'The Bachelor': Former Lead to Host Season 26

The Bachelor has a new host. TMZ reports that Jesse Palmer is the new permanent face of the franchise. Palmer replaces longtime host Chris Harrison, who part ways after 25 seasons with the show and its spinoff The Bachelorette amid a huge racism scandal. Harrison defended the actions of Season 25 contestant Rachel Kirkconnel, whose photos of her attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018 resurfaced midway through the season. Harrison said Kirkconnell deserved "grace."

Palmer is a former Bachelor himself. He joins in Season 26, saying he is humbled for the opportunity and looking forward to the gig. The report notes his 2004 season, where Palmer forgot the name of some of the women vying for his affection.

Palmer is a television broadcaster and a former NFL quarterback. He starred in Season 5 of the show. "For more than 20 years, 'The Bachelor' has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own," he said in a statement, per Yahoo News. "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."

Palmer's previous experience in television outside of The Bachelor includes him acting as a sports commentator on ESPN, and a former special contributor on ABC's Good Morning America. He is currently hosting ABC's The Ultimate Surfer. Palmer previously hosted The Proposal in 2018, as well as Disney Parks' holiday specials and ABC's NFL Draft special. 

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Harrison says he is not upset about his controversial exit. He says he is happy to have his life back, hinting that the show took up much of his time, with him having to dedicate his Monday evenings.