Don’t get us wrong — we’re really looking forward to Season 10 of The Bachelorette with Andi Dorfman. It will be a romantic journey of epic proportions, and we’re sure we’ll get lost in the story, the way we do every season. But although we’re totally invested in Andi, we can’t forget the loss of a special guy who also happens to be a contestant this season: Eric Hill. And as ABC announced today, he’s going to play an even bigger role in the season than we imagined.

Adventure traveler Eric, 32, died after a paragliding accident in Utah on April 23. Eric had already left the show, and Chris Harrison had to tell producers, Andi, and the remaining four contestants while they were filming Hometown Dates. "We never would have kept it from them," Chris said in an interview about having to pass on the terrible news in the midst of filming some pretty intensive footage.

At the time of his death, Eric was in the middle of making a documentary called The Global Odyssey, wherein he was attempting to set the world record for visiting all of the U.N. recognized countries in the shortest amount of time. Producers released a statement on the day of his death, writing, "Eric inspired us every day with his passion, his courage, and his adventurous spirit, and for that we are very thankful. On behalf of our cast, crew, and producers, we send our love, our thoughts, and our prayers to Eric's family during this difficult time."

Although we still don’t know how they’ll deal with his death, it seems there is one thing they’re definitely doing: dedicating the season to him. According to the May 5 press release, “Chris Harrison will honor Bachelorette contestant Eric Hill, 32, who tragically died after a paragliding accident in Utah on April 23, after concluding his filming of the show. Chris will reveal how Eric shared his passionate and courageous spirit in becoming part of the Bachelor family. This 10th season of The Bachelorette will be dedicated to Eric.”

Will that entail the inclusion of additional footage from Eric’s life? Extra time spent on his scenes in the episodes he appears in? We don’t know yet, but what do you think “dedicated to Eric” should mean in the context of the show? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

Source: ABC


Julia Wayne is an Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!