As the premiere of her season of The Bachelorette draws near, Andi Dorfman finally addressed contestant Eric Hill's tragic death. Her words are giving us hope that she, at least, will handle the issue with grace. After the travesty of a tribute that former Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand got last year, we've been concerned that Hill's death would get a similar treatment. We worried that the producers would reduce his very full life to be all about his time on the show. But even if ABC blows it, we can take comfort in Dorfman's own treatment of Hill and his legacy.
In a new interview, Dorfman spoke fondly of Hill, who died last month after a paragliding accident. "He became a part of our family. We lost a family member," the new Bachelorette said. She also allayed some of our fears by confirming that she will not spend her time focusing on Hill's Bachelorette days instead of his life as a whole. "I'd rather spend the time just talking about who Eric was. This is a guy who really lived life to the fullest and inspired all of us."
Hill, maybe more than any of the other men on the show, really did live an extraordinary life. When he joined up for the show he was in the middle of a campaign to visit every U.N. recognized country. His Facebook page features tons of pictures of him with a giant smile on his face as he interacts with local children and animals during his journeys.
Andi agreed that Hill's life was a remarkable one saying, "I think we're holding onto the legacy here. He really did live life to the fullest and that’s something that every single person, cast, crew, production, myself included, will take away from Eric and this experience with him."
We knew ABC did something right when they picked Andi as Juan Pablo's successor. She's already shown that she's not only empathetic, but she's smart. She knows better than to make Hill's death about their time together on the show. She has no interest in making this about her, she only wants Hill's legacy to be remembered.
ABC still hasn't announced how they plan to handle the situation, but we know he made quite an impression on Andi, even scoring the first date card. So his death will have to be addressed somehow. Perhaps if ABC is still making up their minds, Andi's empathetic nature will inspire them to show what Hill's life was like outside of reality TV. And even if they don't, at least we know that this season we get to watch a Bachelorette who has some real comprehension of how to be respectful. After all Juan Pablo put us through, it's clear we were right when we called Andi a welcome breath of fresh air for Bachelor Nation.
Image: ABC; Tumblr/katgrahamrph