Jesse Palmer Says Clothing Is "Optional" For Bachelorette Suitors This Season

Jesse Palmer gave E! News a preview of Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia's first night as Bachelorettes, revealing the men really put themselves out there—some more than others.

By Cydney Contreras Jul 07, 2022 1:00 PMTags

ABC wasn't kidding when they said Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia's season of The Bachelorette is going to feature double the trouble.

In a cast photo for season 19, one muscular man appears alongside the other contestants shirtless, leaving Bachelor Nation to wonder what went down that night. As host Jesse Palmer joked to E! News exclusively, "Apparently at these arrivals now, clothing is optional."

In fact, it seems clothing is optional—period. When asked how much skin the contestant bared, Jesse confirmed there's more to see. "This particular gentleman, I don't think really likes clothes," he told E!. "I think he prefers to just bear it all. That's sort of his vibe."

But this mysterious shirtless man isn't the only one who, as Jesse put it, makes a "legendary" entrance "There were four-legged animals, two-legged animals, magic tricks, forklifts," the former Bachelor star teased. "Really, it just ran the gamut."

While Bachelor Nation has seen plenty of animals in the premiere episode, the forklift definitely sounds like a first.

The Bachelorette: Meet the Season 19 Contestants Vying for Gabby and Rachel’s Hearts

But that's to be expected for this historic season, which will see two women search for love at the same exact time. 

Of course, there was a learning curve for Gabby and Rachel, who had to figure out the best way to approach their proverbial journeys. "I think they deserve a ton of credit, because they took control," Jesse explained. "They sometimes made up their own rules, they entered uncharted waters at times, but I think the biggest thing about Rachel and Gabby is they have tremendous support for one another."

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Naturally, there are some difficulties to dating the same men. Jesse would neither confirm nor deny if the girls fell for one guy, but he did tease that there were "unexpected" challenges to overcome.

"It's not them competing for something," he said, "but there were some raw, serious and honest conversations that had to take place."


The importance of communication was actually something he learned during his time as a Bachelor in 2002. He looked back on how he's grown since starring in season five, saying, "I think the show really helps you tap into your own vulnerability."

And as a former NFL player, leaning into his sensitive side wasn't an easy task. "I came from a locker room culture where you were never supposed to show weakness, you're never supposed to ask for help," he explained. "This franchise has shown me, and I think a lot of guys out there who watch, that it's ok to be vulnerable, and it's important to be that way, and to open yourself up, especially to someone that you really love and care about."

Although his romance with final rose winner, Jessica Bowlin turned out to be thorny, he's found love with Emely Palmer, who he wed in 2021. 

The Bachelorette premieres July 11 on ABC.

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