A standout introduction. Gabriella “Gabi” Elnicki had The Bachelor viewers talking after her unique first meeting with Zach Shallcross.
During the season 27 premiere, which aired in January, Gabi had Zach take a swig of maple syrup as a callback to her hometown in Vermont.
“The look on his face just didn’t look like it resonated well with his palate,” the ABC contestant said after seeing the California native’s response. “So I’m hoping that I resonate better. It might have left a bad taste in his mouth.”
Zach’s love life originally became a topic of conversation after he attempt to win over Rachel Recchia‘s heart in season 19 of The Bachelorette. The tech executive ultimately broke things off on screen before the September 2022 finale, due to their incompatibility.
“Her response — it felt so cold. I thought, maybe, that I meant more,” Zach told host Jesse Palmer, referring to his “very inauthentic” conversations with Rachel behind closed doors. “One of the things I fell in love with was she made me feel, like, special. And I cared for her and I question if any of that was real or if that was just an act.”
Zach later admitted that he developed more empathy for Rachel after being named the Bachelor for season 27. “You can never really foresee what the actual experience is. They put you through the wringer and it’s an amazing experience, but oh my gosh, you can do and say some of the dumbest stuff that you would never normally do,” he exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the premiere. “But you were just in this world that’s moving a million miles an hour and it’s not easy. It’s fun, but it’s not easy.”
ABC previously hinted in a sneak peek that Zach’s journey will take a turn after he develops a connection with several women.
“Falling in love with two people is terrifying,” the TV personality admitted in a clip from the season. “This journey has been very difficult both times. It could be so heartbreaking and confusing, but as messy as it’s gotten, I found my best friend and it feels really good. I just know that she is The One. I’m gonna propose to the love of my life and I can’t wait.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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