The Bachelorette Finale Spoilers: 3 Controversies Likely To Take Focus During Two-Parter, Including Erich Schwer's Blackface Apology

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

The Bachelorette fans were caught off-guard on September 6, when host Jesse Palmer interrupted the last few minutes of our Fantasy Suite viewing to warn viewers about the “crazy controversy” that’s to come in the next two weeks. Bachelor Nation fans are used to the show’s hyperbolic promises, so I don’t imagine I was the only one rolling my eyes when Palmer said Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia’s ending would be “the most shocking finale of all time.” 

It turns out, however, that there’s quite a bit to back up the host’s claims, so let’s take a look at three issues that are likely to be discussed in The Bachelorette Season 19 finale. 

Erich Schwer Apologizes After Blackface Photo Surfaces 

After surprising eliminations of both Johnny DePhillipo and Jason Alabaster during Fantasy Suites, Erich Schwer was Gabby Windey’s last man standing. If we thought these two would just sail stress-free into the finale, we were definitely wrong. Bachelor Nation previously rushed to support Schwer after the death of his father, but the tone changed when photos from his high school yearbook resurfaced. Schwer was pictured in blackface, dressed up as Jimi Hendrix. The acquisitions analyst has since issued an apology on Instagram

I wholeheartedly apologize for the insensitive photo of me in Blackface from my high school yearbook that has been circulating. What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior. I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.

The franchise has dealt with similar situations in the past, including photos of Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party during Matt James’ season of The Bachelor and Garrett Yrigoyen’s controversial social media activity that was addressed during Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette. Just as in those instances, Erich Schwer will likely be asked about this at some point in the next two episodes. 

Now we’re getting into some real spoiler territory, so if you don’t want to know which of Rachel Recchia’s final three makes it to the end, turn around now! 

Rachel Recchia Has Reportedly Already Split From Her Fiancé 

It was reported earlier this season that from her final three of Aven Jones, Tino Franco, and Zach Shallcross, Rachel Recchia got engaged to Franco as her First Impression Rose-winner. However, four months have passed since filming for Season 19 wrapped in May, and things are rumored to have gone downhill since then. Reality Steve reported in his September 7 blog: 

Rachel broke up with Tino and they are no longer engaged. Again, I know you’ll have questions, but outside of the ‘something happened and they stopped talking post-engagement,’ I don’t know any more exact details. But they’re broken up, and there won’t be any sort of reconciliation at the [After the Final Rose] from everything I’ve heard. It’s over.

We’ll have to wait to get confirmation and a full explanation from Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco about their relationship status, but if this is true, Jesse Palmer will definitely give them the floor to hash out what happened.  

Why Did Zach Shallcross Accuse Rachel Recchia Of Being Inauthentic? 

When Jesse Palmer interrupted the last few minutes of the last episode, viewers thought they’d been about to witness the conversation between Rachel Recchia and Zach Shallcross about their Fantasy Suite date. Shallcross had told Jesse Palmer that the bachelorette completely changed once the cameras weren’t around, called her inauthentic and said she was fixated on his age, even though he’s only a few months younger.

These are not accusations to be taken lightly — especially when being made against the show’s lead. The two-part finale will hopefully give us not only the rest of their conversation, but further details about what threw Zach Shallcross for such a loop and a chance for Rachel Recchia to defend herself.

Bachelor Nation fans may have been wary of believing Jesse Palmer’s claims that Season 19 will be “the most emotional finale in Bachelorette history,” but if time is made to address all of these issues, The Bachelorette might actually have more than enough drama to fill its four-hour finale. Part 1 is set for 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 13 on ABC, with Part 2 following at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 20. Check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what premieres are coming up soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

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.