How Jesse Palmer Really Feels About His Past On The Bachelor

Former "Bachelor" star Jesse Palmer has shared his unfiltered thoughts about the show. Since its debut in 2002, the beloved dating series has captivated viewers with its international locations, larger-than-life dates, and messy drama. However, one of the most popular aspects of the show is its handsome suitors. Across 26 seasons, an array of men have walked through those famed mansion hallways looking for their forever love, including pilots, entrepreneurs, former athletes, and business executives.

However, one of the most popular Bachelors to ever hand out the franchise's coveted rose is Jesse Palmer. Back in 2004, the sports commentator made history as the first professional athlete and non-American bachelor to lead the series, according to Bachelor Nation. Like most Bachelor couples post-filming, Palmer and his pick, Jessica Bowlin, did not last. "Jessica and I shared an incredible romantic journey on the show that began with a friendship that remains strong today," he told Extra at the time (via Entertainment Weekly). But, despite his unsuccessful time on the show, Palmer has nothing but good things to say about the franchise.

Jesse Palmer says hosting The Bachelor is easier than leading it

Since his time as the lead of "The Bachelor" Season 5, Jesse Palmer went on to have an incredibly successful career. After playing in the NFL for five seasons, the reality TV star carved out a space for himself in the broadcast sphere, hosting shows like "Daily Mail TV" and "Good Morning America." However, in 2021 he returned to his "Bachelor" roots by signing on as the show's new host following Chris Harrison's messy departure, per TMZ. "I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season," he wrote on Instagram at the time.

In a recent interview on Food Network's "Obsessed" podcast, Palmer reflected on his history with the franchise and revealed that hosting has been easier than being its lead. "You don't have to deal with any of the drama anymore. What I did back in 2004 was way more difficult than being on this side of the camera now as the host, for sure," he explained. The former New York Giants quarterback added that he was also "naive" during his time as the show's leading man. "I didn't fully understand or comprehend what I was getting myself into, that's for sure." Toward the end of his interview, Palmer attributed the show's continued success to its love story premise, stating: "The show centers around fantasy, I think in a lot of ways... I think people love that."