Television February 09, 2021
Chris Harrison on Katie Thurston ‘Bachelorette’ Rumors, Rachael Kirkconnell Party Pics and More
It was another drama-filled night on “The Bachelor”!
In a shocking move, Matt James sent Katie Thurston home, and he got an unexpected visit from Colton Underwood’s ex Heather Martin. His friend Tyler Cameron was there for support, but Matt admitted he felt conflicted about it all.
“Extra’s” resident Bachelor Nation expert and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay caught up with the man who knows it all, host Chris Harrison, to get the scoop on Katie, Heather, and the reports concerning Rachael Kirkconnell.
How does Chris think Matt is dealing with everything? “Matt is handling it great,” he insisted.
Chris addressed speculation Katie Thurston will be the next Bachelorette, after reports circulated that the news was announced at the “Women Tell All.”
Harrison told Rachel, “We did not name her or anybody the next Bachelorette during the ‘Women Tell All’ special. In fact, we didn't even talk who was the next Bachelorette… As far as I know, Katie, nobody has been named the next Bachelorette… and I promise you this, it will not be a part of the ‘Tell All’ special at all.” He added, “She was in the hot seat as were several other women… I didn't even ask her if she wanted to be the Bachelorette or even if she wanted to do that.” So who is the next Bachelorette? “There’s a large debate still going,” he said.
Now on to Heather Martin. Rachel said, “My favorite part last night is that the other women didn't know who she was.”
Chris explained, “To be honest, I found out later that she had reached out to producers and Hannah [Brown] was involved in this… She thought Heather would be a good match for Matt… When they reached out, we said no… They kept fighting for this… She said I want to come out there… Heather pulls up in a minivan… We told her, ‘Do not show up on our door step,’ she did… I said, ‘What are you doing here?’… We said, ‘Fine you want to come in? You want do to this?’… Matt had a very interesting dilemma and that’s what you are going to see play out.”
Chris also weighed in on rumors surrounding a contestant that is still vying for Matt’s love, Rachael Kirkconnell, after photos emerged of her at an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal in 2018. There are also allegations that she had liked racist social media posts and more. Lindsay asked Chris about his thoughts on the matter.
He said, “First and foremost, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. I have seen some stuff online, again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart… Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this… I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it.”
Rachel pointed out, “With Rachael, I think what’s frustrating… There’s nothing that contractually stops her from saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t true.’”
She added, “I think people have a question: will the franchise speak out and say something? Will she say something? You have another level that she is dating a Black man.”
Chris revealed, “The show does push these social issues and then we will talk about it, on the ‘Woman Tell All’ we do get into it… Rachael was not there so we didn’t get into the Rachael of it all but, Rachael will have her time to speak. Hopefully I will be there to have that debate with her and I will push her.” He added, “I don’t think the show needs to speak before Rachael does…”
Rachel replied, “I agree this is on her, not necessarily the show.”
Chris said, “I respect her enough to allow her the courtesy of time and she can speak on her own.”