Bachelor Zach Shallcross Jokes He 'Needed a Few Shots of Tequila' as Limos Arrived on Night One

THE BACHELOR - “2701” – Zach’s Journey to find love begins! Thirty hopeful women arrive at the mansion looking for love and to make a lasting first impression with our newest leading man. The pressure is on and despite their best efforts, not all will come up roses on this first evening like no other on “The Bachelor,” premiering MONDAY, JAN. 23 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EST), on ABC.

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Zach Shallcross needed a bit of liquid courage on night one of The Bachelor.

The 26-year-old tech executive tells PEOPLE exclusively that he "needed a few shots of tequila" before meeting 30 women on the ABC dating show. Despite his nerves, he admits the experience was "more fun" than he was anticipating.

"I thought the nerves were going to override," he shares. "But I really had just that clarity of, 'You know what? I'm maybe meeting my wife right now, so let me just be so in the moment and have fun with it. Let's just have a great time.'"

"And so all the limo entrances were great, I remember them, and I'm really good with the names now," he continues, referring to forgetting Bailey's name during After the Final Rose. "I'm really great with the names now. So it's been all around a blast."

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Craig Sjodin/ABC

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The former Bachelorette hopeful — who was vying for Rachel Recchia's heart last season — recalls feeling "terrified" during his first stint on reality television.

"I'd never really been in front of a camera before," he shares. "I had never understood what to do or say. I didn't have that comfortable feeling really."

The television personality admits that being the lead is "so much nicer" but he still wants to help the women "feel more comfortable in front [of] the camera, because I wish I had that when I was on the contestant side."

New Bachelor Zach Shallcross Stars in First Behind-the-Scenes Promo for Season 27
New Bachelor Zach Shallcross Stars in First Behind-the-Scenes Promo for Season 27

Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Zach Shallcross

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Shallcross reveals that "quite a few of the women'' surprised him the first night.

"There wasn't one bad performance at all. At all," he shares. "But I think I felt a little bit that some of the women were a little nervous and holding back, I thought, which is okay because it is nerve-wracking."

"And I don't want to say anyone because everyone took the risk, but I felt like some of them, it's going to take a little bit longer," he adds. "It took me so long to get comfortable and able to even speak my thoughts in front of a camera for so long."

"Honestly, all the women are impressing me. I know that some of them are waiting for the right moment and that's okay," he adds.

RELATED VIDEO: Zach Shallcross Stars in First Bachelor Season 27 Promo

Shallcross also opened up about weeding out women with ulterior motives to finding a true connection as the show progresses.

"I do have to have a keen ear to my heart and my gut of this feels right, this woman is really here for me and we have this connection, or not, or this woman here is for ulterior reasons and I have to act accordingly," he says. The last thing I'd want is someone here that's really here for the clout or the entertainment or this or that, because there's real feelings at stake."

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"You could really fall in love here. I fell in love here and it was so tough," he adds. "But that's the way to do it, there's no written way to get rid of it. It just happens naturally with time."

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The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.