Ben Higgins, Ali Fedotowsky and More React to Jesse Palmer Taking Over as ‘Bachelor’ Host

From handing out roses to announcing the “final rose” of the night. Jesse Palmer is taking over Chris Harrison’s Bachelor gig  and Bachelor Nation can’t help but weigh in on the news. ABC announced on Tuesday, September 28, that the season 5 Bachelor is set to host season 26 of the series.

“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” Palmer said in a statement to Us Weekly. “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 former NFL player subsequently shared a photo from the infamous Bachelor Mansion on Tuesday via Instagram.“Bachelor Nation- I couldn’t be more thrilled to be home with my @bachelorabc family!” he wrote. “Word on the street is it’s pretty AMAZING around here! Palmer’s casting comes several months after Harrison stepped back from the franchise amid backlash for his apparent defense of Bachelor season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who was accused of being racially insensitive in the past.

After missingMatt James’ After the Final Rose in March, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowetook over for season 17 of The Bachelorette and recently wrapped season 18. Palmer is set to guide Clayton Echard, who will appear on Michelle Young’s upcoming Bachelorette season.