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Collateral Damage & BACHELORETTES Revealed on THE BACHELOR Season 26 Tuesday Finale Recap

Pictured: GABBY WINDEY, CLAYTON ECHARD / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

“The Bachelor” season 26 finale part two started with host Jesse Palmer visiting Susie at her hotel room to tell her how Clayton had fallen apart since after she left him and asked her if she would go talk to him.

Susie did agree to go talk to Clayton.  After meeting Clayton’s parents, Susie asked to talk to Clayton outside in the freezing cold.   Susie told Clayton “it was humiliating” and felt like a stray dog that he was shooing out.  “You made me feel wrong and bad.  That to me was the heartbreak.”  Clayton responded that he didn’t mean those things that he said and he got scared because he saw himself losing her and went “way out of character.”  He said she has everything he wants.

Clayton pleaded with Susie asking her if there was any way she could give him a second chance.  He said he would do “anything,”  and added, “I love you and I don’t want to lose you.” Susie said she’s not in a position where she can make a decision at that moment.  Kind of the reaction that Susie wanted and deserved on their Fantasy Suite date.  On the plus side, it was so cold outside in Iceland that the extreme chill didn’t permit for a very long conversation between the two of them because Susie left right after.

Pictured: SUSIE, CLAYTON / THE BACHELOR Screenshot, ABC Copyright

After that, Clayton came to the conclusion that he needed to break-up with both Gabby and Rachel.  Clayton also realized that the hope that he had with Susie was slipping.
Back at the hotel, Gabby and Rachel were chatting about what was going on with Clayton.  They both said they met his family, but neither went on a last date with him.  They were perplexed as to why.  Then Clayton joined the two ladies.  He opened with, this whole journey went not how I expected.  He wished he could take it all back  Then, it was time for the bomb to drop.  “I realized it’s not feasibly possible to be in love with three women like I said I was.”    Obviously, everybody deserves to be loved 100%.

He said his heart was with Susie.  “I’m so very sorry.  I hope you can forgive me one day.”  Gabby responded “I don’t really have anything to say.”  She left.  Clayton decided to go after Gabby, as Rachel stayed there in shock.  When he went to talk to Gabby, she told him “I actually don’t know who you are.” She said she can’t believe anything that you say,” and told him that the reason he asked them to stay two days ago was because his pride was hurt, and now it’s his decision that he’s done with them.  When Clayton asked Gabby if he could walk her out, she said “no.”  And rightly so!  ‘


Pictured: GABBY WINDEY, CLAYTON ECHARD / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Clayton returned to finish the mess he created to see about Rachel.  But, before that, Gabby came out onto the stage at the live show.   Gabby said watching the show back, she got the clarity that she needed seeing all sides of the story.  Jesse asked her about the break-up day.  She said that final week “was hard as hell” and she thought it would be her at the end.  But, prepared herself for the worse.

She felt betrayed and hurt by Clayton.  Gabby responded that she was in love with Clayton, and it took her a while to shed her layers and open-up to Clayton during the journey of the show.  “I don’t regret anything,” and  “Clayton was always a really safe space for me.”  She said she felt that he really saw her.  Jesse asked Gabby if she was ready to face Clayton again and she said “yes.”

Clayton came out to talk to Gabby.  She told Clayton that after watching it back, she felt really misled and she wasn’t given all the information even though he had all of the information.  That’s what hurt her the most and she truly felt betrayed.  Clayon said he can do nothing more than apologize.  He said he had no malicious intent, he just didn’t go about it in the best way.  She said she gave him chances in the moment to be more honest with her.  He was being “transparent” but his transparent had conditions.

Gabby said it seemed that Clayton was pinning them against each other. Gabby said it really seemed like a competition which she didn’t want to be a part of.   She pointed out that when you say you “love” someone, you’re assuming the responsibility to protect them, to care for them, and not hurt them, and he didn’t do any of those things.  She said his actions could not back up any of those words.   Gabby also told Clayton that he withheld from them that he loves Susie “the most.”   She said that would have been hurtful to her.

Back at the hotel:  Clayton returned to the room where Rachel was.   She told him that in Houston after he gave her that rose, she said she felt she was falling in love with him.  By the hometown date, she knew she was in love with him.  At the last Rose Ceremony, Rachel pointed-out that she stayed and stood there with him because she thought it would be worth it in the end.  Rachel told Clayton that this moment was going to haunt him.  She said “I never stopped fighting for you ever” as Clayton walked her out.  Rachel couldn’t believe that Clayton was saying goodbye to her.  “You’re going to put me in this car right now?”   In her exit ride, she said Clayton didn’t even cry.   She realized that Clayton was never in love with her.

Rachel was in the studio watching it all back.  “It was really hard,” she said and the hardest part was knowing how much she was in love with him. She said she felt like she watched someone get completely blindsided.  The hardest part was knowing how hard she fought for that relationship, and the disrespect he had by deciding to break-up with her and Gabby together, not even separately.

Rachel said he broke her heart the first time at the Rose Ceremony, then he broke her heart the second time.  She felt robbed of the opportunity to stand-up for herself because she was begging him not to put her in that car.   She truly thought it was her.  Jesse asked Rachel if she’s still in love with Clayton. “I don’t have feelings for him anymore.”  She said watching how much he disrespected her and Gabby, it’s impossible to have feelings for him.


