Welcome back! I’ve missed all of you. It’s hard to believe this is season 21 of The Bachelor/Bachelorette. That is an amazing run in network TV, and I want to thank you for making that happen. As you all know, we tried something a little different this season. For the first time in the show’s history, we brought back a Bachelor for a "do-over." The reaction to Brad has been mixed; many of you were skeptical and some of you were even a little angry. I have to admit, I kind of like that. We’ve never gone into a season where our Bachelor or Bachelorette wasn’t your overwhelming favorite. It’s going to be very interesting to begin this season with someone who, from the start, needs to prove himself to not only the women on the show but also to you, our fans. Believe me when I tell you that none of this pressure was lost on Brad — or me for that matter. When Brad and I met up that first night, despite his trademark smile and Texas charm I could tell this guy was feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. Say what you will about Brad — you have to give the man credit for stepping up and owning what he did. He hasn’t just said, "I’m sorry" and moved on with life in Austin. He has stepped up to prove publicly in front of the entire world that he is a changed man. He is essentially putting all his chips on the table for one roll of the dice. If he comes off as anything less than sincere or committed to this, he knows he’ll be run out of town. That’s why my final words of advice to him that first night were "don’t screw this up."
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