Colton Underwood shares new behind-the-scenes details about 'The Bachelor' and how producers set him up

The Bachelor star Colton Underwood just lifted the curtain on how producers scheme behind the scenes of the hit show — and how he tried to game the system.

Underwood, a former NFL-player-turned-reality-star, talked with This American Life's Emanuele Berry about his time spent on the ABC series.

"They always asked [me] to rank the girls and very early on, Hannah [Goodwin] was up there and she got left off of a date," Colton explained. "And I sort of recall remember feeling a little burnt when they did that."

He continued, "I was like, 'So let me get this straight — Hannah’s number one on my list right now, and she’s not getting a date this week?' So from there on out, I was like, 'All right, if you’re going to do that to my top girls, I’m not really going to tell you who my top girls are. Because I don’t want you messing with them.' So in a weird way, I tried to defend myself and defend the girls by not being truthful to them who my top was."

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issa date, like without other ppl woahhhh WUT

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Underwood revealed that he kept Hannah G. at his number one pick each week, even though he started to feel more strongly for other girls, like eventual winner, Cassie Randolph.

"I think with Cass, the best way to describe our relationship is it was such a slow burn," he explained, "And it was, in a weird way, in the dynamic of The Bachelor franchise where it's supposed to be quick, and fast, and intense, it was sort of a relief to find a normal relationship. ... When I was with Cass it was a breath of fresh air."

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THE BACHELORETTE - 'Episode 1406' Richmond, Virginia, whose past is inextricably connected to Americas rich history, is the backdrop for a defining week in Beccas journey. Jason and Beccas date takes the couple on a trolley tour around town, but the day ends on a stunning emotional note. Seven men pay homage to Virginia, one of the cradles of democracy, as they take a history quiz and then participate in the Beccalection 2018 debate. Leo and Becca take a spectacular aerial tour of the state and try their skill at shucking oysters. Australian country superstar Morgan Evans caps off the night with a special performance. One bachelor mounts a shocking late-night surprise which may decide his fate with Becca. Which men will be on the right side of history? Find out on 'The Bachelorette,' MONDAY, JULY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Paul Hebert via Getty Images) COLTON
THE BACHELORETTE - 'Episode 1406' Richmond, Virginia, whose past is inextricably connected to Americas rich history, is the backdrop for a defining week in Beccas journey. Jason and Beccas date takes the couple on a trolley tour around town, but the day ends on a stunning emotional note. Seven men pay homage to Virginia, one of the cradles of democracy, as they take a history quiz and then participate in the Beccalection 2018 debate. Leo and Becca take a spectacular aerial tour of the state and try their skill at shucking oysters. Australian country superstar Morgan Evans caps off the night with a special performance. One bachelor mounts a shocking late-night surprise which may decide his fate with Becca. Which men will be on the right side of history? Find out on 'The Bachelorette,' MONDAY, JULY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Paul Hebert via Getty Images) COLTON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Former NFL and 'The Bachelorette' star Colton Underwood attends Regard Magazine's celebration of the ESPY Awards and their Special Annual Sports Edition at private residence on July 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)
BACHELORETTE - 'The Men Tell All' - The most memorable bachelors from this season - including Chris R., Christon, Colton, Connor, David, Jason, Jean Blanc, John, Jordan, Leo, Nick and Wills, as well as Christian, Jake, Joe and Kamil - return to confront each other and Becca one last time to dish the dirt, tell their side of the story and share their emotional departures. Finally, as the clock ticks down on Beccas journey to find love, a special sneak peek of her dramatic final week with Blake and Garrett is highlighted, on 'The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All,' MONDAY, JULY 30 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Paul Hebert via Getty Images) COLTON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Colton Underwood attends Monster Energy Outbreak $50K Charity Challenge celebrity basketball game at UCLA on July 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07: Colton Underwood attends the Disney ABC Television TCA Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 08: Colton Underwood visit 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on August 8, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - AUGUST 10: Reality TV star Colton Underwood poses for photos on the red carpet during The Aesthetic Everything Beauty Expo Trade Show at The Phoenician on August 10, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by John Medina/Getty Images)
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Underwood kept Hannah G. at the top of his list all the way down to the final three, when producers threw a wrench into his plan. ABC flew Randolph's dad to Portugal to essentially discourage his daughter from continuing on with her relationship with Underwood.

"It seemed like [producers] were forcing Cassie's hand," Berry declared. (Producers of the hit show declined Berry’s request for comment.)

"Producers paid a pretty hefty price to fly that man out to Portugal," Underwood laughed, acknowledging it was clearly a set up. He said that he knew something was amiss during his dinner date with Randolph.

"Normally, during the dinners and during that, the producers are sort of hovering, or they’re around to help the conversation flow," he shared. "When we had that dinner, there wasn’t a producer in sight. There was just the cameras and just the audios, everybody else ran. And they didn’t want to be near it because I think they knew that I knew [they set me up]."

"I was thinking, ‘I just got screwed,"‘ he added. "For me, hearing 'By the way my dad came back,' really sparked something in me... I don't have the control I thought I had."

Underwood realized he sort of shot himself in the foot by lying about who his frontrunner was: "I think that it backfired because then they were like, 'Whoa, we thought it was Hannah because you kept telling us even on your list, when you’d rank them, Hannah’s one.'"

That prompted the infamous fence jump.

Underwood said that after Randolph left, he was ready to pay for his own flight home and to go find a new passport as producers had his during filming. "I remember walking up to the fence," Underwood said, "So without hesitation... I was like, 'Screw it, I'm over this thing, lets do it.'"

He was shocked to find that there "was nothing" on the other side of the fence, including zero people associated with the show: "I was like, 'This is awesome.'" Underwood was gone for a solid two hours before "turning himself in" to producers.

Underwood said there's a rule that you can't be filmed while talking to the show's therapist, so he vented to that person for an hour. Then, he was ready to talk to the show's producers. "They knew I was serious," he noted, eventually agreeing to go back to the show. "[Producers] knew to not really cross that line."

For what it's worth, it was a sweet ending all around. He is still friends with the producers and he and Randolph are still together and very “happy.”

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