Exclusive Interview: Zach Shallcross from “The Bachelor”


Kamiah Johnson, A&E Co-Editor

A&E assistant editor Kamiah Johnson interviews new Bachelor Zach Shallcross about his experience thus far, and more. 

“Are you ready to find love?” 

It’s a question many of us might have asked ourselves, or have had dating apps ask when signing up. No matter how you might have been asked, I’m sure many have not been asked this question by host Jesse Palmer while standing in front of a mansion waiting for 30 beautiful women to meet you. If on the off chance you have, congratulations! You have one thing in common with Zach Shallcross, this season’s Bachelor. Shallcross’ season premiere as the Bachelor last Monday night was no exception to these Bachelor precursors. On Jan. 23, Season 27 of ABC’s “The Bachelor” premiered, inviting us to share Shallcross’ journey to finding love. In the season premiere, we were introduced to 30 women all vying for Shallcross’ heart and a chance to leave the Santa Monica mountains of Malibu engaged. 

At the beginning of the episode, Jesse Palmer turns to the camera and states, “You may think you know Zach…”, even though I’ve never claimed to know Zach. However, I found myself wondering, “Do I know Zach?” Myself and anyone watching know the basics about him. He’s tall, attractive, ready to find love, and loves family, football, and frozen pizza. We do get to learn that Shallcross has some musical abilities as Palmer tells us about his past as a bassist in a band back in high school and his stint as a DJ in college. It’s clear that we will get to learn more about Shallcross as the season progresses. Luckily, The UCSD Guardian had the opportunity to interview him about the season premiere and what’s to come next this season. 

Before Shallcross suited up to meet the women he would be dating for the next six weeks, he met up with Bachelor alum Sean Lowe to receive some wisdom from his experiences on the show. When asked how Sean’s advice helped him navigate the first night, Shallcross said, “Sean had some great advice. We joked around and had a great time leading up to night one. But what was the most important thing other than his support was his advice [to] not take myself too seriously. You know I have all these thoughts of what I expect night one to be and … the nerves of thinking ‘Can I do this?’ and ‘Am I supposed to be here?’ and him being like, yes, you are supposed to be here. Be yourself and have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously because you’re gonna make it miserable for yourself if you’re always in your head. So that was the best piece of advice.” 

Fans of The Bachelor series know Shallcross previously from Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey’s season of “The Bachelorette.” Shallcross was one of the final contestants who made it all the way to fantasy suites with Rachel before leaving the show. 

He feels his experience on “The Bachelorette” and being emotionally vulnerable in front of the cameras prepared him for his journey as the Bachelor.

“I think what was really important with that whole season of “The Bachelorette” was kinda getting used to the cameras which is kinda a crazy thought for a lot of people,” Shallcross said. “I was terrified going into ‘The Bachelorette’… I have to open up emotionally and be vulnerable in front of cameras. After some time … you kinda get used to it and you realize they’re just cameras, it’s not really like a person or anything judging you. That really helped me going into ‘The Bachelor.’ Since I know what I want, I’m not going to wall myself up because there’s a camera here, and just having that experience with the camera helped.” 

The cameras are undoubtedly a looming presence over the mansion as they capture the romance and drama of night one as we are introduced to the women, who all have the goal of stealing Shallcross’ heart. The women include Christina, a single mom and content creator; Brianna, an entrepreneur and America’s first impression rose winner; Greer, a medical sales rep who received the first impression rose from Shallcross; and Mercedes, a nonprofit owner who showed up with her pet pig Henry, who Shallcross named his favorite intro of the night saying, “I’m gonna say, and I’ve been saying it, I love a good farm animal. I thought Henry the pig was my favorite entrance.” 

Shallcross’ dance skills were tested when Madison, a business owner from South Dakota, pulled him aside to teach him the viral dance called the griddy. When asked if we will see any more viral dances from him this season Shallcross said, “Oh God, I hope not. There’s always gonna be some dancing. Will they be viral, griddy-like? Not to my memory or at least I hope not. I know my griddy needs work.” 

You might be wondering what made Shallcross take a chance at finding love as the bachelor after he left “The Bachelorette.” When asked why he chose to come back, he said, “It was months of conversations and hesitations on both sides. It came down to the point of I know what I want, I’m ready to find my person, show or not. I know it was an interesting experience for me last season, but I am hopeful [love] is still out there. I have faith in the process ‘cause I lived it. I mean what an opportunity.” 

What should we expect from this next episode? According to Shallcross, it’s a lot of fun. “It’s the first time we’re doing group dates. It’s the first one-on-one of the season. We have some special guests that are making some entrances on this date, so they’re a little unique in style. I don’t think there’s been a date like this before,” Shallcross said. 

Season 27 of “The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Episodes will be available on Hulu the day following their premieres.

Image courtesy of Flipboard