A whirlwind of drama, chaos, and hopefully love in just 12 episodes, The Bachelor leaves jaws dropped and hearts broken. As each season progresses, millions of viewers devote their Monday nights to attentively staring at a television screen awaiting rose ceremonies. Predictions are made and tears, of both joy and sadness, are shed.
Every year since 2002 when the Bachelor franchise began, one man has been selected to choose a wife from about 30 women. It plays out like this: he goes on dates, eliminates the women he does not have a connection with, falls in love with those he does, meets their families, and then proposes in the end. At the end of each episode there is a rose ceremony where the lead hands out roses to those who will continue to the next week. However, this season had a twist. For the first time in 26 seasons of The Bachelor, the final rose was denied.
Not only was there no “winner” this season, but unlike ever before, the bachelor, Clayton Echard, claimed to have fallen in love with all three final women. When he expressed these feelings to all three, the reactions were very painful to watch. Viewers watched his final three, Rachel, Gabby, and Susie experience a tumultuous last two weeks of this season. Clayton admitted to all three women that he loved all of them publicly at a rose ceremony. Although Rachel and Gabby ultimately chose to stay in hopes of a proposal, Susie was too hurt to continue. After a heated conversation between Clayton and Susies, Susie left Clayton heart-broken.
It may come as a surprise, but neither Rachel nor Gabby even received a proposal. Who was it that was proposed, you may ask? Well, after Susie left, Clayton felt as though he had made a grave mistake. He broke up with Rachel and Gabby simultaneously, citing his love for Susie as the reason, and he located Susie and requested that she meet him. There, he made an attempt at asking for her hand, but Susie rejected the offer.
The women traveled from all around the world yet it seemed like Clayton did not find love on the show. The beloved program left millions of viewers, and Clayton, heartbroken. Gabby and Rachel went through months of insecurity to get nowhere. Shockingly, at the end of the finale it was revealed Clayton, despite leaving the season alone, is now in a relationship.
Contestant Susie Evans may have rejected the final rose and Clayton may never have had the opportunity to propose, but the two reconnected and are now dating again. Bachelor Nation, as they call it, debates over the controversy of the relationship between Evans and Echard, but they all agree that watching their journey was worth the time. This season has been described as the most shocking yet by host Jesse Palmer, and he is right. In no way could anyone have expected to not only have no winner, but for everyone to find their happy ending, it did not even seem possible.
While Gabby and Rachel were sent home earlier without love, they are about to, hopefully begin their own journeys. Together, the two will be the next season's bachelorettes. If their season is anything like Clayton’s, grab your popcorn tight because there will be a lot of bumps along the road.
By: Riley Spitz (9th) and Bailey Spitz (12th)