Zach Shallcross Reveals the Surprising Way He Met Women Before 'The Bachelor'

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The Bachelor hunk spills details on dating history, divorce and more before Monday night’s big premiere.

Zach Shallcross is getting ready for his close-up as The Bachelor.

After finishing in third place for Rachel Recchia’s heart on the two-women The Bachelorette last year, Zach was picked as the star of The Bachelor season 27.

And surprisingly, Zach is looking forward to seeing Monday night’s ABC premiere along with the fans!

“I haven’t watched the episode yet,” he confided to Parade in a recent Zoom interview.

Here’s what else the hunky tech exec, 26, had to say about his life and how he found himself choosing between 30 stunning women on the hit reality TV show.

Why did Zach want to be The Bachelor?

“I was pinching myself thinking why are they even asking me,” Zach told Parade. “It took a lot of deliberation and talking with my family—is this something I want to be a part of again?”

The former football player noted, “It really came down to, I know what I want. I know that I want to settle down and find my forever person, the person to share life with. I’ll do it with the show or without the show—to me it doesn’t matter. It ended up being on the show. You can’t turn down an opportunity like that.”

How much drama can fans expect on season 27?

While there are sure to be many ups and downs, Zach said, “It’s not the typical drama that is forced….[like] the shrimpgate stuff that happened….in Clayton [Echard’s] season [26]. Like, [it will be] real life drama, if that makes any sense.”

Teasing all the upcoming Bachelor episodes, he laughed, “There’s always tears in the future.”

Has Zach moved past his Rachel meltdown?

During season 19 of The Bachelorette, featuring Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, Zach became a front-runner on the latter’s team.

But after making it to Rachel’s final three, he went through an emotional self-elimination.

His fantasy suite experience with the beauty went sour as she believed Zach, then 25, was too young for a serious commitment. For his part, Zach thought Rachel was being phony during their time alone off-camera.

He was crying as he left Mexico on The Bachelorette.

When asked if Rachel’s belief that he wasn’t ready for engagement was accurate, Zach told Parade, “Not at all.” He repeated, “Not at all.”

He added firmly, “You can’t tell anyone that they’re too old or too young to fall in love.”

Zach got closure with Rachel—who later dumped her Bachelorette finalist/fiancé Tino Franco—at the live “After the Final Rose” special.

He said, “I have nothing but respect for her. After going through this as The Bachelor, I [now] understand the stress and everything that she went through and I don’t have any hard feelings for how things had worked.”

However, when asked if he’d kept in touch with Rachel, Zach replied, “No.”

How did Zach feel about meeting his ladies?

“I had to hold my jaw up the whole time,” he said about the parade of 30 women who arrived at The Bachelor mansion. “After every limo [pulled up] I was just shocked because I was like, ‘I’m really standing in this position, I got lucky enough to be here and meet all these women that are hopefully wanting to pursue the same thing as me’ so I was just like, sometimes speechless.”

Fans can tune in on Monday night to see Zach’s fun interactions with the ladies during the meet and greets!

Will viewers see a slimmer Zach?

On The Bachelorette, Zach, who lives in Texas, told Rachel that he’d once had a weight problem and had been 85 pounds heavier.

“I was severely overweight,” Zach said on camera.

But he slimmed down. And fans will see an even more fit Zach in shirtless scenes on The Bachelor.

“I was watching my cheeseburger intake a little bit since [The Bachelorette],” the ex-college football player told Parade. “I’m just watching what I’ve been eating a little bit.

“For diet and exercise, I eat very clean. I work out almost daily and I don’t really eat breakfast,” Zach revealed.

How did Zach meet women before the ABC reality shows?

“I did have a long-term girlfriend before The Bachelor/Bachelorette,” he said. “But honestly, I preferred meeting [women] organically as much as possible, like I did have a brief stint on the dating apps a little bit, probably three to four years ago, but other than that, organic, just out and about.

“It would be [meeting] at a random restaurant or like in line at a taco shop. It would be the most random times that I would meet people.”

What would fans be surprised to know about Zach’s family?

Last season’s The Bachelorette viewers saw Zach’s loving relatives in Anaheim, California, including his uncle, Seinfeld actor Patrick Warburton.

Zach promises there is much more to come.

“I’m raised by a family that constantly jokes with each other, harasses each other, very goofy. That wasn’t really shown last season [on The Bachelorette] for obvious reasons. I don’t take things too seriously and we have a lot of fun this season. Fans will be surprised and I’m excited for that,” he said.

What is Zach passionate about besides looking for love?

Music stirs the handsome reality star’s soul and he’s dreamed about pursuing rock and roll!

“I used to be in a rock band back in the day and then I used to DJ many years in college,” Zach told Parade.

“I’ve kind of suppressed that over the past few years but with the show it’s coming back up. So I always have a love for [music] —if I could be in a rock band one day, that would be awesome.”

Would Zach consider committing to a divorced woman?

Zach has never been married before, but he’d “absolutely” date divorced gals, and there are a couple of them in his Bachelor cast.

“To me, your past doesn’t matter ‘cause it’s who you are. I don’t look at it as you’ve had a previous marriage or not. It’s about the person itself and that’s all that matters,” he said.

What did Zach think of his hopefuls?

“All 30 of the women were beautiful, that’s without a question,” he said. “There were varying degrees [of] different attraction. Sometimes there was like a spark [in] the first couple of words…it was kind of all over the place.”

For more, tune in to The Bachelor Monday night on ABC from 8-10:01 p.m. ET.