The Bachelor‘s new host Jesse Palmer was seen for the first time on the set of season 26 as he debriefed new star Clayton Echard on Friday.
Jesse, 42, was making his debut on the long-running reality competition after replacing former host Chris Harrison, who previously helmed the series for 19 years.
He caught up with Clayton, 28, after the new Bachelor star had his first night meeting the 30 women competing for his hand in marriage.
Catching up: New Bachelor host Jesse Palmer, 42, had a heart-to-heart with season 26 star Clayton Echard on Friday in Agoura Hills, California
The two men were spotted chatting on a park bench in a shady spot of a garden in Los Angeles.
Jesse, who previously starred on season five of The Bachelor, wore a dark blue plaid shirt with blue trousers, while Clayton matched him in a blue sweater and jeans.
Two days earlier, the new Bachelor had mingled with the contestants at the $4.4 million Bachelor Mansion in Agoura Hills, California, so he spent around an hour sharing his first impressions with Jesse.
Friday also marked the date that the star was expected to have his first group date with the women, according to Reality Steve.
Viewers haven’t yet met Echard, despite him already being a Bachelor veteran of sorts.
Casual: Jesse wore a dark blue plaid shirt with blue trousers, while Clayton matched him in a blue sweater and jeans
Debriefing: Two days earlier, the new Bachelor had mingled with the contestants at the $4.4 million Bachelor Mansion in Agoura Hills, California, so he spent around an hour sharing his first impressions
Back in the fold: Jesse previously was the youngest Bachelor and first non-American to star on the series with his season five appearance in 2004
He previously appeared as a suitor on season 18 of The Bachelorette opposite Michelle Young, but her season won’t begin airing until October 19, and his likely won’t air until early next year.
According to Variety, producers singled out Clayton as their new Bachelor after he made a strong impression with Young, though the fact that he was still an unknown with audiences when they selected him caused some hesitation.
He was previously a football player at the University of Missouri, before branching off into Orthopedic sales after college.
Jesse is joining The Bachelor as its new host after Chris Harrison led the show for nearly two decades and 25 seasons.
The Toronto-born athlete rose to fame first as a football player for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.
New face: Echard previously appeared as a suitor on season 18 of The Bachelorette opposite Michelle Young, but her season won’t begin airing until October 19
Bachelorette: According to Variety, producers singled out Clayton as their new star after he made a strong impression with Young (pictured), though the fact that he was still an unknown with audiences caused some hesitation
After his football career, Jesse went on to become the youngest Bachelor at the time and the first foreign star of the series when he led season five in 2004.
At the end of the season he chose Jessica Bowlin, but rather than presenting her with an engagement ring he gave her a plane ticket.
However, the relationship ultimately fizzled out within a few months.
Since then, he has worked as a sports analyst for ESPN and a contributor to Good Morning America on ABC.
Jesse hosted the first three seasons of DailyMailTV from 2017–2020, before being replaced by former MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts.
More recently, Palmer has been hosting the new reality series The Ultimate Surfer, which premiered in August on ABC.
He’ll be keeping busy with the network and its parent company Disney, as fellow Disney-owned network ESPN announced last month that he had signed a contract extension to continue as an analyst throughout the 2021–2022 college football season.
Coming back: Jesse was previously an NFL player before getting into sports analysis for ESPN. He hosted DailyMailTV for its first three seasons from 2017–2020; seen in Santa Monica in August
His return to the Bachelor family comes after Harrison was booted from the series in the wake of a highly publicized racism scandal that consumed season 25.
That season, which starred Matt James as the first Black lead in Bachelor history, was thrown into chaos after photos of the eventual winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, showed her attending a antebellum-themed sorority event in 2018, which many fans and critics found to be racist.
She also allegedly posted other racist and insensitive photos to Instagram, which were revealed around the same time.
In an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, Harrison took a confrontational tone in defending Lindsay, which angered many viewers and fans.
He urged viewers to have ‘a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion’ for Kirkconnell, and claimed that the party was being judged in a different light in 2021 versus in 2018.
New face: He replaced longtime host Chris Harrison when he left the series after 19 years for defending racist social media posts by season 25 winner Rachael Kirkconnell
The host subsequently apologized for ‘speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism’ before announcing a temporary break from the franchise.
Kirkconnell also apologized, writing, ‘I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.’
She and James initially broke up following the controversy over her posts, though the two have since reunited.
Without Harrison at the helm, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe took over hosting duties on The Bachelorette, while multiple celebrity guests filled the position on Bachelor In Paradise.