Kaitlyn Bristowe knows what it’s like to share the Bachelorette title with another woman, because she’s been there and done that. Seven years before ABC named Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey co-leads of season 19 of The Bachelorette, Kaitlyn briefly shared the title with Britt Nilsson in 2015, before the men voted for the Canadian to be the lead — and she’s not afraid to share her opinions on the subject.
“I had so many thoughts [prior to the July start of the show],” Kaitlyn shared with US Magazine. “At first I was like, ‘No, please don’t do this again.’ I thought we learned our lesson the first time — nobody liked having two Bachelorettes. The last time it felt like we were pitted against each other.” Um, because they were — the men literally voted for which woman to keep and which one to kick to the curb.
Kaitlyn concluded, “I’m just thinking, like, ‘Why are we doing this again?'”
After Rachel and Gabby awarded their first individual roses, their respective suitors were dubbed “Team Rachel” and “Team Gabby.” Kaitlyn admitted to not being sure how to feel about that, following the episode.
“How do we feel about this? I love both of these women. I don’t have a team. There shouldn’t be teams,” Kaitlyn posted on Instagram during the show. “There should be connections. I’m asking myself the same thing, why are we branding it this way? I want to believe it’s all worth it if they are happy. I just disagree with the journey to get there.”
Kaitlyn added, “PS I still love this franchise. It’s a weird relationship. Always has been. #TheBachelorette.”
Former Bachelorette contestant Blake Horstmann agreed, responding in the comments section, “The wording is just terrible lol why not say ‘Gabbys guys’ ‘Rachel’s squad’ Idk how this was approved lol.”
Rachel and Gabby, however, insist that they don’t have an issue with the terminology, even though I’ve heard both of them refer to the men as “Rachel’s Guys” or “Gabby’s Guys” on the show.
“If people are talking about pitting us against each other, it never came from the inside,” Rachel has said. “Gabby and I never felt like having our boys in two separate parts of the boat pitted us against each other. We always had open communication. We always put each other first . . . So as far as what anyone thinks about it being a competition, it’s really coming from them and not us.”
But there have been tears. During the same episode, Rachel got visibly upset during Gabby’s group date, when the pilot/flight instructor and her guys were invited along to watch Gabby’s men fight in the ring against each other. Rachel felt her guys were paying more attention to each other than they were to her. (Yup, that’s guys in a group all right. Too busy measuring each other’s “man parts” to pay attention to the girls. LOL)
Gabby admitted that having Rachel on her group date only “added” to the situation, noting that fans may be reading into things too much.”I was really excited that Rachel got to be by me, and it’s still pretty early on in the process of navigating, sussing out your feelings for each guy and stuff,” the former cheerleader explained. “I think anyone in Rachel’s position would’ve felt the same way. We’re always on high alert in these really sensitive situations.”
Gabby continued, “[E]veryone has seen both of us [cry], you know — I had a really, really tough week last week. It’s OK to feel those things. I think people are like, ‘Oh, we don’t wanna see them cry and this and that,’ which I appreciate, but love is rough and it’s hard and this is honestly just normal. And how it goes to fall in love is, sometimes, you have some heartbreak. It’s not as deep, I feel like, as everyone is making it out to be. We have low moments, but we also have high ones and we’re entitled to the way that we feel.” Whew! That Gabby is a chatty one!
As much as the women protest that they don’t feel competitive against each other, I do think the men feel that way (when are men not competitive?). The nature of the situation forces the men to look at each Bachelorette side by side, weighing up each of their attributes against the other woman’s. They may claim it’s all about personality and chemistry (or in the case of Hayden Markowitz, “morals”), but in the end they’re going to choose the one who checks off more of the list each man has for his future wife. Whose idea was this anyway?
TELL US- DO YOU THINK HAVING TWO BACHELORETTES HAS TURNED THE SHOW INTO A COMPETITION? DO YOU SEE GABBY AND RACHEL AS COMPETING AGAINST EACH OTHER?
[Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images]