The fantasy suites weren’t exactly a fantasy for Gabby Windey. The co-lead and Rachel Recchia’s overnight dates with their respective final three aired on Monday, September 5, and Tuesday, September 6.
The ICU nurse kicked off her time in Mexico on a high note with Erich. While the twosome are clearly falling for each other, Gabby revealed that she wasn’t telling anyone “I love you” until there was one suitor left after what happened with Clayton Echard on The Bachelor. After an emotional goodbye, Erich, who was struggling over her going on dates with Johnny and Jason, wrote Gabby a note to meet her on the bridge.
“Our last date — the day part was amazing. The night part, I couldn’t imagine that going any better. And I’m now sitting here picturing the girl that I’m in love with doing that with somebody else, like, that kind of crushes me,” Erich said.
Gabby got visibly frustrated, revealing that the twosome had this conversation in private.
“Erich expressed to me in the fantasy suite that this week feels like I’m cheating. And now I feel like we’re rehashing the conversation and I’m being pressured,” she said. “Him being like, ‘I don’t want you to have what we have with somebody else,’ that’s, like, not for you to say. You’re here knowing that I could have it with somebody else.”
The pair left on rocky terms but what Erich didn’t know is Gabby had already sent Johnny home because he wasn’t ready to propose. When she learned Jason was having similar doubts, she got upset again.
“I feel so stupid. I thought I knew [Jason], like, I really don’t,” she told the cameras. “I’ve tried so hard to not be reckless with other people and he was reckless with me. He never loved me, so what were we doing? It’s not even that he didn’t want an engagement — he didn’t want me. How do you just keep trusting? Johnny also doesn’t want me. Is it me? I don’t know what it is about me that’s so hard to love. … What if Erich decides I’m not for him. Am I too broken for anyone to love?”
Rachel, meanwhile, started her week with a fun date with Aven, telling the sales executive that she was “falling in love” with him. During her second date with Tino, she was still reeling over feeling like his family didn’t like her. The general contractor pulled out all the stops to try to convince her that wasn’t the case.
“I don’t feel like my dad gets me as much in the relationship sphere,” Tino said. “It’s not, like, you. They’re really just skeptical of the situation. … But they know me and they know, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t see you as the future.”
When the pilot asked whether his parents would be mad if they called them and said they were engaged, Tino insisted that they’re “not going to be mad,” adding, “I know they are going to come around. End of story.”
Before heading into their suite, Tino told Rachel he was “in love” with her — and she said it back. “I love you too. I really do,” she said. “It’s been me waiting for this declaration for so long and then all of a sudden, I hear it. And it feels so amazing to hear him say that and to say it back? It’s a huge moment in your life.”
Things ended on a sour note, however, as Zach accused Rachel of acting differently when the cameras left during their overnight portion.
“It was just her and I talking, and it felt like she was just, like, not showing her true self. It was very inauthentic sometimes,” he alleged, telling Jesse Palmer that he felt “blindsided” by her comments, including Rachel blaming her hesitation on their one-year age difference. “I thought I saw this future with her.”
During the rose ceremony, Zach asked to talk to Rachel. Before fans could see their conversation, however, the show cut to Jesse on the Warner Bros. lot.
“Things have just been so emotional. They’ve been so dramatic for both Gabby and Rachel that we felt it was right to take a moment and to prepare ourselves for the shocking events that are about to take place. Events that are going to change both Rachel’s and Gabby’s lives forever,” the host said, teasing the most “emotional” and “shocking” live finale of all time.
The two-part finale of The Bachelorette begins Tuesday, September 13. Scroll through for more highlights from the fantasy suite dates: