Weeks after the embattled host announced his exit from the beloved franchise, Iaconetti shared her thoughts on his departure. “Overall, I’m disappointed on how it all unfolded," the 33-year-old admitted. "I wish he was still going to be around as host."
Harrison confirmed his permanent split from the ABC reality series on Tuesday, June 8, after temporarily stepping back as host in March amid the racism scandal. As OK! previously reported, Harrison first came under fire in February after he defended Matt James' season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell — who received the first Black bachelor's final rose — for her past racially charged social media posts.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” Harrison captioned his June Instagram post after apologizing to the public twice for telling Bachelor Nation to offer Kirkconnell some "grace" and "compassion" following her past social media activity, which resurfaced while The Bachelor was airing.
“I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together," he candidly added.
Iaconetti previously shared her thoughts on Harrison's exit by replying to his June Instagram post. “It will never be the same. Truly the end of an era," the season 19 Bachelor contestant wrote, praising Harrison for his role in making The Bachelor franchise what it is today.
"Thank you for all the years of hard work and love you put into the show," she emotionally continued. "I have a lump in my throat writing this. Can’t wait to see your next move. I love you."
And while Iaconetti — who found love with Bachelor Nation star Jared Haibon in March 2018 — is sad to see the longtime host go, she is still tuning in to Katie Thurston's Bachelorette season with Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams as hosts.
“I love Katie’s season right now. I feel like after seeing three episodes, you are so invested in some of these characters," Iaconetti candidly told Us Weekly of season 17, which premiered Monday, June 7.
She also credited the show for allowing the contestants the space to be open and honest so quickly. "These guys have been really open and honest, fast," she continued, "and I give credit to the show there because there’s been certain dates that have allowed them to open up quickly.”
Meanwhile, Harrison may not be as thrilled to see the success of The Bachelorette without him, as OK! exclusively learned he was livid by ABC's decision to permanently get rid of him. “He felt blindsided and betrayed,” said the source, noting that the 49-year-old thought the controversy “would blow over, and he’d be welcomed back.”