Zach Shallcross on season 27 and love in the mansion.
What more can a girl want than sharing her future husband with 29 other women? The beloved practice of soulmate searching and love matching has begun as “The Bachelor” took off on season 27 in January.
The charismatic and family-loving Zach Shallcross, 26, returned to his home state of California, hoping to bring the show back to its romantic roots rather than complicating the tricky game of love. In a recent interview with Shallcross, he said he was looking for a woman that made him feel distant from the chaos.
“It’s about the relationships, you know, actually finding love, not just crazy wacky drama the whole time,” Shallcross said.
Shallcross knows the trials and tribulations of finding romance in front of millions, from his time on season 19 of “The Bachelorette.” Rachel Recchia was the apple of his eye as the two went on a date full of tulip fields, bike rides and a dip in the hot tub.
What stood in the couple’s way was the disconnect Shallcross experienced in the fantasy suite, which ultimately led Shallcross to step away from the relationship. With that experience in mind, hesitations arose when he faced the new season, but Shallcross had his eye out for warnings.
“I don’t want someone to come onto the show and not want that same thing and just use the show for any kind of fame or clout,” Shallcross said.
Previous bachelor Sean Lowe helped the new bachelor, who some contestants have nicknamed “Zach the Snack,” enter the season with a clear head. Lowe met his wife, Catherine Giudici, on season 17 of “The Bachelor,” and since then they’ve created a family of their own. His expertise in the process gave Shallcross that reassurance to greet the ladies with confidence and authenticity.
“I was grateful to have him help and kind of join me through all this,” Shallcross said. “Having his support but also some of his tips and tricks to help night one go smoother.”
That anticipated moment of the contestants leaving the security of their limo, in their glamorous gowns draped in sequins and silk, isn’t just for dramatic effect. The first encounters at the mansion, sharing their personality, jokes and even maple syrup, was special for the man of the hour.
“I was just blown away at, obviously, how beautiful everyone was, but also how creative they were,” Shallcross said.
Meeting Henry the pig, brought by Iowa contestant Mercedes Northup, was a show-stopping moment for Shallcross that made the introduction memorable.
Viewers of the series understand how vital those few first minutes are with the bachelor, since that interaction could lead them to the glorious first impression rose. Is it luck, timing or a good hair day that grants the spotlight on the lady with the rose? We might never know, but the first rose ceremony was surreal for Shallcross.
The brown-eyed bachelor was once in the position of waiting for those red petals to fall into his hands. Each rose unlocks a new level of intimacy that the contestants crave, and now Shallcross has the chance to control that growth. Shallcross said it felt absurd for him to give out the roses, but it brought him one step closer to finding his person.
The pace of being the bachelor is nothing compared to being a contestant. The difference for Shallcross on “The Bachelorette” was that he could analyze his emotions and take in his temporary life during his downtime. He wasn’t always promised a date, which worked in his favor, since he’s in high demand this season.
After the first two weeks, 17 women remain, hoping to win a date, a rose and his heart. The first one-on-one date took place on a helicopter ride to Los Angeles, where Christina Mandrell, a content creator from Nashville, met the Shallcross family. They shared baby photos, dinner and potential deal breakers.
The first group date was lighthearted with special guest appearances from rapper Latto, who taught self-confidence to the contestants, and three of Bachelor Nation’s favorite contestants from previous seasons. The women put on their best show to impress Shallcross, but also to build up their sassy energy.
The story of the newest bachelor has just begun! Catch the next episode on Monday at 7 p.m. CST on ABC or Hulu.
Header Illustration by Madeline Smith