At the third Rose Ceremony of The Bachelorette's nineteenth season, Rachel and Gabby handed out their own individual roses, hoping the men would commit to only one woman going forward. The men, however, still had to accept the roses, which resulted in one of the most dramatic Rose Ceremonies ever.
After advancing their respective bachelors, Gabby and Rachel ultimately eliminated Alec Garza, a 27-year-old wedding photographer from Houston, TX; Jacob "Jake" Rapini, a 27-year-old mortgage broker from Scottsdale, AZ; James "Meatball" Clarke, a 25-year-old meatball enthusiast from Winnetka, IL; and Termayne Harper, a 28-year-old crypto guy from Naperville, IL.
Meatball, however, returned and asked Rachel for another chance.
The Bachelorette broadcast began with 21 guys left, and the men were starting to lean in one direction towards Rachel and Gabby.
Mario Vassall, a 31-year-old personal trainer from Naperville, IL, however, didn't feel like receiving a rose from Rachel meant anything, and he wasn't ready to choose a lane yet. Meatball was also totally undecided.
Rachel wanted clarity on where the men stood, and Gabby said she wanted the guys to be assertive and make their decision fast. Gabby felt she and Rachel had spent enough time with the men for them to be able to choose, and so she said guys who were in the middle still was a little "sketchy."
The Bachelorette host Jesse Palmer then announced to the guys how there would be two one-on-one dates for each Bachelorette as well as a massive group date, the biggest in show history.
Rachel asked out Zach Shallcross, a 25-year-old tech executive from Anaheim Hills, CA, and Kirk Bryant, a 29-year-old college football coach from Lubbock, TX, and some of the other guys began to worry the one-on-ones were more of a test with a higher chance of going home than receiving a rose.
Rachel and Zach went on a date hosted by Queer Eye star and author Karamo, who asked Zach to pop champagne. He planned to get the couple into a movie premiere that night, and so he gave Rachel and Zach the full Hollywood treatment, all of the glitz and glam.
Rachel and Zach got a pedicure and dressed up in a sequin dress and tuxedo.
Meanwhile, Gabby surprised the men and spent more time with them at The Bachelor mansion.
The bachelors played football instead of pulling Gabby aside for conversations and fighting for her. She said no one was showing initiative and their lack of effort was a decision.
"I feel like I'm giving so much to them and they're not giving anything back. My expectations are so high that I'm terrified to be let down," Gabby told the cameras.
Gabby admitted she was hurt, and she said she didn't want to give her whole heart to someone just to have it broken again. However, she knew that with great risk comes great reward.
Gabby cried about how it takes the right person to love her and sometimes she felt like she's not enough.
A Date Card then arrived for Erich Schwer, a 29-year-old real estate analyst from Bedminster, NJ, who would be accompanying Gabby on a one-on-one date. He said he was super pumped and probably wouldn't sleep that night.
Back on Rachel and Zach's date, they were photographed walking into a theater that was showing a movie titled "Me and You."
Rachel said Zach had a way of making her feel comfortable on the red carpet, and Zach said he loved being treated like a movie star.
The movie ended up being photos and home-video clips of each other, giving insight into Rachel and Zach's families and childhoods. The pair also received messages from loved ones at home.
Zach teared up when hearing a supportive and sweet message from his mother, and Rachel said the event brought her so much closer to Zach.
Zach told Rachel that he's very close to his dad, who wanted to become a military pilot. Zach used to watch planes with his father, which is something Rachel used to do with her dad as well. The couple gushed about their similarities and kissed.
"I really do believe that we really did start the beginning of our love story, and I do think Rachel could be my future wife‚Ä¶ it's very real, what's going on," Zach cried in a confessional. "I'm falling for her. I'm falling for her -- really, really hard."
Rachel gave Zach the date's roses after the pair connected emotionally, and Rachel said she thought they both had a mental and physical connection. She figured this could be the start of something amazing.
Gabby's one-on-one date was the next day, and she and Erich were joined by her famous Grandpa John. Gabby wanted to see how Erich got along with her family, and she noted how John's approval would mean the world to her.
The trio took a ride to an outdoor spa, where they participated in a sound ceremony and intention-setting ceremony. Gabby found the experience grounding and hoped this would take her out of her head.
