With longstanding Bachelor host Chris Harrison taking a leave of absence from the current season of the show, fans are left wondering just who will step in to replace him for the After the Final Rose finale episode. Surely there's a plethora of potential options, but three names currently stand out from the pack: Rachel Lindsay, Tayshia Adams, and Jojo Fletcher. And fans think they'd be best equipped to take the franchise in a new direction.
Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay appears to be a shoo-in for the job. Since she called out Harrison for defending Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell from fans who uncovered racially insensitive Instagram posts involving Matt James' frontrunner, Lindsay has remained vocal about her disappointment. On Extra's Feb. 15 broadcast, she said, "It was never my intention to see Chris Harrison step aside, but it was my intention for others to see and hear this interview. Where do we go as a franchise? It's kind of hard to say." She added that she believes him stepping aside and taking time to educate himself was the right decision.
Of course, with Lindsay's hosting experience and insider knowledge with the franchise, she'd be more than qualified to replace Harrison, and fans certainly agree. Many have taken to social media to express their support of her hosting the finale special and following seasons of the ABC staple. One fan tweeted, "OK SO WHEN IS RACHEL LINDSAY REPLACING CHRIS HARRISON."
Still, Lindsay has expressed her "love/hate" relationship with the ABC franchise and has plans to eventually sever ties with it, so it remains unclear if she would even want to take on this hosting job. "I'm f*cking tired. I'm exhausted. I have truly had enough," she said on her Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay podcast. "I'm connected to it. It did stuff for me, and I'll never forget that. But how much more do I want to be affiliated with this? How much more can I take of this?"
Adams is another possible contender as Harrison's temporary successor. Entertainment Tonight reports that the most recent Bachelorette, who replaced Clare Crawley as Season 16 was underway, spoke of her dismay via Instagram Stories regarding Harrison's original thoughts about Kirkconnell. "The photo that she was in, is racist. The party she attended, racist. Her actions have been racist." She continued, "When there are blatant forms of racist acts, you cannot be defensive of it. It speaks volumes and I just have to say that I am really hurt by this response." On the Feb. 18 episode of her Click Bait podcast, Adams reacted to Harrison's apology and said, "I feel like we have to allow people to prove us wrong, and prove themselves."
Though Adams hasn't expressed an interest in hosting the finale special, many think she would make a solid host. On Feb. 13, Bachelor Nation fixture Reality Steve tweeted, "Rachel Lindsay (if she even wants to) or Tayshia Adams should be hosting ATFR this season, now that Chris has stepped aside for the time being. Lets not make this more complicated than it should be." He didn't go into further detail about his tweet, but the post has amassed more than 5,000 likes.
It's unclear if and when Harrison will return to the franchise, but it's no secret that there are plenty of qualified people who can take the reins from him. No matter who's selected for the After the Final Rose position, there's sure to be plenty of surprises for the March 2021 episode's guests and viewers.