When The Bachelor returns to ABC next year for Season 26, there will be a new face welcoming the bevy of women to vie for the love of one lucky man. Jesse Palmer, a former Bachelor himself and current college football analyst, has been tapped to take over permanent hosting duties for the reality dating show after Chris Harrison’s removal this summer, and fans have a few thoughts.
So who is Jesse Palmer? The former NFL quarterback was the titular Bachelor back in Season 5, where he found love with Jessica Bowlin, despite the relationship only lasting a few weeks. Palmer is now a college football analyst with ESPN and has built up his résumé with a number of different hosting jobs. Most recently he served as host of The Ultimate Surfer on ABC, and in 2018, he hosted The Proposal— a fast-tracked version of The Bachelor — which was canceled by ABC after one season.
Jesse Palmer definitely seems to bring the experience — both with his hosting background and intimate knowledge of The Bachelor’s process — but fan reactions were inevitable. Many were hoping ABC might choose a Bachelor Nation alumnus who is a little younger. Maybe with bartending experience? Yes, Wells Adams, former Bachelorette contestant and current Bachelor in Paradise bartender and guest host, seemed to be the fan-favorite pick, and some Twitter users were having trouble adjusting to the Palmer announcement:
With Jesse Palmer, it seems like The Bachelor might be trying to replicate some of the “father-figure” personality that Chris Harrison was able to provide to the cast members. But that’s nothing Wells Adams couldn’t do. Didn’t they see how he handled Ivan Hall’s scandal on Bachelor in Paradise? Regardless, Adams was not the choice, and fans were bumming hard over it:
Wells Adams might have been the overwhelming favorite to nail down the permanent position, but some fans were disappointed the job didn’t go to The Bachelorette co-hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. One user tweeted:
It has been a hot minute since Jesse Palmer was The Bachelor in 2004, and if you’re not a football fan, there’s a decent chance you haven’t seen him doing his thing on ESPN or his other hosting gigs. So it’s no surprise that some of the Bachelor Nation fandom was wondering who even is this guy?:
With The Bachelor franchise coming under fire multiple times over the years for casting predominantly white leads, many hoped Chris Harrison’s exit — and particularly the circumstances surrounding that exit — would give the franchise an opportunity to place a person of color in the hosting position. Some believe the franchise merely looked to tap a "boring white guy" to host:
Some fans, however, came to Jesse Palmer's defense, pointing to his experience with the franchise. Having someone who’s literally been The Bachelor does provide a unique perspective, just like Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are able to deftly guide the female leads in their co-hosting roles:
Season 26 of The Bachelor is expected to air early in 2022. While the new lead hasn’t been officially announced by ABC, multiple outlets have confirmed that said Bachelor will be someone from Michelle Young’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette. As Bachelor in Paradise wraps its season next week, The Bachelorette premieres Tuesday, October 19 on ABC. Check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule for more upcoming premiere dates.
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