Although The Bachelor Winter Games will feature a number of fan favorites from America’s Bachelor Nation, Chris Harrison thinks that all eyes will be on one of the show’s international contestants: Yuki Kimura from Japan.
The longtime host of the franchise described Kimura, a 21-year-old Bachelor Japan alum, as the “one star that will take over America and become maybe the biggest star in the world.”
“This girl who knows – I would say the over/under is 15 to 20 words in English — will absolutely captivate everybody,” Harrison told reporters during a conference call. “The reason I know this is because when we sit in the control room with people that have been doing this for decades like I have, and they’re – we are speechless and we cannot take our eyes off this girl.”
He added: “She’s just so compelling, she’s so sweet [and] so funny.”
On the Olympic-themed spinoff show, 14 international bachelors and bachelorettes from around the world will gather to compete in winter sporting events in order to win date cards. Due to the language barrier, Harrison called Kimura the “biggest challenge” of the show.
“She spoke so little English that we actually had a translator there on set with her because after I explained things, someone had to explain things to her so she understood,” Harrison said. “But she embraced it, she went for it and as much love as I have for my own Bachelors and Bachelorettes from America, I really want to throw out some love to those from around the world who don’t know us, and they just trusted [us].”
Ben Higgins, who was on the conference call with Harrison and is also a Winter Games contestant, agreed: “If she isn’t a star, we have issues with all of us. She will take over everybody’s hearts.”
Kimura competed on season 1 of Japan’s version of The Bachelor, which aired last year, for the heart of Hirotake Kubo along with 24 other women. Though the international versions of the show follow a similar formula as the American one, they are created by independent producers and have some big differences.
“Look at Bachelor Japan, Bachelor China, if there is a kiss, one kiss during the season, that’s a big deal,” Harrison said. “So obviously there are cultural differences, religious differences, all kinds of things that we had to take into account.”
Despite those differences, Harrison said he’s thankful that people like Kimura agreed to join Winter Games.
“What made it so awesome is everybody had to drink the Kool-Aid and really dive in to make this as great as it turned out,” Harrison said.
The Bachelor Winter Games airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.