Much of Bachelor Nation got nervous when Jesse Palmer announced on Clayton Echard’s “After the Final Rose” special that The Bachelorette Season 19 would feature both Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia as the leads. The women themselves were wary about having to date the same men, following the traumatic “Rose Ceremony From Hell” they’d already experienced, and fans dreaded a repeat of the experiment gone wrong in Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season. But as Windey and Recchia’s journey is about to begin, it turns out the women went in with a strategy to ensure they wouldn’t be pit against each other.
Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor was a mess from beginning to end. Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey ended up taking the brunt of Echard’s bad decisions, after he convinced them both to stay following Susie Evans’ shocking exit, only to turn around and dump them both at the same time so he could go after Evans. A bond was born from the trauma, and the Season 19 leads told People that ahead of their season, they chose to make each other their first priority. Windey said:
Gabby Windey spoke similarly wise words to Clayton Echard during his season, refusing to be put in a competitive situation with the other women. She has said that her background as an NFL cheerleader helped her deal with the undoubtedly awkward scenario of living in a house with a bunch of women all vying for the same man, but there’s no way she could have foreseen her current circumstances. Windey said they knew being able to empower each other was going to be key to some of the season’s stickier situations. She continued:
Rachel Recchia, like Gabby Windey, seemed on board with putting each other's needs first. She said that like in all good relationships, communication was key, telling People:
Fans have been wondering how production was going to be able to handle having two leads without making it a competitive environment, because it seems like that would require huge changes to the structure of the show. One big change that we know of is that part of Season 19 was filmed on a cruise ship, which former Bachelor Nick Viall has said gives the show more of a Bachelor in Paradise vibe.
Fans don’t have to wait long to see how it all goes down (although we are still waiting on news about when Gabby’s grandpa and Rachel’s dad will appear again). The Bachelorette Season 19 premieres at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 11, on ABC. Check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon.
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