Former “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison has revealed the people who reached out to him after he lost his job on the show.
Harrison revealed that season 14’s Bachelor Jake Pavelka was among the former “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” stars who offered him support behind the scenes.
“Even a guy like Jake Pavelka,” Harrison revealed on episode 2 of his new podcast, “It’s Time We Talk (part 2) with Lauren Zima The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever with Chris Harrison.”
“Jake Pavelka reached out. The guy who helped me coin the phrase, ‘Everything is about to change,'” Harrison said.
Harrison then went through a long list of people who reached out after his controversial “Extra” interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. In that interview, according to US Magazine, Harrison defended the “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who was under fire for attending an Old South party some called racist.
Here’s what you need to know:
Harrison Said the People Who Reached Out to Him Helped Him Through the Situation
In the podcast, Harrison thanked listeners for the response to episode one. “It was a very emotional moment to get all of that out,” he said.
“One thing I didn’t touch on in episode one is the response from everybody after everything went down,” Harrison revealed in the podcast, adding that there were several “camps.”
He began by saying that members of the “Bachelor” crew had reached out to offer support, but he did not want to name those crew members because many of them still work for the franchise.
He described Bachelor Nation as “this family and friends that I made over the 19 years,” and said he was talking about people who were the Bachelor, the Bachelorette or contestants on the shows. Harrison said he would see many of them at charity and other events together or they would call him for advice.
Being one of the show leads was like being “shot out of a cannon,” Harrison said.
“I tried to help and counsel as best I could when they would reach out and needed it,” he said in the podcast, adding that those relationships grew and many of the former contestants have found love and families.
“There’s a lot of pride in that,” he said, adding that “early on, a lot of those people reached out. Some spoke out like Catherine and Sean (Lowe).”
Harrison listed others who reached out, including Ari and Lauren Luyendyk and former Bachelor Brad Womack.
“I could go on for miles” when naming names, Harrison said. He then listed Trista and Ryan Sutter; J.P. Rosenbaum and Ashley Hebert; Jade and Tanner Tolbert; Jojo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers; Bob Guiney; Andrew Firestone; Andi Dorfman; Sarah Herron; Lesley Murphy; Tenley Molzahn Leopold; Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk; Chris Soules; and Eric Bigger Jr.
Harrison also noted that Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti “spoke highly and glowingly” of his decision to have a podcast on their own podcast.
Harrison Said He Reconnected With People Who Were Initially Critical of Him
Harrison said he was also happy to run into people who were “critical early on,” mentioning Mike Johnson of the “Bachelorette.” He said that Johnson was “very critical and outspoken when this happened,” but they ran into each other at an event in Las Vegas and gave each other a hug. Harrison said in the podcast that they “had nothing but love.”
Johnson thanked Harrison for being a “big brother and always being there for him,” Harrison said.
“Nick Viall was another one,” Harrison said. He said that Viall wasn’t really “strongly against me,” but he said that Viall was probably one of many who “saw the blood in the water and saw the opportunity of a job that would be really phenomenal.” He said they saw each other at the wedding of Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams.
According to Harrison, Wells was in a “very difficult situation” because he was still connected to the show, but he was one of the first people to reach out to him. Harrison said Adams told him he was “staying out of this,” adding, “I love you and respect you.”
Added Harrison: “I appreciate him and so many others that have reached out to me since that happened,” calling it “heartwarming.”
He said that celebrities, athletes, and a late-night host also reached out to him through text messages and phone calls.”
“It helped,” he said.
Harrison’s Defense of Kirkconnell Led to Him Leaving the Show
In the interview with Lindsay that led to him leaving the show, Harrison defended Kirkconnell.
“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record,” Harrison said, according to US Magazine. “I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
Lindsay commented that Kirkconnell hadn’t spoken out for six weeks, prompting Harrison to say, according to US Magazine: “Who is Rachel Lindsay and who is Chris Harrison and who is whatever woke police person out there, who are you [to tell her to speak out]? I’ve heard this a lot of, ‘I think she should,’ ‘I think he should.’ Who the hell are you? Who are you that you demand that?”
In her “Higher Learning” podcast, Lindsay later criticized Harrison for his comments when he reached out to her and apologized. “During that whole conversation, he had the audacity to question me. During that conversation, he talked over me and at me. During that conversation, his privilege was on display. He never gave me room to talk. And he never gave me room to share my perspective. He wasn’t trying to hear it. He was just trying to be heard,” she said.
Lindsay said she was not asked to be a guest on Harrison’s podcast. “I was not asked and I would not be on it,” she said, according to US Magazine.