Griff Clessuras '24
On this season of The Bachelor, Zach’s journey was filled with drama, twists and turns, and betrayal. Initially, Greer emerged as the heavy favorite, as she earned the first impression rose. Viewers, such as myself, could not help but think receiving the first impression rose was just the first step in Greer’s two-month journey to love with Zach. But despite the initial chemistry they found, Greer and Zach's relationship stalled. Unlucky group date luck and Greer’s non-aggressive approach to seeking time with Zach prevented their relationship from growing past what they had created on night one. With Zach getting covid in week six and Greer getting covid week seven, Zach and Greer never had the one-on-one time to foster a relationship that could make it to the week eight hometown episodes, making Zach and Greer’s relationship one of the biggest what-if stories of the entire season.
Week two of The Bachelor saw the emergence of contestant Christina Mandrell. On their one-on-one date, viewers could see the natural chemistry the two possessed, but Christina was initially holding something back—she was a single mother. At dinner, when Christina opened up to Zach about this, Zach was stunned but still gave her the one-on-one rose and thanked her for opening up. However, just the next week, after a very strong one-on-one date, rumors emerged that Christina was there for the wrong reasons. Upon hearing these accusations, Zach confronted and dumped Christina. Was it due to the allegations, or was Zach just looking for an excuse to not have to deal with Christina's kid? This would be the biggest mystery of the season.
By week eight—hometown week—four contestants had been selected; they gave Zach tours of their hometowns and introduced him to their families. These women were Kaity, Gabi, Arielle, and Charity.
Kaity had been a strong favorite ever since her one-on-one date at a dinosaur museum in which Zach and Kaity wore matching PJs and enjoyed exploring the museum and eating dinner together. After a slow start, Gabi and Zach’s relationship picked up after winning a group date rose and winning a one-on-one rose after their one-on-one date in England, in which Zach and Gabi pretended to be part of England's royal family for a day. Then there was Charity, who was perhaps the most consistent point-getter in the Bachelor fantasy league all season. Her dates consistently showcased Charity’s outgoing personality, and you could see Zach enjoyed Charity’s company. After their one-on-one date got canceled due to Zach coming down with Covid, Charity quickly rebounded, delivering one of the best single-week performances during her date in England. The last of the final four was Arielle. Arielle was a dark horse. It didn’t seem that her Zach ever talked that much or had interesting conversations. Yet somehow, Arielle kept hanging in there. She stayed out of drama and took advantage of her time with Zach, winning an unexpected pool party group date after a great performance that shook Bachelor Nation.
Charity was the first of the four to fall, and for no apparent reason. Charity was the heavy favorite to move on and was rostered by many in the Bachelor fantasy league, but for Zach, a future just wasn’t there. Luckily for Charity, Bachelor Nation will get to see more of her, as she will be the Bachelorette in the next season of The Bachelorette. For her many great performances, the Bachelor Fantasy League awarded her “offensive player of the year.”
After a stunning fantasy suite episode, Arielle was betrayed by Zach and went home. Nevertheless, Bachelor Nation has grown to love this underdog and can’t help but hope she will be a present member of Bachelor Nation for years to come.
The finals were between Gabi and Kaity. Griff Clessuras said it would take a miracle for Kaity to win the show and that Gabi was a virtual lock. All signs were pointing this way. But this miracle happened. Gabi was shocked, and Zach did not propose to her, giving Kaity the final rose.
Kaity will certainly go down in Bachelor history as one of the biggest underdogs to pull out the victory in the final episode. So far, Zach appears to have made the right decision, as he and Kaity are still together. They hope to join the group of six bachelor couples that have been and remained married since the show's debut in 2002.