Since he stepped down, Bachelor Nation members have wanted to know who Chris Harrison’s Bachelor host replacement will be, and if he will come back to the Bachelor franchise. Harrison—who’s hosted The Bachelor and its spinoffs since the premiere of the franchise in 2002—announced his decision to temporarily “step aside” as the face of Bachelor Nation in February 2021.
Harrison’s announcement came after he faced backlash for his Extra interview with season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. In the interview, Harrison was asked about season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell‘s past offensive social media behavior, which included photos of her attending a plantation-themed party and liking pictures of her friends next to Confederate flags. After the interview, many fans accused Harrison of trying to excuse Rachael’s racist behavior. In a statement on February 14, Harrison announced his decision to step aside from the Bachelor franchise for now and to not host season 25’s “After the Final Rose” special.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special,” he wrote. “I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before. I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”
In an interview with Good Morning America in March 2021, Harrison apologized for his comments about Rachael’s racism scandal and vowed to change. “I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
Harrison, who said that he’s been working with a counselor since the backlash to his Rachael comments, confirmed that he plans to return to the Bachelor franchise if fans forgive him. “I plan to be back and I want to be back. And I think this franchise can be an important beacon of change. I know that change is felt, not just by me, but by many others,” he said. “And we are excited and willing to do the work to show that progress. This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done. And I am excited to be a part of that change.”
On February 27, Emmanuel Acho, a Fox Sports 1 host and the author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, announced that he will temporarily replace Harrison as Matt’s season’s “After the Final Rose” host. Acho is also a former NFL linebacker who played for the Philadelphia Eagles. “IT’S OFFICIAL: I’ve accepted the Rose & am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year. It’s been a pivotal season & this episode will be one of the most storied shows in its history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. See y’all then!” he tweeted at the time.
ABC also confirmed in March 2021 that Harrison will not host season 17 of The Bachelorette. Instead, he will be replaced by season 16 Bachelorette Tayshia Adams and season 12 Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, who will serve as co-hosts.
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” ABC said in a statement at the time. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”
However, Emmanuel, Tayshia and Kaitlyn are only temporary replacements. Though Harrison plans to return, it’s unclear what ABC will do, especially as fans call for the network to replace Harrison with a new host. Ahead are some of Bachelor Nation’s top candidates to replace Chris Harrison as the Bachelor host.
Season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay is the most popular pick among fans to replace Harrison as the Bachelor franchise’s host. Why? For one, she has the experience. Since her season as the Bachelorette, Lindsay has hosted ESPN’s First Take and Football Frenzy and MTV’s Ghosted: Love Gone Missing. She’s also the host of ABC’s Bachelor podcast, “Bachelor Happy Hour,” as well as the cohost of her own podcast, “Higher Learning.” Rachel is also a special correspondent for Extra, where Harrison’s controversial interview originated.
A source also told Us Weekly in February 2021 that Rachel is considering replacing Chris as the host of The Bachelor‘s “After the Final Rose” finale special. “ABC and Warner Bros. have spoken to Rachel about the possibility of hosting the After the Final Rose special and they would like her to take on the role,” the insider said.. “She is still weighing the options and is pushing for After the Final Rose to include a bigger conversation about race overall in the franchise. No final decision has been made yet.”
The issue with Rachel as the next Bachelor host is that she’s said that she never return to the franchise, and it’s for a good reason. On a February 2021 episode of “Higher Learning,” Rachel confessed that she’s not resigning her contract with ABC due to the Bachelor franchise’s past racially insensitive behavior. “I’m fucking tired. I’m exhausted. I have truly had enough,” she said “How much more do I want to be affiliated with this?… I said I was gonna leave if they didn’t have leads of color. OK, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant. Who didn’t attend the class? Did Chris Harrison not sit through that?…I can’t take it anymore. I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too.”
Though Rachel hasn’t officially cut ties from the Bachelor franchise yet, there’s a high chance that she wouldn’t return as host even if she was offered the role.
Season 16 Bachelorette Tayshia Adams is another popular choice to replace Harrison as the next Bachelor host. For one, she’s the most recent Bachelorette, so Tayshia’s name is fresh in the minds of viewers. Like Rachel, Tayshia also has hosting experience. She most recently was a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. Tayshia is also a cohost on the podcast “Click Bait.” Tayshia will also serve as a cohost alongside Kaitlyn Bristowe for season 17 of The Bachelorette, so it’s clear she’s a Bachelor Nation favorite.
Season 12 Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher may know the most about what it’s like to host The Bachelor. She replaced Harrison for several episodes in season 16 of The Bachelorette after Harrison went to Texas in the middle of filming and had to isolate himself until it was safe to return to the show’s set.
Wells Adams, a contestant on season 12 of The Bachelorette, is another popular pick among fans to replace Harrison. As the bartender on Bachelor in Paradise, Wells is almost a cohost for the franchise, as one of Bachelor Nation’s few on-screen personalities who isn’t a cast member. Wells also has hosting experience as the host of the podcast “Your Favorite Thing.:
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