Afterwards, Gabby, Erich and John went bowling and played in a game against some locals. Gabby and Erich snuck away and enjoyed a kiss, and she thought Erich was great that day.
Gabby and Erich proceeded to the dinner portion of the evening, and Gabby said she felt a connection with Erich, who shared how his parents are soul mates and have a deep love.
Gabby said she had been hurt by her mother so many times and missed that parental love, and when she started to cry, Erich just looked at her.
Gabby therefore excused herself from the table and wondered, "Am I too broken for anyone to love. I am terrified. What if Erich decides I'm not for him?"
Gabby feared she was in over her head and this was going to be too much. She still had guards and walls up, revealing of Erich, "I'm afraid of him and what we might have."
Gabby told Erich that she's not polished like Rachel and many The Bachelorette stars before her, adding how she wasn't sure if she was the right person to be the Bachelorette.
Erich said her past shaped her into an amazing person, and Gabby said when she loves people, she loves very hard and deeply. Erich promised Gabby that he really liked her and wouldn't hold back. He asked her to be honest going forward, and then Gabby sat on his lap and kissed his neck.
Gabby said this was a huge turning point for her and she connected with Erich more than she ever could have hoped for. Erich accepted the date's rose, and Gabby said it was one of the best days she had so far.
"My feelings for him get deeper and deeper and deeper every time, and it's scary as hell," Gabby confessed. "I would give anything to be loved by someone like Erich."
For the group date the next day, Gabby and Rachel both put on a wedding dress for a photo shoot with the men. Nate said his heart was beating out of his chest when he saw Gabby in a wedding dress.
But Alec admitted he wasn't sure which woman to pursue, and Johnny DePhillipo, a 25-year-old realtor from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, agreed both women looked gorgeous.
But just as viewers thought this was going to be a wedding-style photo shoot with the men in tuxedos, the men were given different crazy costumes -- from cowboys to nerds. Jacob was given a single giant leaf to model, and Aven sported a pregnant belly. The pictures were funny and wild, and Quincey spotted a hospital gown.
Rachel said she saw Jacob's "situation" multiple times and could not stop looking.
Each man then practiced a marriage proposal to either Rachel or Gabby. Nate said Gabby looked like "a beautiful ray of sunshine," and he said he was a million percent into her at this point. Nate nailed his proposal and it felt very real, and Gabby said he made her feel so special, seen and loved.
Later that day, the Bachelorettes had some alone time with the suitors at Sofi Stadium. Rachel and Aven Jones, a 28-year-old sales executive from San Diego, CA, made out, and he taught her how to play a little football.
Tino Franco, a 28-year-old general contractor from Playa Del Rey, CA, and Jordan Helman, a 35-year-old software developer from Tampa, FL, confirmed to the cameras that they were only interested in Rachel.
And then Tyler Norris, a 25-year-old small business owner from Wildwood, gently shared with Gabby how he wanted to pursue Rachel instead because he felt an amazing connection with the pilot. Gabby thought Tyler went about the conversation in a kind and respectful manner.
Hayden, a 29-year-old leisure executive from Tampa, FL, then sat down with Gabby and said the day had given him some clarity. He called Gabby bubbly and goofy and "more rough around the edges."
Hayden, who also viewed Rachel as being more his type, explained that his morals and values aligned more with Rachel, which made Gabby feel upset and a bit insecure.
Jacob also admitted to Gabby that he wasn't feeling much of a connection with her and, even if she was alone on the show, he wouldn't have the heart to continue dating her. He said he liked joking around with Gabby and she's "smokin" but he didn't feel romance.
Gabby started to feel like she's "too much" for people. She figured Rachel was going through something similar, but that didn't appear to be the case.
Gabby feared she was "too different" to be well liked, but she put a good face on for Rachel, who was feeling really good about where the guys stood.
Rachel gave her group-date rose to Aven for making her feel "seen and safe." And Gabby said the night had been difficult for her and so she didn't feel like she could give out a rose.
Rachel's mouth dropped open at Gabby's decision, and then Rachel pulled her friend aside for a chat.
Gabby told Rachel how Jacob would've quit the show if she was the only Bachelorette and Hayden had brutally called her "rough around the edges."
