Even Zach Shallcross was surprised when ABC announced that he would be the next Bachelor.
"I thought they f-cked up," Zach joked of his casting on the Feb. 16 episode of the Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast. "'Why me?' is immediately where my mind went to. I thought it was a typo or something in the email. It was pure shock."
The 26-year-old tech executive, who was a contestant on Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey's season of The Bachelorette, joins an ever-growing list of men—including Clayton Echard, Colton Underwood and Arie Luyendyk Jr.—whose coronation as the lead was less than well received by Bachelor Nation. And when it came to Zach, there was one buzzword that seemed to be repeated amongst annoyed fans: boring. And guess what? He kind of is...and he's also okay with it, warning viewers who love the dramatic antics that he might not be the guy for them.
"If you are a fan of actual people falling in love and romance, then I think they're going to be really happy," he told Glamour. "But if you're into the drama and the bullshit, then sorry, you might not want to watch this season then, to be honest."
And it's been clear since the Jan. 23 premiere that Zach is here for—you guessed it—the right reasons, even if that doesn't necessarily make him a great reality TV star.
When it comes to a good Bachelor season, there's usually one key factor: The lead is the least interesting person on it, more often serving as an anchor while his potential brides outshine him. This season, it seems producers are attempting to return to the old-school era of the franchise, which focuses on the love stories, not capturing in-house arguments over shrimp or their lead hopping over a fence to be used endlessly in show promos.
"I've been saying this is the most emotional season I've hosted and that's what encapsulates it," host Jesse Palmer told E! News. "There is drama, but it's not created. It's all the real feelings that transpire throughout this journey."
While we have heard, understand and agree with the criticism the show has received for the lack of diversity among its recent Bachelor picks—Rodney Mathews was right there, you guys!—we don't think that should used as a reason to not root for Zach. Because we have a confession to make: We really are liking Zach as the Bachelor and we're not going to hide it anymore.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.