We did it. We made it to night one of the live Bachelorette finale for Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia’s season.
You know that scene in Cool Runnings when the Jamaican bobsled team carries their sled across the finish line? That’s what watching this season of The Bachelorette has been like.
We are all losers in the end, but at least we never gave up.
Jesse is living for this live Bachelorette finale format
No one is happier to spend their Tuesday night in front of a live audience televising the disastrous love lives of two women than our well-coifed host, Jesse.
The man was thrilled.
Less thrilled were Gabby and Rachel who entered the studio for the live Bachelorette finale with new hair extensions and nervous faces.
In fact, Rachel looked like she was going to throw up.
This is excellent news (for us).
Zach is still ruining that rose ceremony
Okay, let’s jump right into it the finale footage.
Last week, right before Jesse rudely interrupted the first good episode of the season, Zach stopped the rose ceremony to ask Rachel if they could talk.
We finally got to see that conversation this week.
Listen, they wanted us to think this was going to be groundbreaking news, but it just wasn’t.
Rachel walked Zach past a huffy puffy Tino to a private corner to hear what he had to say. This is it, this is the moment when this episode gets controversial, right?
Wrong. Zach unceremoniously quit the show.
Reading through the lines of their conversation, Zach thought they were going to get down in the fantasy suite but instead Rachel spent the whole night slowly dumping him. He kept saying that she was, “one way on camera and another way in private.” But Rachel’s face was like, “I was pretending on camera, you dipshit. Let me dump you at the rose ceremony like I planned.”
So once again a man got to control his exit on this season of The Bachelorette. Rachel can’t catch a break.
After Zach left in the SUV of shame, the rose ceremony carried with Aven and Tino receiving their roses and then we cut back to the live studio.
Someone explain to me why we couldn’t have seen that last week. Use simple words.
Back in the studio, Rachel and Zach spoke again for the first time since he left Mexico. They both apologized to one another for whatever harm they caused and wished each other nothing but the best.
I’m starting to think that all break-up conversations should happen months later and moments after watching it replay in front of a live audience.
Time to meet the parents
After another brief glimpse of Rachel looking nauseated in the studio, it was time for Aven to meet Rachel’s family.
Everyone remembers Rachel’s dad, Big Tony, from his debut on Clay’in’s season but it turns out that he wasn’t the one Aven needed to be worried about. In reality, Big Tony and mom Mary Anne are putty in Rachel’s hands.
But watch out for her two BFFs.
When her two friends asked Aven if he was ready to be engaged his perfect smile faltered for the first time.
Yes, he’s ready in a general sense to get engaged, but in the very real sense of being engaged in one week to Rachel, he’s not so sure.
Rachel’s besties ran that breaking news to her faster than Lady Whistledown.
Rachel was shocked to hear that Aven is not ready to propose to her even though they’ve never said “I love you” and she’s currently dating another man she likes more.
Supposedly she and Aven talked about an engagement at length during their overnight date and he had said that he was ready. She kept saying that Aven is perfect for her on paper, but she was not leaving this journey with a boyfriend. She wants the engagement.
That seems like a weird priority, but okay.
She walked Aven out in her little jumper that looked like a prison uniform and asked him WTF he was talking about.
Aven was like, “Whoa whoa, I’m crazy about you, you’re it for me, but engagements are a big deal. We should be actually in love before we get engaged, right?”
You’d think Neil Lane was ripping the free diamond out of Rachel’s bare hands in slow motion.
It was like Smeagol with the one ring.
Aven tried to salvage the conversation before he left the date, but if we know one thing about Rachel it’s that she’s going to panic cycle.
Erich meets Gabby’s family
In a quick switch to an actual love story (speaking that into existence), Gabby introduced Erich to her family and it went about as perfectly as you can imagine.
Bachelor favorite Grandpa John teared up because he loves Gabby so much and thinks Erich is a douchebag but fine. A ringing endorsement if I’ve ever heard one.
Erich told everyone who would listen that even though she’s kind of immature and picks at his insecurities, he was obsessed with her.
Her dad and stepmom were supportive.
You know, good stuff all around.
For me, though, the best part of this hometown was Gabby’s conversation with her aunt.
Finally, after a season of trigger events, the damn broke on all of Gabby’s fears of being unlovable. I’m so glad she was finally able to open up to someone who knows her history and loves her unconditionally.
Gabby’s aunt was able to validate her in a way that was very healing. She said that what happened to Gabby as a child from her mother was shitty, but that if she truly loves Erich she has to be vulnerable with him and trust him with her pain.
Come on Gabby, you can do it!
Tino meets big Tony
Rachel was feeling less than confident going into her next family introduction because, you know, Tino’s parents hated her. But she didn’t need to worry because Tino and shocking his lack of personality did…fine?
I mean, at one point her mom asked him if he and Rachel have anything in common and he said, “yeah.”
Full stop. Just “yeah.”
He told big Tony that he’s willing to travel the world with Rachel for her career and that he’s going to make his daughter happy forever.
If Rachel is looking for a man who is lacking in any discernable personality but who will propose in a week, we found him.
Aven gets one last shot
Typically Tino and Aven would get one final date with Rachel to be romantic and exchange those weird parting gifts of photos production took but Rachel’s anxiety was never going to let that happen.
Instead, she showed up at Aven’s hotel room to rehash his engagement bombshell.
Essentially Rachel felt blindsided by Aven’s confession that he’s not ready to get engaged. She was especially hurt that he told her friends and family the truth before telling her.
Aven tried to explain that he was crazy about her. He wanted to leave the season together, but he wanted to be fully in love before he commits to marriage.
Wrong show, Aven.
Through a lot of sobbing and tears, Rachel told him that she is not willing to sacrifice her desire to be engaged and she sent him home while both of their hearts broke.
The chokehold Neil Lane has on this girl is wild.
Back to the live studio
Suddenly we were back in the studio where a gleeful Jesse kept asking Rachel to tell him how sad she was watching that back.
How sad are you? No really, show us your pain. Give us tears.
Unfortunately for him, Rachel held back her tears for the first time all season and ended up having a cordial conversation with Aven when he came out.
Aven apologized for not speaking to her directly once he realized that he wasn’t ready for an engagement and that was pretty much it.
So much for the most controversial finale of all time.
Erich messes everything up
The last portion of the finale went to Erich and Gabby’s final date which should have been a slam dunk. He’s the last one there, they love each other, let’s wrap this up and get engaged tomorrow, people!
One moment they were cuddling and talking about what comes after all of this. The next, Gabby was freaking out because he said he didn’t want to rush them.
Her internal antenna went straight up.
Don’t rush them? Does that mean he didn’t want to get engaged? Has no one ever heard of the entire premise of this show before?
The episode ended with Gabby sobbing because she doesn’t want to force Erich to make a decision he’s not ready for, but she wants him to be ready for an engagement.
She was crying, “I’m so sick of this” over and over as the episode faded out.
Same girl, same.
Part two of the live Bachelorette finale will air next Tuesday, September 20th.
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.