The last season of The Bachelor held a lot of off-camera controversy when it came to race, privilege and how those in leadership tackle those issues. Some believe Chris Harrison fell short in this regard, inciting a backlash that led to his exit as host. Now, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are taking the reins as co-hosts for the next two seasons of The Bachelorette for the first time in the show’s history, but one Bachelor Nation alum has some thoughts on how they’ll fare in comparison.
Tanner Tolbert actually competed on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette in 2015. Unfortunately for him, he was booted in Week 6 but eventually found love through Bachelor in Paradise with Jada Roper (now Tolbert). But he doesn’t seem to have much faith that Bristowe and Tayshia Adams’ new hosting gigs bode well for the next Bachelorette seasons. Tolbert told US Weekly:
I think they’ll do a good job, although I’m a CH fan. I still hope there’s some sort of resolution there just because, I mean, he is the face of the show. So it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I’m sure ratings will be down a little bit this year. … If I had to guess, I think ratings will be down because I think there will be a certain section of people that say, like, ‘I’m not watching without Chris Harrison.’ Even though that’s kind of a silly take because the show is still the show, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens moving forward.
The situation surrounding Chris Harrison’s exit as host from Bachelor Nation has certainly been divisive. He was labelled “racially insensitive” after his interview with Rachel Lindsay, but others think the consequences he received were unfair. In fact, many other Bachelor Nation alums have already rallied to Harrison’s defense. The contestant with the most-ever Bachelor Nation appearances, Chris Bukowski, said Harrison shouldn’t be fired, and Eric Bigger reasoned that Harrison should be suspended but not completely “cancelled.”
Tanner Tolbert also seems to be taking a more balanced perspective on the situation. He believes the ratings will go down but that it would be “silly” for people not to watch The Bachelorette simply because the longtime host isn’t there. In all likelihood, though, Bachelorette ratings could see an all-time high if everyone tunes in to see Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe rise or fall to the occasion.
As for Tanner Tolbert, much like some fans, he’s still holding out for Chris Harrison, who officiated his wedding in 2016. He continued:
I thought Chris would be back when this all happened initially, like, I was like, ‘Oh, he’ll be back for sure. … he’ll just take off one season or whatever the case may be.’ But I haven’t heard any rumors. [But] the longer it is in between, like, the more doubtful I become.
But with no Chris Harrison for the next two Bachelorettes and no word from ABC regarding who will take over for the next Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor, it's likely fans will also become more doubtful of a Harrison return.
The Bachelorette Season 17 premieres June 7th on ABC.