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Are Rachel, Aven Again Collectively? ‘The Bachelorette’ 2022 Finale Spoilers

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SPOILER: After the dramatic live finale, Bachelor Nation wants to know: Are Rachel and Aven still together from The Bachelorette 2022 and where are they now?

Rachel was one of two leads for The Bachelorette season 19 along with Gabby Windey. Gabby, a 31-year-old ICU nurse from O’Fallon, Illinois, and Rachel, a 26-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, Florida, were contestants on The Bachelor season 26 with Clayton Echard, where they were both eliminated in the final three after Clayton chose Susie Evans, a 29-year-old wedding videographer from Virginia Beach, Virginia, as his winner. Gabby and Rachel were announced as the season 19 Bachelorettes at The Bachelor season 26 “After the Final Rose” special in March 2022. The Bachelorette season 19 will be the first Bachelor or Bachelorette season to have two full-time leads. The Bachelorette season 11 started with two Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson, but Kaitlyn was chosen as the sole Bachelorette by the contestants in episode one.

Rachel also confirmed to People that there wasn’t any drama between her and Gabby on The Bachelorette season 19 due to their constant “communication” through the process. “I think Gabby and I just went into it talking to each other and knowing that throughout everything, we just had to have communication,” she said. “And that really just worked for us throughout the whole thing.” Gabby added, “I think going in, knowing a little bit about it from Clayton’s season and stuff, I feel like we both had the attitude to put each other first. We know each other the best, our relationship above all is the most important. Plus a man that’s worth it isn’t going to have us fight over him, nor would we ever compromise our relationship for it.” She continued, “It’s only natural to be attracted to the same guys, here and there. We’re human, but it would never be anything that Rachel and I couldn’t figure out on our own, especially always putting our relationship in the forefront of everything.”

As for how their season ends, Gabby and Rachel confirmed they’re satisfied with the outcome. “I think we feel good honestly. And you learn so much about yourself going through this. So I feel like ultimately it’s just an amazing life experience together,” Gabby said. Rachel added, “I think we’re both so grateful to have been given this and to be there together. We’re both just really happy.”

But back to Rachel and Aven So…are Rachel and Aven still together from The Bachelorette 2022? Read on for where Rachel and Aven are now after The Bachelorette season 19 and if they’re still together.

Rachel, Aven,

Image: ABC.

Are Rachel and Aven still together from The Bachelorette 2022? The answer is unclear. Before The Bachelorette season 19 finale on September 20, 2022, Reality Steve reported that Aven planned to surprise Rachel at the “After the Final Rose” special to ask her to date post-show following her breakup with her winner, Tino Franco. (More on that later). Reality Steve compared the move to when season 15 Bachelorette Hannah Brown asked her runner-up, Tyler Cameron, to date after her split from her winner, Jed Wyatt. “Aven is at the ATFR tonight & he’s going to ask Rachel to date post show. I don’t think Rachel knows he’s there. Not sure I buy this. Seems being done more to give Rachel some happiness to end the show, a la Tyler C asking Hannah Brown out on her ATFR,” Reality Steve wrote. He added in a second tweet, “That last tweet wasn’t speculation regarding Aven. He’s showing up to ask her out. And I highly doubt Rachel will say no on live national TV. America would hate her. I’m just saying that I don’t think Aven is doing this for anything more than production is asking him to do it.” Given that the “After the Final Rose” special airs live, it’s unclear if Rachel and Tino are still together after The Bachelorette.

Rachel and Aven’s moment came after Rachel revealed that she and her Bachelorette season 19 winner, Tino Franco, broke up and are no longer engaged. The decision came after Rachel and Tino had a “Ross and Rachel” situation from Friends, where there was a miscommunication over whether they were still together or on a break, according to Reality Steve. Reality Steve also compared the situation to Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson from The Bachelor season 16. Reality Steve reported that, sometime after The Bachelorette season 19 finale, Rachel and Tino stopped talking but were still engaged. During a “Happy Couple” visit, which was caught on camera, Rachel and Tino had a fight over what he did while they were apart. “I want an answer for why you did, what you did,” Rachel tells Tino in a clip from the visit. Reality Steve also reported that Rachel and Tino haven’t spoken since the breakup and there isn’t a chance of a reconciliation at the “After the Final Rose” special.

