Are The Bachelor and Bachelorette going to have their final seasons soon? Blake Horstmann, a Bachelor in Paradise alum, believes the show is about to give out its final rose.
“Nothing lasts forever,” Hortsmann said during an Instagram Stories Q&A on Tuesday, April 20. “I think there won’t be another Bachelor season. I think it’ll end after Michelle.”
Though at first the reality star admitted that his claim was a “hot take,” he explained how he arrived at his conclusion. For Hortsmann, the show has been scarred by recent scandals, especially those involving racial insensitivity. A couple of months ago, the longtime Bachelor franchise host, Chris Harrison, was blasted for defending Rachael Kirkconnell, after photos surfaced of the season’s frontrunner attending a plantation-themed party.
Kirkconnell had previously faced scrutiny for liking racist social media posts and having worn a Native American Halloween costume. While Kirkconnell was swimming in hot water, Chris Harrison claimed that fans were being too hard on her. In a conversation with Rachel Lindsay, the first Black Bachelorette, Harrison seemed determined to convince the Bachelor alum that Kirkconnell didn’t deserve all the hate.
Though he was originally bent on defending Kirkconnell amid the racial controversy, Harrison eventually had a change of heart.
“To my Bachelor Nation family—I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology,” Harrison posted on Instagram. “I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed.”
Harrison promised to do better and tried to reverse the damage he did to The Bachelor franchise. “This historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions,” Harrison shared with Instagram on February 13. “To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special.”
Harrison will be replaced by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe who will host Katie Thurston and Young’s upcoming seasons.
Blake Hortsmann believes that “whether you think it’s right, wrong, whatever your stance is on the [scandal], I think it drove away a lot of loyal fans and viewers.” He is convinced that “they’re really not going to watch the show. Ratings are going to plummet.”
Hortsmann, of course, is not a showrunner, and he doesn’t speak for the viewers. Like many things, the scandal could increase ratings and attention for the show. Fans recently devoured Colton Underwood’s announcement when he came out as gay despite looking for love in the Bachelor-verse.
Michelle Young still thinks “that this process still works.” The teacher explained during the After the Final Rose special in March that “when you can set down all these outside distractions and really dive in, I think you can learn a lot about somebody.”
Young is hopeful that she’ll meet her perfect match, and she’s also excited to usher in a new era for the series. Young and Katie Thurston, another future Bachelorette star, spoke about a “big reset” for the series following the controversy surrounding Matt James’ winner Rachael Kirkconnell and host Chris Harrison.
Perhaps the end of the show is further than Blake Hortsmann believes, and still has plenty more roses to deliver.