Jesse Palmer Named New Host of 'The Bachelor' : 'I Am Humbled by the Opportunity to Return'

Jesse Palmer is taking over as host of The Bachelor after Chris Harrison stepped down in February

Byron Cohen/ABC.

The Bachelor has found its new host!

Jesse Palmer will take the reins as the 26th Bachelor embarks on his journey to find love, ABC announced on Tuesday.

The former NFL quarterback, 42, is returning to the franchise after becoming the fifth Bachelor in 2004. He ended his season in a relationship with Jessica Bowlin, but the couple called it quits one month later. Palmer is now engaged to model Emely Fardo, whom he began dating in 2017. He popped the question during a romantic trip to Paris in July 2019.

This isn't his first time hosting for ABC, either. He previously hosted the network's dating series The Proposal in 2018, as well as The Ultimate Surfer this summer.

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"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 on Tuesday. "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 is taking over for the first season of The Bachelor since longtime host Chris Harrison stepped down in February.

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Two other former Bachelor Nation leads, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, have since begun co-hosting The Bachelorette. After helping Katie Thurston find love earlier this year, the women are set to return as Michelle Young steps into the lead role next month.

The Bachelor's season 26 lead has yet to be announced. Over the weekend, The Bachelor posted 33 photos to Facebook of women who may appear on the show when it premieres in 2022.

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Showcasing a diverse group of women from different ethnic backgrounds, the women ranged in age from their mid-20s to early 30s.

Among the group, some of the potential contestants include 25-year-old Eliza I. from Berlin, Germany; 30-year-old Gabby W. from O'Fallon, Illinois; 23-year-old Sarah H. from Spartanburg, South Carolina; and 33-year-old Jane P. from Los Angeles.

While fans will have to wait for the 26th iteration of The Bachelor, viewers will soon get to tune into the 18th season of The Bachelorette, which is set to premiere on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. ET.

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