Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams wish Chris Harrison all the best. ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke to the women, who are currently hosting Katie Thurston‘s season of The Bachelorette, after news broke that the longtime Bachelor Nation host will not be returning to the franchise following his racism controversy.
“I was a little surprised,” Kaitlyn admitted, before adding of herself and Tayshia, “We didn’t know and we are not part of the decision-making process.”
While Kaitlyn didn’t know that Chris was going to depart the franchise, she said that she did know the TV personality has been doing the work following his controversy, which began after he defended eventual Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell‘s past racist actions. Both he and Kirkconnell have since apologized.
“I know just from speaking to him a few months ago that he really has [been doing the work], and I think it was really important for him to realize that he needed to, and that he wanted to,” she said. “I know that he is doing his part.”
As for Tayshia, she said, “I do have a relationship with him and I look fondly on those memories that I do have with him. I support him in whatever he wants to do in the future, whatever that career path that is.”
When they took over for Chris on this season of The Bachelorette, both Kaitlyn and Tayshia were excited to bring a new energy to the reality series.
“It was nice for us to bring women empowerment to the show,” Kaitlyn said. “… Just to be a part of the change that’s happening in the franchise and moving [it] in the right direction, I think we were both happy to step in and be a part of that… I think we’re so used to seeing women who get catty and whatever on these seasons, and I think it was nice to feel that empowerment and that female support.”
Kaitlyn added that she and Tayshia were “not trying to take over anybody’s roles, we’re trying to come in here and do our own thing, and have fun, and support Katie.”
The women felt like they were the right ladies for the job thanks to their own experience as the Bachelorette.
“I just really wanted to make sure that she knew she had people she could actually rely on, and talk about the difficulties that she’s going through, so that way she can make the right decision for herself,” Tayshia said. “I don’t want her to make the decision because she thinks everybody is influencing that… I think that it’s so easy to get caught up in the drama of things, second guess yourself, and, for us, we were able to still hold her hand and get her through it.”
“You’re so nervous as a Bachelor or Bachelorette. For us to go in, we were so excited to give Katie the confidence that she needed, to relate to her and [to tell her,] ‘We’re here to support you through this, and empower you, validate your feelings,'” Kaitlyn agreed. “It was a really, really nice role, I feel like, that we had in Katie’s journey.”
Kaitlyn connected with Katie over her sex-positive nature, something that the former woman got criticized for during her season of the show.
“I definitely experienced my fair share of online bullying during that time, but, I will say, I think Bachelor Nation as a whole has evolved so much that we are celebrating that more, which I love to see,” Kaitlyn said. “… I did have a conversation with her just [telling her], ‘You’re going to get it from all angles. People are going to love you. People are going to have a problem with you. People are going to support you. They’re not going to understand your thoughts and that’s just all part of it.’ She’s so strong.”
Meanwhile, Tayshia’s shock of the season came when her ex, Blake Moynes, showed up hoping to date Katie.
“I definitely sat across for him and I was just staring and I’m like, ‘What exactly are you doing here, sir?'” Tayshia admitted of Blake’s arrival, which was teased in the season preview. “… Blake is a really good guy and I heard him out. I really just said, ‘Go for what you want. Follow your heart.’ If it was trying to vie for Katie’s heart, I support him for that.”
“He’s such a nice guy that you cannot help but want to support him in his decisions,” Kaitlyn agreed.
Even with the challenging moments, the hosting experience was so great for Kaitlyn and Tayshia that they both said they’d be interested in taking on the job permanently. However, those conversations, they said, haven’t happened just yet.
“I think it was interesting to be a part of it. We didn’t know how people were going to respond to it. We knew how much fun we had, we knew how much it meant to us to be there for Katie,” Kaitlyn said. “… I think we’d both be honored to step in again and be able to be a mentor and help people through.”
Tayshia agreed, noting, “I see both of our value in the position. I think that it is a really fun and fresh way to see The Bachelorette go down this season… There is no rhyme or reason. There [were] no strict rules as to what we’re exactly doing. [We] just kind of went with it day-by-day.”
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