The former football player, 43, who took over for Chris Harrison in September 2021, will anchor the upcoming eighth season of the Bachelor spinoff ahead of its slated fall premiere. Palmer will be joined by Bachelor Nation favorite Wells Adams, who will once again return as the show’s resident bartender and contestant confidante. The radio DJ, 38, was also one of Bachelor in Paradise‘s revolving door of hosts during season 7, which premiered in September 2021.
The cast of the upcoming season has not yet been announced, although ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich teased during ABC’s Upfront event on Tuesday, May 17, that many Bachelor Nation favorites will hit the beach this year. “When I think of some of the people they have in mind to come back for Bachelor in Paradise, I think it’s going to continue to be a very watched and very discussed block of programming on Mondays and Tuesdays,” he said, per Deadline.
Before returning as host, Palmer appeared on season 5 of The Bachelor, which aired in 2004. He replaced the show’s longtime host and executive producer after Harrison, 50, came under fire in February 2021 after he appeared to defend Matt James’ season 25 winner Rachael Kirkconnell’s past actions at an Old South-themed college party.
“I said to [Clayton Echard] right from the beginning, ‘Hey man, if you ask for advice, I’ll totally be there to give it to you, but this is not about me,’” the sports commentator told Us Weekly in January. “My journey is different from your journey, different from every other Bachelor that’s ever done this before, and this is unique to you and he’s gonna figure it out. And so the biggest pressure for me was just being there in the most truthful, sincere and best way to help Clayton get what he is looking for.”
When runners-up Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey were announced as co-Bachelorettes at the season 26 Bachelor: After the Final Rose special in March, Palmer also revealed that he would replace Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams as the new Bachelorette host.
“I guess — spoiler alert — I’m not coming back,” Bristowe, 36, said during an episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast shortly after the news broke. “I saw at the end of the finale Jesse was announcing the two Bachelorettes, and he said he was going to be by their side for that. I think Jesse’s amazing. … He’ll be a great host, and I hope he helps Gabby and Rachel in any way that he can.”
She continued: “I want to support Gabby and Rachel and be there for them so bad. I think it makes sense to have a woman being there for them. … I will be sad.”
Adams, 31, confirmed that she and her former cohost had known about the network’s plans to hire Palmer ahead of the announcement. “Kaitlyn and I both had a phone call weeks prior saying that they were going to go forward with Jesse so it wasn’t really a surprise,” she told Us Weekly exclusively in March. “I’m very happy for him. I feel like he’s been so sweet and kind to me, so I wish everybody that takes that position the very best and I’m excited to see the new season.”