How Will Gabby & Rachel's 'Bachelorette' Season Work? It Better Not Lead To A Competition

- The Bachelor -
How Will Gabby & Rachel's 'Bachelorette' Season Work? It Better Not Lead To A Competition

Gabby and Rachel have been freed from Clayton's tyranny and now they're ready to go on their own journeys to find love. But how will Gabby and Rachel both being Bachelorettes work? Even Gabby wondered when Jesse Palmer made the announcement on "After the Final Rose," asking, "Do we date the same guys?" But the host gave no answers for this first-ever dual season.

"Who knows what this is going to look like," Palmer claimed during the announcement following Clayton's Bachelor season finale. But the host confirmed he'd be overseeing the next season of The Bachelorette (I guess that means no Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe) and did offer this tidbit, "There is 30 men out there that are watching this live. Very soon they're going to be getting out of limos to meet the two of you."

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I sure hope that Palmer meant there are 60 men out there. Because it doesn't seem like it would be fair for Gabby and Rachel to date the same pool of 30 contestants after what they just went through with Clayton. Gabby, in particular, made it extremely clear that she's not interested in any aspect of competition when it comes to love.

"I'm not in the business of competing with anyone for love," Gabby told Clayton at the "rose ceremony from hell" when he said the person he'd choose would be the "who I love the most." She replied by telling him, "I don't want to be the most loved. I just want to be like accepted and loved." She also told him during the live finale, "You were clearly pitting us against each other. It really seemed like a competition, which I had expressed to you that I didn't want to be a part of."

So what if Rachel and Gabby both fell in love with the same man? As supportive as these women have been with one another, that would inevitably — to use Gabby's words — pit them against each other. And nobody wants a repeat of this season.

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There have been some past examples of multiple leads in the franchise. For Season 11, both Kaitlyn and Britt Nilsson of Chris Soules's season started the season as the Bachelorette. But then the contestants had the chance to vote which Bachelorette they wanted to stay on for the rest of the season, with Kaitlyn being chosen. Season 6 of The Bachelor had the same format with Byron Velvick and Jay Overbye, with the women choosing Byron as the Bachelor.

Palmer made it clear that there won't be any competition aspect like that since he said that both of them would be the Bachelorette all season long. So rather than look to the U.S. for examples, let's look at some of the international franchises that have done two-lead seasons.

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In 2020 in New Zealand, Lily McManus (known in the U.S. from The Bachelor Winter Games) ended up joining Dr. Lesina Nakhid-Schuster's Bachelorette season in a surprise move. As the Daily Mail reported, it caused some controversy, but the men had apparently been cast with the two leads in mind. Lily told the men, "Half of you guys had been cast for me and the other half for Lesina," and the women didn't compete with one another, though the Daily Mail reported they both had an initial interest in one contestant. Lesina ended the show single while Lily found love — though they have since broken up.

Bachelorette Australia utilized a similar format later in 2020 with two sisters — Elly and Becky Miles — being the Bachelorettes and dating from a shared pool of 20 men. Both sisters found love with different men but split from their winners not long after the finale aired. There's also cases of it working on other reality dating shows, like the recent Joe Millionaire reboot.

Everyone deserves their individual chance to find love, but Gabby and Rachel really have earned it after what Clayton did to them this season. And apparently, a shared season from the same group of men can be done! But to ignore the obvious trap that this format could cause if they are both interested in the same man is naive. So though I believe these women have every intention of supporting each other on their journey, let's hope the show creates a clear divide of who's dating who... or that Gabby and Rachel have very different tastes in guys when it's their turn to be in charge.

Images: Craig Sjodin/ABC

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