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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kenyon chapter.

Season 27 of the beloved reality tv dating show The Bachelor premiered this January, starring none other than Himbo Californian Zach Shallcross. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, that’s probably because Shallcross is not much of a public figure, nor was he a standout contestant in Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia’s season of The Bachelorette. Dubbed “the boring bachelor” by fans, expectations for Shallcross’s season were low, though that hasn’t stopped me from tuning in every Monday night after spending an embarrassingly long amount of time filling out my Bachelor Bracket for the week. Nonetheless, I am ashamed to admit that, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I have fallen victim to the charm of one Zachary Shallcross.

Everybody knows that you don’t watch The Bachelor for the lead. Production historically chooses the most bland, cookie-cutter men to put on a journey to find love. No, we watch for the women; the ones who cause drama, the ones who are auditioning for a spot in Bachelor in Paradise, and the one who receives a Bachelorette edit. The women make the show worth watching, and fans must swallow their pride and trudge through season after season to find the hidden gems. That’s not to say that there aren’t better options for the lead. Each season viewers are devastated after the producers pass over fan-favorite contestants deserving of the spotlight for a 26-year-old former college football player who swears that he’s ready for marriage. This year’s victim was Rodney Mathews, heartthrob of Paradise and cherished by Bachelor Nation. After an emotional departure from the beach (he was done DIRTY), fans held out hope that Rodney would receive a third chance at love a-la-Bachelor. Of course, this did not happen, and we were subsequently disappointed but not surprised. 

So when night one arrived and we were immediately bombarded with a montage of a half-naked Shallcross showering, I was unimpressed, if not somewhat compelled by his good looks. The first episode is always a cringe-inducing drag, but I was impressed by Shallcross’s seemingly innate ability to make even the most eager of women feel comfortable. He appeared sweet, and more importantly, respectful of the women who will vie for his heart. When he leaned in to ask permission to kiss Charity—bare minimum, but whatever, consent is sexy—I knew I was a goner. Part of me is horrified that I am so smitten with a Bachelor man. But compared to his predecessors, I think Shallcross ranks pretty high. He seems like a genuinely nice guy who truly does want to get to know these women and eventually start a family. Who am I to clown on a man whose biggest fault thus far is goofy disposition? The bar is truly on the floor, and I am probably setting feminism back 50 years for saying it, but I have really enjoyed watching Shallcross these past three weeks. 

I still think production needs to do better when they pick leads, and listen to who fans want to see “find love.” However, when I think of the past few Bachelors (excluding Matt James, who I did like watching)—Cardboard Clayton, Pilot Pete, Creepy Colton, N*ck V*all—I see men more remembered for the drama they caused than anything else. I’ll take my boring bachelor over a loser who can’t play nice, thank you very much. I think Shallcross has the potential to be a Bachelor success story, and I look forward to seeing how his journey plays out.

Sophie Peck

Kenyon '25

Sophie is a sophomore English major from Atlanta. Her interests include reading, watching bad reality tv, and Doc Martens.