“What I was told was that, well, her name is Rachel. And it’s kind of ironic because it somewhat resembles the Ross & Rachel situation from Friends. You know, the ‘We were on a break!’ ordeal. Not fully the same situation, but it’s close,” Reality Steve wrote in a blog post in September 2022. “Again, I don’t know if any cheating occurred and that’s what she’s questioning so please don’t make that your narrative. The Ross/Rachel reference is more about her name being Rachel, and I was told there was definitely some ambiguity in regards to what was happening in the relationship. But what I do know is her just even asking him that question came about because they were definitely at a weird point in their relationship where they were still engaged but weren’t talking.”

Reality Steve gave more details on Rachel and Tino’s break up in another post in September 2022. Reality Steve reported that, sometime after The Bachelorette finished filming, there was a “lull” in Rachel and Tino’s relationship where they stopped talking and the “communication was poor.” “I was hearing something along the lines of a Ross/Rachel from Friends kinda deal,” Reality Steve wrote. After Rachel moved from Florida to Los Angeles, she told Tino that she wanted to give the engagement ring back and just date. Tino didn’t want to end the engagement, but didn’t tell Rachel that because he was scared to lose her, according to Reality Steve, who reported that the conversation was a turning point for Rachel and Tino’s relationship. Sometime after the conversation, Tino kissed another woman on a night out. “There wasn’t sex, and it wasn’t an ongoing thing. I only say that not to excuse it, because there is no excuse for cheating and breaking trust,” Reality Steve wrote. Reality Steve also reported that the woman Tino kissed wants nothing to do with his and Rachel’s relationship. “I tried to find out who the girl was. Was told she wants nothing to do with this story, so, I don’t know her relationship with Tino, if it was an ex, a random, or someone he knew from his past. He told her it was a one time kiss,” Reality Steve wrote.

After Tino told Rachel about the kiss on a “Happy Couple” visit, she ended their relationship. .”Was told Tino knows he screwed up, has apologized, but Rachel is checked out of the relationship,” Reality Steve wrote. “My guess based on what I heard is that if Rachel would’ve given it another chance at the time, Tino would want that, but he understood why Rachel made the decision she did. He broke her trust with his actions when he should’ve told her immediately. Not to mention he shouldn’t have cheated in the first place.”

Image: ABC/Gizelle Hernandez.

Who is Rachel Recchia from The Bachelorette 2022? The Bachelorette season 19 leads are Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey from The Bachelor season 26 with Clayton Echard. Rachel is a 26-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, Florida, near Orlando. Her Instagram handle is @pilot.rachel. She was eliminated in the final three after Clayton chose Susie Evans—whom he eliminated the episode before but invited back to the show—as his winner, sending home both Rachel and Gabby. During the “After the Final Rose” special, Gabby accused Clayton of never actually loving her because of the “disrespect” he showed her and Gabby and how he eliminated them with a “group breakup.” “It was almost as if you cast us aside as quickly as you could to [get to] the person you loved the most,” she said. Rachel also asked Clayton if he told her he loved her so he could sleep with her. “You told me that I was the first person that you said ‘I love you’ to in six years. I had no reason to ever doubt you,” she said. “So did you tell me that you were in love with me because you wanted to sleep with me?” Clayton denied this.

So who is The Bachelorette 2022, Rachel Recchia? Rachel listed her job on The Bachelor as a “Flight Instructor.” Her Instagram bio also lists her job as a pilot, as well as her Instagram handle @pilot.rachel. According to her Instagram, Rachel has flown in locations like Columbus, Ohio; Athens, Ohio; Springfield, Missouri; and Lakeland, Florida. She was also attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she was a cheerleader.

