Update: June, 8, 2021:
So...looks like Chris Harrison won't be returning to The Bachelor franchise...like, at all. Per Deadline, Chris will be exiting the franchise after 19 years as its host, but not without a $$$$ settlement check in the mid-eight figures to essentially buy his silence.“Harrison will receive a rose of his own in the form of mid-range eight-figure payoff and promise to keep his mouth shut,” the report reads.
Chris also confirmed the news himself on Instagram when the report dropped: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Update: June, 4, 2021:
Looks like Chris Harrison will take a back seat for Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette too, according to Us Weekly. “Although final decisions have not been made, their insider notes “that they are currently weighing their options about a new host for Michelle Young's episodes,” the outlet reported.
Update: June 3, 2021:
Us Weekly reports that David Spade will be stepping into Chris's shoes for two weeks of hosting and will be joined by several other celebrities who will guest host the show in rotating intervals. TBD if Chris comes back at all at this point!
Update: March 13, 2021:
After weeks of speculation, we finally have an answer: Chris Harrison will not return to host The Bachelorette. Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will serve as hosts for the upcoming season.
Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment announced the news on March 12. “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,” the statement read.
It continued, “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.”
We def didn’t expect the franchise to cast two new hosts, but they made great choices. Can’t wait to watch Tayshia and Kaitlyn next season!
Original story, February 14, 2021:
We’re not even three months into 2021 and Bachelor Nation is already facing drama, after drama, after drama. First, screenshots surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnell (one of Matt James’s contestants) at an antebellum-themed plantation party in 2018 that celebrated the old South. Then Chris Harrison decided to defend Rachael’s actions (???) during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay aka the first Black lead in the franchise.
But it didn’t end there. Chris later released an apology statement after receiving backlash. Rachael released her own statement and now Chris is “stepping aside for a period of time” from the Bachelor franchise.
This leaves fans wondering who will replace Chris as host for the Bachelor franchise. There haven’t been any announcements from ABC (it’s still possible that Chris might return to his usual duties), but fans already have favorites to replace him plus a source tells The Sun that it’s likely Chris won’t return.
“It’s only a matter of time before an announcement is made that Chris isn’t returning,” the source explains. “At this point, it’s not if, it’s when. There are still talks of keeping him as an executive producer....But unless Chris somehow turns this around, his role on camera is done.”
Here are the top contenders to replace Chris:
The latest theory about who ABC will appoint as the new host of the Bachelor franchise is Good Morning America anchor Michael Strahan. The network thinks that he will bring “a level of stability” to The Bachelor, a source tells The Sun.
Execs reportedly also think he’s the right mix of “news and show business.” The former NFL pro used to cohost the Live With Kelly and Michael talk show before Ryan Seacrest took over. Now, he appears on the ABC morning news show.
Another GMA anchor is also reportedly an option to take over as the host for the Bachelor franchise. Sources say that Robin Roberts “would be an excellent choice to bring some gravitas and seriousness.” Robin has extensive broadcast TV experience and would undoubtedly be able to handle and succeed in the role.
The idea that JoJo Fletcher will take over isn’t far-fetched. The former Bachelorette filled in for Chris during Tayshia Adams’s season, so she def has the experience. JoJo temporarily took over for two weeks while Chris re-quarantined.
According to Us Weekly, Chris wasn’t pleased that JoJo acted as the host. “Chris was not happy they were going to make him quarantine in Palm Springs for two weeks without working,” a source said. “He insisted he simply dropped his son off in his dorm room and left, social distancing the entire time.”
Nick Viall is a Bachelor franchise staple. He appeared on The Bachelorette twice, Bachelor in Paradise, and was the Bachelor. These days, he’s focused on his podcast, The Viall Files, where he discusses all things relationship, ofc. He spoke out against Chris’s statements but hasn’t addressed the possibility of replacing him.
“After seeing Chris’s very disappointing and harmful interview with Rachel, I have spent the past two days speaking with many people from Bachelor Nation including those involved,” Nick shared in an Instagram Story. “This is a teachable moment for us all. It can be uncomfortable to recognize our own ignorance, but without recognition, there can be no accountability and growth.”
Perhaps the most logical replacement is Rachel herself. The former Bachelorette is beloved and she is committed to speaking out against issues within the franchise. However, she recently said that she is planning to take a step back from Bachelor Nation in light of the recent controversy.
“I can’t take it anymore,” Rachel said on her podcast, Higher Learning, on Friday. “I’m contractually bound in some ways. But when it’s up, I am too. I can’t do it anymore.”
She continued, “The things that were boiling to me the most were the compassion and the space and the grace that Chris Harrison wanted to give to Rachael but couldn’t give it to this Rachel in the interview, couldn’t give it to the people that were offended by the things that she did.”
We’ll just have to see how this plays out.
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