Tanner Tolbert Calls Bachelor Guest Hosting Plans a 'Circus' Following Chris Harrison's Exit
"It takes away from the purpose of the show," the Bachelor Nation star said
Tanner Tolbert is not sure about the new format of the show that found him love.
On Wednesday, a day after it was announced that longtime Bachelor franchise host Chris Harrison would officially be stepping down from his role on the reality dating series, the 34-year-old Bachelorette alum spoke out about how the show is dealing with filling Harrison's spot.
First reacting to the news that Tituss Burgess, Lance Bass, David Spade and Lil Jon will be stepping in as guest hosts on the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, Tolbert tweeted, "Don't get me wrong ... I loved David Spade in Tommy Boy ... but I could care less about him handing out date cards or giving commentary."
"We watch the show to see the relationships and drama ... Not to see this 'host' circus," he continued. "It takes away from the purpose of the show in my opinion."
Tolbert - who met wife Jade Tolbert on Bachelor in Paradise - then continued to address the hosting news in more detail in posts shared on his Instagram Story. The reality star said, "I think the Bachelor franchise needs to figure their s--- out, and figure it out quick."
"Because I think the show is on a slippery slope right now, and I - as a fan of the show, first and foremost - I want to see it keep going," he continued on Instagram. "But I think all this host drama is just starting to get ridiculous."
Tolbert then explained that he hadn't formed his opinion solely because of the hosting plans for Bachelor in Paradise, but also after watching Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams serve as co-hosts during the premiere of Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette.
"The host doesn't need to be the star of the show," Tolbert said. "It's as simple as that. The host is the host. The host needs to be the backbone of the show and fill a role. I don't need to see commentary on every little thing and have everything be a joke."
"I don't tune in to watch David Spade hand out date cards. He was great in Tommy Boy, don't get me wrong," he added. "But I want to watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise for the drama and for the relationships and see that unfold on the screen. I don't care about this pre-planned, contrived BS."
Tolbert did clarify, however, that his "rant" is not about Harrison, 49, Bristowe, 35, or Adams, 30 - who he said he thought "brought great energy and have great hosting abilities" to the series - but rather how he feels the ABC franchise needs to reevaluate and refocus.
"I don't tune in to watch the sideshow circus. I just want to watch real people meet on screen for the first time, date and then let the show take the twist and turns that unfold from there," he said. "The show used to do a good job of letting the drama unfold in real-time, and then making storylines out of that."
"Now," Tolbert continued, "I feel like they're trying to force the show down a set of tracks of what they think is good tv, and it's coming off wrong."
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Harrison's official exit from the franchise was announced on Tuesday. "Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise," Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a joint statement. "We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey."
"I've had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I'm excited to start a new chapter," Harrison said in his own statement. "I'm so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we've made together."
"While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I've made will last a lifetime," he added.
While the details of Harrison's exit have not been disclosed, according to Deadline, the television personality will reportedly receive a massive payout to step away.
Harrison's exit comes four months after the franchise became embroiled in controversy, when Rachael Kirkconnell - a 24-year-old contestant who would go on to win Matt James' season of The Bachelor - was called out for racially insensitive social media posts which saw her attending an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018. (She has since apologized.)
In February, Harrison addressed the situation during an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra.
During their 14-minute, unedited conversation, he appeared to defend Kirkconnell, saying people should have "a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion" in the wake of the resurfaced photos and questioning the "lens" of 2021 compared to 2018.
RELATED VIDEO: Chris Harrison Confirms Bachelor Exit - Sean Lowe, Becca Kufrin and More Franchise Alums React
Following Harrison's official exit from the Bachelor franchise, an array of Bachelor Nation stars reacted to the news in their own respective statements on social media.
"It will never be the same. Love you buddy," commented Sean Lowe as his wife, Catherine Giudici Lowe, wrote: "Love you @chrisbharrison ❤️ you have a lot to be proud about. Can't wait to support you in your next endeavors :)."
Meanwhile, Lindsay, 36, said that she was surprised that the longtime host was officially exiting after temporarily stepping down earlier this year. "I wasn't expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement," the former Bachelorette star said in a conversation with Extra host Billy Bush.