It’s official—The Bachelorette is back on our screens Monday nights, and this time around, it’s in a way we’ve never seen before (I know they say that every season, but it’s legit this time). Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are sharing the Bachelorette title and dating the same pool of men. We’ve known this would be the case for the past few months because it was announced at the end of the last Bachelor season. But what that would mean for the show’s established structure remained unclear. I thought maybe the first episode would give some clarity, but after watching the two-hour premiere, I’m even more confused and worried.
The show started off pretty standard, just x 2. There was the overview of how the leads had their hearts broken last season (which was technically just one story because they were dumped at the same time by Bachelor, Clayton Echard…yikes). We then saw them get the news about becoming the next leads together, with an intro package about how excited they were to get the “journey” started as a duo. It brought me comfort knowing Gabby and Rachel actually seem like they’re friends, because the show has been leaning HEAVY into that in the promos. As much as they say they’re excited to do this together, everyone knows that anyone would rather be the Bachelorette on their own. However, it’s nice to see they genuinely enjoy each other’s company and advice. Watching a season of forced friendship between two women dating the same guys would almost be unbearable.
We also saw Rachel and Gabby speak about the importance of being open with each other throughout the experience, since they’re dating the same guys. They spoke about their preferred types, which didn’t give me enough information to make a guess on how this season will play out when it comes to possible double love debacles. But I guess it can be argued that it doesn’t even matter because this is a reality tv show that will want to make sure that happens because, dramaaaa.
After some more general introduction stuff with the women and the men getting ready to head to L.A., we make it to the mansion. There are 32 men this season, which is apparently the most men one season has ever had. So the men come out of the limo, and just like many times before, we have some guys who introduce themselves and say something sweet, while others do elaborate entrances, like the dude who came in shirtless on a horse. I was worried the introductions would be awkward since there are two of them, but it actually wasn’t bad at all (except for the one guy who called Gabby Rachel).
When the first conversations of the night began, Gabby and Rachel were talking with the guys together…super awkward. Seeing that made me really hope they don’t try that again, because how could any meaningful conversation come out of that? Thankfully, they split up and started talking to guys on their own, which is when it started to feel real.
So far, it doesn’t seem like there are any love conflicts of concern, but that’s probably not going to last. Rachel gave her first impression rose to Tino, who was such a sweetheart. Gabby gave her rose to Mario, who is a cutie too.
Something the women brought up was the fact that not many guys were going in for a kiss, which is pretty rare for first nights. My thinking is that the men are just as confused and want to act with caution, since many of them brought up the fact that they have no idea who they want to pursue the most. That’s the thing I’m not a fan of this season. One of the reasons why I love The Bachelorette is because the decision is all in the hands of the lead woman, and not the other way around. This format gives the men power too, and I’d hate to see Rachel and Gabby put back in the same position they were in on Clayton’s season. They already had their hearts broken on national television and I don’t know if I could handle seeing it again.
Rose ceremony time comes along, and I have no idea what to expect…and neither does the literal host of the show? Jesse tells them the show is taking their lead. I know I’ve said in the past that the show can get boring because it always follows the same format, but this is the first time ever we have two Bachelorettes…why does production seem confused? Where are our answers? I’m not asking for spoilers, I just want to know how the technicalities are going down. What will rose ceremonies look like? Are there going to be the same amount of men sent home? Will there be a final six instead of final three? So many questions with not enough answers. But then again, maybe that’s the point to keep people coming back?
In the end, Rachel and Gabby end up pulling aside the twins, Justin and Joey, and the magician, Roby, and sent them home. Cheers to the women for knowing what they want and not stringing anyone along!
My favourite part of night one is the season preview trailer at the end, and this preview stressed me RIGHT out. Like I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of seeing these two women who had their hearts broken last season cry over men who may not pick them on their OWN Bachelorette season. This is The Bachelorette…why am I seeing more women cry than men in the trailer?? That’s for The Bachelor?? In the trailers we see Rachel’s roses being denied by men for Gabby, we have someone telling Gabby they’re there for Rachel…and it’s just not the vibe. Despite all of the tears, it does seem like Rachel and Gabby stay friends through it all, and based on their social media interactions, the ladies are still obsessed with each other. I’m going to choose to find comfort in knowing that if one or both of them don’t find their happy ever after, they have each other.
All that being said, I’ll be here watching EVERY single episode—even if the confusion and impending doom feels like too much to bear.