Now that his season has ended, fans are left with two questions: Are Zach and Kaity still together from The Bachelor 2023 and where are they now after the season 27 finale?
The Bachelor season 27 lead is Zach Shallcross, a 26-year-old tech executive from Anaheim Hills, California, who now lives in Austin, Texas. Zach was a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, where he was Rachel’s contestant and self-eliminated in the final three. Zach was announced as the season 27 Bachelor at the The Bachelorette season 19 “After the Final Rose” special in September 2022. “There’s no words, I’m just taking this in right now. I’m obviously really nervous right now but this is once in a lifetime,” Zach said at the time. “I want to find my best friend, fall in love with my best friend and really walk away with someone for the rest of my life.”
In an interview with People in January 2023, Zach called The Bachelor season 27 the “most emotional” season Bachelor Nation has ever seen. “It might not be the most dramatic season, but it’s the most emotional season that they’ve ever had,” he said. “But that’s not to say that this season will not have some drama. There’s no shortage of drama.” He continued, “Fans are going to see my full personality because I wear it on my sleeve. With last season, that necessarily wasn’t the case. I think I’m going to surprise some people with who I am.”
Zach also responded to criticism over ABC’s choice of him as the season 27 Bachelor in an interview with Us Weekly in January 2023. “I would tell the critics and the fans, if you wanna watch something or this show and actually see love and no bullshit and not a scene or not an act, then I think you’re really gonna love this [season],” he said. “If you are someone that wants the unnecessary dumb drama — alright, [but] I might not be your guy. Plain and simple.” He continued, “I know what I want out of this, and I know what it takes to have that healthy relationship.”
But back to Zach and Kaity. So…are Zach and Kaity still together after The Bachelor 2023 finale and where are they now? Read on for what we know about if Zach and Kaity are still together from The Bachelor 2023 and their relationship now.
Are Zach and Kaity still together after The Bachelor 2023? The answer is yes. Zach picked Kaity as his winner at the Final Rose ceremony in The Bachelor season 27 finale in Krabi, Thailand, where he gave her his final rose and proposed to her.
Zach and Kaity confirmed they were still together in The Bachelor season 27 “After the Final Rose” special. “When I saw her at the last chance date, I saw her and I thought to myself, ‘It’s you. It’s always been you. And I want to spend the rest of my life with this woman,’” Zach said.“Obviously [because of the] show, I had to wait it out a little bit, couldn’t say anything, but yeah, I just knew she was my one.”
Zach and Kaity told host Jesse Palmer that they were planning for their wedding to be in 2025 after having time to enjoy “the little things” about each other. “I’ve never experienced unconditional love. It’s always been the same — picking up the pieces of my heart off the ground,” Kaity said, adding that her “walls came crumbling down” on The Bachelor. “If it’s not you, it’s not anyone,” she continued. Zach added, “I can no longer say I’m falling in love with you. Because Kaity, I am so in love with you. You are my world. I love you so much. I love you with my whole heart. I want to be with you forever.”
After The Bachelor season 27 finale, Zach and Kaity confirmed they were still together in an interview with People, where they revealed they were in “no rush” to get married. “Right now, the main emphasis is living together in Austin, getting to know each other more and more, and just see how things go,” Zach said. “There’s no rush.” Kaity continued, “We have the rest of our lives together, so why does everything need to be a rush? It doesn’t.”
Zach, who’s been traveling to film and do press for The Bachelor, also confirmed his plans to move back to Austin, Texas, where he’s from and where Kaity also lives. “I’ve been itching to get back,” he said. “With filming, it’s kept me in L.A. and California — it’s cool and all, but it’s no Austin. I can’t wait to spend [time] with Kaity and just be out in public.” Kaity continued, “We were quite isolated — we can’t go to a coffee shop, can’t go to a restaurant or anything like that. We’ve seen each other quite a few times and we get these happy couple weekends. I’ve never gotten sick of him, so it’s been great. All I want is more time with him. When he gets to Austin, we’re just going to try and live this normal life that we’ve been wanting to for so long. We’re super excited.”
