The beginning of every new season of Bachelor franchise shows always start with the host’s voice announcing, “this is the most dramatic season yet,” and viewers are wondering if this may actually be the case for the currently airing season of the Bachelorette, including not one, but two women who are both the bachelorettes. Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, both former finalists on Clayton’s season of the Bachelor, are best friends and began this journey extremely enthusiastic to have the other there by their side, not expressing too much worry about eventually falling in love with the same man. Considering the fact that 32 men walked out of the limos on night one, Gabby and Rachel didn’t seem to encounter many issues in the first two episodes, when they collectively gave roses to the men they wanted to keep, rather than handing out individual roses that were specifically from one of them. However, episode three is where problems began to arise on the “two bachelorettes” front.
The first two episodes contained many short clips of the men bantering about which woman they wanted to “choose” and who they felt they had a stronger connection with, as viewers saw some contestants such as Logan play the field and flirt with both women in order to secure a rose. By the time the rose ceremony rolled around in the third episode of this season, it seemed as if the power had been handed back to the men, with three different men rejecting Rachel’s roses, sharing that they only had feelings for Gabby and only wanted to stay if it was for her. Rachel disappointingly told Gabby “This was supposed to be us taking the power back. We literally handed it right back to all of them by doing this,” with Rachel ultimately having one less man in her contestant pool than Gabby.
The possible silver lining is that at least some of these men are not simply staying on the show for social media clout, or in Bachelor terms, “here for the wrong reasons,” considering they turned down the chance to stay on the reality TV show because they knew their connections with Rachel were not genuine. However, the leading women on the Bachelorette should never feel like they must seek validation from these men or compete with one another for the attention of certain contestants, which is ultimately what this two bachelorette format is setting up. While this season is clearly a step up from Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Bachelorette season, in which two women began on night one and the men had to choose which one they preferred to be the Bachelorette for the remainder of the season, it is difficult to predict how much power the men will yield as this season continues.
Personally, I think that this format of the Bachelorette is solid in theory, since Gabby and Rachel each have a built-in best friend going through the same emotional struggles as they are facing, imparting advice, insight, or just a shoulder to cry on that host Jesse Palmer could not adequately provide. However, I desperately hope that by the final episodes, Gabby and Rachel each have a small group of men that they are extremely enthusiastic about, who are equally enthusiastic about them and only them.