While some fans thought JoJo Fletcher was the obvious choice to fill in for Chris Harrison for Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette amid his absence from the franchise, the season 12 Bachelorette told Us Weekly that she wasn’t offered the gig.
“No, I never even heard about it,” Fletcher, 30, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting her shoe collection with DSW, noting that she and fiancé Jordan Rodgers were “already deep into filming in Costa Rica” for their upcoming series, The Big D, when ABC announced Harrison, 49, wouldn’t be hosting season 17.
The network subsequently tapped season 11 Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and season 16 lead Tayshia Adams instead. “I think Kaitlyn and Tayshia are freaking going to be so awesome,” Fletcher told Us. “I’m so excited for them.”
The Cash Pad cohost previously filmed several episodes of Adams’ season 16 of The Bachelorette in 2020 after Harrison left the set to take his son to college.
“Tayshia actually texted me before she went in. She was like, ‘Can I pick your brain?’ Because it’s a weird thing taking over the host role on a show like that,” Fletcher explained. “Chris Harrison is amazing at his job. And so it’s a lot of pressure. I’m excited for them.”
Harrison confirmed in March that he wouldn’t be filming Thurston’s season after he came under fire for his defense of season 25 contestant (and eventual winner) Rachael Kirkconnell’s past racially insensitive actions and missed Matt James’ After the Final Rose taping.
While the past Bachelorettes have opened up to Us about the group chat with all of the leads, Fletcher revealed that she hasn’t had a chance to chat with Thurston yet.
“I’ve never spoken to Katie. I’m so sad about that. I feel like as all the newcomers come in, I keep getting further behind and not able to connect with them as easily, but I’m super excited for her season,” Fletcher told Us. “I was really bad at keeping up with the show when she was on [Matt’s season]. But I did see the episode where she really stood out to everybody. And so I said, ‘She’d be a good Bachelorette.’ And here we go.”
Fletcher plans to tune in when Thurston’s journey begins in June, but noted how busy she is with Rodgers, 32, as they flip houses in Puerto Rico. The couple are also set to replan their wedding for a third time amid coronavirus delays.
“We’re at peace. We don’t want to sacrifice that day,” she told Us. “Unfortunately, it is not what we expected, but we’re staying positive about when it does happen.”