Host of The Bachelorette Jesse Palmer said he is “shocked” by the events of season 19, the first time the Bachelor franchise has featured two leads for the entire season, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. Both contestants on season 26 of The Bachelor, Gabby and Rachel are looking for love after enduring painful breakups with former Bachelor Clayton Echard. After being sent home in the finale of their Bachelor season, the women will support each other as their joint search for love takes them to Bachelor Mansion and around the globe. The new structure has opened the dual leads up to situations never seen before on the show, with 32 men hoping to connect with either Gabby or Rachel this season.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
This season will be Jesse’s first time hosting The Bachelorette, replacing previous hosts and Bachelor Nation veterans Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who co-hosted seasons 17 and 18. However, Jesse isn’t new to filming with and supporting Gabby and Rachel; the trio shared many conversations (and tears) during the last Bachelor season. During the dramatic season finale, former Bachelor Clayton broke up with Gabby and Rachel at the same time, saying that he loved his current girlfriend Susie Evans more than the other finalists. Now, the women will be there for one another as they search for love for a second time on screen.
Related: Gabby & Rachel Named Dual Bachelorettes After Clayton Chose Susie
Reflecting on his time filming season 19 with Gabby and Rachel, Jesse said that he and the rest of the crew “weren’t sure what would happen and we were shocked with what happened” during the season in an interview with Variety. Anticipating exactly how the dual-lead format would change the show was a huge goal for Jesse and the entire Bachelorette team as they forged ahead with the new structure. “Do Gabby and Rachel fall in love with the same guy? Could the same guys fall in love with Gabby and Rachel? And then what happens? These are all things that everyone tried to anticipate and could potentially happen,” said Jesse.
With two leads, the love stories of Gabby, Rachel and their potential new beaus have the potential to intertwine, according to Jesse. However, the Bachelorette host assuaged concerns about Gabby and Rachel being pitted against one another by the new format. “This is not Gabby and Rachel competing against each other for the men. That’s not the design,” he told Variety. “It really is these two women helping each other, being there for each other and empowering each other to hopefully find love.”
As season 19 kicks off, the format of the show is sure to cause unforeseen twists in Gabby and Rachel’s journeys. Coming off of their own turbulent Bachelor season, the leads are no strangers to the drama and heartbreak of Bachelor Mansion. Now, a new group of men are hoping to connect with season 19's two leads. Hopefully, Gabby and Rachel will be able to grow stronger from their previous breakups and find love this time around.