The newest season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” has everyone asking the same question: “How is this going to work?” For the first time ever, the show has two bachelorettes looking for love — at the same time.

How did Rachel and Gabby become the Bachelorettes?

Fan-favorites Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia got their start in “The Bachelor” franchise appearing on season 26 when Clayton Echard was “The Bachelor.” Gabby is a 31-year-old ICU nurse from Colorado. Rachel is a 26-year-old flight instructor who lives in Florida.

During their time on “The Bachelor,” Rachel and Gabby made it to the final three, and Clayton told all three women he was in love with them. Ultimately, he decided to pursue Susie Evans.

He broke the news and broke up with Gabby and Rachel at the same time. Two birds, meet stone. Fans of the show did not like that, and neither did Rachel and Gabby.

“Watching it back, everything is so muddled, and you are clearly pitting us against each other,” Gabby told Clayton on “After the Final Rose,” aired after the season finished airing. “It really seems like a competition, which I had expressed to you that I didn’t want to be a part of.” 

Rachel also did not appreciate the group breakup.

“It was almost as if you cast us aside as quickly as you could to (get to) the person you loved the most,” Rachel said on “After the Final Rose.”

To make it up to them for the mistreatment, producers selected the gal pals to co-lead the 19th season of “The Bachelorette.”

“The Bachelorette” stars Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. | Gizelle Hernandez, ABC

What happened on the first episode of “The Bachelorette”?

Other than the 32 men introducing themselves to two women rather than one in the trademark “Bachelor” limousine introductions, the first episode contained all the hi-jinx and bonkers stunts the show is known for.

These stunts included:

  • A set of twins named Justin and Joey.
  • A magician performing magic tricks.
  • A man driving in on a forklift.
  • A quartet of children singing about how much better he would be than the former bachelor.
  • A Fabio-esque man riding in on a white horse.
  • A man holding two baby chicks “to get used to being around two chicks.”
  • A man with a 20-foot meatball sub.

After the introductions, the set of twins introduced themselves and tried to force a very awkward double date. The magician also tried to entertain the women at the same time with, what else? Magic tricks.

Once the men started pulling the women aside separately, more real connections and conversations took place, and Rachel and Gabby both gave away the “first impression rose” to the man of their choosing.

In between conversations with the men, the gal pals meet back up and tell each other about who they are meeting and what they are liking about certain men.

Instead of proceeding with the rose ceremony at the end of the episode and handing out roses to the men they want to keep, the pair of friends decided to send home the men they know they are not interested in pursuing. Any guesses which ones? The magician and the twins.

What are the reactions to the two Bachelorettes?

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Allie Jones wrote in The Cut, “It seems that whatever ‘plan’ the producers came up with has been designed to embarrass everyone involved. To find out the specifics of this humiliation, however, we’ll have to keep watching, which of course is the point.”

The first episode did not answer the question of “How is this whole thing gonna work?” Host Jesse Palmer explained that the women will be the ones figuring that out.

In The Ringer, Jodi Walker wrote about “The Bachelorette” producers, “They weren’t withholding the details of some highly considered plan to navigate this joint season in order to keep us on the edge of our seats so that we might actually tune into the premiere, as we’d all assumed. No, they just … never came up with anything!”

While viewers still don’t have answers about how the format will work, one thing is clear: Watching Rachel and Gabby gossip about the men and their experiences might be the most entertaining aspect of the show this season. Girl talk might save the season.

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