Everything the Bachelor Leads Have Said About Kissing Night 1
John Lamparski/WireImage; Disney/John Fleenor

To kiss or not to kiss? That is the question several former stars of The Bachelor have asked themselves heading into the first night of their season.

“Game of Roses” podcast hosts Chad Kultgen and Lizzy Pace calculated in January 2022 that contestants who get a kiss from the show’s leading man Night 1 have a 95% of earning a rose and making it to the second week, per Business Insider. “Of the 20 Night One kissers featured in the edits, only one has been eliminated on Night One,” they wrote at the time.

Season 24 star Peter Weber admitted in January 2020 that he kissed 12 contestants during his first night at Bachelor Mansion. “I don’t know why people think it’s weird. I was dating them and I’m someone [and] I feel it, I don’t hold back. There was a lot of instant chemistry and connections,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I’ve seen people say, like, it’s weird [and] I’m like, ‘Really? OK.’ I was dating them, you know?”

Others, such as Ben Higgins, didn’t want to rush things physically with their contestants. “I really wanted to concentrate on getting to know these women outside of the physical aspect of it,” he told E! News in December 2015.

bachelor-where-are-they-now

Related: Former ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Leads: Where Are They Now?

While some roses stand the test of time, others wilt before the Neil Lane engagement ring can be resized. The Bachelor premiered on ABC in March 2002 with Alex Michel dubbed the world’s most eligible Bachelor. More than 20 women competed for his heart and one of the most successful reality TV franchises was born. […]

Scroll down for everything the men of The Bachelor have said about kissing Night 1:

Ben Higgins

Ben told The Associated Press in January 2016 that it was “important” for him to “set standards night one,” and that included not kissing anyone right away. “I knew at the end of the night I was going to have to say goodbye to seven women and I wanted to make sure that I was getting the most out of our time together,” he explained. “The physical part, I thought, could wait. It comes, I’m not going to say it doesn’t. It is part of a relationship, right? It is important in a relationship, but on night one, it was important for me to take advantage of that time.”

Everything 'The Bachelor' Leads Have Said About Kissing Contestants on the 1st Night
Paul Hebert via Getty Images

Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Although Arie did share a kiss on his first night as the Bachelor, it was not a part of his game plan. “That first night I told myself I’m not going to kiss anybody, you know, and then it happened,” he told E! News in December 2017.

Peter Weber

Peter questioned his status as the Bachelor with the most Night 1 kisses during an exclusive interview on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “I don’t know if I actually am the Bachelor that did that!” he shared in April 2021, noting he thinks the show was edited to feature all of his makeouts.

He continued: “Everyone kisses a lot of people, but I probably just played ball a little bit too much with the producers. You don’t see this on camera, like, so many times, I was being given this [signal] the entire time, like, they wanted that and hey, if I was feeling it with the girl, I was gonna go in for it.”

Peter went on to reveal that producers will occasionally signal Bachelor leads to kiss a contestant. “Producers, if they think it’s a good time to kiss, they’ll, like, tap their fingers or they have their phone that says, ‘Kiss,’” he told Us.

Everything the Bachelor Leads Have Said About Kissing Night 1
ABC

Zach Shallcross

Season 27 star Zach exclusively told Us that he “didn’t have any rules” for himself heading into Night 1. “I think that would be, you know, stopping myself from just fully taking in and meeting all the women,” he shared in January 2023. “I guess one rule was I wanted to meet and speak with all the women I can [with] whatever time allowed and can make work. That was most important to me. Regards to the kissing, sometimes you just had that connection and it’s like, ‘Who am I to deny that?’ If it feels right, if it’s forced, definitely not. But if it’s natural and it’s mutual, then hell, ‘Why not?’”

Former Bachelor and Bachelorette Winners: Where Are They Now?

Related: Former ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Winners: Where Are They Now?

Not every couple survives the reality TV curse, especially in Bachelor Nation. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the franchise is one of the most popular reality shows on TV. When The Bachelor first debuted in 2005, not even then-host Chris Harrison would have predicted that it would result in six different spinoffs: The […]

Joey Graziadei

“I didn’t have any expectations. I didn’t try to come in with a number or, again, put too much pressure on it,” Joey exclusively told Us in January 2024. “I’m a big ‘going off the feeling’ type of person, and I just kind of had moments of if it felt like it made sense or if it didn’t, and I’ve spoken up before that.”

For Joey, a “big part of creating intimacy and figuring out if there’s a connection with someone,” he explained. “So it was always trying to be respectful and understanding. I never wanted to be something that was a big deal with the other women. It’s probably one of the weirdest parts of this that it’s just accepted to be doing that, but it’s a big part of a relationship in general, and I did have multiple relationships throughout the show, so I handled it the best way I could.”