Zach Shallcross didn’t disappoint Bachelor fans with his choice to pursue suitor Kaity Biggar, but he did leave some scratching their heads when he revealed to Kaity, Jesse Palmer, and, in turn, America, that he broke his self-imposed celibacy rule in the Fantasy Suite with Gabi Elnicki, without giving the runner-up a heads up. “When Gabi said, which I felt was extra shocking, that he had come up to her, kissed her on the back of the head in the bathroom [in the Fantasy Suite] and said, this stays just between us tonight… And then told Jesse on camera, told America and then told Kaity, just like… it was bad,” ‘Will You Accept This Rose?’ host Arden Myrin recalled on the HollywoodLife Podcast.
The comedian, who was an audience member at the Bachelor finale’s live show, said that in the moment Zach shockingly dumped Gabi after telling her he loved her twice, “you could feel the audience wanting to wrap their arms around her.” “There was goodwill towards obviously towards Kaity and Zach in the end, and the fans were happy for them. But the goodwill towards Gabi… you could feel,” Arden told HL. “I think after what happened last week and this week, people were really rooting for her.”
The podcast host called Zach’s “betrayal” of Gabi’s trust, revealing to Kaity he slept with her, “brutal” and even more difficult to watch play out in real time. As an avid watcher of the series, Arden theorized that Zach acted in such a way because he was “so worried about being the bad guy” all season. “You see how quickly he eliminated all the villains, there was not one left. If you were a villain for a second, you were out. I think he was so worried about public perception,” she explained. “I think he was so worried about being a bad guy that he backed himself into a corner, and it was not about Gabi’s feelings. I think it was about how he came off and she was just collateral damage. It was brutal.”
Gabi had the opportunity to speak to Zach about his behavior and stringing her along before giving Kaity his final rose, when she joined host Jesse Palmer on stage at After The Final Rose in tears. “It’s honestly worse watching it back,” she told the host. “I don’t even have words right now. … I never thought that somebody who said they were falling in love with me would make it go through that. … I felt humiliated.” When Zach joined her on stage, the 25-year-old eloquently told her ex, “I feel ashamed — from a moment that felt like love to me. It’s very painful that I went through. And during that rose ceremony … you were only speaking to Kaity in that moment. Because Ariel didn’t know, and I didn’t know then until watching it back. And I wish you would have just sent me home and saved me all of the pain.”
Zach apologized, telling Gabi, ““In my mind — which was wrong — I felt like I needed to let everyone know that I went against my word,” he said. “In my mind, it was just the secret that I had to not have. … The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you like that. … From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
“He told her he loved her after they slept together and then he said he was falling in love with her again. He reiterated it on the beach. He said, these are feelings of love, so why say that to her?” Arden went on to question Zach’s behavior on the HL Podcast. Still, she thinks he and Kaity can definitely be a rare Bachelor Nation couple to make it all the way. “Katie is lovely and a perfect choice for him. I think they’ll be very happy. I actually think they have a good chance of making it and I think that they seem to fit together, so I do wish them nothing but the best,” she said in the end. You can listen to the full HollywoodLife Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and be sure to tune into Arden Myrin’s Will You Accept This Rose? and her new podcast No Autographs, Please! which drops this Friday!