Oof, what a finale. The three-hour, live conclusion to Season 13 of “The Bachelorette” and Rachel Lindsay’s quest for love didn’t come down to a typical choice between two men — she sent suitors Eric and Peter home early before accepting last-man-standing Bryan Abasolo’s proposal amongst the windswept vineyards of La Rioja, Spain. It seems like 11 years ago that 31 hopeful men and one doll stepped out of that limo looking for love, and yet only 11 weeks have passed. How did we end up with Eric, Peter and, in the end, Bryan? What happened to all those other men?
Looking back at the men eliminated this season, we get a fresh appreciation for everything Rachel had to endure. Remember how Whaboom and the Ticklemonster weren’t eliminated IMMEDIATELY? Remember Jack Stone’s dream to just “lock the door” and “lay in bed” with Rachel? *Shudders* Despite all this, Rachel persevered.
Rachel focused on the men who made strong first impressions and didn’t waste much time on the others. Of the 18 date roses that Rachel gave out during the season, only five went to suitors who didn’t end up in the final four. She was similarly selective in picking who she would go on dates with. In Week 7, for example, Rachel could have given one of the three available one-on-one dates to Matt or Adam, who had only been on group dates. Instead, she spent them with Dean, Bryan and Peter, who had already gone on one-on-ones.
As the chart shows, Rachel concentrated her attention on a limited number of suitors — not the worst strategy if you’re trying to find a husband, but it made for predictable TV. Almost everyone in the FiveThirtyEight “Bachelorette” bracket pool had Dean, Bryan and Peter in their final four.
Throughout all the drama, Rachel and her men were also roaming the globe — no metaphorical journey to find love would be worth watching without actual travel. This season’s international destinations were all in Western Europe and pretty boring (though there was some Viking fighting). But Rachel did get to see a substantial slice of the good ol’ USA by choosing a geographically diverse final four for hometown dates.
It’s been a wild ride for Rachel and Bachelor Nation, but we’re ready to move on to a new love story. So … who’s going to be the next Bachelor?1
UPDATE (Aug. 7, 11:03 p.m.): This article was updated after the season finale.
Additional reporting contributions by Walt Hickey.