The Bachelor has just announced that author and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho will host the After the Final Rose Special.
This duty would usually go to former host Chris Harrison, but he has decided to step back from his role amidst controversy over racially charged statements.
Emmanuel gave the good news on his Instagram (@emmanuelacho).
Acho captioned the post, “It’s been a pivotal season & this episode will be one of the most storied shows in its history. Empathy is needed and change is coming.”
Fans are glad to hear that a replacement has been named so the show can still go on. But questions remain: Who is Emmanuel Acho? And why was he chosen?
Who is Emmanuel Acho?
Emmanuel is originally from the state of Texas, and he was raised by Nigerian immigrant parents.
Acho spent his college football career at the University of Texas-Austin. He earned his undergraduate degree in Sports Management and also got a master’s in Sports Psychology.
Then in 2012, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as a linebacker where he remained for one year before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
His NFL career ended in 2015, and afterward, Acho decided to become a sports analyst and TV personality. He has since worked for both Fox Sports and ESPN.
Acho is most known for his powerful anti-racism advocacy and his New York Times bestselling book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. The Emmanuel Acho Youtube channel has gained over 15 million views.
On uncomfortableconvos.com, Emmanuel described: “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, is a safe place to have the uncomfortable conversations about race that many white people have never been able to have. But enough is enough – I want to remove the barriers for why we’ve never had these conversations. I want to provide a free space for curious white people to answer the questions they’ve always had but have been too nervous to ask.”
Emmanuel is also a devout Christian. According to Sports Spectrum, he has taken many humanitarian trips to Nigeria with his family’s church.
Bachelor Nation reacts
Bachelor Nation has been overwhelmingly positive in welcoming Emmanuel to the franchise, even if it’s just for one episode.
Some reality TV experts thought that Rachel Lindsay, who originally called Chris Harrison out in their interview, would be chosen as the replacement. But there’s no bad blood with Emmanuel as Bryan Abasolo, Lindsay’s husband, commented on Acho’s post, “Happy for you bro! I have no doubt you will do a fantastic job!”
Becca Kufrin, one of the hosts of Bachelor Happy Hour, said, “Best news, so happy for you!”
And Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise contestant Mike Johnson simply shared a string of praising hands emojis.
Acho must fill Chris Harrison’s shoes
Harrison has stepped down temporarily from his hosting position amidst the outrage caused by his racially insensitive comments. This was regarding current Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s controversy.
“This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” said Harrison.
In a Monsters and Critics exclusive interview, former Bachelorette contestant Josh Seiter revealed that Harrison’s torment on national TV cause him to contemplate suicide.
It is unclear how long Harrison will be out of the picture; it could be until next season or it could be the end of the road for the longtime host.
Especially considering Acho’s background in being able to lead conversations concerning race, fans think he is the perfect host for what seems to be one of the most controversial seasons of the Bachelor.
Emmanuel also has a history of dealing with other sensitive issues. Acho was most recently in the news when he came to the defense of the ex-girlfriend of Chad Wheeler, who came forward saying Wheeler was abusive towards her during their relationship.
Bachelor Nation will have to wait until the finale special is released to see how Emmanuel may shake things up in the franchise.
The Bachelor: After the Final Rose Special airs March 15th at 8/7c on ABC.