Rachel Lindsay Reacts To Chris Harrison’s Exit From ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED;Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

Former Bachelor contestant Rachel Lindsay has revealed she wasn’t expecting Chris Harrison to exit the franchise.

Lindsay, who first appeared on the popular ABC reality show in 2017 before becoming The Bachelorette later that same year, sat down with Billy Bush on Extra June 8. “I wasn’t expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement,” she said, referring to Harrison’s departure just months after the host said he was stepping down temporarily.

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The longtime host is departing after 19 years following racial insensitivity controversy.

She also shared her thoughts on the reasons why Harrison decided to permanently leave the franchise. “I think several past contestants coming forward and saying they didn’t want him to be part of Paradise. I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needed to step away,” she explained. “I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back.”

That interview Lindsay was referring to is where the controversy surrounding Harrison all started. It was during that conversation where the long-serving host defended contestant Rachel Kirkconnell over controversial photos from her past that had surfaced online. Harrison later apologized for his comments and announced he was stepping down from The Bachelor franchise for a while to learn and grow.

However, the news broke on Tuesday that Harrison would be exiting the show for good and, according to Deadline, receiving a handsome payout on his way out. Posting on Instagram, Harrison wrote, “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”

“Well, it’s been 19 years and if you do watch the show we saw less and less of Chris,” Lindsay added during her Extra interview. “19 years is a big accomplishment. Maybe that’s the case. We don’t know. Maybe they were ready to move on.”