In her Bachelor bio, Rachel described herself as a “hopeless romantic” who is looking for someone “nurturing, empathetic” and “respectful.” “Rachel is a fearless frequent flyer looking for a man who will travel the world with her,” her bio reads. “After recently earning her private pilot license, the future is nothing but sunny skies ahead for Rachel and now she is hoping to find a co-pilot that matches her sense of adventure. As a hopeless romantic, Rachel is looking for someone who is as playful, passionate and spontaneous as she is. He should be nurturing, empathetic and MUST be respectful in all facets of life – to her, to family, and especially to waiters. In the end, Rachel wants to find crazy, insane love that makes sense to no one else but her and her soul mate.”

For her fun facts, Rachel listed the following:

• Rachel could live off of Flaming Hot Cheetos.

• Rachel can’t wait to read the Harry Potter series with her kids one day.

• Rachel once organized a flash mob in high school


Image: ABC/Ricky Middlesworth.

Who is Aven Jones from The Bachelorette 2022? Aven is a 28-year-old from Beverly, Massachusetts, who currently lives in San Diego, California. His Instagram handle is @aleejonesy. “sacrifice for the life you choose,” his bio reads. He is Rachel’s contestant on The Bachelorette season 19.

According to his bio on ABC’s website, Aven describes his dream woman as someone who is “loyal, honest and able to organically bring out his fun side.” Read Aven’s Bachelorette 2022 biography and fun facts ahead:

“Aven’s life is fueled by passion. Whether he’s slaying the sales game at work or hooping on the weekend, Aven puts his heart into everything he does. He tries to approach love with the same mentality but has yet to find his perfect match. Aven wants a woman who is loyal, honest and able to organically bring out his fun side. She should love to travel as much as he does and will value quality time together above all else. Aven wants to build a meaningful relationship that goes deeper than the surface and when he meets the right one, he is ready to put it all out there if it means finding his forever.

Fun Facts:
– Aven enjoys slow dancing.
– Aven allows himself to eat out only once a week.
– Aven is a Yahtzee champ and describes his game play as intense.”

Aven listed his job on The Bachelorette as “Sales Executive.” According to what seems to be his Linkedin, Aven works as a Territory Account Executive at Cengage, a digital course and textbooks company, where he’s worked since 2020. Before that, he worked at AMC Health, Dexcom, Meditech and NFI Corp.He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in 2016 with a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing. He played on the varsity men’s basketball team.

For his limo introduction in episode 1 of The Bachelorette season 19, Aven introduced himself to Gabby and Rachel by telling them about his reaction when they would be the season 19 Bachelorettes. “I just want to say when I found out it was going to be both of you, I could tell that you both are really close to family, which is very, very important to me as well. So I wanted to say individually to each of you,” Aven said before delivering a promise to each Gabby and Rachel. To Gabby, Aven said, “Gabby, I promise to do right by you throughout this whole journey because I want to make your grandfather proud. And I really mean that,” to Rachel, Aven said, “Rachel, I promise to do right by you because I definitely don’t want to end up on Big Tony’s bad side.” Rachel responded, “You do not!” For Rachel’s Hometown Date with Aven in Salem, Massachusetts, they went to the restaurant Finz and road a horse carriage to the magic store Crow Haven, according to videos obtained by Reality Steve. 


Image: ABC/Ricky Middlesworth.

Who is the next Bachelor for 2023? The season 27 Bachelor is Zach Shallcross, a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. Zach was Rachel’s contestant and self-eliminated in the final three. “As we know plans can always change last minute, and it won’t be “official” until next Tuesday on the ATFR, but I feel confident in reporting that the next Bachelor is going to be Zach Shallcross,” Reality Steve tweeted in September 2022. Reality Steve also wrote in a blog post before his confirmation that Zach was the only contestant from The Bachelorette season 19 that he could see being the season 27 Bachelor after another frontrunner turned the role down. “It means we’re moving on to somebody else. I don’t know who from this season outside of maybe Zach,” Reality Steve wrote in a blog post in September 2022. 

