Chris Harrison’s longtime gig as host of the Bachelor franchise may have ended dishonorably, but it’s fair to say that Harrison weathered a number of Bachelor Nation storms during his tenure before the split, particularly with the more loosely structured spinoff Bachelor in Paradise. Harrison and the cast somehow overcame the sexual assault scandal from Season 4 that temporarily shut down production, and the former host witnessed countless meltdowns, with gallons of contestant tears shed. Harrison was even the target of some verbal abuse when Season 3 contestant Chad Johnson got kicked out of paradise, so anyone taking his hosting spot will have their work cut out for them.
Now that Harrison has been officially removed from the franchise, who will be helping the Bachelor in Paradise cast navigate those rough waters when Season 7 returns in August? It doesn't seem like the Bachelor's producers are ready to give their final rose to any one new host just yet, as they’re bringing a variety of celebrity guest hosts who will alternate duties. The diverse selection of temporary hosts indicates The Bachelor's powers that be might not be exactly sure which direction they want to take the franchise, but it’s going to be a lot of fun while they figure it out, judging by these names. Let's take a look at everyone who has been announced by ABC as guest hosts for the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise.
Longtime Bachelor fan David Spade caught fans’ attention with his hilarious (and R-rated) Instagram commentary, and what makes the choice so interesting is that Spade absolutely loves to make fun of the show and its contestants. I don’t think the Joe Dirt and Tommy Boy funnyman will be the shoulder to cry on that past contestants got in Chris Harrison, but more intentional humor and self-awareness on Bachelor in Paradise are definitely things I’ll show up for. As far as hosting goes, the format shouldn’t be a problem for the Saturday Night Live alum, who most recently hosted his own beloved late-night talk show, Lights Out with David Spade, in 2019 and 2020 before COVID-19 shut everything down.
Lil Jon is not the obvious choice for Chris Harrison’s successor, but I’m here for this, OKAY?!? The rapper may just be the hype man that paradise never knew it needed. This stint won’t even be Lil Jon’s first appearance within the franchise, either, as he was first featured on an episode of The Bachelorette’s Season 14, during a one-on-one date between Becca Kufrin and eventual Bachelor in Paradise villain Blake Horstmann. Lil Jon provided the music and moral support as Becca and Blake took their rage out on a race car, champagne bottles, TVs and more. I’d love to see Lil Jon inject some MTV Spring Break vibes into the show's casual, lounging atmosphere.
Lance Bass of NSYNC fame is definitely a fun choice for Bachelor in Paradise guest host. Let’s be honest — pretty much every NSYNC song could be a tag line for the Bachelor franchise. "Bye Bye Bye," "It’s Gonna Be Me," "Dirty Pop," and the list goes on, amirite? The former boy-bander’s hosting experience comes via his radio show, Dirty Pop with Lance Bass, which provided insight into the pop music industry. He’s also made numerous guest appearances, mostly as himself, on TV and film over the years, including an episode of Netflix’s competition show The Circle. And if you remember the pop culture enigma On the Line from 2001, you know that looking for love is right in Bass' wheelhouse.
This multi-hyphenate is a big win for the Bachelor franchise. Perhaps best known as the randomly musical Titus Andromedon on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Tituss Burgess has touched all corners of the entertainment industry, from Broadway performances to releasing music albums to multiple appearances on the big and small screens. He's also hosted taken on hosting duties before, heading up the Netflix gameshow Sing On! in 2020. Burgess isn’t the type to shy away from any topic on the planet, so I’m excited to see him interact with the franchise alums in Bachelor in Paradise's carefree environment. I can totally see Burgess providing (presumably high-volume) empowerment to the love-seekers, and his overall presence is so enjoyable to watch.
Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland (Rumored)
Though this news has not yet been confirmed, the rumored involvement of Wells Adams and his fiancee Sarah Hyland, seems destined to happen. Adams has been a Bachelor in Paradise mainstay, first as a contestant in Season 3, and since then as the resort’s trusty bartender, while the former Modern Family actress is a longtime Bachelor superfan who connected with Adams on Instagram after watching him on JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette. The couple started dating in 2017, but had to postpone their wedding in 2020 due to COVID. Would an impromptu beach wedding be out of the question? Anything can happen in paradise.
Chris Harrison’s exit from Bachelor Nation came after racial controversy surrounded the 25th season of The Bachelor, in which Matt James — the first Black lead in the series’ history — vied for love. The ultimate “winner” of the season was Rachael Kirkconnell, who became mired in a backlash after past photos of her at an Antebellum party resurfaced during the season’s airing. Harrison overtly defended Kirkconnell in an interview with Rachel Lindsay, who was the Bachelor franchise's first Black lead for The Bachelorette Season 13. After making a public apology in which he admitted the interview "perpetuates racism,” Harrison took a step back from the franchise, and the break became permanent.
Bachelor in Paradise has always been the less-serious, less-structured Bachelor Nation spinoff, and the choices for guest hosts seem to back that theory up. While The Bachelorette chose former contestants Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe to host Katie Thurston’s current season, this selection of alternating celeb hosts should breathe new life into Bachelor in Paradise, and I’ll be tuning in. The Bachelorette airs at 8 p.m. ET on Mondays on ABC, and Bachelor in Paradise is set to premiere Aug. 16. In the meantime, check out all of the new and returning shows in our 2021 summer TV schedule.