The Bachelorette season 19 is proving to be a series of firsts - both good and bad! As fans know, it is the first time in the ABC dating show's history that two women have been looking for love together between the same men.
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And on Monday, it became the first in which a Bachelorette was rejected - in favour of her co-star! During the rose ceremony at the end of the episode, Rachel Recchia found herself turned down by three of this year's line-up who said they preferred her co-star Gabby Windey.
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The 26-year-old Chicago native first offered a rose to Termayne Harper, 28, of Naperville, Illinois, who turned down the rose and friend-zoned Rachel in one fell swoop. 'I feel like we could be great friends outside of this, obviously, but I feel like I have a deeper connection with Gabby. I am gonna have to decline the rose," he said.
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Host Jesse Palmer then stepped in to reveal that those who rejected Rachel's roses would be sent home if they were not picked by Gabby. He also took the rose, meaning Rachel was unable to offer it to someone else.
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With two remaining roses, Rachel then picked wedding photographer Alec Garza, 27, of Houston, who echoed Termayne's words, telling her: "Unfortunately, I don't think I can. Uh, I just don't think I'm the right one for you."
She then tried to give her third and final rose to James' Meatball' Clarke, 25, of Winnetka, Illinois, who also said he preferred Gabby. "I'm sorry, I cannot. I'm here for Gabby. I just have to go with my heart," he said.
Termayne, Alec and James all turned down Rachel's roses
Rachel was left fighting back tears as she admitted: "To hear three people, one after another, stop me and say, 'I can't accept this rose,' it was so humiliating. It was the hardest moment I've had as The Bachelorette, truly."
Fans watching at home couldn't quite believe what they were seeing and quickly flocked to social media to discuss the episode. One tweeted: "Rachel rejected 3X! & Jesse keeps taking her roses! WTF?!"
Rachel was left fighting back tears after the rose ceremony
Another said: "GIVE RACHEL BACK HER ROSES," and a third added: "I think every episode they are going to flip flop with either Gabby or Rachel being rejected and it's so upsetting watching them compare themselves and feel so hurt."
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Others couldn't help but criticise the show's format, with many arguing that the women should've got their own season each so they wouldn't be pitted against each other.
"I'm sorry, but although their chemistry is undeniable, Gabby and Rachel should have each gotten their own seasons and their own groups of men," someone suggested, while another added: "The stupid thing is that Rachel and Gabby each should've had their own group of guys to begin with #TheBachelorette."
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