Emmanuel Acho will replace Chris Harrison as the host of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose that will air following ABC's broadcast of the finale of Matt James' season later this month.

"IT'S OFFICIAL: I've accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year," Emmanuel captioned a Saturday photo of himself holding a red rose.

"It's been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I'll see y'all then!"


Matt's The Bachelor season will air its finale on Monday, March 15, and has been "pivotal" for multiple reasons.

Not only did Matt star as the show's first Black lead in 25 seasons, but there have also been racism controversies surrounding Matt's frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell and the show's longtime host, Chris, who "stepped aside" from his hosting duties after dismissing backlash over the racist actions in Rachael's past.

Emmaneul is a former NFL linebacker and Fox Sports analyst who hosts the weekly web series Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man and co-hosts Speak For Yourself.

In his Instagram post, Emmaneul went on to tell fans a little bit more about himself.

"ABOUT ME: I'm the author of 2020 NYT best seller, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. A book that answers all the racial questions you've been too afraid to ask. Go read it," Emmaneul wrote.

"I also graduated from the University of Texas with a masters degree, I played for 4 years in the NFL, and I currently host a sports show, @sfyonfs1."

He concluded, "Lastly, I love being a bridge for reconciliation. Our world is disconnected & divided, my goal is to unify."

Matt was one of the first members of Bachelor Nation to congratulate Emmanuel on his new gig.

"Looking forward to it," Matt commented, to which Emmanuel replied, "My brother, I'll see you soon."
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Season 13 The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay's husband Bryan Abasolo wrote in the comments section, "Happy for your bro! I have no doubt you will do a fantastic job!"

The Bachelor alum Taylor Nolan, who had created an online petition to fire Chris Harrison from his position as The Bachelor host permanently, commented with numerous colored hands clapping and showing praise.

Season 14 The Bachelorette star Becca Kufrin -- who hosts Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with Rachel -- showed support as well by writing, "Best news, so happy for you!"

Season 21 The Bachelor star Nick Viall commented on the post, "Congrats," to which Emmanuel replied, "I guess I'm in the family now. Like a distant relative haha. Thanks bro."

Ivan Hall, a recent Black contestant on Tayshia Adams' The Bachelorette season, wrote, "Welcome my fellow Dallasite."

And Season 6 The Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky gushed, "Love this so so so much."

Shortly after ABC announced Emmanuel's new opportunity, Emmanuel took to his Instagram Stories to defend his hiring.

"To those in the comments saying 'he's unqualified to host': 1. I wrote a NYT best selling book (2020) for YOU! Purposed for racial reconciliation, answering so many questions people have, but never ask. Knowledge is [key], so help yourself. 2. I host a daily show. 3. See 1 & 2," Emmanuel wrote on Sunday.

Emmanuel also added heart and rose emojis to his Instagram Stories caption.

Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone had initially tweeted on Saturday that The Bachelor: After the Final Rose for Season 25 would film on Monday, March 1.

"No word yet on if he'll be the permanent host moving forward," Carbone wrote.

But the following day, Carbone updated fans on a schedule change for The Bachelor special.

"Due to Emmanuel Acho just being named ATFR host yesterday," Carbone tweeted on Sunday, "the ATFR taping set film tmrw has been pushed back til later in the week."

"That ATFR hour will be shown as part of the 3 hr finale on March 15th. First taped ATFR in a long time," he added.


Chris felt the need to step down as The Bachelor host after an early-February interview with Rachel, the first Black Bachelorette of the franchise, on Extra in which Chris had defended Rachael being photographed at a plantation-themed "Old South" fraternity party at Georgia College & State University in 2018.

Chris had asked for "grace" and "compassion" for Matt's bachelorette although Rachael had liked insensitive content on Instagram, such as a friend standing in front of a house displaying the Confederate flag.

Chris ultimately issued two public apologies for "excusing historical racism," adding that The Bachelor's historic 25th season "should not be marred or overshadowed" by his "mistakes" that he intends to learn and grow from on a "profound and productive level."

A source recently told Us Weekly that Rachel was actually offered the job to host After the Final Rose this year.

But based on a subsequent interview she had with People, Rachel -- who just deactivated her Instagram account due to bullying and harassment in the comments -- suggested Emmanuel might be better suited or more equipped to handle the heavy topic of racism within the franchise.

"For ATFR, Bryan and I both talked about this -- we think Emmanuel Acho would be fantastic," Rachel told People.

"[He's] very outspoken about racial injustice, for social justice, and has pretty much been the person who said, 'I can have these uncomfortable conversations, and people trust it.' Who better to lead it? [He's] someone who's not involved with the franchise, no ties, no bias -- I think it'd be great."

While Rachel recommended Emmanuel as The Bachelor host for After the Final Rose, she clarified that she's not thinking about a permanent replacement for Chris, who has hosted The Bachelor since it premiered in 2002 as well as its many spinoffs.

"I don't want to think long-term, because I only want to take what's been given to us. Chris said he's stepping aside for ATFR, and that's as far as I want to take it because that's what he said," Rachel explained.

"They said he's going to take the time to learn and understand what happened. I'm going to just stay within that."

An Us insider claimed ABC has also had "conversations" about editing Chris out of the remaining episodes of Matt's The Bachelor season and The Women Tell All, which were already filmed.

"If not, they may add a disclaimer at the top of the remaining episodes," the insider revealed late last month.

Matt released a statement last week on Instagram in which he called recent events "some of the most challenging" of his life and expressed how Chris and Rachael's actions have been "devastating" and "heartbreaking."

For Rachael's part, she posted an apology via Instagram on February 11, just two short days after Extra published Chris' interview.

"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist," Rachael wrote on Instagram.

"I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended. I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one's responsibility to educate me."

Rachael has since taken steps to try to prove to her followers she is doing research and trying to educate herself on how to be anti-racist. Rachael also vowed to use her platform to share resources, including certain website pages, for others wanting to learn more about the issues as well.

Click here to read spoilers on how far Rachael made it on Matt's The Bachelor season and whether Matt is still with his winner.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.