“It’s easy to nitpick or just see one side of the story and easy to criticize,” Gabby told People on Tuesday, August 2, addressing critics of The Bachelorette‘s new format. “Naturally, people want to have an opinion, want people to stand behind them.”
Despite what people think, the duo has a “sisterhood is something so special that nobody’s seen before.” Gabby, 31, the former Denver Broncos cheerleader, explained.”I think it allows us to be more vulnerable with each other because we know that there’s someone else by our side.”
Following their stint on Clayton Echard‘s season of The Bachelor — which aired earlier this year — Gabby and Rachel, 26, were named the first-ever co-Bachelorette leads. Immediately, viewers were worried the two women would be pitted against each other.
“I think that’s what we’re seeing. Like, ‘Oh, let’s pick apart something new,’” Gabby said of critics, noting “there’s a lot of good in” this season. She assured that there are “two different love stories” and “two different personalities to reach a bigger audience” before making it clear that their friendship is stronger than ever.
“So if you pay attention, we’re not pitting ourselves against each other. We’re not in any competition. That’s other people creating the narrative,” Gabby declared. “So now, it’s like whatever, but our friendship has grown so much. And it’s something that I know I take away from this experience, in this season in particular, that nobody else gets to. And that’s truly invaluable to me.”
Rachel, for her part, told the publication that they went into their respective journeys for love “knowing that we were going to respect each other, have open communication.”
“There was never really a decision in the beginning we didn’t make without one another. We were always there to support one another,” the pilot added. “You can see us having our bad days. I’ll have a bad day, and then something similar happens to her. So I think if anything, we just grew more than we could have imagined as friends.”
Months before Gabby and Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette premiered, the show’s creator Mike Fleiss weighed in on criticisms about having dual leads with a Twitter post that confirmed these two had “no drama” between them.
“Just two friends helping each other find true love!” he shared on April 6, alongside a photo of the duo. “Exclusive international photo!!!”
Can’t wait until the finale for more Bachelorette spoilers? No worries, we’ve got you covered. See if Gabby Windey gets engaged, who her final two guys are and who her top four guys are. Plus, check out if Rachel Recchia gets engaged, who her final two guys are and who she picks for her final four. You can also check out Life & Style’s Bachelorette page for more updates on the drama throughout the season!