Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for The Bachelorette Season 19.
Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor offered viewers no shortage of drama, especially toward the end when it was down to three women. That's when Clayton was forced to choose between Susie Evans, Gabby Windey, and Rachel Recchia. And, spoiler alert: Things did not go well when he was honest about being in love with all three women (and having been intimate with the latter two).
Now that Season 26 of The Bachelor is over and Clayton and Susie have reconnected, fans are already looking forward to Season 19 of The Bachelorette. Traditionally, a contestant from a recent season of The Bachelor is chosen as the next Bachelorette. Producers shook things up a bit with Season 19, however, because two leads (aka Clayton's two remaining exes) were selected.
About four months after Clayton's controversial season ended, Gabby and Rachel's search for love officially kicked off on The Bachelorette.
Though the ladies initially kept all of the men together in one group, they later decided that they wanted to split the guys up so they could really get to know them better.
On the July 25 episode of the hit ABC series, the leads offered viewers some clarity about how the rest of the season will operate.
Gabby and Rachel are both the leads of 'The Bachelorette' Season 19.
During the "After the Final Rose" special for Clayton's season, which aired on March 15, Gabby and Rachel were announced as the next Bachelorettes for Season 19. This is a first for the franchise.
In 2015, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson were announced as co-leads — however, in the first episode, contestants voted for Kaitlyn to be the sole star of the season. Similarly, Katie Thurston and Michelle Young were both announced as co-Bachelorettes, but they ended up starring in separate seasons.
How will Season 19 'The Bachelorette' work?
In past seasons, there has been only one female lead and around 30 men vying for her affection. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But, the format did have to change in order to ensure that both Gabby and Rachel would have the best chance at finding lasting love.
For the first two weeks, both of the main stars spent time with all of the men. At the first rose ceremony, a rose signified that both Gabby and Rachel wanted to keep getting to know a particular suitor.
Instead of having the ladies try to get to know all of the men throughout the majority of the season (à la Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer), Rachel and Gabby decided to split up the group at the end of Week 3.
During the second rose ceremony of the season, the leads offered out roses to the men they wanted to continue to get to know individually. If Rachel gave a rose to a guy, he would only be able to continue to pursue her romantically, and vice versa for Gabby.
Though the ladies wanted to take the power back for themselves, it did backfire slightly. Three men rejected Rachel's roses, and two guys told Gabby a night earlier that they were only interested in getting to know Rachel.
While Week 3 and the second rose ceremony were slightly awkward for the two women, now that they've identified their groups, things should go much more smoothly... right?!
New episodes of Season 19 of The Bachelorette air on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You can also stream the season on Hulu.