Bachelorette host Chris Harrison’s absence reportedly had an impact on Katie Thurston’s season said a new report. The longtime host stepped back from his duties on the series after seemingly defending former Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell in her participation of racist imagery.
A source close to production told E! News that the host’s presence was “missed” because “the guys always go to him for advice and view him as a wise older guy and the ladies go to him as a father figure.”
The insider said that during the filming of Season 17, Katie’s contestants couldn’t get that same type of support from either Tayshia Adams or Kaitlyn Bristowe, two former stars of the franchise who temporarily stepped in to fill Chris’ void.
A source close to the set also claimed, per E! News, that the longtime franchise host was oftentimes “the mediator and voice of reason on set.”
“The guys didn’t feel like they could necessarily vent [or] have therapy sessions with Tayshia or Kaitlyn. It’s easy with Chris because he knows the drill and the process,” a source noted.
Katie Thurston has finished filming her season, which was taped in a COVID-free bubble at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa.
There was a major female vibe on the set
With all the women who held positions of power on the set of the long-running ABC reality dating series, the vibe on the set was female-centric.
“It was a lot of female energy in one bubble and hard for Katie to have the full spotlight,” said a source of the energy that both Kaitlyn and Tayshia brought to the show.
Katie had to share the spotlight with her equally energetic hosts. According to a source, both Kaitlyn and Tayshia “have extremely outgoing personalities.”
Did Kaitlyn and Tayshia take some of the focus off of Katie during filming?
Some set insiders agreed that it was difficult to focus entirely on Katie as the star of the show when Kaitlyn and Tayshia were on the set. “It was a little hard to put all the focus on Katie when Kaitlyn and Tayshia were there,” one claimed in a statement to E! News. “It wasn’t necessarily competitive but it was a really different vibe.”
“They’re very attractive and fun and familiar to the franchise, so it kind of distracted from Katie being the only desirable woman there,” they claimed.
The Bachelorette will return to ABC Monday June 7 at 8/7c.