Rachel Recchia knows a thing or two about what it takes to lead a season.
The 26-year-old pilot was first introduced to the franchise last year on The Bachelor, later claiming the title as one of the Bachelorettes alongside Gabby Windey.
Current leading man Zach Shallcross was one of Rachel’s top men during her season, but things took a turn after the two spent a night together in the fantasy suite.
The aftermath of the date was almost too awkward for viewers to watch, and although Zach seemed blindsided by the situation, it was clear that their conversations that night ultimately led to them parting ways shortly after.
Now that Zach has taken the reins as the Bachelor, Rachel has shown support for her ex-boyfriend, most recently sticking up for him after this week’s episode.
Though Rachel was vague in terms of what she was referring to exactly, Zach has been receiving a bit of online heat for how he handled his virtual conversation with contestant Greer, with some viewers calling his words “off-putting” and “unnecessarily rude.”
While the internet can be tough on Bachelor Nation, something Jesse Palmer had previously shown concern over in regard to Zach as the Bachelor, Rachel stepped in to stick up for him after the episode’s airing.
Rachel Recchia sticks up for Zach Shallcross on The Bachelor
In a tweet on Tuesday, Rachel prompted her fans to show a bit more understanding when it comes to publicly bashing someone in the franchise.
“let’s all be mindful and extend a little bit of compassion and grace towards the leads of the show,” the former Bachelorette wrote.
Zach also contracted COVID-19 in London during Week 5, which forced him to handle his time with the remaining women in a totally different way.
The situation was clearly hard on the lead as he shed many tears while preparing for the show’s first-ever virtual cocktail party and rose ceremony.
With all of these factors, it’s clear Rachel felt the need to let the internet know that being the leader of a reality dating show is no easy ordeal.
Zach Shallcross admits Rachel broke his heart on The Bachelorette
While Zach may be able to sympathize with Rachel now that he can see things from a lead’s perspective, he still recently admitted that she had broken his heart last year on The Bachelorette.
As previously reported by Monsters and Critics, Zach and Jesse Palmer participated in a game of “Truth or Drink” prior to this season’s airing, where Zach spilled a few secrets about what was to come.
During the game, Zach said that his breakup with Rachel was the closest thing he has ever felt to heartbreak, explaining how he was in disbelief about the situation.
Despite the demise of his former romance with Rachel, it seems as if Zach may have found his future wife on his season of The Bachelor.
When asked if he found love on the show the second time around, Zach kept a poker face as he took a sip of his bourbon instead of answering the question.
As for Rachel, she has not spoken publicly about any serious relationship since viewers saw her and Tino break off their engagement on The Bachelorette finale last fall.
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.