When it comes to living together, Zach and Kaity explained their main issue so far has been the temperature of their apartment. “That’s something that we are working and compromising on,” Zach said. “I run hot, typically. She runs cold. So we have to find that middle ground.” Kaity continued, “He wants it freezing in the house 24/7! I’m like, ‘No.’” She continued, “We are a team. We do communicate so well together. We are going to make amazing life partners, and I just can’t wait for the rest of our lives.”
As for their future, Zach told People that he sees he and Kaity in five years “married with some little ones running around — maybe one, maybe two.” Kaity joked to her fiance, “I would like a beach house, babe.” Zach and Kaity also confirmed that they don’t plan on staying in Austin forever. “We’re going to start living in Austin, but after a year in Austin, figure out if we want to try something else and explore and travel the world,” Zach said, noting that they want to travel to Portugal first. “There’s tons of places that I want to go, and I know Zach does too,” she says. “We’re both very adventurous.”
Kaity also confirmed that she plans to invite several of Zach’s Bachelor contestants to their wedding, which “may raise a couple eyebrows.” “I have really good relationships with quite a few of the girls, but I would say my closest that I could foresee being at the wedding would be Ariel, for sure,” she said. “She’s been a huge supporter and always there for me throughout this. Gabi, her and I are really good friends. And Jess and Mercedes for sure. Those are my girls.”
Where are Zach and Kaity now after The Bachelor 2023?
Where are Zach and Kaity now after The Bachelor 2023? Zach and Kaity also confirmed that they were still together in an interview with Austin Monthly in April 2023, in which they revealed what they were most excited about living in Austin together. “We’re just excited for the nice warm weather, paddle boarding, getting outside,” Kaity said. “I’m a very adventurous person. Same with Zach. I love being outdoors, and I think Austin has a great scene for that as well. Everything about Austin is just amazing. I thought I was going to be here for 36 months and then I’d be off to another state because as a travel nurse, that’s what we do. But nope, I’m not going anywhere.”
Zach continued, “Everything Kaity said, but a lot more barbecue. I missed that when I was out in California doing the show stuff. Terry Black’s! I’m their biggest fan.”
Zach and Kaity also confirmed that they were not living together yet, but planned to move in together after summer 2023. “Right now, we’re not officially living together. We both have our separate leases that are ending in the summer, but we still have a lot of time together, and we love to end our nights with bingeing any type of show or movie we can get our hands on,” Zach said, adding that he and Kaity plan to get married by 2025. “I’m a big scary movie guy, and she’s a great sport. Whatever movie that I see and I’m like, oh, that looks good, she’s like, anything you want babe, let’s watch it. She’s just so sweet about it. And she has a sweet tooth. She keeps bringing up Jeni’s Ice Creams, which I’ve never had before, and I swear every night she’s looking up the hours to make sure we might be able to sneak it in.”
Kaity added about what she’s learned about Zach, “I love how organized he is. I love his impersonations that he does. He hates when I bring this up, but he [impersonates] his uncle. His uncle [Patrick Warburton] is the voice of Kronk [from The Emperor’s New Groove], so sometimes just to get a little laugh, I’ll have him do it.”
Zach and Kaity also told Austin Monthly about how they kept their relationship a secret while The Bachelorette Season 27 was still airing. “I was back home in Canada, but then I came back to Austin and worked another travel nursing contract. Zach was in Anaheim, California, where his family resides,” Kaity said.
Zach added, “We’d have these things called Happy Couples, where the show would fly Kaity out to California, and we’d have a long weekend together once or twice a month. And we did one or two in Austin, which was nice just to be back in this area together.” Kaity continued, “We were out by Bee Cave, I think it was. We couldn’t go out and do anything, but we did kind of sneakily go on some walks, and it was beautiful [out there].”
