We’re not even two months into 2021 and Bachelor Nation is already facing drama, after drama, after drama. First, screenshots surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnell (one of Matt James’ 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. Here are the top contenders:
A post shared by Wells Adams (@wellsadams)
Wells Adams is a Bachelor franchise fan-favorite, mostly because he’s the bartender in Bachelor in Paradise. He already found his happily-ever-after with his fiancée, Sarah Hyland. Before Chris announced that he’s stepping aside, rumors were swirling that Wells is next in line for the position.
“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” he told People in January regarding the speculation. “First of all, Chris isn’t going anywhere. He’s got the best job in Hollywood. Tom Hanks would agree that he has the best job in Hollywood. He’s not going anywhere.”
Well… we now know that’s not exactly guaranteed. Wells added, “And I know that everyone’s like, well, he’s moving to Texas. Guess what, everybody? It’s a travel show. He can live in Timbuktu and still do the show. They only film a week and a half in Agoura Hills. The rest of the show is off everywhere else.”
A post shared by JoJo Fletcher (@joelle_fletcher)
The idea that JoJo Fletcher will take over isn’t far-fetched. The former Bachelorette filled in for Chris during Tayshia Adams’ 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.”
A post shared by Nick Viall (@nickviall)
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’ 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.”
A post shared by Rachel Lindsay Abasolo (@therachlindsay)
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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