By: Emma Stoodley
ABC’s producers of The Bachelorette chose to do something this past season that they have never done before: two bachelorettes at the same time. Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, both in the final three on Clayton Echard’s previous season of The Bachelor, were the test run for this idea. Alongside the host, Jesse Palmer, the girls’ journeys unfolded over the course of seven weeks. I, among millions of other viewers, watched this season with many thoughts to share. I enjoyed parts of it, but also felt as if they were changes that should be made if producers choose to do this again.
Night one started out with a total of 32 men for the two women to share. This breaks down to 16 men per woman, whereas in previous seasons there were 30 men for the lead. Now, I understand that 60 men is a lot cost-wise and can get confusing very quickly, however 16 men did not seem like enough for each girl, especially if there were overlaps on a guy they both liked. Screen time was split between Windey and Recchia, not allowing the viewers to truly see the relationships unfold as much as they would in other seasons.
Sharing the men led to lots of new emotions unfolding, one of them being rejection. When week three came around, the men had to choose sides. During the rose ceremony, three guys that Recchia had tried to give roses to had rejected her and said they were there for Windey. This led to hurt feelings and canceled dates which took up a lot of screen time that could have been used in other ways. In a normal season, the men don’t have to pick which allows the season to move faster and, in my opinion, is better because half the episode isn’t the leads crying over the rejection.
The girls and their guys spent the first three weeks in L.A. before getting on a cruise ship and heading to Europe for the next four weeks. The European dates were exciting and fun to watch, but also filled with an excess amount of tears that took up way too much time. Getting to see more dates was entertaining and I definitely had favorites for Recchia and Windey. They finished up their journey; however, the finale stretched out over two weeks which was irritating, but it’s reality TV so it was kind of expected.
The show ended with two proposals, which I was uncertain about at times due to many of the men claiming they weren’t ready to get engaged. Seeing both Recchia and Windey happy at the end of filming made the season somewhat worthwhile to watch. I would recommend to the producers not to have two bachelorettes again because, although I got to see their friendship strengthen and have someone to navigate their journeys with, the lack of screentime over actual dates and conversations made the season feel long and drawn out. I will still be watching every season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette that ABC produces because I love reality TV. This season was one of my least favorites and I think they should stick to the traditional plot line that they will be doing with Zach Shallcross, one of Recchia’s final men, on the next season on The Bachelor.