Much like the revolving cast of Bachelor in Paradise, a roster of co-hosts will be filling in for the departed Chris Harrison when The Bachelor franchise spinoff returns this summer.
ABC has confirmed that David Spade, Lance Bass, Lil Jon and Tituss Burgess will be joining as celebrity guest hosts on season 7, which returns to ABC in August after taking off the 2020 season due to the pandemic. More guest hosts are expected to be announced.
The news comes one day after Harrison’s official departure from the franchise. The veteran host, who has served as the face of the franchise for The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and its many hit spinoffs since The Bachelor first launched in 2002, exited his role after reaching a confidential settlement and reported big payout, The Hollywood Reporter previously reported.
Harrison had been on hiatus starting in February after garnering backlash over an interview where he defended Rachel Kirkconnell — the frontrunner of the then-airing historic season of The Bachelor with first Black Bachelor Matt James — when racially offensive behavior in her past resurfaced. Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe were later announced as his replacements on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, which premiered on Monday night. Throughout those weeks of uncertainty, Harrison’s future with the franchise regarding Bachelor in Paradise, the fall season of The Bachelorette with Michelle Young and beyond remained in limbo and under negotiation. (A host, or hosts, for Young’s season has yet to be announced.)
After Harrison’s exit was made official, he released the following statement: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
ABC and producers Warner Bros. added in a joint statement: “Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”
Bachelor in Paradise reunites former contestants on the beach in Mexico. The cast has yet to be revealed, but the bench was deeper than usual as the spinoff had three seasons-worth of recent contestants to pluck from, in addition to contestants from previous seasons. “Breakout fan-favorites from The Bachelor franchise are back and ready for a second (or third) chance at finding love,” said ABC when announcing the show’s return for Aug. 16.
While Lil Jon has previously appeared on an episode of The Bachelorette, the casting will mark the first appearances from Bass, Burgess and Spade on the franchise.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.