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If there's anyone equipped to give "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants advice, it's someone who's been in their shoes before. That's why Jesse Palmer not only takes on the role of host in the "Bachelor" world, but he also doles out advice when he can.
Here, he shares how he helps contestants through the emotional rollercoaster of the show, teases never-before-seen "Bachelor in Paradise" twists (even revealing two celebs he'd like to see on the beach) and recounts the craziest thing that's happened to him off-camera while filming.
On giving advice to "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants:
"I was 'The Bachelor' back in 2005, so I've lived this thing before, obviously. And so my biggest advice to people is to try their best to be their most authentic selves, which is really hard to do, especially in this environment—where there [are] cameras, it's foreign, it's hard to be yourself.
Being present is so important, but also allowing yourself to be vulnerable, which I know is difficult. I mean, I come from a football background, I played professional football and I come from locker room culture where it's sort of looked down upon to ever need help [or] ask for advice."
"I do," Jesse says when Rach asks if he thinks that culture is changing. "Absolutely."
"I do try to spend time with our leads, with the bachelors and bachelorettes. I did it with Clayton during his season of 'The Bachelor' and Gabby and Rachel on 'The Bachelorette.' I try to hang out with them. We have dinners and actually talk about things not Bachelor-related. Because when we're filming, it's really intense. And obviously it's very emotionally exhausting, I think for everyone. So I think for me sometimes, [I] sort of try to get them out of that head space and just be normal people. Hopefully that helps a little bit. Once you get into it, it's sometimes hard to come up for air. I think the little pockets throughout filming that you can find [are] really beneficial."
On what to expect from "Bachelor in Paradise," premiering September 27:
"We have a lot of Bachelor Nation's favorites from past seasons, all coming together in sort of this gorgeous place in Mexico. It's a dream. There's a lot of love, there's a lot of emotion and there's a lot of drama. You sort of really need to be quick and nimble on your feet because I think what people are going to see on the premiere [is that] there [are] some twists that we've never seen on this show before. Expect the unexpected. I think there [are] a lot of people at home that are going to be very surprised at who they see end up coming to the beach. I think people are going to be very surprised at who ends up coupling up and potentially getting engaged. And then there [are] going to be some twists along the way—things that, again, Bachelor Nation has never yet seen on this show."
On the celebrities he'd like to see on "Bachelor in Paradise":
"Oh gosh. Okay. I would love to see Drake. Champagne Papi would be great. And then Lindsey Vonn is newly single, I think. She's was dating P.K. Subban, but I think she's newly single. I've met her before, briefly. She's incredible. So I think that would be one as well."
On the craziest thing that's happened on the show—on or off camera:
"Okay. Ready for this? At the end of Gabby and Rachel's season of 'The Bachelorette,' I got [bitten] by a dog in the butt. On the beach. My wife, Emely, came down and we went for a walk on the beach and we met this really sweet, beautiful stray dog that was living on the beach.
He was beautiful and we fell in love with him. We started playing with him...chasing each other on the beach. He caught up to me quick and he chomped my behind so hard. I think I was limping onto set the next day, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. He was the cutest. He was the sweetest. We loved him. So that was definitely unscripted."