'The Bachelor' recap: Zach Shallcross eliminates Charity Lawson after hometown dates, his Final 3 women are "falling in love"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/14/2023
The Bachelor featured Zach Shallcross eliminating Charity Lawson after meeting his Final 4 bachelorettes' families and getting grilled by overprotective brothers during the Season 27 episode that aired Monday night on ABC.
Zach ousted Charity, a 26-year-old child and family therapist from Columbus, GA, at the Rose Ceremony in Los Angeles, CA, following hometown dates.
"I don't have words. It doesn't make sense. It makes no f-cking sense to me," Charity lamented in her final words.
"Sometimes that's just the way life goes, and it sucks. But it just means I'm one step closer to finding who I need to be with. My biggest fear is someone saying, 'I can't give you the love you deserve,' like, I don't know what that means. I don't know what it freaking means. Oh god."
Zach's Final 3 bachelorettes as a result are Ariel Frenkel, a 28-year-old marketing executive from New York City, NY; Gabi Elnicki, a 25-year-old account executive from Pittsford, VT; and Kaity Biggar, a 27-year-old ER nurse from Austin, TX.
The Bachelor broadcast began with Zach feeling "nervous" about Hometown Week. He wanted the families to understand that he was looking for the love of his life, but he did admittedly have four very strong connections.
Zach said with Kaity, it was "almost immediate" and they had a spark. He said their relationship kept getting better and better. Zach said his relationship with Charity was something special and she made him feel so comfortable.
Ariel's romance was a late bloomer that caught him off-guard, but Zach shared how she made him laugh and she's "drop dead gorgeous" and also intelligent.
And with Gabi, Zach noted it was hard to read her at first but the past several weeks had given him more insight into who she is. Gabi said their connection was effortless and sweet, and he gushed about how she's quirky and fun.
Zach's first stop on his hometowns tour was Pittsford, Vermont, which is the largest distributor of maple syrup in the United States. Gabi treated the Bachelor "to a full maple experience," including retrieving sap out of a big tree, and they tasted different samples of syrup.
Zach, much to Gabi's dismay, selected a basic, processed and sugary syrup as his favorite.
Bad syrup taste aside, Gabi said this was the first time in a while she had opened her heart up to a man and was letting love in. And Zach said he really liked Gabi and there was a real possibility she could end up being The One for him.
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"The last person I was in love with hurt me, so it might take me longer to fall in love with someone. But by the end of the night, maybe I'll be falling like the leaves!" Gabi quipped. "But my family means everything to me, and so I want the validation from my family."
Zach met Gabi's older sister Chloe -- the bachelorette's best friend who recently got engaged -- her older brother Evan, her little brother Braeden, her mother Stephanie and her father Kevin.
Evan asked to speak with Zach in private, and Zach told him that he could see a future with Gabi.
Chloe then asked Gabi in a different room if Zach was "it" for her, and she said she could definitely see a future with him as well. Gabi said they had a lot of similar qualities but she wished they had more extended periods of time together.
Gabi's family could tell that she had put herself out there, which was a true sign she cared for Zach.
After sharing how she could be falling in love quite soon, Gabi told Chloe, "Hopefully [it ends] with a ring on my finger."
Stephanie then informed Zach that Gabi wanted to feel safe and secure in a relationship, and Zach assured Gabi's mother that he would always act with respect and the best intentions with her daughter.
Kevin shared with his daughter how he thought it's possible to fall in love in a day because he had felt an instant confidence and spark with Gabi's mother. Kevin got emotional about seeing his daughter so happy, and Gabi was overwhelmed with how special the visit turned out to be.
At the end of the night, Gabi gave herself permission to fall in love with Zach. Gabi said the family visit had convinced her of her feelings, and then she broke down into tears over how she wasn't going to see Zach for a week.
Gabi was clearly in pain and found the process difficult, but she told Zach that he was "so worth" the hardship.
"I just selfishly want more time with him," Gabi cried.
Zach then traveled to New York City for Ariel's hometown. He had initially found the bachelorette to be very "mysterious" but, as she began to take down her walls, he grew to really like her and felt ready to meet her loved ones.
New York is apparently a big part of Ariel's identity, and she walked him to some of her favorite spots -- including a pizzeria, Washington Square Park, a Speakeasy, a Jewish deli, where Ariel purchased him cow tongue. Zach said he truly enjoyed being around her and trying new things with Ariel, and he actually liked the tongue sandwich.
Ariel explained to Zach how her parents had fled the Soviet Union, where they were persecuted for being Jewish and couldn't be who they are. Being a first generation, Ariel said she was extremely proud of the life her parents had created for her.
Ariel warned Zach that her brother Bobby is very protective of her and had threatened to beat up her exes, who had broken the bachelorette's heart. Zach was clearly nervous and hoped Ariel's family was going to like him.
Ariel introduced Zach to her family at a Brooklyn winery. The Bachelor met Ariel's father Feliks, mother Marina, brother Bobby, and sister-in-law Gabby.
