Jesse Palmer is promising more drama to come on this season of The Bachelor. ET spoke to the show's 43-year-old host, and he assured fans that, even though Clayton Echard's season is already off to a wild start, the ups and downs are far from over.
"The theme of this season is going to be there are no rules on The Bachelor. Clayton will do whatever it takes," Jesse said. "... He's going to take chances and risks to get what he wants and to find love."
In the season premiere, three women rejected Clayton before his first rose ceremony. Then, the second episode ended on a cliff-hanger, as Clayton asked Jesse if anyone had ever taken back a rose.
Even with all of that, Jesse told ET, "I promise there are a whole lot more firsts coming up this season that people have not seen in 20 years of watching The Bachelor."
Though the most dramatic moments of the season have yet to happen, Jesse, a former Bachelor himself, noted that the early exits and uncertainty made Clayton's "self-doubt start to creep in."
"Once it sets in it never goes away... You wear that for the rest of the season and that's always in the back of your mind," he said. "That's something that's creeping in. So this is a kind of a new ballgame for Clayton moving forward. He now has to kind of deal with all this. There is a lot of drama. There's only going to be more moving forward."
Some of that drama will revolve around Cassidy, whose group date rose is up in the air after Clayton found out that she may have a friends with benefits situation waiting for her back home.
"A lot of Bachelors, I think in the past, would've just sort of let it play out. It would've been like, 'I already gave her a rose. We'll just move on to the next round and I'll confront her about this at our next group date or one-on-one date,'" Jesse told ET. "To Clayton's credit, though, he kind of wanted to take charge of the situation."
Tensions are also brewing between Shanae and Elizabeth, after Shanae accused Elizabeth of being "two-faced" and mocked her for having ADHD.
"In those situations, I'm really trying to kind of stay back and my focus obviously is trying to help Clayton and to help him navigate how drama potentially impacts his decisions moving forward," Jesse said. "I will say specifically to Shanae and Elizabeth, I don't think it's ever OK for anyone to talk down about someone's mental health."
As fans continue to watch the season play out, Jesse said that they should keep an eye on two women in particular: Teddi and Susie.
"Teddi I thought had an amazing first night. She got the first kiss. She got the first impression rose. It's hard to imagine someone making a bigger impression right out of the gate than I think Teddi made," he said. "I think that's definitely a relationship people should watch. They definitely seem to have a very strong connection at this point."
When it comes to Susie, Jesse praised the wedding videographer for opening up to Clayton after earning the first one-on-one date of the season.
"I thought that was really, really brave of her to do it that early. I think that really resonated with Clayton. He's been asking these women to be vulnerable and I think she did that," he said. "She showed him a lot that night and then they went to the dance floor and he offered her the rose on the dance floor. That to me was a pretty big moment. As a host kind of sitting back while I thought, 'Wow, that's really special.' I thought that was pretty cool."
As the connections continue to grow, though, the women must grapple with the fact that they're all falling in love with the same man. The fallout of that was teased in the season preview, which showed Clayton telling two women that he was intimate with both of them in the Fantasy Suite.
"Clayton really owns this thing. Clayton wears his emotions on his sleeve," Jesse said of the moment. "... Clayton will do what Clayton wants to do and he'll deliver his messages in the way he does, and so we all kind of have to see how it impacts the women and how it affects his journey moving forward."
Clayton isn't immune to the emotions of the experience, as the season preview also showed him breaking down and declaring, "I'm so broken."
"Clayton wants this so badly. I don't know if I've ever met anybody in my life that wants this as bad as Clayton does," Jesse said. "He puts so much pressure on himself because he knows he has an amazing diverse cast of women that it's completely blown him away. He really believes his person is in that house."
Even with that belief, the experience, Jesse said, "impacts you psychologically and mentally and it can be emotionally draining and exhausting."
Through it all, Jesse was standing by, watching the drama play out, and trying to be there for Clayton in any way he could.
"I was sitting back thinking, 'Wow, I've never seen that before. I need to go talk to him about what just happened, what he just said, what he's thinking. Where does he hope this goes from here? What's going to happen?'" Jesse told ET. "All of the producers, myself, we were on the edge of our seats. This was not anticipated. It's real, it's raw, it's unscripted. It's real. Clayton's real. If anything, that is a real dude and he does it his way."
That was just the start of Jesse's praise for Clayton, as he said that the medical sales rep is "such a great guy."
"He's so sincere and genuine. He deserves this opportunity to find love," Jesse said. "... We have this sibling rivalry going on. We're really busting each other on social media all the time. He's like my younger, taller, better looking, more athletic brother... I was so delighted that him and I hit it off as well as we did, probably better than I was hoping for at the beginning."
As for how Clayton's doing now, Jesse said that the Bachelor is "probably feeling all the feels" as he watches his journey back.
"He's probably excited. He probably is impatient. He can't wait for the result to be out. He's probably nervous," Jesse said. "... He's probably still going through the gamut and his emotional exhaustion is probably not quite over yet."
Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC. ET has got you covered throughout the entirety of his season with all of our Bachelor content.
'The Bachelor' Recap: Clayton Asks About Rescinding a Rose
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Clayton's First Rose Is Rejected in Dramatic 'Bachelor' Premiere