Chris Harrison Blasts ‘Bachelorette’ Star’s ‘Mentor’ Role

Chris Harrison

Getty Chris Harrison.

Chris Harrison has his own take on Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams’ short-lived stints as replacements for him as host of “The Bachelorette.”

On the February 6, 2023 episode of “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever,” Harrison clapped back at Bristowe and Tayshia Adams’ assertion that they were “mentors” instead of hosts when they co-helmed Katie Thurston and Michelle Young’s seasons of the ABC dating show.

“I’m not gonna call you a mentor because that’s bulls***,” Harrison told Bristowe on his podcast. “You two were hosting the show.”

The former “Bachelor” host then explained what upset him about the arrangement.

“The only thing that really upset me when I heard that you and Tayshia were hosting was that it was you and Tayshia, and that they named two of you, because you were doomed to fail,” he said. “You were set up to fail. That was never gonna succeed…There’s not room for two people. There’s not room for two mentors. There’s not room for two emotions in that mental space that you’re taking over. And so that was just never going to work.”

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Tayshia Adams Described Themselves as Mentors on the Franchise

Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe on the set of 'The Bachelorette' night one.

ABCTayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Both Bristowe and Adams described themselves as ”mentors” when they were actually hosts of “The Bachelorette” seasons 17 and 18. In a June 2021 interview with the Washington Post, Adams explained, “For Katie [Thurston’s season], we’re mentors. We were just standing by her side and helping her navigate through these waters of being the Bachelorette, which are difficult waters to be in.”

Bristowe said something similar when speaking on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast that same month, noting that it “was really nice to be there as a mentor and support system” for Thurston.

Other stars from the franchise also noted that the two women were never properly credited for their hosting gig.

On the “Behind the Rose” podcast, Blake Horstmann speculated on why Bristowe and Adams were listed as “special guests” and not hosts for Thurston and Young’s season of  “The Bachelorette.” “Because then they would have to pay them the host salary,” he said. “So they are not hosts. They are mentors.”

Chris Harrison Denied ‘Ghosting’ Kaitlyn Bristowe

Chris Harrison and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Getty ImagesChris Harrison and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

No matter what her title, Bristowe feared that her longtime friend Harrison was mad at her when she agreed to fill in for him on the franchise. In June 2021, Harrison stepped down from his hosting role amid the fallout of a controversial, race-related interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay that took place earlier that year.

During a January 31, 2022 appearance on Dear Media’s “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast, Bristowe said after she agreed to be a “mentor” on the show, she reached out to Harrison to assure him she wasn’t trying to replace him and to tell him she wasn’t even sure what her role would be.

“They said it was mentor, but now I’m seeing articles about how I’m replacing you and that makes me feel icky,'” she recalled writing to Harrison. “And then he didn’t write back…I messaged him probably 10 times without him responding,” she said.

On his podcast episode, Harrison cleared the air with Bristowe and addressed headlines that claimed he “ghosted” her. He explained that although Bristowe said she sent him 10 texts, seven of them were in one day and were continuations of one message.

“It wasn’t like you were hammering me with text messages [like] ‘Call me. Call me. Call me,’” he said. “It was really this one train of thought that came out on one day, and then a week later or so I think you said, ‘Hey if you get a chance call me.’ So there wasn’t a ghosting.”

“As far as the ghosting thing goes, that wasn’t the case at all,” he added, before telling Bristowe that his silence had “nothing to do” with her and Adams hosting the show.

“It had to do with the fact that I was going through something extraordinary,” he explained. “And at that time I needed people in my life, and I circled the wagons with people that could be unconditionally loving and caring. And you weren’t equipped to do that because of where you were in all this.”

Bristowe admitted that after she didn’t hear back from Harrison, she “went into a little self-pity party and decided to put the blame” on him.

“I was thinking of you as Chris Harrison, the host of the ‘Bachelor franchise. …But I wasn’t thinking about you as a human being and what you might have been going through at that time,” Bristowe admitted to the former ABC host.

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