Zach and Kaity also told the magazine about what their relationship is like now that they don’t have to keep it a secret.” Well, it’s been just about a week today since I’ve fully moved out here [on April 6, 2023], and we’ve been busy pretty much ever since, going to some good restaurants like Matt’s El Rancho. We got to go to the Spurs game together,” Zach said. Kaity continued, “There are definitely people that come up and say hi, they’ll just congratulate us, which is really nice. Everybody’s really lovely and sweet and very respectful for the most part.”
Zach added, “It depends where we go. And Kaity can agree on this: It’ll be at the most random times. It’ll be maybe on South Congress, or we’ll just be having dinner together, and one person comes by, and then that kind of gets everyone’s attention.”
Before The Bachelor season 27 finale, Zach hinted that he and Kaity were still together when he posted an Instagram Story in March 2023 of Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin, where he and Kaity both live. (Kaity is from Kingston, Ontario, Canada but works as an ER travel nurse in Austin; while Zach is from Anaheim Hills, California, but works as a tech executive in Austin.) In an interview with Axios Austin before The Bachelor season 27 premiered, Kaity named Terry’s Black’s BBQ as one of her favorite restaurants in Austin. “I love Aba, Launderette, Red Ash and Terry Black’s BBQ!” she told Axios Austin. Kaity also name Terry’s Black BBQ as one of her favorite Austin BBQ places in an interview with the “Click Bait” podcast in 2023. Before the finale, a Reddit user also posted a photo in March 2023 of Zach and Kaity at the Final Rose Ceremony, which showed them kissing and Kaity holding Zach’s final rose.
For Zach’s engagement, it’s almost certain the ring was designed by Neil Lane, a celebrity jeweler, who has created engagement rings for The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise since 2008. In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, former host Chris Harrison revealed that Bachelor Nation couples have to stay together for a certain amount of time, otherwise they have to return the free engagement ring to Neil Lane. “There’s some rule, after a certain number of years, you get to keep it anyway,” he said. “But after months… it goes back.”
Lane told StyleCaster in 2016 that he doesn’t know where the rings go, but that he designs them with the hope that the couple to stays together. “I make rings hoping that people stay together forever, but after they get the ring, I don’t have a say in it, and what happens after that, I don’t know,” he said. “Where the ring goes, I have to say, I don’t really know. I just say it goes to ring heaven.”
Before The Bachelor season 27 finale, there were rumors that Zach ended up with a contestant other than Kaity. Spoiler Instagram account @BachelorWhatever reported in November 2022, that Zach chose Gabi, his runner-up, as his winner. “I have received enough confirmation from sources and I finally feel confident to share Zach is engaged to Gabriella,” @BachelorWhatever wrote in an Instagram post at the time. Reality Steve, however, denied that claim and maintained that Kaity is Zach’s Bachelor winner. “I’m well aware that an Instagram account posted two months ago that Zach was engaged to Gabi. Here’s what I can tell you: I trust my sources just like I assume they trust their sources. It’s now up to you the public to decide who you choose to believe,” Reality Steve wrote. “Personally, I’ll bet on myself. Nothing I can say is going to sway you one way or another. I don’t reveal my sources or how I get any info. But with another spoiler out there for 2 months that’s opposite of mine, now we can officially say one of us is dead wrong. Gonna make for a great finale night I tell ya’”
The “Chicks in the Office” podcast also claimed before the finale in March 2023 that Zach broke up with Kaity after The Bachelor season 27 finale and got back together with Jess, who was eliminated in ninth place. “I have no idea if this is true. I don’t at all. It’s just something I’ve heard that apparently no one else has has heard,” the podcast hosts said. “I don’t know how I heard it, but no one else did. So take that as you will, but apparently, after Zach got engaged to one of the girls, who I believe to be Kaity, that engagement ended and he’s now with Jess. Jess is the one who loves Taylor Swift. she loves body glitter. She even posted a clip recently of them at the ‘Women Tell All’ together. I don’t know how true this is. Do what you will with that information. I’ve left it all in your hands now. It’ll be crazy. It’ll be freaking crazy if it happens. Once again, I do not know if it is true.”
