Were Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey treated unfairly during the final episodes of The Bachelor this season? Following Part 1 of the two-part finale, past Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants took to Twitter to bash Bachelor Clayton Echard. Many fans felt Rachel and Gabby were treated like consolation prizes – and were never given a fair shot at the final rose.
The biggest controversy of the season? The way Clayton treated Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. After spending time together in the Fantasy Suites, Clayton told each woman that he loved her. But he also said that he loved Susie Evans, who had already left, a little bit more.
Gabby and Rachel were understandably devastated. Clayton’s behavior in the first part of the finale was confusing. Was he aware of how unfairly he treated Rachel and Gabby, or was he too unsure of his emotions to notice the train wreck playing out before him?
Fans of the Bachelor have been very divided about Clayton’s controversial season, with some critics calling him the “Worst Bachelor Ever.”
WARNING: MAJOR ‘BACHELOR’ FINALE SPOILERS BELOW
Viewers claimed that Susie Evans was gaslit, Gabby and Rachel were treated badly, and that he was much crueler than the previous “worst Bachelor” Juan Pablo Galavis.
Before breaking the news to the two finalists that he was in love with all three of them, Clayton Echard told host Jesse Palmer that, “If they were to stick it out after hearing all that, that’s obviously a testament to the love that we have.”
What Clayton didn’t expect, however, was that Rachel and Gabby would feel like consolation prizes behind Susie Evans. He later said he loved her more than Rachel and Gabby. But Susie already self-eliminated.
Distraught, Rachel and Gabby left to get some space away from Clayton. Strangely, they were left in a haunting building made entirely of blue glass windows. Their cries echoed and resonated as Clayton listened on, with Gabby screaming “that’s not fair!” to a producer.
Speaking with Gabby Windey first, he explained that he thought it was OK to love three women because “ultimately whoever I pick I love the most.”
“Once I make that decision, all the other love, it was real, but it ends there,” he continued. “It didn’t mean I didn’t mean it, I just meant I had a stronger love with somebody else.”
Either Clayton has a very loose definition of love, or he didn’t consider how the women would react to news that their connections with him were not as strong as they thought. Many viewers felt he should have kept some (or all) of this to himself.
Turning down his initial offer for a rose to continue on in the competition, Gabby told Clayton that, “Saying the woman you walk out with is the woman you love the most, like, wrong f–king answer,” adding that she was “not in the business of competing with anyone for love.”
On one hand, all the contestants should understand that it’s a reality show and they are, in fact, competing for a man’s love. On the other hand, the way the emotions were expressed was extremely hurtful to Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. It was an extreme case of TMI.
Though both women went on to accept his rose and meet his parents, it was his family who was next in line to criticize the Bachelor.
“You screwed the pooch in my opinion,” Clayton’s dad told him during the episode.
His mom Kelly also expressed doubt, mentioning that she was worried about talking to Gabby and Rachel knowing that he preferred Susie Evans.
Despite both women staying and having bizarrely pleasant conversations with Clayton’s parents, Clayton revealed that he’s still hung up on Susie. In a shocking twist, Jesse Palmer then told him that Susie has yet to leave Iceland, if he still wants to talk with her.
If fans are angry about the way Clayton played with Gabby and Rachel’s emotions before, wait until he talks to Susie Evans again in Part 2 of the finale!
As one Bachelor fan put it on Twitter, “at least today is finally the end of the worst bachelor season ever.”