Colton Underwood shares new behind-the-scenes details about 'The Bachelor' and how producers set him up

Cassie Randolph and Colton Underwood attend the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The Bachelor star Colton Underwood just lifted the curtain on how producers scheme behind the scenes of the hit show — and how he tried to game the system.

Underwood, a former NFL-player-turned-reality-star, talked with This American Life's Emanuele Berry about his time spent on the ABC series.

"They always asked [me] to rank the girls and very early on, Hannah [Goodwin] was up there and she got left off of a date," Colton explained. "And I sort of recall remember feeling a little burnt when they did that."

He continued, "I was like, 'So let me get this straight — Hannah’s number one on my list right now, and she’s not getting a date this week?' So from there on out, I was like, 'All right, if you’re going to do that to my top girls, I’m not really going to tell you who my top girls are. Because I don’t want you messing with them.' So in a weird way, I tried to defend myself and defend the girls by not being truthful to them who my top was."

Underwood revealed that he kept Hannah G. at his number one pick each week, even though he started to feel more strongly for other girls, like eventual winner, Cassie Randolph.

"I think with Cass, the best way to describe our relationship is it was such a slow burn," he explained, "And it was, in a weird way, in the dynamic of The Bachelor franchise where it's supposed to be quick, and fast, and intense, it was sort of a relief to find a normal relationship. ... When I was with Cass it was a breath of fresh air."

Underwood kept Hannah G. at the top of his list all the way down to the final three, when producers threw a wrench into his plan. ABC flew Randolph's dad to Portugal to essentially discourage his daughter from continuing on with her relationship with Underwood.

"It seemed like [producers] were forcing Cassie's hand," Berry declared. (Producers of the hit show declined Berry’s request for comment.)

"Producers paid a pretty hefty price to fly that man out to Portugal," Underwood laughed, acknowledging it was clearly a set up. He said that he knew something was amiss during his dinner date with Randolph.

"Normally, during the dinners and during that, the producers are sort of hovering, or they’re around to help the conversation flow," he shared. "When we had that dinner, there wasn’t a producer in sight. There was just the cameras and just the audios, everybody else ran. And they didn’t want to be near it because I think they knew that I knew [they set me up]."

"I was thinking, ‘I just got screwed,"‘ he added. "For me, hearing 'By the way my dad came back,' really sparked something in me... I don't have the control I thought I had."

Underwood realized he sort of shot himself in the foot by lying about who his frontrunner was: "I think that it backfired because then they were like, 'Whoa, we thought it was Hannah because you kept telling us even on your list, when you’d rank them, Hannah’s one.'"

That prompted the infamous fence jump.

Underwood said that after Randolph left, he was ready to pay for his own flight home and to go find a new passport as producers had his during filming. "I remember walking up to the fence," Underwood said, "So without hesitation... I was like, 'Screw it, I'm over this thing, lets do it.'"

He was shocked to find that there "was nothing" on the other side of the fence, including zero people associated with the show: "I was like, 'This is awesome.'" Underwood was gone for a solid two hours before "turning himself in" to producers.

Underwood said there's a rule that you can't be filmed while talking to the show's therapist, so he vented to that person for an hour. Then, he was ready to talk to the show's producers. "They knew I was serious," he noted, eventually agreeing to go back to the show. "[Producers] knew to not really cross that line."

For what it's worth, it was a sweet ending all around. He is still friends with the producers and he and Randolph are still together and very “happy.”

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