Everything We Know About The New Host Of The Bachelor, Jesse Palmer

"The Bachelor" has been without a permanent host since February 2021, when series stalwart Chris Harrison stepped down, at first temporarily but ultimately for good, following a racism scandal involving former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. As Glamour reported at the time, the problems began when racially insensitive shots of Rachael Kirkconnell, then a contestant on Matt James' season of the hit show, surfaced online. Harrison defended her in an interview with Lindsay, arguing, "I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, and that's it," (via Us Weekly). The host went on to reason that someone shouldn't be punished for something she did at the age of 18 for the rest of her life.

The backlash from Bachelor Nation was swift, with several of the women taking part in James' season speaking out in support of Lindsay while denouncing what they termed Harrison's "defense of racism." The host subsequently apologized for "speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism," acknowledging listening to Lindsay would've been smarter. A second apology followed shortly after, with Harrison confirming he was stepping down temporarily to avoid overshadowing James, who was the first Black Bachelor in the franchise's history. Former NFL player Emmanuel Acho hosted the "After the Final Rose" special and, in June, Deadline confirmed Harrison would not be returning.

Now, we finally know who his replacement will be.

The former NFL quarterback is no stranger to Bachelor Nation

According to People, ABC has confirmed that Jesse Palmer will host the upcoming 26th season of "The Bachelor." Palmer looked for love on the show himself back in 2004, ultimately ending his run engaged to Jessica Bowlin, though they broke up just a month later. The former NFL player is currently engaged to Emely Fardo, a model Palmer started seeing in 2017 and whom he proposed to during a romantic Paris vacation in 2019. This definitely isn't a leftfield choice for ABC, since Palmer has previously hosted for them on the likes of "The Proposal," in 2018, and "The Ultimate Surfer" earlier this year. Palmer still retains a love of football too; he's worked as a college football analyst for ESPN since 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times

He's also featured as a special contributor on "Good Morning America" and on ABC News in general (via Variety). In a statement, the retired athlete enthused, "For more than 20 years, 'The Bachelor' has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own. 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 to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from first-hand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey." 

Insiders note that, if all goes well, Palmer could be a permanent replacement for Chris Harrison.