Two is better than one — isn’t it? Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia were both shocked and excited when they were named joint leads for season 19 of The Bachelorette.
“I am so happy for her. I truly am!” the pilot, who competed for Clayton Echard‘s heart on season 26 of The Bachelor alongside Gabby, said shortly after the news was announced in March 2022. “It’s crazy. This is insane and I’m excited to do this journey with you.”
The registered nurse added: “I’m a girl’s girl through and through, so having a friend by my side is the best thing I could ask for.”
Gabby and Rachel are the first leads to share a full season of suitors in the history of the ABC dating franchise, which means the pair had to “make up their own rules” as they embarked on a journey to find their respective soulmates. “When it was announced that they were gonna be the Bachelorettes back at After the Final Rose, [I thought], ‘Never done this before. How are they gonna be dating the guys? Who’s going on dates? How do they navigate this? This is all completely unprecedented,’” host Jesse Palmer told Us Weekly exclusively in July 2022.
“Gabby and Rachel deserve a ton of credit because they really took control of this thing,” he added. “They made up their own rules along the way, took charge.”
Though the former Bachelor admitted that the twosome “faced with a lot of very difficult circumstances and situations” and had “a lot of very difficult conversations,” he praised them for leaning on one another throughout the process.
“At the end of the day, I think it was their friendship and their support of each other that really helped them through it all — magically, somehow,” Palmer said. “And I don’t know how [but] this whole thing just worked and I cannot wait for Bachelor Nation to see how it all unfolds because it’ll be like unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”
However, not every member of Bachelor Nation was as optimistic about the prospect of Gabby and Rachel having to share the spotlight. “I want to be supportive because it’s a franchise that literally put me here right now, so I always feel a bit of support, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed that it’s two women,” Andi Dorfman told Entertainment Tonight in June 2022 about her feelings on the upcoming season. “I’d like to see two men go at it. I don’t know. It gives me a little sexist vibe there that I don’t really love.”
She continued: “I don’t really love the fact that two women have to share the screen. I think we’ve progressed a little further. It’s 2022. … I want each girl to have it for themselves. It is such an incredible thing.”
Keep scrolling to see how other members of Bachelor Nation feel about Gabby and Rachel being joint Bachelorettes: