Just when we were settling into the sex toy-themed normalcy of this season of The Bachelorette, more chaos has been introduced into Bachelor Nation in the form of a major host shake up. With Chris Harrison officially out of the picture, the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise might be the most random chapter in the franchise’s 19-year run.
Harrison’s unfortunate role in the scandal of Matt James’ tumultuous season of The Bachelor forced him to temporarily step back from his longtime hosting gig so that the firestorm surrounding him wouldn’t overshadow the show’s drama. There was a possibility that he would return at some point, but the minds behind The Bachelor have definitively gone down a different road; rather than bringing Harrison back to the show, he will be replaced by other Bachelor enthusiasts to host the popular Mexico-based spinoff.
David Spade was initially rumored to be Harrison’s Paradise replacement, but it seems like the comedy actor is just one facet of Operation Win Back Bachelor Nation. Other familiar faces will reportedly be sharing the responsibility of hosting Paradise alongside Spade, and the rest of the lineup is just as surprising — he’ll be joined by Lance Bass, Titus Burgess, and Lil Jon. (Yes you read that correctly.) Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland is also reportedly headed to Mexico along with her fiancé Wells Adams, the show’s resident bartender, to participate in production in some unknown capacity.
The casting seems absolutely ridiculous, but a fresh start might be exactly what The Bachelor needs after being steeped in controversy for the past several months. While The Bachelor and The Bachelorette typically focus on commitment, romance, and the looming promise of engagement, Paradise is all about having fun (and maybe finding the proverbial one). The lineup of guest hosts is so weird that it might perfectly match the wild energy of the singles. Add in the pent-up energy and horniness fueled by being missing a whole summer's worth of hot girl/boy activities, and we've got a season of Paradise worth tuning in for.
Is this a permanent and sustainable solution? Of course not; Bachelor Nation ultimately wants shenanigans from the contestants, not from the hosts. But as executives and produces try to chart a path forward after the Harrison scandal exposed a number of glaring issues within the show, bringing in new blood could be a temporary fix. It won’t solve everything — the problems within this franchise run deep — but seeing Lil Jon offering up dating advice while drinking a margarita will be a good distraction in the meantime.