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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 12


'The Bachelor' host Chris Harrison on next Bachelorette star: We have "an embarrassment of riches"

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/29/2016 

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has given some insight into next season's The Bachelorette star.

With Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor winding down and Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher, Caila Quinn and Lauren Bushnell left in the running, fans are starting to talk about which girl might be the best choice to star on Season 12 of The Bachelorette.

But because Higgins starred on the show at only age 26, Bachelor Nation is questioning whether the girls in Season 20's cast are too young to serve as the leading lady. For example, Quinn was only 23-years-old when she competed on the show, so is that too young for viewers to believe she sincerely wants to settle down and get married?

"Well, you know, the problem is they all keep getting younger and I keep getting older," Harrison told Reality TV World with a laugh.

"And so, let's look at the last four or five. From [Becca Tilley] to [Amanda Stanton], to Lauren, JoJo, Caila, whom we have left, look at those five. I mean, I could sit here and if we brought everybody in on a conference call, I guarantee you we'd have this massive debate and all five girls would be pitched and you would feel like any of them could be the Bachelorette."

In fact, Harrison called producers' options for the next Bachelorette "an embarrassment of riches."

"I mean, honestly, I'm trying to think off the top of my head," the franchise host continued. "Age to me, it isn't a huge issue. It's more about sincerity. I mean, you look at Ben -- as you mentioned, he's 26 when he started and now he's 27-years-old. If you just said, 'Hey, 26, okay that's young,' hey, it's really not that young."

Harrison was married four years by the time he was Higgins' age.

"I think it's more of a mentality. It's more of where you are as a person, and I find Ben a really old soul. And so, it really just depends on the woman that we're talking about," Harrison explained.

"I mean, look at Amanda even. She's what? 23 or 24 or something like that? But I guarantee you she has the life experience that will make you think and push you much further than you would ever guess at her age. I think [Emily Maynard] was the same."

When Maynard starred as the Bachelorette in Season 8, she was 25-years-old and had a young daughter Ricki. She also experienced tragedy already when her first fiance, the late NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, died in a plane crash.

"If you go back to Emily when she was our Bachelorette, the life experience and the things she had gone through and raising Ricki, she felt so much older to me," Harrison told Reality TV World. "So I guess it's really just about the space that they're in and how sincere they are, more than what their birth certificate says."

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