"There is no pursuing a relationship with Zach without my family, so I hope they see what I see in him and accept him," Ariel told the cameras.
A self-declared "skeptical" Bobby pulled Zach aside for a chat to make sure his baby sister was being treated well and kindly. Bobby said while Zach was able to pick his person, Ariel was choosing him at the end of the day.
"Why should she choose you?" Bobby asked.
Zach hesitated and looked down at the floor, and Bobby joked, "Great answer."
Zach explained how he has a big heart and the person he ends up with would have his whole, entire heart. Zach said he would do anything under the sun to let that be known and he's a pretty good cook.
Zach also assured Bobby that it's possible to find love through this process and he was really confident in what he had with Ariel. Zach said when two people love each other, it's possible for their families to come together, no matter their differences.
But when asked to reveal Ariel's birthday and middle name, Zach couldn't answer.
"When you love someone... You have the rest of your life with someone to get to know the smaller details," Zach said. "The bigger picture is really what I'm focusing on, and doing what feels right to the heart and to the gut."
Zach didn't feel there was anything he could do or say to make Bobby feel less skeptical.
Zach then spoke to Ariel's father, who asked what set Ariel apart from the competition. Zach shared how Ariel is extremely kind and she made him feel his most comfortable self. Zach said he could see a future with Ariel, but at the same time, he confessed he felt conflicted between choices.
Zach said he could feel different in a week, which made Feliks hesitant to trust in Zach 100 percent. Feliks pointed out how Zach may only be 25 percent there with Ariel by the end of the week.
Ariel also explained to Bobby how she felt chemistry with Zach right away and he could definitely be her "forever person" and her "best friend" -- but Bobby wasn't really buying it. He called the situation "a lot."
When Feliks got a chance to talk to his daughter alone, he told Ariel that it takes years to get to know a person, but Ariel insisted that she was ready for an engagement. Feliks therefore said he would support Ariel's happiness and trust in her decisions.
Ariel said she was happy her family had asked hard-hitting questions because it was coming from a loving place.
Once the pair left the winery, Ariel shared with Zach, "I am definitely falling for you. That is hard for me to say, but I am."
Zach kissed Ariel and told her that she's "so special" and he couldn't "wait for what's to come."
Ariel noted it was hard to say goodbye to Zach but she felt very confident in their relationship. She was going to let herself enjoy her emotions and just be happy.
Zach then paid a visit to Columbus, GA, to meet Charity's family. Charity understood the magnitude of this week and said she was emotional in the best way possible.
Zach actually met Charity during the day portion of their date -- her mother Vickie, father David, sister Mia, and brothers David and Nehemiah. Zach also met Charity's best friends, who prepared an amazing southern spread for the Bachelor. It was essentially a big family tailgate.
Charity's parents, Vickie and David, could immediately tell that Zach and Charity looked very happy together and made a beautiful couple. Charity told her dad that her relationship with Zach could be something serious and very real.
Charity proceeded to express to her best friends how she was really happy and falling in love. Charity said Zach had been honest and transparent with her, which she really respected about him.
"If I'm not the person he chooses at the end, will it be easy? Probably not... but it's a risk I'm willing to take," Charity declared.
Meanwhile, Zach shared with Nehemiah how he felt an immediate comfort with Charity and he had no doubt about her intentions, that she was looking for a forever love just like him. Nehemiah thought Zach was "a stand-up guy," but he worried about Charity getting her heart broken.
Nehemiah feared Charity getting crushed, noting how it was very hard to watch her try to come out of her last breakup. Nehemiah suggested it was hard for Charity to pick up the pieces after her last relationship and he didn't like seeing her like that.
"I want you to find your happily ever after, because you deserve the best," Nehemiah told Charity through tears.
Charity began second-guessing whether she should tell Zach that she was falling in love with him because she didn't want to get dumped and devastated.
Charity then assured Vickie that she and Zach had been digging deep in their conversations. Charity said she was "in the process" of falling for Zach but was afraid to say those words again.
Charity said her parents had always been her example of love and she wanted a relationship just like what her parents have. Vickie also got emotional about her daughter's growth, and she hoped a man would fall in love with who she is. Charity could tell that her mother saw something in Zach and in their romance.
"Everything went perfect," Charity gushed after the visit.
Charity then surprised Zach with a live band performance at a bar, where they danced and did a little two-stepping. Charity and Zach kissed each other on the dance floor, and then she opened up to The Bachelor star like never before.
"I think it's safe to say I'm honestly falling in love with you," Charity told Zach.
"Wow, this is crazy. You don't know how good that feels," Zach replied.
Zach told the cameras that hearing those words from Charity made his heart "flutter," and Charity said she had never felt more free. Charity planned to fall asleep that night as the happiest woman in America.
"I can 1,000 percent see myself engaged to Zach," Charity confirmed.
And finally, Zach traveled to Austin, TX, where he also currently lives, for a date with Kaity, who was actually born in Canada.
