Before Chris Harrison departed “ The Bachelor ” for good, the longtime host was put on hiatus from the franchise amid controversy. During the time, while Harrison’s status was in limbo, former “Bachelorette” stars Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams were hired to step in as temporary co-hosts for two seasons.
Now, Bristowe — one of the most popular stars to come from “The Bachelor” franchise, who also won Season 29 of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2020 — says Harrison stopped communicating with her when she landed the gig, after a years-long close friendship.
“I messaged Chris probably 10 times without him responding, and that is so not like him to me,” Bristowe said. “I just wanted him to know that I thought he was irreplaceable, and I didn’t want to step on toes.”
Speaking on the latest episode of the podcast “Not Skinny but Not Fat,” Bristowe explained that when she was offered the position , she was told she would be coming in as a mentor to “The Bachelorette” star of that season, Katie Thurston, but knew she wouldn’t be replacing Harrison. (Bristowe and Adams co-hosted Season 17 with Thurston and Season 18 with Michelle Young.) When she started to see articles that said she was replacing Harrison, Bristowe felt “icky,” so she wrote to Harrison to let him know that she thought he was “irreplaceable.”
“He didn’t write back and then I was like, ‘Okay, well now, I’m panicking. Why didn’t you write me back?'” Bristowe said on the podcast. She continued, “I was like, ‘Can you call me?’ And then he didn’t write back. And then, I was like, ‘Okay, he hates me. We were best friends and now he hates me.'”
Bristowe said she bumped into Harrison at the wedding of “Bachelor” fan-favorite Wells Adams and “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland and told Harrison that she missed him. According to Bristowe, Harrison responded, “Well, I’ve always been here,” to which she replied, “No you haven’t! You haven’t responded to me in forever!'” She added, “So that was tough.”
“I bawled my eyes out about it,” Bristowe said. “That friendship just felt like it went down the toilet.”
Bristowe’s comments come after Harrison debuted his own podcast , iHeartRadio’s “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever…With Chris Harrison.” On his podcast, he broke his silence on his departure from the franchise, and said he felt like some “Bachelor” alums were trying to take his job while he was down, saying many “saw the blood in the water and saw the opportunity of a job that would be really phenomenal.”
Bristowe said she’s reached out to Harrison to congratulate him on his new podcast and he has replied to her, but she says their relationship is not the same. Variety has reached out to a representative of Harrison’s for comment.
Listen to the full podcast episode here . More from Variety Best of Variety
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