‘Bachelorette’ Contestant Eric Hill Dies & Will Hopefully Get A Better Tribute Than Gia Allemand
It was reported on Wednesday that Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill died after a tragic paragliding accident in which his parachute collapsed. The accident occured on Sunday and Hill was in a coma for three days before he passed away. Obviously, this is extremely sad news, particularly for Hill's family including his sister who announced the news on Facebook, but it becomes even sadder the more you find out about Hill. He's a truly inspirational person which is not something that can often be said about Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants. He was in the middle of a goal to visit all of the world's countries in record time when he died and documented his journey online. Hill posted pictures of himself hanging out with people (and animals!) all over the world and showing his support for organizations such as As Green As It Gets.
I could go on about how great Hill seems and I don't even know him, but unfortunately, there are other issues to deal with when it comes to Hill's death that extend beyond the mourning of his family and friends. Because he was a contestant on The Bachelorette, the producers of the show have a difficult situation to figure out and they haven't done a great job with tragedy in the past.
When Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand committed suicide in 2013, a tribute aired during an episode previewing Juan Pablo's season called Countdown to Juan Pablo and it was highly flawed. It was awkward and full of quotes of Allemand talking about herself from The Bachelor. An appropriate way to say goodbye to someone is not to play touching music over them talking about not being "catty." It made it seem that Allemand's whole existance was The Bachelor which it obviously wasn't. Everything that tribute was, is everything that shouldn't happen for Eric Hill.
***BEWARE SPOILERS BELOW!!!***
Allemand's season had already aired when she passed away, so it differs from the situation with Hill. There are a few options The Bachelorette could go with and, hopefully, regardless of the choice, they will get approval from his family first. We don't know how long Hill was on the show, but we do know that he was eliminated before the accident and that Andi Dorfman is currently said to be filming the hometown dates. Also, it has been reported that Hill got the first one-on-one date.
Hill could be edited out of the season altogether with a tribute airing for during The Bachelorette's preview episode, if there is one, or first episode, if there isn't. This will mean that the first one-on-one date will need to be edited out with viewers being clear on the reason why. Alternatively, Hill could be honored in the season's first episode with a message explaining the decision to keep Hill's footage as it would have appeared if he hasn't passed away.
The choice that the show should absolutely not make, is to let the show continue until the point that Hill is eliminated and then air a tribute at that point. Ignoring his death in order to let the show continue as normal is not an option. (I really, really hope it's not an option.)
No matter what the producers end up choosing to do with the filmed footage, there will likely be some sort of tribute and they cannot make the same mistakes they made with Allemand's. Yes, he agreed to join the show, but that is such a small part of his life. Hill had so much going on outside of The Bachelorette and that's what should be seen when the time comes.
Images: Eric Hill/Facebook