For the first time in “Bachelor” franchise history, two stars will search for love at the same time all season long.
Tuesday night’s “Bachelor” finale featured plenty of shocking twists: Star Clayton Echard uncomfortably broke up with both of his finalists, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, in hopes of rekindling with third place finalist Susie Evans, who left last week after an ugly breakup. Echard managed to convince Evans to return, though she ultimately rejected his proposal, leaving the Bachelor a single man at the end of filming.
But as revealed during the live taping of “After the Final Rose,” Evans reached out to Echard after the show finished, and the two are now dating again.
If that all wasn’t enough of a jaw-dropper, the franchise’s next “Bachelorette” star came as a surprise, too. Host Jesse Palmer promised viewers the next Bachelorette wouldn’t be runners-up Windey or Recchia. He was technically right – it’s both of them.
“Watching you both support each other in Iceland – and also how you have tonight – that was really the big reason why we decided to give you both a shot,” Palmer told the women.
Windey, 31, is an ICU nurse and former Denver Broncos cheerleader. Recchia, 26, is a flight instructor from Clermont, Florida, who recently earned her private pilot license.
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How does two Bachelorettes work?
How does a show that centers around one person dating 30 people rework to adjust for two stars? “I have no idea,” Palmer admitted in Tuesday’s episode.
“Do we date the same guys?” Windey wondered aloud. (Recchia pointed out with a laugh that it wouldn’t be the first time.)
This marks the first season with two leads starring together throughout. Previously in 2015, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson were both announced as Bachelorettes, but contestants voted in the premiere episode for Bristowe to remain the sole star. And last year, Katie Thurston and Michelle Young were also announced as co-Bachelorettes during the “Bachelor” finale, though they each starred in a separate season.
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When does ‘The Bachelorette’ start?
The new season of “The Bachelorette” premieres Monday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET. Palmer, the “Bachelor” alum who hosted Echard’s season, will return as host.