Emmanuel Acho has been announced as Chris Harrison’s replacement for the upcoming After the Final Rose special. While he may be a familiar face, you will not recognize him from a Bachelor Nation show despite the production’s previous attempts to recruit him.
As a guest on the inaugural episode of Bachelor Nation’s Talking it Out podcast, Acho told hosts Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo, “I got asked to go on The Bachelorette twice – 2017 and, oh, most recently after Uncomfortable Conversations.”
Referencing Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, the name of his best-selling book and successful YouTube series, Acho is also a former football player and sports analyst on Fox Sports.
His experience with these “uncomfortable conversations” likely played a role in being cast to host the finale of Bachelor Nation’s historic season with its first Black Bachelor, Matt James. Off-screen, the show has been marred by various racism scandals.
As Acho put it on Instagram, “I love being a bridge for reconciliation. Our world is disconnected & divided, my goal is to unify.”
He will have that chance when interviewing Rachael Kirkconnell for her first interview since apologizing on Instagram for cultural appropriation and racism.
It was while defending Kirkconnell during an Extra interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay that Harrison received backlash. While calling for Kirkconnell to receive “grace,” the longtime host questioned whether her participation in an antebellum-themed party would be considered “not a good look” under a 2018 lens.
Days later, Harrison announced he would be “stepping aside for a period of time.” He has since issued two apologies on Instagram and apologized during a Good Morning America interview with Michael Strahan.
Lindsay and Abasolo Named Acho as Their Pick for After the Final Rose Host
Lindsay and her husband, Abasolo, spoke with People about who would be a good short-term replacement for Harrison. They were in agreement: Acho.
“[He’s] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, ‘I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it,’” the Extra correspondent told the outlet. “Who better to lead it? [He’s] someone who’s not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias — I think it’d be great.”
Abasolo chimed in with his agreements, saying “I think it would really be a positive step forward.”
Lindsay emphasized she was just thinking about the short-term. She has since accepted Harrison’s public apology.
Acho Does Not Want to Be Bachelor
During his appearance on Talking it Out, Johnson asked the former ESPN analyst if he would want to be Bachelor.
“I couldn’t be the Bachelor because I feel like people would judge me, y’all know what I’m saying,” he said.
While the hosts insisted they understood, Acho joked, “People would judge, like ‘You were just kissing her and now you’re kissing her.’ Like ‘Oh, why you so grimy? I thought you were about uncomfortable conversations, not uncomfortable make-outs.’”
After saying, “let me just have my conversations, feel like I don’t need no dream suites, no home visits,” the podcast’s co-hosts laughed at his incorrect name for fantasy suites.
After the Final Rose is expected to film on Friday, according to Reality Steve.
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