The Bachelorette is upping the emotional stakes in season 19. There’s not just one woman looking to find love, there are two. Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are headlining The Bachelorette season 19 together from start to finish, a first for the show. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with host Jesse Palmer about major changes to the show because of the double Bachelorette season.
“It’s unprecedented. This is history, as you mentioned. We got two Bachelorettes going the entire course of the season side by side, so we’re going to see two love stories but two completely different journeys,” Jesse told HollywoodLife at ABC’s summer press junket. “We did not know how this was going to work in the beginning because we simply have never done it before. Gabby and Rachel deserve a ton of credit. They make a lot of very difficult decisions. They have a lot of very tough conversations, they go off-script, they make their own rules, they sort of drive the show into uncharted waters, and we all sort of go along and ride the lightning, and we go along for the ride.
He added, “Magically, this format somehow worked. A lot of it is going to be things that people have never seen before. I’m really excited because I think Bachelor Nation is going to be pretty amazed at how this whole thing unfolds.”
When ABC announced that there would be two Bachelorettes in season 19, many fans were worried that Gabby and Rachel would end up competing against each other for love. Jesse stressed that will not be the case whatsoever.
“A huge theme of this season, maybe the biggest thing, is the two friends supporting each other,” Jesse said. “Again, you saw that unwavering support during the double break up in Iceland with Clayton [Echard]. I think that was a big reason why a lot of people, and they have so many fans at home, that want to see them given this opportunity. Obviously, nobody knew that they’d be going on this journey together. But because it’s a new format and because it is uncharted water, Gabby and Rachel end up getting put in situations that they never could have anticipated. They need to rely on that friendship and their connection and their relationship together to help survive all this. That is a huge theme of this season. They’re not competing with each other for the men, but they’re supporting each other through their journeys.”
Juggling two Bachelorettes was a “wild” scenario for the host, but it helped that he already knew Rachel and Gabby personally. “I sort of had this connection with them, having been there with them during Clayton’s season. I was at the Opera House in Iceland during the devastating double break-up and the rose ceremony from hell, and it was just gut-wrenching. I’ve said this before [about] how deserving both women are at having this opportunity to find love. And so just being there for them, and really hoping and trying to help guide them, to find their person, for me was a different hat I felt I wore this time around,” Jesse said.
Now that The Bachelorette has broken ground with two Bachelorettes, could this open the door for two Bachelors in the future? “I think it’s definitely possible,” Jesse told HollywoodLife. “This franchise has been on the air so long, and it’s 20 years now, so I think they’ve always done such a good job of trying to reinvent themselves in different ways and try new things. I absolutely think two Bachelors in the future is a possibility and, and I can’t wait to see what comes after this. I just am so excited for Bachelor Nation to see something new, fresh, different, and to get to follow two of their favorites, Gabby and Rachel, on their journeys. It’s just going to be very, very unique and very exciting.” The Bachelorette season 19 airs Mondays on ABC.