Why The Bachelor Runner-Up Admitting She Knew She Was About To Get Dumped Was My Favorite Part Of Zach Shallcross’ Finale

Zach Shallcross on The Bachelor.
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the Season 27 finale of The Bachelor, which aired March 27. Proceed with caution if you’re not caught up!

Zach Shallcross has found love! The Bachelor’s Season 27 lead started with 30 women, and the weeks that followed were full of dad jokes, COVID, red flags and shower scenes — lots and lots of shower scenes. The moment that Shallcross got down on one knee to propose to Kaity Biggar was heartwarming to be sure, but it was not the best part of the three-hour finale, in my opinion. That came a couple of segments before, when Gabi Elnicki arrived to meet with the Bachelor and made a comment that revealed she already knew she was about to be eliminated

Longtime fans of The Bachelor know how the finale works: The runner-up meets with the lead first and gets sent home, and then the final contestant arrives for what everyone hopes is a proposal and final rose delivery. Therefore, the reveal of the “winner” actually comes when we see the second-place finisher arrive at the proposal/dumping ground. Monday’s finale was no different, as a van pulled up, with the camera trained on the ground to show just Gabi Elnicki’s feet and the bottom of her yellow dress as she stepped out of the van … and into mud. The contestant cursed, before turning to someone off-camera and saying: 

That’s a really muddy spot. Y’all shouldn’t pull in right there. When it actually matters, when Kaity arrives, don’t do that to her.

My jaw hit the ground when Gabi Elnicki said this. The senior account executive from Vermont had just admitted that she knew she was the first to arrive, and therefore knew Zach Shallcross was about to break up with her! She said out loud that Kaity Biggar would be pulling in afterward to get engaged, referring to Biggar's arrival as “when it actually matters.” My heart was broken! Others in Bachelor Nation were also shocked by Elnicki’s admission, with one fan tweeting

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Gabi Elnicki knowing what she was walking into just made what had already been a rough end to her journey even harder to stomach. One fan tweeted that was “the most heartbreaking line ever said on this show,” while another acknowledged that her comment made the breakup that much harder to watch: 

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It was more than the pure shock value that made this moment stick with me, though. A lesser woman might have relished the thought of Kaity Biggar arriving to her proposal, only to have her white dress sullied in the mud. Not Gabi Elnicki, though. She recognized the life-changing moment that her castmate was about to experience, and she asked the producers to do better for Biggar’s sake. I freaking loved that. 

Gabi Elnicki and Zach Shallcross on The Bachelor.

(Image credit: ABC)

The rest of Gabi Elnicki’s segment was not as fun to watch. She had to talk about her Fantasy Suite date to Jesse Palmer and then to Zach Shallcross, where she revealed that she didn’t find out that the Bachelor had told EVERYONE about their intimate overnight date until the episode aired last week. Pretty icky all around, and I could have done with a little more of a segue between that and the proposal to give myself time to rebuild my goodwill toward Shallcross.

With that, however, Zach Shallcross’ journey is over, and congratulations are in order for him and Kaity Biggar — even if Gabi Elnicki was the star of the night for me. While we wait for Charity Lawson’s journey as The Bachelorette to begin (at 9 p.m. ET June 26 on ABC), check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what’s premiering 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.