'The Bachelor': Zach Shallcross Defends Kissing Multiple Women on Night One (Exclusive)

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Zach Shallcross wasn't afraid to lock lips on his first night as the Bachelor. ET's Denny Directo spoke with the latest franchise lead following Monday's season 27 premiere of The Bachelor, and the tech executive revealed why he didn't hesitate to kiss multiple women on night one.

"Follow the heart and the lips," he quipped to ET. "For night one, I made sure to not have... any rules or any specific way to do this. I didn't look to anyone else to try to navigate the right way. I just went in fully experiencing it and feeling it, meeting all the women I could. That was my first priority, was just meeting as many women as possible."

"Now the kissing," he continued, "the heart wants what the heart wants and if the connections there, absolutely."

The first lady to land a kiss from Zach was Bailey, whose name he forgot when they met the night he was announced as the Bachelor. To make up for his mistake, Zach planted one on Bailey during her limo entrance.

"Gotta do what you gotta do," he joked.

That's the same philosophy Zach applied to a completely different situation, when, after an awkward kiss, he sent Madison home ahead of the first rose ceremony.

"I wish her nothing but the best, but... you can't force anything and that's kind of how I approached that. I preached honesty from the very beginning... Especially in this experience, when time is so limited, I don't want to waste her time and I don't want to waste anyone else's time," he explained. "I just felt that that was the right thing to do. It was difficult for sure. I mean, no one wants to have that conversation. I didn't want to, but I think it was necessary because she deserved to have that conversation."

Then there's Greer, who landed Zach's first impression rose.

"With such a chaotic night... she was able to make it seem really calm and kind of like take me out of the weirdness," Zach said. "... That moment when I was talking to her, it just felt like I wasn't at night one at the mansion of The Bachelor. It just felt different."

Someone who also stood out was Kaity, an ER nurse who, like Zach, calls Austin, Texas, home.

"I was living in Austin and she's living [there] and how did we not meet before this? It was pretty surreal to have her there and very sweet," he said. "It was a great conversation."

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Zach promised that, despite what people are speculating, his season will have plenty of drama.

"There's definite drama," he assured Bachelor Nation. "... I call it real-life drama. It's stuff that's not thrown in there or unnecessary. It's real emotions, real situations where people have issues and they're confronted."

One such situation comes with Anastasia, whose intentions Zach questions in the season preview.

"You're gonna have to tune in and see, but it gets a little juicy," he teased. "... It's a little bit of fears coming to light."

Then there's Jess, who one woman calls "manipulative" in the trailer. That accusation, Zach revealed, was new to him. "I'm a little surprised at that to be honest," he admitted. "I'm a little shocked."

As Zach prepares for America to watch his journey play out, he confessed that "it's still nerve-wracking" to have the world weigh in.

"It was very emotional, it was very difficult, and it's now being shown to everyone," he explained. "... The whole thing, it's unlike anything you could ever imagine. You are put in really tough situations, and there's little to no sleep at all the entire time, a lot of champagne, a lot of hangovers, but also a lot of risking it all. I know what I want. I'm looking for that so much and feelings are at stake and the women are doing the same. You're just laying your heart out on the line. It's painful at times for sure."

Even with that pain, Zach told ET that he's "very happy" today, stating, "I did find love, but to see what that looks like, you're gonna have to tune in."

The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC. Stay up to date on all the drama with ET's coverage of Zach Shallcross' journey for love.

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