No matter how many Laurens move into Bachelor Mansion, there has always been one constant of ABC's hit franchise, and that is Chris Harrison's smooth and assured reminder of "This is the final rose tonight." The host has helmed the series since its humble beginnings in 2002, and during the Season 23 premiere, ABC decided it was only right to honor Harrison's 17th anniversary of delivering first impression roses. Um, OK? Needless to say, The Bachelor's Chris Harrison tribute video made longtime fans more confused than sentimental.
At the beginning of the live, three-hour premiere, Harrison announced from a Los Angeles watch party that ABC had secret footage prepared that even he hadn't seen. He promised viewers that if a new Instagram post on The Bachelor account hit 10,000 likes, the show would later feature the surprise segment. The post's popularity surged as quickly as Jason Tartick's fruitless Bachelor campaign began, prompting Harrison's mother to make a second appearance during the show's live feed of a Dallas viewing party.
Alongside former Bachelorettes JoJo Fletcher and Kaitlyn Bristowe, Mary Beth Harrison shared how proud she was of her son before introducing a special tribute to him. Well, after watching two random couples get engaged, why not get reacquainted with the guy putting us through all of this filler footage?
While it included a nice blend of humor and heart, as well as memorable clips from classic seasons, the surprise video package definitely felt a little out of place. Fans on Twitter were curious about what exactly warranted such a commemoration during a non-milestone Bachelor season. Did ABC miss Harrison's birthday last year? Is he secretly sick? Is he announcing his retirement?
Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss then confirmed in a humorous tweet that Harrison wasn't retiring. When it became clear that this was just another way to fill the three hours ABC granted The Bachelor, viewers felt a little emotionally manipulated, and I'm in the same boat. How dare ABC remind me of Juan Pablo and Jake Pavelka for a tribute, right?
However, once Bachelor Nation recovered from the angst of a delayed rose ceremony, plenty of fans came together to gush over the Harrison love. Let's face it — the remarkably ageless man has loyally carried us through rotten Bachelors, Paradise problems, and Bachelorette burnouts, and he shows no signs of stopping. Kudos to you, sir! Thanks for appearing to care when we're just mentally exhausted from a season. You the real MVP.
We can probably expect far less Harrison in upcoming Bachelor weeks, but the season trailer promises that he'll play the part of a cool uncle when it comes to addressing Colton Underwood's actions during Fantasy Suite dates. Fingers crossed that their birds-and-the-bees talk will include plenty of GIF-able reactions from our favorite host. As always, nothing is more appropriate to complete a Bachelor tweet than a hilarious Harrison expression
Season 23 of The Bachelor continues on Monday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.