Variety also reported in September 2022 that Zach was ABC’s top choice to become the next Bachelor, with two sources confirming the news. Zach will be announced as the season 27 Bachelor at The Bachelorette season 19 finale on September 20, 2022. Reality Steve also tweeted a video at the time of Zach filming his introduction for The Bachelor. “But from what I’ve been told, it’s going to be Zach. And here is footage I was sent today from this past Saturday of Zach filming his intro video in Austin,” he tweeted. Page Six also reported in September 2022 that Zach was a frontrunner to become the next Bachelor. “He’s been a frontrunner for a while,” the insider said at the time. “There’s no denying that the audience loves him.”

Reality Steve reported in September 2022 that filming for The Bachelor season 27 starts on September 26, 2022, with some of Zach’s contestants already in Los Angeles. He confirmed that two women on Zach’s season are: Davia Bunch, a 26-year-old digital marketing manager from Charleston, South Carolina, and Cat Wong, a 27-year-old model from New York, New York. Davia graduated the University of South Carolina and was the Miss South Carolina in 2018 in the Miss America pageant. She competed with Cat. Davia’s mother died in 2013 of leukemia when she was in high school and her father remarried that year. According to Reality Steve, she then moved to Russia on a dance scholarship, where she struggled with an eating disorder, before coming back to the United States, entering pageants and winning the title of Miss South Carolina. Car also attended the University of South Carolina at the same time as Davia and competed against her for the title of Miss South Carolina in 2018.

But back to The Bachelor. So…who is season 27 Bachelor Zach Shallcross? Zach is a 25-year-old tech executive from Anaheim Hills, California, but lives in Austin, Texas. He was a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Winey and Rachel Recchia, where he was Rachel’s contestant and self-eliminated in third place. His Instagram handle is @zachshall.

According to his bio on ABC’s website, Zach describes himself as an “old-fashioned romantic” who loves three things in his life: his mom, his dogs and football. Read Zach’s Bachelorette 2022 biography and fun facts ahead:

“Zach is an old-fashioned romantic. He loves his mama, his dogs and football but promises he has more love to go around! He’s charismatic, personable and has a huge heart that he is so ready to share forever with the right woman. Zach’s perfect woman is compassionate, kind and ready for romance because Zach is excited to lay it on thick. He loves to plan thoughtful surprises, and nothing makes him happier than seeing the look of excitement on his partner’s face when his meaningful gifts are appreciated. Zach is serious about finding a love that will lead to marriage, so whatever grand romantic gesture it takes for him to get there, he’s ready to go!

Fun Facts:
– Zach would love to be Spiderman for a day.
– Zach doesn’t like breakfast. Eggs don’t agree with him.
– Zach loves beach volleyball and is a master of the ‘Top Gun’ high-five.”

Zach listed his job on The Bachelorette as “Tech Executive.” According to his Linkedin, Zach works as a Senior Cloud Technology Account Executive at Oracle, where he’s worked for three years. He was promoted to his current position September 2021 and has also held roles like Cloud Technology Account Executive and Cloud Technology Consultant. He’s also worked as a Supervisor at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, California, and a Sales Operation Assistant at Gavel Group in Lake Forest, California. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Zach played Collegiate Division 1 football for Cal Poly for five years.

“My role consists of strategically helping business in Houston enhance, extend, and leverage their current software, platform, and infrastructure while educating them on what Oracle’s portfolio has to offer,” Zach’s Linkedin bio reads.

