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3 Ways The Bachelorette Totally Botched Gabby And Rachel’s Season Finale, And 1 Twist That Was Perfect

Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey on The Bachelorette.
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for The Bachelorette Season 19 finale, Part 2.

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia’s journeys on The Bachelorette have come to an end, and it truly was an emotional affair. With Season 19’s eliminations completed by the end of Part 1 of the finale, all that was left to do was get to the proposals, right? Not so fast. Plenty of drama remained to be seen, particularly after the cameras stopped rolling. But I felt like the reality show made a few pretty big missteps as they closed this chapter, as well as with one twist that hit just right. Let’s take a look at three times the show botched the ending, and one time they did it perfectly in Part 2 of the finale. 

Botched: How Jesse Palmer Introduced The Post-Proposal Scandals 

There are plenty of Bachelor Nation fans like me who absorb every podcast and morsel of gossip that’s possible to fit into a day. But there are probably even more viewers who avoid spoilers at all costs and depend on the show to tell them the full story. Jesse Palmer’s opening the show by making specific reference to events that happened post-filming didn’t make any sense to fans who only watch the show. The host said: 

Maybe tonight Tino can convince Rachel that his indiscretions were just a momentary lapse of judgment. And maybe Erich can explain away those damning text messages sent to his girlfriend just a few days before stepping out of the limo on Night 1.

You can't just reference things that haven't happened on the show! Many fans went to Twitter to ask if they’d missed something, or if Jesse Palmer had just delivered a huge spoiler before the episode had even started. Unfortunately, it was the latter. 

Botched: Gabby Windey’s Engagement Ring Was Shown Before Her Proposal 

After Rachel Recchia confirmed the no-longer-surprising revelation that Tino Franco had cheated on her after filming ended, the episode cut to a segment that showed her getting advice from fellow lead Gabby Windey. At this point in the finale, the audience still wasn’t sure if Erich Schwer was going to be ready to propose to Windey, after the events of the previous episode. But viewers didn’t even have to look closely to peep the big sparkler on the ICU nurse’s left hand, thus spoiling her portion of the finale. I’d say this was a pretty bit oops: 

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I don’t like that there was never any closure given to the Part 1 cliffhanger, and we all found out about the engagement as Rachel Recchia was crying about her own situation. I felt like it completely deflated Gabby Windey’s big moment. 

Botched: Erich Schwer’s Blackface Scandal Was Not Addressed 

One thing I expected to see way more of — or at least addressed in some way — was Erich Schwer’s blackface scandal. During filming, a yearbook photo from 10 years ago surfaced of Schwer in blackface dressed as Jimi Hendrix. He issued an apology on social media, but this was a serious topic, and I don't understand why it wasn't discussed on the show. There’s even precedent for it, as Rachael Kirkconnell addressed her photos from a plantation-themed party during Matt James’ Bachelor finale, and Garrett Yrigoyen’s controversial social media activity took some of the focus during Becca Kufrin’s season finale.

The show’s choice to ignore this situation completely — while giving so much time to Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco’s fight over him kissing another woman, as well as Erich Schwer’s texts sent to the girlfriend he had when he went on The Bachelorette — was definitely not a good look, in my opinion. 

Perfect: Aven Jones Returned To Rescue Rachel Recchia 

It wasn’t all bad, though. In a show that tends to overpromise and underdeliver, I didn’t see this twist coming. After Rachel Recchia said she was officially done with Tino Franco, Jesse Palmer said there was someone who insisted on seeing her, and out came her runner-up, Aven Jones. If this was teased in the promos or spoiled on a gossip site, I didn’t see it, and I love that Palmer didn’t tip his hand so much that we were able to guess that Jones was waiting in the wings. Also, in a season that’s been so brutal for Recchia, it was refreshing to see someone swoop in and save her from the drama. 

So that’s a wrap on The Bachelorette Season 19! If you’re ready for more reality dating drama, you don’t have to wait long for more. Bachelor in Paradise Season 8 kicks off on Tuesday, September 27, on ABC, and some of Gabby and Rachel’s guys will be making waves on the beach! Check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.