Love and roses: Q&A with Tyler Harcott, host of The Bachelor Canada
Announcing the final rose of the evening on The Bachelor Canada is a pretty important job, and its host, Tyler Harcott, knows it. A veteran of hosting roles (he’s held 14 in his 17-year career) Harcott says his latest gig as bachelor Brad Smith’s wingman has been pretty “magnificent.” We chatted with the statuesque host about his stand-out contestants, finding love on TV and what we can expect from the Women Tell All episode.
How did you get started in the industry?
I fell into TV by accident. I was visiting my buddy in Hong Kong and I met someone who heard my voice and they asked me if I had done voice-overs, and I lied and I said I did them at home [in Canada]. So I just packed up and moved to Hong Kong and did some for StarTV. I did a screen test for a show, and I realized — I have an acting background — that I could do both of these things. I realized hosting would be my bread and butter. I like being myself on TV. It’s fun being myself on TV. I fell into it and I’ve been very fortunate to latch on to some really great projects, like The Bachelor. It’s been a wonderful experience.
What was your audition like for The Bachelor Canada?
It was dynamite. I found out I could do a self tape and I loved that, because I could do it my own way. I was in a hotel, and my daughter’s little princess dolls were on the floor, and I stepped on one and I was like, “Ow, what is this doing here?” And then I saw another one sitting on the counter, so I thought, “Wait a minute, I have an idea.” I lined up a bunch of the dolls, and there was one Prince Charming doll, and I got this obnoxious flower and I thought I would make up this mock Bachelor video just to show my sense of humour — because that’s what I bring to every project I do. It was a risk because I didn’t know who’d watch it, but they loved it. Then they wanted me to do it straight for the network, then they flew me out to Vancouver and I had a cage match throwdown with three other hosts. At the end of the day, I feel blessed to have been chosen to do it.
You make Brad Smith — who’s no shortie — seem small. How tall are you?
No, really, he’s 4’10”. [Laughs.] I’m 6’4” and a little bit. I’ve been told my whole life, “Holy, you’re tall.” Brad handled it well. He’s 6’2” — I can see that it would be daunting, but he handled it well.
How do you prepare for your big line of the night (“Ladies, this is the final rose”)? Is there different ways you like to say it?
I did try, but here’s the thing — that was one of the first things I asked: is there a template, are there certain things I have to say? Yeah, there are. But I think when you’re pushing this thing out to sea, you really want to honour what’s come before you, but you want to find your own countries while you’re out at sea, too. We tried to strike some balance — people are expecting certain things. They’ll think, “Oh that’s too different from the original.” People are fussy about that. I tried to change the words up a bit here and there. I never say it the same way in each episode.
How do you think Brad handled being Canada’s first bachelor?
I think he handled it very well. He will always be the first bachelor. It’s kind of a daunting role. He is the first to admit he’s not everyone cup of tea, not everyone will like him. He’s 10 steps ahead if you know that. He’s handled the tougher questions and the scrutiny like a pro. He’s been gracious, nothing short of a gentleman, and he tries to appreciate the ladies’ feelings. I think considering how pear-shaped things can go on shows like this, he handled it admirably.
Did you have any favourite contestants while filming?
Who would I choose, who would be best to Brad — I keep those to myself. It’s not about me, it’s about Brad and those bachelorettes. But of course I had my favourites. There were definite characters that stood out. Obviously Chantelle stood out because of her grace, and she was a positive, affirming person on the show. I think everyone walked away with respect for her. No one will forget Bubba. I think everyone got what they needed out of Bubba in that episode. She brought a certain level of levity to the show — it was the first night, and everyone was nervous, and she found a way to bring a little bit of levity to a night where everyone wanted to be perfect and for it to go perfectly. To have that fun and be funny, it made a difference that night.
The Women Tell All episode airs tomorrow. Can we expect any surprises besides the regular drama?
I speak more than 10 words in that show [laughs], so I think you’ll get more of a sense of me on that show. I think people will get a nicer sense of the personality and what I bring to the show. For certain people on the show, some people weren’t liked or they were controversial, and then there are the last people you think that will be controversial and then the focus is on them that you didn’t see coming. I think more than anything, just like in real life, there is a sense of camaraderie amongst these women because they have their issues with each other, but there is this sorority of ladies who have all gone through this thing together. I guess in a weird way it’s a dysfunctional family that these women become. They are in an eternal sorority for life.
Do you believe that love can be found through reality TV?
Sure, why not? It doesn’t always work. There’s a track record of a mile-long that says it doesn’t work, but there’s also been successes, too. To say it’s not possible to meet someone and fall in love in two months — who hasn’t fallen in love with someone they work with? A lot of people in our culture like to say, “If it’s too good to be true, it won’t work” — people are quick to cut people down. Love can happen everywhere. That’s why we’re all eternally looking for it. We’re all looking to love and be loved. That’s why I think a show like The Bachelor resonates with people. It’s that fairy tale. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, it resonates because we all strive for it.
Do you know who Brad chooses?
I know some things, and I know some other things. Whether he picks someone or someone doesn’t pick him, it’s a good thing. It’s going to be good.
The Bachelor Canada Women Tell All special airs Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CityTv