Before Zach was confirmed as the season 27 Bachelor, Reality Steve reported on his podcast in September 2022 that Nate Mitchell, a contestant on The Bachelorette season 19 with Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, was offered the role but declined. “In regards to the Bachelor, obviously we’re about three weeks away from any announcement being made, I’m assuming it’s going to be made on the After the Final Rose, if not, within a day or two of that on GMA like they usually do. But after poking around a little bit, asking around, what I can tell you is: I don’t know who the Bachelor’s going to be, but you can cross Nate off the list. I have heard it is not him,” Reality Steve said. “I usually can’t get any details to stuff like that. I have heard, I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I have heard he rejected it, he doesn’t want to do it.” A source also told E! News in August 2022 that Nate was the frontrunner to become the next Bachelor.

The reports also came after Nate was photographed holding hands with a woman at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois, in August 2022, weeks after he cried over his breakup with Gabby on The Bachelorette season 19 “Men Tell All” special. “Spotted Nate and another girl in Chicago today,” an anonymous source sent to the Instagram account @bachelorettewindmill along with a photo. “They were both holding hands so could be dating?”

Other season 19 Bachelorette contestants not in the running to be the Bachelor 2023 are: Tyler Norris (who ends up with season 25 Bachelor contestant Brittany Galvin on Bachelor in Paradise season 8) and Johnny DePhilippo (who gets engaged to season 24 Bachelor contestant Victoria Fuller on Bachelor in Paradise season 8). Erich Schwer, who gets engaged to Gabby in The Bachelorette season 19 finale, and Tino Franco, who gets engaged to Rachel, also aren’t in the running to be the Bachelor 2023. Reality Steve also doesn’t believe that Logan Palmer, Ethan Kang, Spencer Swies, Aven Jones or Jason Alabaster from The Bachelorette season 19 will be the next Bachelor. According to Reality Steve, the one contestant from Gabby and Rachel’s Bachelorette season that does have a chance is Zach Shallcross. “It means we’re moving on to somebody else. I don’t know who from this season outside of maybe Zach. I don’t see it being Aven. I don’t see it being Logan. I don’t see it being Ethan. I don’t see it being Spencer. I don’t see it being Jason,” Reality Steve said. 

Other Bachelor Nation alums who aren’t in the running to be the next Bachelor are The Bachelorette season 17 contestant Michael Allio (who ends up with season 21 Bachelor contestant Danielle Maltby on Bachelor in Paradise season 8) and The Bachelorette season 18 contestant Brandon Jones (who ends up with season 26 Bachelor contestant Serene Russell on Bachelor in Paradise season 8.)

While Nate isn’t the Bachelor 2023, Gabby told Entertainment Tonight in August 2022 that he was her number-one choice as the next lead. “Nate. 100 percent Nate, Nate, Nate!” she said. “He knows how to treat women. He’s so smart, he’s old, he has a great job, he spends his time reading—not reading social media, reading actual books. He has a daughter, so he knows what it’s like to have responsibility. He’s a real, true definition of a man.”

Rachel told Entertainment Tonight that her choices for the next Bachelor were Nate and Tyler. “From Gabby’s side I would say Nate, [he’s] incredible, and from my side, maybe Tyler. Who knows?” Rachel said. “They really couldn’t go wrong.” Mario Vassall, another contestant from The Bachelorette season 19, agreed with Rachel’s picks. “Nate, his name comes to mind… Nate is a fun, standup guy,” he said. “… I’m a big fan of Tyler Norris. We saw his breakup with Rachel. That was tough to watch. [I’m a] big fan of him, his character. He wears his heart of his sleeve. I wouldn’t be mad if he took that position.” Mario also confirmed that he’s open to becoming the next Bachelor in an interview with E! News. “I would say that I am open to the conversation,” he said.”Ad we’d go from there.”

Tyler, for his part, confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that he isn’t interested in becoming the season 27 Bachelor but would root for Nate if he became the next lead. “I couldn’t even imagine dating two women at the same time, let alone 30-something women, but then again, you can’t take anything out of the card,” he said. “My man, Nate, he’s the sweetest, most genuine guy. I would love to see him. He brings flair too… My man would do a great job.” Tyler also told E! News about his concerns over becoming the next Bachelor. “I would definitely say that it’s very hard to navigate,” Tyler said. “With 30-something women there, it would definitely be a tough job to have, without hurting somebody at the end of the day. [But] if it gets me a stop closer to ultimately finding love then absolutely I would do it.”