Who is Kaity from The Bachelor 2023? Kaitlyn “Kaity” Biggar is a 27-year-old from Kingston, Ontario, Canada, who now lives in Austin, Texas, where Zach also lives. Her Instagram handle is @kaityylane.
Kaity listed her job on The Bachelor as an “ER Travel Nurse.” In January 2022, she posted an Instagram photo of her with a dog named Doc at Kingston General Hospital. “Just what the doctor ordered💙🚑” she captioned the post. According to her Instagram, she graduated from Laurentian University with a degree in nursing in June 2019. “Nursing school survivor🎓🤪,” she captioned an Instagram photo of her at her graduation at the time.
Read Kaity’s Bachelor 2023 biography and fun facts ahead:
“Kaity is 100% wife material! The Canadian nurse is not only passionate about her career but she’s got a great sense of humor and is extremely down to earth. Kaity is looking for her forever Prince Charming and says, “I truly hope to find love. I have so much love to give to the right man.” Hopefully, Zach is the right man for her! Kaity can’t wait to start a family and said that if a man didn’t want kids, that would be a dealbreaker for her. Will Zach be the one to show this beauty that true love is out there? Only time will tell.
• Kaity grew up figure skating.
• Kaity isn’t afraid of sliding into the DMs.
• Kaity LOVES roller coasters. Like, looooves them.
• Kaity enjoys swimming but hates that sharks may be swimming underneath her.”
Who is the Bachelor 2023? The Bachelor season 27 is Zach Shallcross, a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. Zach was Rachel’s contestant and self-eliminated in the final three. He was announced as the season 27 Bachelor at The Bachelorette season 19 “After the Final Rose” special in September 2022.
“As we know plans can always change last minute, and it won’t be “official” until next Tuesday on the ATFR, but I feel confident in reporting that the next Bachelor is going to be Zach Shallcross,” Reality Steve tweeted in September 2022 before Zach’s announcement. Reality Steve also wrote in a blog post before his confirmation about how Zach was the only contestant from The Bachelorette season 19 that he could see being the season 27 Bachelor after another frontrunner turned the role down. “It means we’re moving on to somebody else. I don’t know who from this season outside of maybe Zach,” Reality Steve wrote in a blog post in September 2022. Variety also reported in September 2022 that Zach was ABC’s top choice to become the next Bachelor, with two sources confirming the news. Zach will be announced as the season 27 Bachelor at The Bachelorette season 19 finale on September 20, 2022. Reality Steve also tweeted a video at the time of Zach filming his introduction for The Bachelor. “But from what I’ve been told, it’s going to be Zach. And here is footage I was sent today from this past Saturday of Zach filming his intro video in Austin,” he tweeted. Page Six also reported in September 2022 that Zach was a frontrunner to become the next Bachelor. “He’s been a frontrunner for a while,” the insider said at the time. “There’s no denying that the audience loves him.”
Zach is a 25-year-old tech executive from Anaheim Hills, California, but lives in Austin, Texas. His Instagram handle is @zachshall. According to his Bachelorette 2022 bio, Zach describes himself as an “old-fashioned romantic” who loves three things in his life: his mom, his dogs and football. Read Zach’s Bachelorette 2022 biography and fun facts ahead:
“Zach is an old-fashioned romantic. He loves his mama, his dogs and football but promises he has more love to go around! He’s charismatic, personable and has a huge heart that he is so ready to share forever with the right woman. Zach’s perfect woman is compassionate, kind and ready for romance because Zach is excited to lay it on thick. He loves to plan thoughtful surprises, and nothing makes him happier than seeing the look of excitement on his partner’s face when his meaningful gifts are appreciated. Zach is serious about finding a love that will lead to marriage, so whatever grand romantic gesture it takes for him to get there, he’s ready to go!
