The first two episodes of Chris Harrison’s new podcast, appropriately named The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever, went live earlier this week. The former longtime host of The Bachelor franchise used his new platform to finally talk about the controversy that got him fired.
The controversy arose when Chris, in a joint appearance with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, was asked to comment on resurfaced photos of Season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell attending a college party with an “Old South plantation” theme. In the photos, she was wearing an antebellum-style dress. Chris unfortunately attempted to mansplain to Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, that fans need to have “a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion” for Rachael, who had yet to speak out.
Chris’s subsequent rant involving political correctness and the “woke police” didn’t sit well with a lot of people, and he was officially fired as host of the show in June 2021. The Dallas native shared that the whole situation “crushed” him. He claims to have lost 20 pounds due to anxiety. At the time, he wished he could address the viewers directly, but his employers encouraged him to keep quiet. Now he’s spilling the tea on his new podcast, and US Weekly has all the details.
During the three months between Chris’s termination and the hiring of a new host, speculation was rampant about who would be hired as a replacement. Two of the most prominent candidates were Season 21 Bachelor Nick Viall and affable Bachelor in Paradise bartender Wells Adams (my personal favorite).
“I knew about certain cast members who were calling in,” Chris said. “And the funny thing is, the people who were calling in I knew had no chance to get the job.”
Though he claims to be friendly with Nick, Chris said didn’t think he was right for the job. “Nick wasn’t really strongly against me or said anything,” he admitted. “But, you know, I think Nick was one of those among many who probably saw the blood in the water and saw the opportunity of a job that would be really phenomenal. And I had no doubt he wanted that job. But we saw each other at Wells and Sarah’s [Hyland] wedding and gave each other big hugs.”
Chris also revealed that he thought Wells was the best man for the job. “Wells has always been a very good man and a good friend of mine,” he said. “Wells was in a very difficult situation, because obviously he was still kind of connected to the show, and he was doing stuff on Paradise, but he was one of the first to reach out to me and just say, ‘Look, I’m staying out of this. I love you and respect you.’”
Chris also admitted to thinking Wells would actually get the job. “I even told him, I said, ‘Hey, man, I won’t speak out publicly because I don’t think that will help you at all. In fact, it would do a lot more harm than good. But I really hope you get the job. I think you’d be great at it.’”
Sadly, Wells was not to be, though he’s still going strong as BIP‘s favorite bartender. In the end, ex-NFL player and Season 5 Bachelor Jesse Palmer got the gig.
In episode 2 of his podcast, Chris addressed how the whole controversy had affected his fiancé, Lauren Zima. “Lauren and I had a very difficult time getting through this together, because this happened to her as much as it happened to me,” he said. “In the end, it brought us together more and made me love her more.”
Not only did Chris’s impulsive outburst cost him his own job, but it cost his partner hers, too. The situation led to the end of her Entertainment Tonight Bachelor recap show, Roses and Rosé.
“Roses and Rosé [was] such a joy in my life for me,” Lauren said. But even though she “wasn’t told” by ET to stop doing the segment, “I stopped because I could not live with myself covering the franchise like that anymore. I couldn’t celebrate it in the same way knowing everything that I know now,” she added.
TELL US – WHO DID YOU WANT TO REPLACE CHRIS ON THE BACHELOR? HOW DO YOU THINK JESSE PALMER IS DOING AS THE NEW HOST?
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