Jesse Palmer is the host of the long-running ABC dating show “The Bachelor” and a former Bachelor himself, appearing as the main man looking for love during Season 5. Jesse appeared on the March 27 episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show” — the same day as the finale of “The Bachelor” Season 27.
During his interview with JHud, Jesse shared the most difficult part of being the Bachelor — and it’s probably not what you think!
“Memorizing names,” he told Jennifer Hudson. “I famously, or infamously, forgot a name during my season.
“Me forgetting a name is going to go on in infamy forever,” he continued. “I meant to hand a rose to a woman named Karen, and instead I said ‘Katie.’”
“I was staring at Karen, offering her the rose… and I said ‘Katie,’” he recalled. “And then in my peripheral vision, another woman started walking. And I thought to myself, ‘Damn it. I screwed that up.’
“It was like playing quarterback in the NFL,” he said. “You gotta shuffle, you gotta scramble in the moment! I offered Katie the rose… and she very, very graciously accepted it. And I ended up offering Karen a rose after that. And we all just moved on.”
It doesn’t sound like Jesse has totally moved on: “I’m never going to forget those names again for the rest of my life,” he said. “I have PTSD when I’m onstage watching Zach [Shallcross] hand out roses.”
According to Jesse, the biggest change between his season of “The Bachelor” and the current season is the show’s budget.
“When I was on the show, I got to ride an elephant, and that was like the best date I had,” he told JHud.
The current Bachelor, Zach, is doing a bit more than that: “He’s going to London, he’s going to Estonia, he’s going to Budapest and Thailand, he’s flying on helicopters and he’s landing on yachts,” Jesse listed. “I’m not bitter at all!”
Another big difference between “The Bachelor” now versus when Jesse was on the show was that the series wasn’t the cultural phenomenon it is now.
“Back when I was in the NFL, reality TV had kind of just started,” explained Jesse. “‘The Bachelor’ was very, very new. It was interesting trying to explain to my teammates in the locker room what I was about to go do.”
He remembered his teammates being incredulous: “Wait, you’re a quarterback on the New York Giants, you live in New York City, and you need help finding a wife? What are you doing? And you’re going on what show?
“I had this preemptive strike strategy where I had watch parties and I had all teammates over to watch it all happen in real time,” Jesse said. “I basically got laughed at in real time for that hour.”
They might have been laughing while watching the show, but Jesse got the last laugh. “A few days later, I’d have teammates coming up to me in the locker room going, ‘Hey, that girl Cynthia. Stay away from her, she’s trouble.’