– Zach would love to be Spiderman for a day.
– Zach doesn’t like breakfast. Eggs don’t agree with him.
– Zach loves beach volleyball and is a master of the ‘Top Gun’ high-five.”
Zach listed his job on The Bachelorette as “Tech Executive.” According to his Linkedin, Zach worked as a Senior Cloud Technology Account Executive at Oracle, where he’d worked for three years, at the time he was on The Bachelorette. He was promoted to his current position in September 2021 and had also held roles like Cloud Technology Account Executive and Cloud Technology Consultant. He also worked as a Supervisor at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California, and a Sales Operation Assistant at Gavel Group in Lake Forest, California. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Zach played Collegiate Division 1 football for Cal Poly for five years. “My role consists of strategically helping business in Houston enhance, extend, and leverage their current software, platform, and infrastructure while educating them on what Oracle’s portfolio has to offer,” Zach’s Linkedin bio read.
Before Zach was confirmed as the season 27 Bachelor, Reality Steve reported on his podcast in September 2022 that Nate Mitchell, a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, was offered the role but declined. “In regards to the Bachelor, obviously we’re about three weeks away from any announcement being made, I’m assuming it’s going to be made on the After the Final Rose, if not, within a day or two of that on GMA like they usually do. But after poking around a little bit, asking around, what I can tell you is: I don’t know who the Bachelor’s going to be, but you can cross Nate off the list. I have heard it is not him,” Reality Steve said. “I usually can’t get any details to stuff like that. I have heard, I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I have heard he rejected it, he doesn’t want to do it.” A source also told E! News in August 2022 that Nate was the frontrunner to become the next Bachelor.
The reports also came after Nate was photographed holding hands with a woman at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois, in August 2022, weeks after he cried over his breakup with Gabby on The Bachelorette season 19 “Men Tell All” special. “Spotted Nate and another girl in Chicago today,” an anonymous source sent to the Instagram account @bachelorettewindmill along with a photo. “They were both holding hands so could be dating?”
While Nate wasn’t the Bachelor 2023, Gabby told Entertainment Tonight in August 2022 that he was her number-one choice as the next lead. “Nate. 100 percent Nate, Nate, Nate!” she said. “He knows how to treat women. He’s so smart, he’s old, he has a great job, he spends his time reading—not reading social media, reading actual books. He has a daughter, so he knows what it’s like to have responsibility. He’s a real, true definition of a man.” Host Jesse Palmer also voted for Nate. “Nate is a standup guy. He’s an amazing person. He’s mature, he has an incredible emotional maturity, he’s vulnerable, he respects women, and he’s a great dad,” Jesse said. “I there’s there’s very few negative things I can say about Nate.” Jesse also had another choice for the next lead. “Are we still saying Pete Davidson? Is that still a choice?” Jesse said. “… I wanna ride that train. Wanna talk about a wild Bachelor season? That would probably be it. We might have to change some of our parameters.”
Gabby and Rachel also voiced their support for two Bachelors like how there were two Bachelorettes on season 19. “We loved each other for it, and loved having one another by one another’s side,” Gabby said of her relationship with Rachel. “I don’t know if men would feel the same, it depends on their relationship, but I think there’s a lot of good to come out of our season.” Rachel added, “I think ultimately if the Bachelors supported each other and loved each other to the extent that Gabby and I do, it could be incredible as well, but they would definitely have to be on the same level as us. Lots to live up to, of course!”
