Bachelorette fans were stunned and saddened last month at the news that contestant Eric Hill died suddenly after a paragliding accident. But producers remained strangely silent about what his death would mean for the show. They were still taping season 10 of Bachelorette, and Eric had been filmed. How would they handle it? Finally this week, host Chris Harrison addressed Eric Hill's death and what it means for the show. But he still doesn't have any clear answers for us, except that it will be handled with respect.
Harrison told People, “It’s a horrible, horrible thing. He was taken away too young. t’s something we’ve never dealt with on the show. It didn’t only affect our cast, but also our crew who worked closely with him.” He says everyone needed some time to mourn Hill's passing and reflect on what had happened. A month later, Harrison says producers are still "not 100 percent sure" what they'll do. But he can say that "I feel like every decision we make will be out of respect."
This is the first time a Bachelor or Bachelorette contestant has died during the filming of the show. Bachelor star Gia Allemand died in August, but that was after her seasons had aired. Here's what other shows have done in response to a star's sudden death.
1. Steve Irwin of Crocodile Hunter died in 2006 while filming a scene from this daughter's show, Bindi the Jungle Girl. He was pierced through the chest by a stingray tail while snorkeling in shallow water. Bindi Irwin gave a televised eulogy for her father, and later hosted a television special, My Father the Crocodile Hunter.
2. When MTV's Buckwild star Shain Gandee died, the show was canceled a week later.
3. When Phil Harris of The Deadliest Catch died of a stroke while unloading crabs in Alaska, his death was featured on the show and there was a special tribute episode.
4. Real Housewives of Atlanta Kandi Burruss lost her fiance, A.J. Jewel, when he was shot in a nightclub fight. Producers postponed the taping of the season's reunion episode.
How should Bachelorette producers handle Hill's death?
Image via ABC