Host Jesse Palmer also voted for Nate. “Nate is a standup guy. He’s an amazing person. He’s mature, he has an incredible emotional maturity, he’s vulnerable, he respects women, and he’s a great dad,” Jesse said. “I there’s there’s very few negative things I can say about Nate.” Jesse also had another choice for the next lead. “Are we still saying Pete Davidson? Is that still a choice?” Jesse said. “… I wanna ride that train. Wanna talk about a wild Bachelor season? That would probably be it. We might have to change some of our parameters.”

Gabby and Rachel also voiced their support for two Bachelors like how there were two Bachelorettes on season 19. “We loved each other for it, and loved having one another by one another’s side,” Gabby said of her relationship with Rachel. “I don’t know if men would feel the same, it depends on their relationship, but I think there’s a lot of good to come out of our season.” Rachel added, “I think ultimately if the Bachelors supported each other and loved each other to the extent that Gabby and I do, it could be incredible as well, but they would definitely have to be on the same level as us. Lots to live up to, of course!”

Mario, however, was against the idea and told Entertainment Tonight that ABC should “absolutely not” have two Bachelors. Tyler also agreed with him. “I think watching back the two Bachelorette thing was a lot,” Tyler said. “Having two Bachelors would be the same thing. I think they should stick to one.”

Who’s in The Bachelorette 2022 cast?

Image: ABC/Craig Sjodin.

Who is in The Bachelorette 2022 cast? See below for the full list of contestants on The Bachelorette season 19.

  • Alec Garza, 27; Houston, Texas — Wedding Photographer
  • Aven Jones, 28; Beverly Massachusetts — Sales Executive
  • Brendan Hall, 28; Carlsbad, California — Bartender
  • Chris Austin, 30; Redondo Beach, California — Mentality Coach
  • Colin Farrill, 36; Acton, Massachusetts — Sales Director
  • Eric Schwer, 29; Bedminster, New Jersey — Real Estate Analyst
  • Ethan Kang, 27; Greenwood Village, Colorado — Advertising Executive
  • Hayden Markowitz, 29; Savannah, Georgia — Leisure Executive
  • Jacob Rapini, 27; Sonora, California — Mortgage Broker
  • James Clarke, 25; Winnetka, Illinois — Meatball Enthusiast
  • Jason Alabaster, 30; Memphis, Tennessee — Investment Banker
  • Joey Young, 24; Brookfield, Connecticut — Twin
  • John Anderson, 26; Nashville, Tennessee — English Teacher
  • Johnny DePhillipo, 25; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida — Realtor
  • Jordan Helman, 35; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — Software Developer
  • Jordan Vandergriff, 27; Alpharetta, Georgia — Drag Racer
  • Justin Budfuloski, 32; Solana Beach, California — Physical Therapist
  • Justin Young, 24; Brookfield, Connecticut — Other Twin
  • Kirk Bryant, 29; Bullard, Texas — College Football Coach
  • Logan Palmer, 26; Phoenix, Arizona — Videographer
  • Mario Vassall, 31; Naperville, Illinois — Personal Trainer
  • Matt LaBagh, 25; Waterbury, Connecticut — Shipping Executive
  • Michael Vaughan, 32; Long Beach, California — Pharmaceutical Salesman
  • Nate Mitchell, 33; Carrier Mill, Illinois — Electrical Engineer
  • Quincey Williams, 25; Miami, Florida — Life Coach
  • Robert “Roby” Sobieski, 33; Los Angeles, California — Magician
  • Ryan Mula, 36; Wayland, Massachusetts — Investment Director
  • Spencer Swies, 27; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan — Venture Capitalist
  • Termayne Harper, 28; Naperville, Illinois — Crypto Guy
  • Tino Franco, 28; Valencia, California — General Contractor
  • Tyler Norris, 25; Rio Grande, New Jersey — Small Business Owner
  • Zach Shallcross, 25; Anaheim Hill, California — Tech Executive
Jesse Palmer,

Image: ABC/John Fleenor.