Who is the next Bachelorette for 2023? The season 20 Bachelorette is Charity Lawson, a contestant from The Bachelor season 27 with Zach Shallcross, who came in fourth place after she was eliminated by Zach after their Hometown Date, according to Reality Steve. Charity is the fourth Black Bachelorette in Bachelor Nation history after Rachel Lindsay (season 13); Tayshia Adams (season 16) and Michelle Young (season 18). “Nothing is ever final until ABC officially announces it, as they’ve made last minute changes in the past, but from everything I’m hearing it’s going to be Charity,” Reality Steve wrote in an Instagram post on March 6, 2023. “I would expect this announcement to be made sometime in the next few weeks.”
Charity Lawson is a 26-year-old from Columbus, Georgia, who now lives in Auburn, Alabama. Her Instagram handle is @charitylawson. “my best kept secret is out.. if you didn’t know, well now you do. 🏾 Tune into the @bachelorabc January 23rd @ 8PM EST,” she captioned an Instagram post of her Bachelor headshot in January 2023, announcing she was on Zach’s season.
Charity listed her job on The Bachelor as a “Child and Family Therapist.” According to her Linkedin, she’s worked as a Child Advocacy Center Therapist at Tri-County CAC since July 2021. Before that, she worked as a Special Education Aide at Muscoee County School District. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Disability in 2018. She also earned a Master of Education and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Auburn University in May 2022.
Read Charity’s Bachelor 2023 biography and fun facts ahead:
“It’s easy to see what makes Charity such a great catch! With a smile that lights up the room, a great career and a sweet personality to match, Charity is the total package! The Georgia beauty takes her name as a call to love and care for people and has built her life on that purpose. Charity is a mental health therapist and is extremely passionate about helping people live their best lives. Now, she is ready to receive the love she gives to so many others! Charity hopes her future husband is honest, loyal and shares similar morals. She says she is really excited to meet Zach and thinks the two of them could be a perfect match on paper. Time will tell if they’re also a perfect match in person!
• Charity’s all-time favorite movie is ‘The Notebook.’
• Charity wants to move to Walt Disney World one day.
• Charity throws a mean axe.”
Who’s in The Bachelor 2023 cast? See below for a full list of contestants on The Bachelor season 27.
- Viktoria Eichner, 29, Vienna Austria – Nanny
- Victoria Jameson, 30, Keller, Texas – Professional Makeup Artist
- Vanessa Dinh, 23, Farmington Hills, Michigan – Restaurant Marketer
- Sonia Sharma, 29, Jericho, New York – Project Manager
- Olivia Miller, 25, Delphos, Ohio – Stylist
- Olivia Lewis, 24, Churchville, New York – Patient Care Technician
- Mercedes Northup, 24, Bloomfield, Iowa – Nonprofit Case Manager
- Madison Johnson, 26, Fargo, North Dakota – Business Owner
- Lekha Ravi, 29, Miami, Florida – Financial Advisor
- Kylee Russell, 25, Charlotte, North Carolina – Postpartum Nurse
- Katherine Izzo, 26, Tampa, Florida – Registered Nurse
- Kaitlyn “Kaity” Biggar, 27, Kingston, Ontario – ER Travel Nurse
- Jessica “Jess” Girod, 23, Winter Springs, Florida – E-Commerce Coordinator
- Holland Parsons, 24, Boca Raton, Florida – Insurance Marketer
- Greer Blitzer, 24, Bellaire, Texas – Medical Sales Representative
- Genevie Mayo, 26, Baltimore, Maryland – Neonatal Nurse
- Gabrielle “Gabi” Elnicki, 25, Pittsford, Vermont – Senior Account Executive
- Davia Bunch, 25, Roebuck, South Carolina – Marketing Manager
- Christina Mandrell, 26, Hendersonville, Tennessee – Content Creator
- Charity Lawson, 26, Columbus, Georgia – Child and Family Therapist
- Catherine “Cat” Wong, 26, Chevy Chase, Maryland – Professional Dancer
- Cara Ammon, 27, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Corporate Recruiter
- Brooklyn Willie, 25, Mineola, Texas – Rodeo Racer
- Brianna Thorbourne, 24, Jersey City, New Jersey – Entrepreneur
- Becca Serrano, 25, Burbank, California – Nursing Student
- Bailey Brown, 27, Brentwood, Tennessee – Executive Recruiter
- Ariel Frenkel, 28, New York City, New York – Marketing Executive
- Anastasia Keramidas, 30, Baltimore, Maryland – Content Marketing Manager
- Alyssa “Aly” Jacobs, 26, Smyrna, Georgia – Healthcare Strategist
