Why The Bachelorette's Gabby Windey And Rachel Recchia Weren't Worried About Fighting With Each Other While Filming Newest Season

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

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: 

I think going in, knowing a little bit about it from Clayton's season and stuff, I feel like we both had the attitude to put each other first. We know each other the best, our relationship above all is the most important. Plus a man that's worth it isn't going to have us fight over him, nor would we ever compromise our relationship for it.

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:

It's only natural to be attracted to the same guys, here and there. We're human, but it would never be anything that Rachel and I couldn't figure out on our own, especially always putting our relationship in the forefront of everything.

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:

I think Gabby and I just went into it talking to each other and knowing that throughout everything, we just had to have communication. And that really just worked for us throughout the whole thing.

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.

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.