The Bachelor franchise is going as strong as ever in 2020, and not just because Hannah Brown keeps coming back for more. While the show has gone through many changes (and several spinoffs) since it launched in 2002, one aspect has remained consistent: Chris Harrison as host. The longtime face of the franchise as it shifts from Bachelor to Bachelorette to as many alums as can be packed into Paradise is a valuable part of the franchise, and he recently shared that he feels he's "someone to be trusted."
When asked by Fox News at the recent TCA press tour about how his role has shifted from plain old host to more of a counselor over the years, Chris Harrison said this:
Eighteen years ago, it was probably 90/10 or 80/20 [percent] where I was host because I know you have to earn those stripes. You have to earn the respect. You have to earn the trust. But as I've gotten older and I've lived through my own life experiences and obviously they've seen me host, and word has gotten around throughout the [‘Bachelor’] family that I am someone to be trusted and someone to be leaned on. And I have never thrown anybody under the bus or backed the bus over anybody that didn't deserve it. And so I think I've earned the spot of being the friend and the confidant. And so now it's probably 75/25 [percent] of being that friend and the confidant. And then 25 percent is probably hosting and producing the show.
Despite the occasional controversy like Colton Underwood (who started lying to producers during his time as The Bachelor leading man) snapping under all the pressure and literally hopping a fence to escape Chris Harrison and the production team (not to mention Bachelor in Paradise contestant Luke Stone sharing that his exit from that show was edited to look way more humiliating than it was), Bachelor franchise contestants seem to consider Harrison a safe haven amidst all the craziness. According to Harrison, that's thanks to his many years in the franchise.
Now 48 years old, Chris Harrison believes he is 75% more of a friend and confidant and 25% a host and producer. That's certainly a big change from the 90/10% or 80/20% of the first year of the show. Considering a lot of the men and women who go on the various Bachelor series seem to be diehard fans before ever putting themselves in the running to hand out or receive roses, they have every reason to trust Harrison when everything else around them may be unfamiliar.
The bond between Chris Harrison and current Bachelor Peter Weber seems to be particularly strong, and Harrison will evidently drop a bombshell on Peter at the final rose ceremony that may or may not be Hannah Brown-related. Given how emotional Peter has already been on The Bachelor, he may really need Harrison as friend and confidant.
Of course, viewers will never see all that Harrison and producers do for/to the people looking for love on The Bachelor. In fact, Harrison recently shared that the producers are the ones encouraging contestants to "steal a sec" with the lead. What else goes on behind-the-scenes that viewers will never know about short of a tell-all reveal?