*Tituss Burgess, Lil Jon and Lance Bass are taking over the hosting duties of “Bachelor in Paradise” now that Chris Harrison has departed the franchise.
According to Page Six, an array of stars will guest host, including NSYNC singer Lance Bass and comedian David Spade. The hosts will “rotate” during the season and bring “different perspectives” to it, a source told the outlet.
As previously reported, Harrison initially announced he was “stepping aside” from the show “for a period of time” amid controversy over his defense of a recent contestant whose past social media postings were labeled racist.
“This historic season of ‘The Bachelor’ should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” the former host and producer of the ABC reality show said in an 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 for the After the Final Rose special.”
Harrison apologized after speaking out on behalf of Rachael Kirkconnell, a contestant who was photographed at an antebellum plantation-themed “Old South” fraternity formal in 2018. She has also reportedly “liked” photos that included the Confederate flag.
Welcome to paradise! 👋🏝 Tituss Burgess, Lance Bass, David Spade, and Lil Jon will join as rotating celebrity guest hosts for this season of #BachelorInParadise! @Instatituss @DavidSpade @LilJon pic.twitter.com/LB2yqZVFTF
— Bachelor in Paradise (@BachParadise) June 9, 2021
Harrison uttered his remarks during an interview with “Extra TV” correspondent Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black “Bachelorette.” She said Kirkconnell attending the party was “not a good look.” Harrison asked, “Is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021?”
Harrison continued: “You’re 100 percent right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018? That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it. I didn’t go to it.”
After catching major heat for his remarks, Harrison wrote that he was “deeply remorseful” for the pain and damage his “ignorance” had brought to his “friends, colleagues and strangers alike.”
He also said the “woke police” had come for Kirkconnell. Harrison later wrote on Instagram, “While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf.” He added, “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”
Harrison hosted “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” since they debuted in 2002, 2003 and 2014, respectively.
He was replaced on “The Bachelorette” by former “Bachelorettes” Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. As noted by Page Six, it’s not yet clear who will take over on “The Bachelor.”