Emmanuel Acho Replaces Chris Harrison as Host of ‘The Bachelor’ Finale

Emmanuel Acho to host The Bachelor finale. (Credit: Chris Pavlica/ABC)

With Chris Harrison out, Emmanuel Acho is in as host of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special.

ABC made the announcement Saturday, saying Acho has been tapped to anchor the live special wrapping up season 25 of the reality dating series.

“I’ve accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year,” Acho said in a statement on Twitter. “It’s been a pivotal season and this episode will be one of the most storied shows in its history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. See y’all then!”

Related Story: Rachel Lindsay Reacts to ‘The Bachelor’ Host Chris Harrison’s Racism Storm

Acho is a former NFL linebacker. He works as an analyst for Fox Sports and hosts the web show Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

During the live special, he’ll sit down with current Bachelor Matt James to look back on the season and the reality star’s final decision. James is the franchise’s first Black male lead and has narrowed down his pool of potential brides to three finalists.

Acho joins The Bachelor after longtime host Chris Harrison announced he would be taking time off amid a scandal over race.

Harrison faced backlash for comments he made in a Feb. 9 interview with Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay. During his conversation with Lindsay on Extra, where she currently serves as a correspondent, Harrison defended current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for her past social media posts, including a photo of her attending an Antebellum plantation-themed party.

“People are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into her and her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” Harrison stated. “I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago and that’s it … Like, ‘OK. Well, this girl is in this book now. And she’s now in this group, and I’m like, ‘Really?'”

Lindsay responded, “Well, the picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party … that’s not a good look.” Harrison replied, “Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.”

Many fans called on Harrison to apologize. He did just that on Feb. 13, with a statement saying he was “ashamed” and would be “stepping aside.”

“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join the After the Final Rose special.”

The Bachelor franchise has faced repeated complaints about a lack of diversity, including from Lindsay herself. It’s unclear if Harrison will return for season 26 of the series.

The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special airs Monday, March 15 at 10 p.m. on ABC, immediately following the season finale.