Jesse Palmer, a television personality and former NFL quarterback for the New York Giants, will replace Chris Harrison as host of ABC’s The Bachelor. Back in 2004, Jesse was a Bachelor himself, looking for love on the reality TV series.
Variety broke the news Tuesday night, just an hour before an episode of Bachelor in Paradise, the spinoff series where eliminated contestants get a second shot at love.
The news came just a day after filming for the season officially started, according to Reality Steve, a reality television insider who is often first to break stories and receive scoops on The Bachelor franchise.
“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” Jesse Palmer said in his official announcement. “Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season.”
Jesse said that he is excited “to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience,” and is “grateful to play a small part in his journey.”
According to Variety, Jesse Palmer has a long-standing relationship with The Walt Disney Company, who owns both ABC and ESPN. After his career in the NFL and subsequent appearance as The Bachelor, Jesse was an ESPN sports commentator, a contributor for Good Morning America, and current host of ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer competition series. Jesse has also presented NFL drafts for ABC and hosted Daily Mail TV from 2017-2020.
Jesse Palmer will replace Chris Harrison, who left the series amid controversy and allegations of racism. After defending series winner Rachael Kirkconnell for (what some viewed as) racist photos in her past, he invoked the term “woke police,” which angered fans and former Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsey. Harrison stepped down immediately after, and various celebrity guests have hosted the series throughout the year.
Chris Harrison apologized after stepping down, telling Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell that he was causing “harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.” He called his behavior “unacceptable,” saying that he was “ashamed over how uninformed I was.”
“I was so wrong,” Chris said.
Guests hosts such as former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho have hosted Bachelor specials in his absence, as well as former Bachelorette’s Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. For Bachelor in Paradise‘s 2021 season, a rotating cast of hosts were tried out, such as comedian David Spade, actor Tituss Burgess, *NSYNC member Lance Bass, and rapper Lil Jon.
As Variety reported, Jesse Palmer will host 2022’s season of The Bachelor, which will star Clayton Echard, a contestant on Michelle Young’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
He is a bit of a surprising pick for fans. Though he has history with the franchise and ABC/Disney, viewers expected to see either Tayshia Adams or Wells Adams from BIP stay on as host of The Bachelor. The announcement echoed last week’s reveal of Clayton Echard as the next Bachelor, perplexing fans as they wait to judge the new faces for themselves.
“The caliber of men who came on to Michelle’s season was incredible,” an inside source told Page Six. “Each guy was hotter than the next and so many of them treated her like a queen. There was so much excitement about a lot of them. Clayton was no exception.”
When Jesse was the Bachelor, he didn’t get engaged at the end, and split with contestant Jessica Bowlin shortly after the finale aired.
He is not signed on for any more seasons after Season 26 in 2022, but insiders told Variety that he is expected to remain and continue with the flagship ABC series.
Do you think Jesse Palmer is a good choice for Bachelor host? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!