Who is The Bachelor 2023 host? The Bachelor season 27 host is Jesse Palmer, who was the season 5 Bachelor in 2004 and was the youngest Bachelor in Bachelor Nation history at 24 years old. Jesse hosted his first Bachelor franchise show in 2022 with The Bachelor season 26 with Clayton Echard. During The Bachelor season 5 finale, Jesse gave his Final Rose to Jessica Bowlin, but didn’t propose to her. Jesse and Jessica continued to date, but ended their relationship a few weeks after the finale of their Bachelor season aired. In June 2020, Jesse and his girlfriend, Emely Fardo, married in an intimate wedding in New York City. Jesse told Us Weekly in November 2021 that he and Emely planned to marry in Provence, France, before the current health crisis cancelled their wedding date. “We had originally planned a wedding in Provence, France, for summer 2020, which was postponed until summer of 2021 due to the pandemic, but we didn’t want to wait any longer,” he said at the time. “So, we had a small, private and intimate ceremony with close friends who lived in New York City.”
Jesse graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played football for the Florida Gators, in 2001 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing. After graduation, Jesse was drafted by the National Football League to play for the New York Giants. He played with the team for four seasons from 2001 to 2005 as a quarterback. After the New York Giants, Jesse was drafted by the Canadian Football League to play for the Montreal Alouettes. He played with the team until 2005 when he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers. He then resigned with the Montreal Alouettes in 2006 before he retired from football in 2007 to pursue a broadcasting career. Since his broadcasting career started, Jesse has worked with networks like Fox, NFL Network, ESPN, ABC and SEC Network. He’s also guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and made guest appearances on shows like Recipe to Riches and Good Morning America, and hosted the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship.
Jesse was announced as The Bachelor season 26 host in September 2021. “For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” he said at the time. “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.” The announcement came after Chris Harrison, the former host of Bachelor Nation, confirmed in June 2021 that he had retired as the franchise’s host after 19 years. “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Deadline reported at the time that Chris received a mid-range, eight-figure settlement as part of exit plan with ABC, the network that airs the Bachelor franchise, and Warner Bros. Television, the company that produces the Bachelor shows. The magazine also reported that Harrison’s settlement included a nondisclosure agreement. Chris’ decision to retire as Bachelor Nation’s host came after he was slammed for his response to season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s racism scandal in February 2021. Rachael, the winner of Matt James’ season, faced backlash at the time when photos resurfaced of her at an Old South Antebellum-themed party at Georgia College in 2018. Before the pictures went viral, Rachael was already under controversy after her former high school classmate accused her on TikTok of bullying her and other students for dating Black men. Other TikTok users then exposed Rachael for liking social media photos of her friends in culturally insensitive costumes and with Confederate flags.
Chris came under controversy after he was interviewed about the scandal by season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra. During the interview, Chris asked fans to give Rachael “grace” and explained that he didn’t find the Antebellum party photos offensive because they just looked like pictures a college student takes at a party. Harrison also questioned whether the photos would be considered racially insensitive in 2018 when they were taken. After the interview, many fans slammed Harrison and accused him of excusing Rachael’s behavior.
ABC confirmed in March 2021 that Chris wouldn’t host season 17 of The Bachelorette and would be replaced by Tayshia and Kaitlyn. “Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” ABC said in a statement at the time. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.” He officially retired as the Bachelor Nation’s host in June 2021.
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu. Here’s how to watch it for free.
To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.
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