Rachel couldn't believe some of the men had insulted Gabby, as if they were in control of the process and had the power, but Gabby didn't want Rachel to scold anyone or address the issue.
"I'm here to find a lifelong partner. I'm not here to teach dudes how to act," Gabby complained. "I don't know how to proceed or if it's going to be okay, and so something has to change."
Gabby believed the men liked feeling like they could reject one of the Bachelorettes, and Rachel sympathized with Gabby because they wanted to feel chosen this season. Rachel was afraid the season could end in a disaster if they didn't make a change immediately.
Going into the third Rose Ceremony of the season, Meatball and Logan Palmer, a 26-year-old videographer from San Diego, CA, didn't know which woman they preferred, and so they hoped to talk more with the women at the cocktail party.
But Nate wished the woman could stop worrying about who was there or not there for them.
Jesse then surprised the men and said Rachel and Gabby had canceled the cocktail party. Jesse informed the men that the Bachelorettes were changing things up in order to find love because things weren't working.
Gabby and Rachel therefore decided to continue their journeys separately, with the men each agreeing to date only one woman going forward. The men had to accept a rose from either Gabby or Rachel and be committed to only that Bachelorette going forward.
Gabby and Rachel explained how they were being brave by separating, and everyone assumed it was going to be a dramatic and stressful Rose Ceremony.
At the Rose Ceremony, Gabby announced how some men hurt her the previous night, and then Rachel handed out her first rose to Tino, who gladly accepted it.
Gabby gave a rose to Nate, Rachel gave a rose to Logan, Gabby gave a rose to Johnny, Rachel gave a rose to Termayne, who declined the rose and said he had a deeper connection with Gabby.
Jesse therefore entered the room and asked Termayne to rejoin the group of men, allowing Gabby an opportunity to give him a rose or eliminate him.
Rachel also lost her rose -- and the ability to give it to someone else -- since it had been turned down. Rachel found the move embarrassing and surprising; she didn't think Termayne and Gabby had that strong of a connection.
Gabby then gave a rose to Spencer Swies is a 27-year-old venture capitalist from Chicago, IL, as Rachel was trying to hold it together for the rest of the Rose Ceremony. But when Rachel offered a rose to Alec, he also turned her down and said, "I don't think I'm the right one for you."
Jesse took another rose away from Rachel as Alec stepped back into the pool of men, hoping for a rose from Gabby. Rachel began thinking she wasn't strong enough emotionally to do this.
"Maybe I shouldn't have done it," Rachel lamented of her decision to star on the show this season.
Gabby proceeded to give a rose to Jason Alabaster, a 30-year-old investment banker from Santa Monica, CA, and Rachel gave a rose to Tyler.
Gabby then offered a rose to Mario, and Rachel gave a rose to Ethan Kang, a 27-year-old advertising executive from New York, NY.
Gabby gave a rose to Kirk, Rachel gave a rose to Jordan H., and Gabby offered a rose to Quincey Williams, a 25-year-old life coach from Miami, FL.
Rachel subsequently asked Meatball to accept her rose, but he chose to reject it, announcing, "I am here for Gabby. I just have to follow my heart."
Jesse therefore took a third rose away from Rachel, who stepped out of the room for a moment. Rachel said she felt "bad and rejected," especially since the rejections were in public and in front of everyone else.
Rachel said she and Gabby had unintentionally given "the power back" to the men by deciding to do the ceremony this way and she believed she looked "stupid" to the men who had already accepted her roses.
Gabby could feel Rachel's pain to a certain extent having been rejected multiple times at the group-date afterparty.
Finally, Gabby gave her last rose to Michael Vaughan, a 32-year-old pharmaceutical salesman from Long Beach, CA, and Rachel gave her last rose of the night to Hayden.
Rachel seemed to end the night on a positive note, and Gabby finally felt like she was in control with her remaining nine guys.
Termayne, Alec, Meatball and Jacob were therefore eliminated.
Meatball, however, sought Rachel out for a conversation following his elimination.
Meatball confessed he might have made a mistake in rejecting her rose and choosing Gabby because he didn't get enough time to spend with her and get to know her better. Meatball told Rachel that she's beautiful and has a great personality, but Rachel's response was not shown at the end of the episode.