Chris Harrison is out, potentially for good.
And now we know who will soon be in.
How is THAT for an intriguing tease?
As you likely know by now, Harrison – the face of the franchise for nearly two decades – announced two weeks ago on Instagram that he was stepping aside as host of The Bachelor.
He made this declaration after the polarizing way in which he mishandled a race-based scandal centered around Season 25 finalist Rachael Kirkconnell.
The Georgia native made past decisions and statements that even she has admitted were "racist and wrong."
These actions included attendance at a plantation-themed party (above) and the Liking of photos that featured the Confederate Flag.
Speaking to Rachel Lindsay about Kirkconnell and her actions, Harrison asked for "compassion and grace" … for Kirkconnell.
In a tone-deaf interview, Harrison seemingly ignored the victims of her behavior to focus instead of the perpetrator.
It was not great.
In response, Harrison has apologized and said he won’t, at minimum, be hosting this spring’s After the Final Rose special.
(All other Season 25 episodes were filmed months ago.)
Who would be taking over for Harrison? Even just on this one unique installlment?
We now have an answer.
On Saturday, February 27, Emmanuel Acho announced he will be hosting The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special – which is scheduled to air on Monday, March 15.
"IT’S OFFICIAL," Acho began his Instagram caption today.
"I’ve accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year."
"It’s been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming.
"Share the news! I’ll see y’all then!"
Acho is a former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker.
He now serves as a sports analyst and is the New York Times bestselling author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man; he hosts a popular YouTube series of the same name.
After growing up in a predominantly Caucasion neighborhood and later embracing his Black culture in college and the NFL, Acho has said he felt he could serve as "a bridge" between the Black and white communities.
Certainly, given what we’ve learned about the show’s fans and the problems endemic to the franchise, that could only be a good thing.
On the heels of George Floyd’s killing in May of 2020, Acho started conducting interviews on race issues in America, with millions of viewers watching each week.
"It’s both an honor and privilege to be hosting After the Final Rose," Acho said in a follow-up statement about his new gig.
"This is an incredibly pivotal episode on one of the most storied shows in television history."
Amazingly, with everything that’s gone down over the past few weeks, that’s not that much of an exaggeration.
Acho will sit down with star Matt James next month to talk about everything we’ve watched play out and more.
The two will discuss the reality star’s "season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise," according to a press release issued on Saturday.
"Acho will also speak with the final three women, Bri [Springs], Michelle [Young] and Rachael [Kirkconnell] during the one-hour special."
A few days ago, Lindsay threw her support behind Acho for this job.
“Emmanuel would be great,” the former Bachelorette explained on the Bachelor Party podcast, adding during this interview:
“He’s not biased in any way, he doesn’t watch the show, he doesn’t know the people involved.
"He should be there to be able to facilitate a conversation that we need to see happen.”
Might Acho stick around beyond this one taping?
"There are talks happening regarding Chris Harrison and his future with the show," a source claimed this week to People Magazine.
For his part, Harrison said the following upon stating he won’t be around to speak with Matt and his winner (see The Bachelor spoilers for more on that topic) on the After the Final Rose special…
I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.
I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed.
What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.
For that I am so deeply sorry.
Wrapping up a season like no other, The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special will air Monday, March 15 at 10/9c on ABC.
Are you excited to see Emmanuel Acho’s debut on the season finale of The Bachelor?