As Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor nears the end, there’s been so much drama surrounding how his journey ends — not to mention the villainous Shanae Ankney and the backlash that made Echard regret becoming the bachelor — that there’s hardly been time to talk about what really matters: who will lead Season 19 of The Bachelorette? Season 26 of The Bachelor featured some lovely women who would be great options for a second chance at love on their own season. But for reasons that will be proved below, I think Gabby Windey is the clear choice.
This is assuming, of course, that Gabby Windey doesn’t end up engaged to Clayton Echard after next week’s finale. Things were kind of left up in the air after his fantasy suite episode, which saw Susie Evans being eliminated after Echard admitted to being in love with all of his final three and being intimate with both Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia.
While any of the final three would be great candidates to lead The Bachelorette in Season 19 — not to mention some who were eliminated earlier in the season, including Teddi Wright and Serene Russell — Gabby Windey brought the self-confidence and humor that Bachelor Nation deserves after the tough season of The Bachelor that we’ve all witnessed.
Why do I get the vibe that Gabby does not like Clayton. She’s my favorite though ! #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/ulybtNUV3lMarch 9, 2022
Gabby Windey wasn't worried about being on camera without makeup or making herself look a little goofy. Especially with so much heavy drama happening throughout Season 26, it was a breath of fresh air anytime we got to see the women letting loose.
It was always Gabby #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/jOnUdkxbJZMarch 9, 2022
Imagine a Bachelorette whose face showed this kind of disgust every time one of her suitors started to act a bit shady. Gabby Windey said her being a professional cheerleader helped her navigate the experience of living in a house full of women, but there were so many times that this face was exactly what viewers at home were feeling too:
Posting my favorite faces of the season tonight. Starting with our face queen: Gabby! 👸🏻🥇🌹 #Bachelor #BachelorABC #TheBachelor #TheBachelorABC pic.twitter.com/4jz6BKOiDEMarch 8, 2022
Gabby Windey’s take on the Fantasy Suite dates showed that she has the emotional maturity to go through this process. Windey seemed to be fine with Clayton Echard exploring all of his options because if he picked her, she wanted him to be confident in that decision. While Susie Evans said it was a deal-breaker if Echard fell in love with and/or had sex with the other women, Windey was the exact opposite:
Me begging @BachelorABC for Gabby to be the Bachelorette: #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/azhg9nLslGMarch 9, 2022
As if her pre-Fantasy Suite attitude wasn’t enough, walking back into the hotel to talk with Rachel Recchia and Susie Evans the next morning had fans screaming, as she walked in with messy hair and immediately told the other women how cute they looked. Susie couldn’t even help herself and eventually commented that Gabby Wendy had “bed head.”
Not Gabby coming home with "I just had sex" hair 🤣 #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/1jmBlXZwkdMarch 9, 2022
Forget the rose ceremony debacle. The Bachelor had already done Gabby Windey dirty when they dropped her off in the middle of the Icelandic tundra for her overnight date with Clayton Echard. Fans loved that even in those freezing conditions, Windey’s humor showed through:
Gosh I love Gabby more every week #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/vdkQCfkrYGMarch 9, 2022
Also consider this: If Gabby were The Bachelorette, we might get another appearance from her grandpa, who was definitely one of the highlights of Season 26’s Hometown Dates. We already miss him calling his granddaughter a “lovable dingbat”:
This is fine and all but WHERE IS GABBY’S GRANDPA? #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/2vNVsqL6aUMarch 8, 2022
If this final tweet doesn’t convince you that Gabby Windey has the confidence and sense of humor to lead her own season, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Windey is The Bachelorette that fans need and deserve for Season 19.
She is the moment #thebachelor #womentellall pic.twitter.com/Pe0X7H5QVmMarch 8, 2022
Of course, there’s still the chance that Gabby Windey ends up with Clayton Echard. Following Susie Evans’ elimination during Fantasy Suite Dates, it was down to the NFL cheerleader and Rachel Recchia. We won't have to wait long to find out what happens with Echard, and hopefully The Bachelorette announcement is coming soon as well. The two-night Season 26 finale of The Bachelor all starts Monday, March 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. With this season winding down, check out the 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are premiering soon.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.