“I do think it was a young group and it’s something we’ve recognized and we’re going to rectify and pay attention to in casting in the next season and further seasons in the future. It wasn’t a conscious decision,” Chris, 48, told ET on February 25 in response to the backlash.
Chris then threw The Bachelor under the bus! “And by the way, there were older women. Peter got rid of them,” the ABC host added.
Bachelor fans have called Peter’s season catty because of all the drama, which many watchers attributed to the contestant’s ages. “It’s going to be an interesting Tell All because this group doesn’t quite have that sisterhood that a lot of them have,” Chris admitted about the March 2 special. “There’s always the villain or the one that’s outspoken the most, but it seems to have been fractured so much.”
He added, “I’m honestly not sure what we’re going to get out of it, we’re going to kind of lead the direction of it and go where the girls take it. It’ll be interesting to see if they rally around each other after watching.”
Several fans of the franchise called for an age limit for future contestants. Peter’s contestant Victoria Fuller is 26 years old and contestants Hannah Ann Sluss and Madison Prewett are 23 years old.
“Hannah Ann just seems SOOO young to me still. Like a fun younger sister for Peter. And that's about it. #TheBachelor,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Another said, “You shouldn’t be allowed to go on The Bachelor/Bachelorette unless you’re 30 and older. Somebody get these very immature, fame-seeking h**s off my screen!! EVERYONES THINKING IT.”
Following the February 24 episode of The Bachelor, ABC announced that they are “now casting seniors looking for love” for a new spinoff series. Fans trolled the ad on Twitter. “Bachelor Nation: The girls on this season are too young! We need older contestants who know what they want! The Bachelor: We hear you!” one person wrote along with a photo of the ad. Another fan similarly said, “I don’t know, based on how they cast, ‘senior’ is probably age 40-45. #TheBachelor.”
What do you think about Chris’ response to the age criticism? Sound off in the comments below!