Jesse Palmer on Staying Out of Clayton’s ‘Bachelor’ Drama: ‘His Decisions Have to Be His Decisions’ (VIDEO)

It’s been 18 years since Jesse Palmer appeared on The Bachelor as the one handing out the roses, but even though he’s now the host, the former NFL quarterback feels that the hit formula has remained mostly intact. “It’s still the same story,” he offers. “It’s a love story between two people hopefully coming together under very, very unique and difficult circumstances.”

He’s not kidding about that last part: Valentine’s Day is definitely gonna suck for someone tonight when this season’s man of the hour, Clayton Echard, is forced to finally choose between Genevieve and Shanae during a tense two-on-one date. But as uncomfortable or tricky as things may get between the women and Clayton, Palmer doesn’t feel like he can intervene too much. “His decisions have to be his decisions, he has to own those,” he says, adding, “I’m here to help but at the end of the day you’re just going to have to figure it out and do it your way.”

'The Bachelor,' Season 26, Episode 5, Shanae, Genevieve, Clayton Echard


After the Bachelor’s time in Toronto ends, he and his remaining ladies are off to Croatia for more half-dressed cavorting. A trip, by the way, that reminds Palmer how some things have changed since 2004. “The budget is way bigger, the mansion is much nicer than the one I was in,” he laughs. “And the overnight dates and the traveling is way more exotic and luxurious than I ever did back in the day!”

Another thing Palmer missed out on during his stint was the social media angle that has, first off, led to revelations about Echard’s past dating life that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, being that he’s a hot, single 20-something “He’s had his own experiences and I think that’s part of why he feels like he’s ready for this opportunity,” Palmer says.

One more positive aspect of social media, however, is that it’s brought Bachelor Nation-ers from around the world together. “Bachelor Nation has grown by leaps and bounds… this is a force,” Palmer marvels. “I don’t know if there is another show that has a fanbase that is as attentive, that’s as passionate. informed and opinionated as we do on this show.”

TBH, we love to see it, too.

The Bachelor, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC