Jesse Palmer Is the New Host of The Bachelor Season 26

Jesse Palmer, who appeared on season five of The Bachelor, is the host of the 26th season of the ABC dating franchise following Chris Harrison's exit.

By Elyse Dupre Sep 28, 2021 11:00 PMTags

Jesse Palmer, will you accept this rose and be the new host of The Bachelor

Indeed he will. The 42-year-old former football pro is officially taking over the emcee duties for season 26 of the ABC dating franchise, the network announced Tuesday, Sept. 28. 

Palmer is certainly familiar with the franchise. He starred on the fifth season of The Bachelor in 2004. He gave his finale rose to Jessica Bowlin, but they broke up shortly after the show aired. He is now engaged to model Emely Fardo.

Palmer said in a statement, "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 firsthand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey."

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Palmer has also hosted several series—including The ProposalHoliday Baking Championship and The Ultimate Surfer—and is a football analyst for ESPN.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

The news comes more than three months after longtime host Chris Harrison's exit from The Bachelor franchise. In February, he announced he was "stepping aside for a period of time."

The move came days after Harrison's Extra interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay in which he defended Rachael Kirkconnell, a former contestant from Matt James' season of The Bachelor who received backlash after photos of her attending an antebellum plantation themed fraternity ball in 2018 resurfaced online.

Harrison came under fire and apologized for "speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism." Kirkconnell also said she's "sorry to the communities and individuals" that her "actions harmed and offended."

In June, Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment confirmed Harrison would not be returning to The Bachelor franchise.

Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe hosted both Katie Thurston's and Michelle Young's seasons of The Bachelorette, and there was a series of celebrity guests on Bachelor in Paradise Now, ABC is getting ready for season 26 of The Bachelor, which will reportedly star Clayton Echard and premiere in 2022.

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