During the first few weeks of Joey Graziadei’s Bachelor season, the lead forged a few strong connections. But in Week 3, much of the episode was spent on a brimming feud between contestants Maria Georgas and Sydney Gordon. Because Joey sat down with each of the women to get to the bottom of bullying accusations, the others lamented missing out on time with him — time that, as exiting Evalin Clark said, might have saved them from going home.
So, the Feb. 5 episode ended on a bit of a downer — until a final, minute-long clip of Jesse Palmer chilling on a Colonel Sanders pool float, eating KFC, and riffing on different ways to say the oh-so-serious and superfluous “Ladies, it’s the final rose tonight.”
“Why do we even say final rose tonight? It’s so obvious, there’s one rose left on the table,” he mused. “Everybody knows that. Why do I have to go in and tell everybody? It’s a waste of time.”
Maybe next time he could tell the ladies to “kick rocks,” he wondered. “Show’s over ladies, beat it.”
It’s not unusual for The Bachelor to air funny clips or bloopers during the credits, but to have the franchise host deliver such a playful, self-aware soliloquy feels fun, refreshing, and different. The show needs more of it.
Let Jesse Be Silly!
While Jesse is extremely charming, he’s also kind of hilarious. The line delivery on his Bachelor casting ads? Unmatched.
In fact, a big part of the show’s appeal is watching the handsome host remind viewers that this whole rose-filled journey is a little weird. For example, Jesse blushing while talking to Gerry Turner about “knocking boots” remains one of my favorite moments on The Golden Bachelor, while his stomping around in a Sasquatch costume during Charity Lawson’s Bachelorette season was just plain fun.
Jesse only replaced original franchise host Chris Harrison less than three years ago, but he’s quickly made a case for his unique style: more friend than co-worker, an earnest believer in the process who’s prone to gentle goofiness along the way.
Jesse’s wholesome energy and propensity for dad jokes will only grow now that he’s a literal dad, so it’s time for The Bachelor to increase the host’s screen time. In an era where critics have wondered how the decades-long franchise will stay fresh, Jesse provides a path forward — a way to gently question the show’s rituals while still embodying the heart of it all.
He’s Been Through This
One of the most interesting things about Jesse is that once upon a time, he was in Joey’s shoes! During Season 5, which aired 20 years ago this spring, he went on his own journey for love. Jesse didn’t find a lasting match on his Bachelor season — but at one infamous rose ceremony, he did say the wrong woman’s name when handing out the coveted stems.
The show could benefit from leaning into Jesse’s experience. Not in a “When I was your age…” kind of way, but one that includes him as a more active participant in the ups and downs of Bachelor life. He could be a third-party mediator in the show’s squabbles, for example, lending a sympathetic ear to conflicts so that Joey doesn’t have to spend his season playing referee.
Even having Jesse hang out in Bachelor Mansion a bit more could have a stabilizing effect on the emotionally charged journey — a reminder to the contestants that, yes, you’re looking for love, but you’re also on a TV show, and the breakneck pace of filming might make you feel unsettled.
With all this being said, Jesse is one of the most booked and busiest people in entertainment, so I understand this might all be an impractical dream. But producers, if Jesse wants to experiment and tell the ladies (politely) to kick rocks next season, let him!