Pictured: RACHEL RECCHIA, CLAYTON ECHARD / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Rachel said she was ready to see Clayton, but he doesn’t deserve to talk to her.  He’s been pretty selfish on this journey and she does deserve the opportunity to speak-up for herself.  After Clayton sat-down, Rachel told him, “none of these emotions are for you or about you.  Because I become your collateral damage in your journey for love.” She noted how there was no empathy for her or Gabby.  He didn’t shed a tear.   She couldn’t imagine how he could do that.  Clayton said he could have done things way better than he did.  He said he really wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.  “It does pain me to see this and to watch it back… I should have asked more questions instead of making assumptions.”  Rachel responded that she just doesn’t believe him.

Rachel said Clayton left out the part of who he loved the most.  “I don’t even know what your version of love is now since we last talked about it,” She told him he disrespected her as a human, and having a group break-out was like he was trying to cast them to the side as quickly as possible to get to the one he loves the most.

Jesse addressed Rachel’s parents who were in the audience and asked them if they had anything to say to Clayton.  They were both so upset that they decided not to say anything.  Clayton told Rachel’s parents that he was sorry and had no intention of causing her so much pain.  He told Rachel that he’s learning to be a better person.

Rachel’s last question to Clayton was if he told her he loved her because he wanted to sleep with her.  Clayton said “no,” and he really felt like he loved her and felt those feelings for her at the time.


Jesse warned that Clayton was about to “throw the biggest hail mary that Bachelor Nation has ever seen.”

Pictured: CLAYTON ECHARD, SUSIE / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Clayton’s journey was coming to an end in Iceland with Susie being the only woman left.   He said he was ready to make a lifelong commitment to wake up next to Susie every day.  Clayton sent Susie a letter, and he had picked-out a ring for her.   Jesse arrived at Susie’s door to hand deliver the letter from Clayton.  The letter ended with if she would meet him, he would “patiently be waiting in the Countryside.”

A beautiful proposal site was set up for Clayton and Susie.  As he waited for Susie  he looked at the ring he had chosen for her.  Susie arrived wearing a beautiful white gown.  Clayton said they had “a wild journey.”  The moment he saw her step out of the limo, he was blown away.  He said he’ll never stop loving her or stop fighting for her.   He asked her to give him the chance to prove himself to her.

Susie said his words were powerful and the letter meant so much to her.  She said he’s this incredible person.  “I still believe it.  I just know it to be true.  There’s no doubt about our connection.” She said their love is so real.  Then Susie said “BUT” …  the kind of love he has for her right now, is not the kind of love she has for him right now, and made the decision to leave Iceland alone. “It’s devastating.”  Susie said she thought it through and doesn’t think they’re each other’s person.   Clayton asked if she thinks there is a chance?  He said he sees forever with Susie.  “It’s not over until you tell me it’s over,” Clayton said.   Susie replied, “I feel like it’s over.”

Jesse said he knew how devastating Clayton was that day.  For the first time, The Bachelor was left alone…or was he?

Clayton was back in the hot seat on the live show.  For the first time, Jesse said, “our Bachelor was rejected and left a single man.”  Jesse said Clayton put so much pressure on himself for an engagement.  When Susie was riding away, did he feel like he failed?  Clayton answered “yes.” It was his intention to walk out with someone.   Jesse said, things didn’t end there.  Clayton said he went back to his home, and someone reached-out to him.  “It was the last person” he expected to reach out and he was shocked.   He was surprised who it was and “something came out of all this.”   It was very unexpected.  He said he focused on working on being “a better human being.”

The mystery woman was Susie.  Susie said leaving Iceland by herself was the best decision she could have made.  Susie said they “relaid foundation” and they’re now boyfriend and girlfriend.  Jesse asked “what changed?”  Susie said they were able to re-establish a relationship after taking time apart and they were able to re-establish trust.   Jesse said he never thought in a million years that he’d be sitting there with Susie.  Clayton said he held onto hope and thankfully she reached back out.  Clayton said it was one conversation at a time for them and they rebuilt their relationship.  Jesse asked Susie if she was in love with Clayton.  She said confidently “yes.” She said they both made mistakes on their journey,  but they both have so much love for each other.

How will America react?  Susie said they are expecting some backlash.  She wants people to root for them and they have the best intentions.  Jesse asked, “was it all worth it?”  Clayton said yes one thousand percent and he couldn’t be happier.  He said following his heart was the best decision he could have made.  Clayton said he couldn’t be more in love with Susie.

Pictured: SUSIE, CLAYTON ECHARD / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Jesse mentioned that the last time he saw Clayton, he had a ring in his pocket.  Neil Lane is there.  Clayton said he’s moving-in with Susie and going to Virginia in the next few days.  He quit his job and sold his condo.  Then, Clayton said “I have one final thing.”   He went and got the final rose to present to Susie.  Susie accepted the final rose.  But, no ring!


Jesse said choosing the next ‘Bachelorette was the “hardest” they EVER had to make.  The show received thousands of Tweets, and DMs from Bachelor Nation.  It wasn’t Gabby or Rachel.  “It’s Gabby AND Rachel!”  The two women were genuinely shocked and excited to hear the announcement.  For the first time ever, the show will have TWO Bachelorettes for the entire season!  The logistics?   According to Jesse, they’re still figuring it out.  Hopefully soon because apparently filming starts really soon!   Gabby reacted that she’s a girl’s girl and having Rachel there is the best thing she could have asked for.

Pictured (l-r): GABBY WINDEY, RACHEL RECCHIA / Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

What qualities are they looking for in a man?  Rachel answered someone who’s supportive and loves her.  Gabby said for her, the qualities she’s looking for are: emotionally intelligent, mature, and who can challenge her.  Also, a sense of humor.  Rachel said they’ve both been through so much, she’s ready for them to get their happy ending.

Jesse also announced that he’ll be rejoining them and he’ll be seeing them on their journey.   So, host Jesse Palmer will be returning for another season!



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