The Bachelorette stars Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia have responded to criticism their season pitted them against each other and made them compete for men.

Many The Bachelorette fans continue to slam producers for making Gabby and Rachel compete against each other for the attention and affection of the same men.


Season 11 The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, among other famous critics, has also been very vocal on social media about her distaste of Season 19 and how Rachel and Gabby deserved their own season.

"I f-ckkkkin hate this," Kaitlyn tweeted last month while watching the show on ABC, later adding, "Am I being dramatic?? I cannot believe they are doing this to these women, and to the men."

However, both Gabby and Rachel apparently don't see it that way.

"It was so nice to have somebody else, a true friend, go through it with you. Watching the criticism back and seeing it online, it's not that surprising, but it's almost like, 'Oh, you guys are kind of missing the point,'" Gabby told The Hollywood Reporter in a joint interview with Rachel.

"We are giving the men a lot of attention and allowing them to make it about a competition. But if you pay attention to Rachel and I's story, we're really not. So it's just the nuance of watching it back."

Rachel pointed out how she and Gabby are never fighting or at odds on the show.

"We never [made] a decision without one or the other, early in the season," Rachel said.

"And to hear all the criticism of them pitting us against each other is just not how it was at all. Like Gabby said, they really are missing the point of female friendship and us navigating this together and showing our real emotions."

The flight instructor added, "Hopefully, moving forward, they can see that a little bit more."

But the women recognize they went through extreme highs and lows throughout the season, and a lot of the issues thus far have been complications resulting from two women dating the same men.


Gabby and Rachel have been battling insecurities and questioning if they deserved to be the Bachelorette, and Logan Palmer, for example, accepted a rose from Rachel but decided he wanted to pursue Gabby instead.

Both women have also faced rejection multiple times. Three men brutally declined roses from Rachel at the third Rose Ceremony of the season, and several men dumped Gabby during a group date, with Hayden Markowitz telling her that she's "rough around the edges."

Rachel explained, "It is hard for both Gabby and I to experience rejection on our own season. I think that's something that Bachelorettes in the past really didn't have to deal with at the scale that we did."

"And it does hurt your feelings," she conceded. "But about the format, it really was all of us learning as we went. And that is what happened in the moment. Of course, it was really hard to go through... but it is what's happening... We were just doing the best we could in the moment."

Gabby also acknowledged there was a bit of a power struggle until the women decided to split up the men and hand out individual "Team Gabby" or "Team Rachel" roses.

"I definitely think there was a little bit of a power exchange with having the two Bachelorettes, and the men taking it or doing what they can to make sure that they're the ones, in fact, that are making the decision and that no decision is made for them, I guess, for lack of better words," Gabby explained.

"It's always an ebb and flow, but I feel like Rachel and I are doing our best to do what we think is right in the moment and stick together and just really come into our role. You see us being emotional a lot and doubting ourselves at times, but you have to go through that in order to overcome it."

During a separate joint interview with Us Weekly, Rachel insisted that talk of the two women being pitted against each other "never came from the inside."


"Gabby and I never felt like having our boys in two separate parts of the boat pitted us against each other. We always had open communication. We always put each other first," Rachel shared with the magazine.

"So as far as what anyone thinks about it being a competition, it's really coming from them and not us."

Considering both Rachel and Gabby got strung and were both brutally dumped at the same exact time on Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor, the majority of Bachelor Nation just wants to see the women embark on an easy road to finding love on The Bachelorette.

"I think people are like, 'Oh, we don't wanna see them cry and this and that,' which I appreciate," Gabby said, "but love is rough and it's hard and this is honestly just normal."

Gabby said this is just "how it goes to fall in love."

"Sometimes, you have some heartbreak," noted the ICU nurse. "It's not as deep, I feel like, as everyone is making it out to be. We have low moments, but we also have high ones and we're entitled to the way that we feel."

While Gabby and Rachel have admitted there is a lot of drama on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season, they promise viewers that the drama is not between them and there were no catfights.

"I think it's easy to nitpick or just see one side of the story and easy to criticize," Gabby told People in a third interview with Rachel when asked about the fan reaction to their season. "Naturally, people want to have an opinion, want people to stand behind them."

Gabby said viewers seemingly want to pick the show apart because it's a new format.

"But if you pay attention to Rachel and I, of course, it is hard for us. But I think our sisterhood is something so special that nobody's seen before. I think it allows us to be more vulnerable with each other because we know that there's someone else by our side," Gabby said.

Gabby told People that "other people" are creating the narrative of competition and Rachel's friendship was "invaluable" to her.

And Rachel concluded, "Me and Gabby went into this knowing that we were going to respect each other, have open communication. And we really did that the entire time."


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.