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You can cut the tension with a knife! The Bachelor SA drama is all real

2019-03-09 07:57
The Bachelor SA host Jason Greer.

Cape Town – In an interview with Channel24, Jason Greer, the charming-as-ever host of The Bachelor SA, tells us more about his role as the host, what he enjoys and finds challenging, his relationship with the bachelor Lee Thompson and how the women in the Bachelor mansion are exactly how they come across and are not "acting for the cameras".

How is hosting The Bachelor South Africa on M-Net (DStv 101) different from everything else you've done since you were the presenter of The Loot on GO?

Well, The Loot was 2007. Since The Loot I've done a number of shows – All Access, Top Travel, Tech Report, Movie Show, and I suppose they're all so different.

I think that what makes them cool is that they've all been local productions. Original productions. South African. This is the first show that I'm hosting that is internationally recognised and is an international format. So that's a massive feather in my cap.

How would you describe your relationship with Lee Thompson? Do you feel like you’re an older brother, or a younger brother, or a peer? How do you relate to him in terms of the show and life?

I mean, I've got 10 years on him. I think if anything I should be – I suppose in a way - I should be kind of his big brother, but we've actually become friends. We're friends on an equal footing. We've been going through the same experience - obviously him more than I - we've become friends, and we chat a lot about all sorts of different things.

I think it's good for both of us to be friends, not only for the future of the show but also for the future of us going forward. Lee is just so easy to be friends with.

Did you give him any TV tips?

So, right at the beginning there was a link that he was trying to memorise and remember. And he just wasn't getting it right. Because that was pretty much the first time he did that.

So, I just gave him a few tips and tricks in regards to breathing, remembering lines, and how to deliver them. And it's difficult because the oke was so nervous about all sorts of different things, so for him to remember that ... there's a lot going on in his mind.

Lee Thompson and Jason Greer.

How much of your presenting on the show is scripted?

What's interesting about that is that there are certain elements that need to be scripted, like the logistics of an event, for example, or the logistics of a cocktail evening, or some specialised events.

Those sorts of things always need to be word-for-word. The rest is kind of like a case of well, I've got to make the script my own. So I'm Jason Greer, and for as much as people would want me to be a Chris Harrison or whoever, they're not going to get that.

They're going to get me, so I've got to make the script my own as well. So what's interesting about that, is that after the first episode I saw a couple of people tweeting: "Why is the host not going, 'Lee, ladies, this is the final rose, when you're ready."

It's because Chris Harrison says that in the American version of The Bachelor.

Well, why do we have to be exactly word-for-word the same as the American version? We don't have to be. The logistics behind The Bachelor SA are there. The rose ceremonies are there, the cocktail parties are there. Individual dates. The group dates. They're all there.

So, I could ad-lib to a certain degree. For me, it was making the bachelor and the ladies feel as comfortable as possible. If I was a robot just doing word-for-word out of a script that wasn't my own, it wouldn't come across as sincere.

Would you say there were some new challenges for you as a TV presenter?

For me, the pressure of having to perform on, I know it's a local version, but on an international stage, is quite high. This is The Bachelor for goodness sake.

So, you've got to make South Africa proud but you've got to make the franchise, The Bachelor, proud as well, so the pressure and the stakes are fairly high for me in order to make sure that I'm doing a good job. And I really hope I am.

The other challenge, I think, is doing links in front of the ladies, especially at rose ceremonies.

Because man, I walk out there and more often than not, I'm there to give them unfortunate news like the cocktail party is coming to end, or now it's time for the rose ceremony, or you haven't received a rose so leave.

The tension! The emotion! Pheeew. You can cut it with a knife, mate. I'm standing there and I'm just - I feel all this energy on me - and I think, Oh my gosh, I don't know i I can handle this. It's hectic. [laughs] So that's quite hectic for me.

Jason Greer and Lee Thompson.

How do you moderate your emotions when you're part of hugely emotional scenes, and it sounds as if those are coming?

Viewers will have to wait and see for those because there are quite a number of those.

But for me ... it's hard to hide your own feelings, your own feelings. But as the host, you need to be this rock-solid figure. You've got to take on the gravitas of the role and be not the emotion, but just be steadfast.

I think when there are certain moments that are difficult, you've got to just purse your lips. In one or two instances I closed my eyes and turned around and pretended that I'm doing links to, in a sense, avoid what's happening. But I'm looking forward to how those moments are going to play out.

What would you say impressed you most about The Bachelor SA and being a part of it?

I think the production quality.

The production quality in itself is really pretty. Just the way it's shot and the music and the lighting – it’s such a beautiful-looking show. I cannot believe that this is a South African production. It looks international in my opinion and I think a lot of people would agree. I'm very chuffed with how The Bachelor SA has turned out. And I'm so chuffed with the authenticity of the ladies.

I mean, they are so real. The whole time we filmed I don't ever remember going "oh, she's hamming it up for the camera", or "look how she's acting". They're so true to themselves. The drama is real, which I love.

Tune in to The Bachelor SA Thursdays at 19:00 on M-Net (DStv 101)


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(Photos supplied: M-Net)

Read more on:    jason greer  |  lee thompson  |  the bachelor sa  |  tv

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