Note: the following contains spoilers for “The Bachelor” Season 27 premiere.
“The Bachelor” is already off to a drama-filled start as Zach Shallcross welcomed 30 women vying for his attention into the iconic Bachelor mansion, relying on his intuition and best judgment to give the coveted first impression rose to one lucky lady before the season’s first rose ceremony. But before Zach could even start the ceremony, a rocky confrontation sealed one of the women’s fate.
After learning that Zach was sealing some of his first conversations with a kiss, Madison shot her shot with the man of the hour with a fireside chat — that closed out with a warm hug. That wasn’t enough for Madison, though, as she stole him for another conversation that this time did end with a brief peck. That kiss resulted in an enlightening conversation between the pair about their (lack of) chemistry before Zach ultimately sent Madison home — before the rose ceremony.
“You can’t force it — if it’s not there, it’s not there,” Zach told TheWrap. “I would be doing her a disservice and myself a disservice to keep her around longer.”
Since Zach knows “the sacrifice it takes to be here,” noting that contestants are away from their family, friends and job, he took a realistic approach to his lack of spark with Madison, adding that he “can’t make [the chemistry] just magically be there.”
“It was really tough to do,” he recalled. “I absolutely wish her the best but you just can’t force that feeling. You can’t force love — you can’t force any of that — so I just wanted to be upfront and honest with her and, and not waste her time.”
Despite this tough moment, Zach took the reins on his first night has he shared lip locks with his suitresses, including with his first impression rose pick, Greer, who bonded with Zach about her dream to settle down in her “end goal” of Austin, TX.
“When I was trying to figure out who I give my first impression rose to it really kind of dawned on me that this night is absolutely absurd — it’s moving a million miles an hour,” Zach told TheWrap. “I looked back at my time with Greer, and during that time, it just felt really calm and comfortable to where … I felt like I was getting taken out of the wildness.”
For the first-time bachelor, their tender, sometimes goofy conversation about Greer moving from Houston, TX to the big Apple gave Zach the reprieve he needed as he began courting the many women in the mansion waiting to get their turn to speak with him.
“I didn’t realize it in the moment, really, that I needed to just get away from everything and kind of take a breather,” he said. “It was really nice that she was able to provide that for me that night.”
New episodes of “The Bachelor” premiere Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT on ABC.