Kaity had only been living in Austin for a few short weeks, and so she asked Zach to help her get settled in. The pair went grocery shopping together and bought fresh flowers, and Kaity gushed about how Zach was so fun and goofy.
Kaity thought Zach made her a better and brighter version of herself, and Zach gushed about how the bachelorette kept him smiling.
Kaity then welcomed Zach into her actual home. The date was as real as it could get, and Zach said things felt so natural with the bachelorette.
But instead of doing something laid back, Kaity actually had to move into her home -- and so she asked Zach to build her shelves! Kaity gazed at Zach's muscles while he worked, and while it wasn't the most romantic date, she just enjoyed spending time with him and accomplishing everyday tasks.
Kaity said running errands with Zach felt so normal, and then Zach met her family that night.
Kaity brought Zach around her beloved mother Anne, whom she aspires to be.5
Kaity's biological father left the family when she was four-months-old, and then her stepfather walked out on her mother when Kaity was 14-years-old. Kaity had been through a lot with her mother, and she got extremely emotional when talking about their mother-daughter bond.
Kaity confirmed that she was falling in love with Zach, and so she hoped her mother would love and welcome Zach.
"If I don't have her approval of Zach, then I don't see this going forward," Kaity confessed to the cameras.
In addition to Anne, Zach was introduced to Kaity's Aunt Jill, her grandmother Jackie, and her brother Cooper.
Kaity said having two father figures walk out her life made her relationship with her mother, brother and aunt so much stronger.
Anne apparently wasn't used to seeing Kaity so affectionate with a man; she could tell that Kaity was very smitten with Bachelor.
Kaity told Anne that she was really happy and felt great about Zach, who is genuine and down to earth. Anne understandably had some reservations, especially because Kaity's prior relationship "wasn't the best experience" and her daughter always gives 100 percent.
Zach sat down with Anne and said he could "100 percent see a future" with Kaity. Zach said he didn't throw the L-word around but he could "absolutely see" himself "falling in love with her."
Kaity thought Zach would fit into her family just fine, and she told Jill that she felt safe and comfortable with him. Kaity told Jill that she could see Zach becoming her husband and the father of her children. Jill therefore advised Kaity to be vulnerable despite all of her fears.
Kaity's last relationship was seven years off and on, and she called it "pure toxicity." Kaity admitted she had stayed in that relationship because she just didn't want another man to leave her life.
"With the exception of my brother, every man in my life has failed me," Kaity admitted in a confessional.
Kaity feared being head over heels in love and then Zach leaving her and walking out of her life.
Anne ultimately thought Zach was kind, sweet, charming, quirky and funny. Anne said Zach checked all of Kaity's boxes, including how he comes from a great family. Anne said she would totally support this relationship going forward, and that's everything Kaity needed to hear.
"I feel like I have finally found a man who is going to give me that unconditional love, the love I deserve... and I feel like I'm going to give that love to a man -- and that man is Zach," Kaity expressed to the cameras.
Kaity then told Zach that she was "falling in love" with him and it felt so good. Kaity said her heart felt safe with the Bachelor, and she thanked him for such a great day.
"He is the man I want, who I've literally dreamed of," Kaity gushed. "I'm opening my heart for it to potentially get shattered again, but I would take the risk any day if it meant Zach being my husband at the end of this."
The cast then returned to Los Angeles, CA, where Zach felt "uneasy" and was going to have to make an extremely tough decision at the Rose Ceremony that night.
Former The Bachelor star Sean Lowe then paid Zach a visit to talk about Hometowns Week. Zach summed up all four of his experiences, and he expressed having an "undeniable" pull with Kaity.
Sean recalled "feeling the pressure" right around this time on his own journey to find love on the show. Sean said his mind kept drifting back to Catherine Giudici, whom he had so much fun with and realized he wanted to spend his life with.
Zach didn't want to break a woman's heart, but he knew he was going to have to.
"This is going to be the hardest decision I'm going to have to make," Zach acknowledged.
The Rose Ceremony then commenced, and all of the women -- who were fully invested in Zach -- were worried about getting hurt again.
Zach told the women that his decision was going to be based on what he felt in his heart about his connections with the Final 4 women.
With that being said, Zach handed out roses to Ariel, Kaity, and then Gabi.
Once Zach denied Charity a rose, the bachelorette didn't know what to say. She cried and commented how this news was "really hard" to take, and Zach apologized and explained how this was "the hardest" decision he had to make so far.
"I've been sick to my stomach all day," Zach said. "I want you to know it wasn't until right before this [that I made up my mind]. And I might be making the wrong decision."
"No, don't say that," Charity replied.
Charity said she had taken a big risk and put her heart out on the line. She called The Bachelor experience "incredible" and "bittersweet," and Zach said Charity deserves a love that he couldn't give her.
"I'm grateful to know you," Zach said before walking Charity to the SUV.
The pair hugged goodbye, and Charity exited the show like a class act.