Host Chris Harrison is as essential to the Bachelor franchise as roses, Neil Lane engagement rings, and “can I steal you for a second?” He’s a sounding board for the contestants, a surrogate for the audience, and the familiar face of a franchise that replaces its cast every few months. So the idea that Harrison could up and leave would truly be the most dramatic twist in Bachelor Nation history…but is that exactly what’s about to happen?
Here’s everything we know about recent rumors that Chris Harrison may be ending his 18-year Bachelor career.
What’s driving the rumors?
After Page Six reported on December 29 that Harrison is moving to Austin, Texas, fans immediately started to question what that means for Bachelor Nation. Here’s the thing: while Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams’ season looked a little different because of COVID-19 regulations, the usual Bachelor Mansion is in Malibu, California.
Fans were not okay. “I simply will not be okay with @chrisbharrison leaving bachelor nation ever,” one fan tweeted, per Us Weekly, while another joked, “I SWEAR @chrisbharrison if you ruin the Bachelor after the year we’ve had.”
Harrison’s son, Joshua, just started school at Texas Christian College in Fort Worth, so it’s very possible he just wants a place to stay when he visits his son. Harrison left the Bachelor “bubble” earlier this season to drop Joshua off and had to miss a few shows to re-quarantine. During that period, Bachelor Nation alum Jojo Fletcher filled in as host.
Many had ideas for Harrison’s possible replacement.
Fan-favorite former contestants Ben Higgins, Wells Adams, and Jason Tartick have all been suggested, though Tartick thinks Tayshia’s father could steer the ship.
Of course, substitute host Fletcher would have to be in the mix. Still, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Harrison presiding over a rose ceremony.
A production insider has denied it.
Per “production sources with direct knowledge” who spoke to TMZ, Harrison will commute back and forth from Texas to continue with the show, and the new place in Austin is “partly because of a recent partnership deal he struck with a local brewery.” The article also notes that Ryan Seacrest hosts programs on both coasts.
We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.