“The Bachelor” kicked off its 27th season Monday night with a familiar face: Zach Shallcross, a 26-year-old tech executive and former contestant on “The Bachelorette.” In the premiere, Shallcross met the 30 women he’ll spend the rest of the season with in hopes of finding true love. The Daily sat down with Shallcross to talk reality TV, music and… Abraham Lincoln?
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
The Stanford Daily [TSD]: Your season of “The Bachelor” premiered on Monday. You’ve been on “The Bachelorette,” but this is the first time you’re the star of the show. How does it feel to be back in the spotlight?
Zach Shallcross [ZS]: I don’t know. I’m not someone who likes to be in the spotlight too much. I can’t really stand watching myself on screen. It’s exciting for my family to see me on screen, that’s for sure. But for me it’s different. I remember watching last season, and I would be pacing around the living room holding my dog nervously. I’d glance at the screen and be like, “Nope, not watching this.”
TSD: Have you watched the premiere?
ZS: I did watch the premiere. We did a watch party with family, friends and people from the show, which was a lot of fun. Lots of good food and drinks and all that stuff. But will there be a watch party for every episode? Probably not.
TSD: You’ve said that your family has been watching the show. What do they think of you being a TV star?
ZS: I still don’t think my dad knows what the hell the show is, to be honest. My mom is very excited. She’s been a fan for years, and she’s so loving and supportive through it all; that’s the great part. My sisters used to be really big fans of the show, but now they don’t want to watch their brother being in a hot tub with other women.
TSD: One of the contestants, Brooklyn, said in an interview that if she ended up with the Bachelor, ‘Our kids could watch us fall in love one day.’ Would you want your kids to watch your season of “The Bachelor”?
ZS: I’ve never been asked that question before; that’s a good one. I think it is a pretty cool thing to have to actually show your kids the whole crazy process of how their parents came to be. But they’d have to be older. I think a little kid does not need to be watching “The Bachelor.”
TSD: So far, are there any moments of the season that you wish were not on film? Or have you let it go and said, ‘I’m being vulnerable, it’s out there?’
ZS: I was myself through it all, and that’s all I can really ask for. Sure, are there going to be instances where I wish myself or someone else did something better? Absolutely. But as a whole, it’s all out there. You can’t change anything, and you can’t live with regret.
TSD: You’ve said in the show that a genuine, honest relationship is really important to you. Do you ever worry that these relationships might be removed from your daily life and affected by the filming process?
ZS: That was my biggest fear going into this. My biggest hesitation, hands down, was the fact that it is a show whose track record hasn’t been too great in recent years. So that was probably the thing holding me back the most: if I’m going to put myself out there and be vulnerable and want that loving, honest, real relationship, am I going to have someone there that wants that same thing? But pretty soon into the season, it was pretty clear that I didn’t have to worry about that.
TSD: I’ve heard that the show can be pretty strict with what media that you’re allowed to access during filming. Were you able to bring any books, any music or watch any TV shows? And if so, what did you choose?
ZS: I was able to have some music and books. I’m a big Stephen King guy; reading before bed was one of my favorite things to do. With the show, it’s a little hard because there’s not much time because I need an hour of sleep rather than an hour of reading a lot of the time. But for music… I constantly needed that. Before every date, I’m listening to music. It could be anything from Young Thug to The Killers to Fisher.
TSD: You mentioned that you were once in a rock band. What’s your pick for greatest album of all time?
ZS: It’s between one of two things. My favorite rock band ever growing up was Korn, if you’ve ever heard of it. The first is “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1, 2, 3”: it was on their greatest hits album, and my dad gave it to me when I was in sixth grade. I was probably too young for it, but I loved it. Or it could be Nickelback, “The Long Road.”
TSD: Both of us have spent time in California and Texas. If you have to pick one: In-N-Out or Whataburger?
ZS: In-N-Out, no hesitation. In-N-Out to me is not like a fast food, it’s just a great burger place. Whataburger, I think sometimes, you roll in there and you never know what you’re gonna get. That’s my thoughts.
TSD: One last random question. Is it true that you are a descendant of Abraham Lincoln?
ZS: [laughs] It is false. When I played football in college, we always had to fill out our biographies, or we had someone fill it out for us, and we asked ourselves, “Do you think anyone is actually going to check this?” Well, there’s only one way to find out. So we all came up with something ridiculous. I put that I’m a distant descendant of Abraham Lincoln, and they ran with it for years. So no, I am not.
Season 27 of “The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8pm EDT on ABC. Episodes will be available on Hulu the day following their premieres.