Chris Harrison is stepping back from his role as host of The Bachelor, but the position can’t be left vacant for very long. With a new season of The Bachelorette set to film soon, and an “After the Final Rose” episode approaching for our current Bachelor, Matt James, someone will likely be recruited to take on the job.
To recap, Harrison recently drew the ire of Bachelor Nation and was accused of defending racist behaviors when he spoke up about a controversy surrounding the seeming frontrunner on James’ season, contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Photos of Kirkconnell attending an “antebellum-themed” sorority party in 2018 surfaced online recently, alongside photos of her in culturally insensitive costumes. (Kirkconnell shared an apology on Instagram this past Thursday, saying, among other things, “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them.”)
When Harrison addressed the situation in an interview on Extra, he essentially asked for understanding, compassion and leniency on Kirkconnell’s behalf. He shared his own apology the day after the interview aired, but that didn’t quell the backlash; so, on Saturday, Harrison announced on Instagram that he’s going to be “stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.” Now, many viewers are wondering who will replace Harrison, and so far, attention has largely turned to the person who interviewed Harrison on Extra: Rachel Lindsay.
Lindsay was, of course, the first Black Bachelorette in the franchise’s history, back in 2017. Since then, she’s remained a key figure in the Bachelor universe (she co-hosts a podcast with fellow former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, called Bachelor Happy Hour) and has been particularly outspoken about how issues relating to race are handled on and around the reality-TV properties.
In May 2020, Lindsay was quick to call out Hannah Brown for singing the n-word in a social media post. And Lindsay also didn’t shy away from calling Kufrin’s ex-fiancé a “piece of s**t” for promoting Blue Lives Matter materials on his Instagram amid 2020 demonstrations for the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to many Bachelor fans, between her willingness to be honest and keep the Bachelor franchise in check, and her experience as a host on Extra and MTV’s Love Gone Missing, she’d be the perfect replacement for Harrison.
After Harrison revealed that he’d be taking time away from the show, fans online were quick to suggest Lindsay as his successor. In fact, she was mentioned by some even before Harrison made his announcement.
While speaking with her Extra colleague Billy Bush on Monday, Lindsay commented on Harrison’s apology and decision to step away from The Bachelor. She said that it was the right move for Harrison to take some time, but didn’t go so far as to say that he should be permanently replaced.
“I don’t want to play into things too quick to judge someone, right?” she said. “Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Do I agree with what happened in that interview? No. But at the same time, he has taken the steps to not issue one, but two, apologies. Let’s see what happens from there.”
Newsweek reached out to Lindsay for comment on if she’d be interested in taking on Harrison’s role. We’ll update this article if we hear back.
Of course, Lindsay isn’t the only person that’s been mentioned by Bachelor Nation as a possible replacement. Wells Adams, the bartender from Bachelor in Paradise, has always been a fan favorite and he’s got some supporters lobbying for him.
Former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher also shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible replacement, given the fact that she’s already filled in for Harrison once—when he took his son to college during Tayshia Adams’ Bachelorette season. Audiences seemed to enjoy Fletcher’s short-lived reign, so we have to imagine she’d at least be considered to step in for Harrison when it comes time for the next big hosting requirement.
Until then, Harrison will continue to appear on your screen during this season of The Bachelor, which filmed before all of this unfolded.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/bachelor-fans-are-hoping-rachel-lindsay-will-replace-chris-harrison-1569645 on .