Who is The Bachelorette 2022 host? The Bachelorette season 19 host is Jesse Palmer, who was the season 5 Bachelor in 2004 and was the youngest Bachelor in Bachelor Nation history at 24 years old. Jesse hosted his first Bachelor franchise show in 2022 with The Bachelor season 26 with Clayton Echard. During The Bachelor season 5 finale, Jesse gave his Final Rose to Jessica Bowlin, but didn’t propose to her. Jesse and Jessica continued to date, but ended their relationship a few weeks after the finale of their Bachelor season aired. In June 2020, Jesse and his girlfriend, Emely Fardo, married in an intimate wedding in New York City. Jesse told Us Weekly in November 2021 that he and Emely planned to marry in Provence, France, before the current health crisis cancelled their wedding date. “We had originally planned a wedding in Provence, France, for summer 2020, which was postponed until summer of 2021 due to the pandemic, but we didn’t want to wait any longer,” he said at the time. “So, we had a small, private and intimate ceremony with close friends who lived in New York City.”

Jesse graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played football for the Florida Gators, in 2001 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing. After graduation, Jesse was drafted by the National Football League to play for the New York Giants. He played with the team for four seasons from 2001 to 2005 as a quarterback. After the New York Giants, Jesse was drafted by the Canadian Football League to play for the Montreal Alouettes. He played with the team until 2005 when he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers. He then resigned with the Montreal Alouettes in 2006 before he retired from football in 2007 to pursue a broadcasting career. Since his broadcasting career started, Jesse has worked with networks like Fox, NFL Network, ESPN, ABC and SEC Network. He’s also guest starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and made guest appearances on shows like Recipe to Riches and Good Morning America, and hosted the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship.

Jesse was announced as The Bachelor season 26 host in September 2021. “For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” he said at the time. “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.” The announcement came after Chris Harrison, the former host of Bachelor Nation, confirmed in June 2021 that he had retired as the franchise’s host after 19 years. “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”

Deadline reported at the time that Chris received a mid-range, eight-figure settlement as part of exit plan with ABC, the network that airs the Bachelor franchise, and Warner Bros. Television, the company that produces the Bachelor shows. The magazine also reported that Harrison’s settlement included a nondisclosure agreement. Chris’ decision to retire as Bachelor Nation’s host came after he was slammed for his response to season 25 Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s racism scandal in February 2021. Rachael, the winner of Matt James’ season, faced backlash at the time when photos resurfaced of her at an Old South Antebellum-themed party at Georgia College in 2018. Before the pictures went viral, Rachael was already under controversy after her former high school classmate accused her on TikTok of bullying her and other students for dating Black men. Other TikTok users then exposed Rachael for liking social media photos of her friends in culturally insensitive costumes and with Confederate flags.

Chris came under controversy after he was interviewed about the scandal by season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on Extra. During the interview, Chris asked fans to give Rachael “grace” and explained that he didn’t find the Antebellum party photos offensive because they just looked like pictures a college student takes at a party. Harrison also questioned whether the photos would be considered racially insensitive in 2018 when they were taken. After the interview, many fans slammed Harrison and accused him of excusing Rachael’s behavior.

ABC confirmed in March 2021 that Chris wouldn’t host season 17 of The Bachelorette and would be replaced by Tayshia and Kaitlyn. “Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” ABC said in a statement at the time. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.” He officially retired as the Bachelor Nation’s host in June 2021.

The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu. Here’s how to watch it for free.

Image: Courtesy of Penguin Books.

To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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