and criticize both him and Madison on national television.

Could there someday be a Zoom season of the “Bachelor?” While technically Harrison  thinks it could happen, he hopes it never does. He wishes we can get back to a semblance of normalcy, though notes the future of dating could be different.

“I think dating’s going to change,” he says. “I think we’re all gonna be different when we go out now in public.”

But “The Bachelor” could withstand the changes.

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“‘The Bachelor’ has always been a great show that embraces what’s happening in the world and embraces pop culture.” Imagine new “Bachelorette” Crawley  dating these guys and discussing what they were up to during quarantine and with whom they were quarantining, for example.

Until then, viewers can enjoy love stories (and inevitable drama) more reminiscent of a pre-pandemic world on “Listen to Your Heart.”

In case you need a recap of ‘The Bachelor’ finale: Peter proposes to one woman, endures uncomfortable family feud on live TV


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