Long before Bachelor Nation was warring over #TeamGarrett and #TeamBlake and wondering what beautiful gown Becca Kufrin would choose for her Maldives proposal, The Bachelorette‘s most dramatic finale had been claimed by a different final three: Rachel Lindsay, Peter Kraus, and Bryan Abasolo. Rachel, season 13’s leading lady, ended up choosing Bryan despite an intense connection with Peter, which resulted in a raw, emotional finale drawn out over two nights. Now, Rachel is speaking out about how unfair she says her love story was treated in comparison to Becca’s happy ending.
Rachel has been blogging Bachelorette recaps at Us Weekly all season long, and for her recap of Monday night’s finale, she accused ABC of casting her in a negative light during her own finale versus the way Becca was portrayed. Rachel was the reality show franchise’s first black Bachelorette, which put a lot of what happened during her season under a microscope more so than past seasons of the series. This was especially the case in her finale, which was mainly focused on drumming up sympathy for runner-up Peter than it was about celebrating Rachel and Bryan’s engagement (it was heavily implied that Rachel chose Bryan because he could guarantee her a proposal, whereas Peter could not).
“Becca did not sit on stage for three hours and watch the finale for the first time in front of a live audience,” she wrote. “Becca did not have to deal with someone telling her she would live a mediocre life. Becca did not have to deal with being baited with real time questions about her emotions watching certain scenes. Nope, that was me.”
Rachel and Bryan are still very much together and appear to be living happily ever after, but the 33-year-old attorney is clearly (and rightly) still very upset about how the show crafted her narrative for Bachelor Nation. What makes her case even stronger is how little Becca and Garrett had to discuss his Instagram scandal from earlier in the season, when it was revealed he was “liking” photos from right-wing Instagram pages mocking immigrants, feminists, Parkland high school student David Hogg, and transgender people. They offered up another weak apology about Garrett’s views for Chris Harrison, then the show moved right along.
“Let’s just be honest, Becca did not have the finale that I had. There was no controversy and she was not put in a position to face any,” Rachel continued in her blog. “She was protected and I was placed on display for three hours and labeled an angry black female. And there will always be that stigma attached to my finale because it has been said that when truth is blurred by misinformation, perception becomes reality and all is lost.”
Becca, for her part, told Us Weekly that the way the show sets up each finale is not up to the Bachelorette: “To be quite honest I didn’t remember that that even happened last year, but every show format is a little bit different. You know last [season], we had the two-night finale where they showed the breakup and then everything after that in two nights, so I think it’s just always different. I don’t really have much of a say in that.”