9:04am PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelorette' Rachel Lindsay Defends Her Final Picks: "I Know I Can't Please Everyone"
Meeting the parents always brings anxiety on The Bachelorette, but Monday's penultimate episode saw one of the most tense family introductions in recent memory on the franchise.
Rachel Lindsay took turns bringing her three finalists home to Dallas to meet her family. Peter Kraus, Eric Bigger and Bryan Abosolo met the ABC reality star's mother, sister, brother-in-law, uncle, aunt and two friends. Lindsay's father, who is a federal judge, was absent for the second time on the series, which meant the men were tasked with asking Lindsay's mother, Kathy, for their blessing to propose in the upcoming finale (airing Aug. 7).
Though Kraus, 31, wasn't ready to officially ask for a proposal blessing, he was loved and welcomed in by the Lindsay family. They shared some reservations about 29-year-old Bigger, the least experienced in the relationship department of the bunch, but it was Abasolo, 37, who had to fight to impress the tight-knit group. Her family largely took issue with Abasolo pronouncing his love for their daughter after knowing her only nine weeks, questioning his sincerity to the point where he excused himself from the room after a tense round of rapid-fire questions. "I'm really low-key annoyed," Lindsay flatly told her family at the dinner table.
The reality star took to Twitter after the episode aired to call out her sister, Constance, who was the toughest with Abasolo (using a "you can't sit with us" GIF from Mean Girls), and to defend him from Bachelor Nation, who collectively expressed negative opinions over the clear frontrunner on social media when the episode aired.
"I want somebody who wants what I want AND wants it with me," she wrote after clarifying a conversation that aired between her and Kraus on their differing views of what it means to be engaged. "This was the chopped and screwed version of my response. Obviously Engagement means marriage 2 me. It's all I talk about," she clarified. On the episode, Lindsay had said, "For me, a proposal isn't, 'Oh my god, you're getting down on one knee and you're proposing and we're getting married tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.'" While Kraus disagreed: "Engagement is marriage. I want to do it just as many times as I do it in my life, which is once.”
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the recent taping for the Men Tell All reunion special (which airs July 31), Lindsay opened up about the pressure of appeasing everyone with her final pick.
"You know, I have learned that you can't please everybody," she says, quoting Kanye West's "Eyes Closed" lyrics ("They love you then they hate you then they love you again"). "You just have to accept that, being in a public role. I hope everyone is happy with my decision, but I know I can't please everyone. I'm happy and that's all that really matters to me. And he's happy too."
Lindsay has been open about the pressure of being the first black Bachelorette both on and off screen. Ultimately, she told THR that, despite the expectations put on her by the African-American community to pick a black man in the end, she had to be selfish and do what's best for her. "I couldn't get caught up in picking a certain man to please a certain community," she had said, adding that race didn't play a factor in her final pick. (Her finalists are one black man, Bigger, one Colombian man, Abasolo, and one white man, Kraus.)
Now, after the episodes have aired and Lindsay has been able to see the response from fans — both good and bad — she admits that the negativity is something neither she nor her winner could prepare for.
"Eric, Bryan and Peter have all faced negativity in their own way," she now tells THR. "And you can never really prepare for it, because we're thrown into this public view and people all have their own opinions. And they've all faced it, and my fiance definitely has as well. I think he's handling it in the best way he can."
Adding, "For me, I just have to be always positive and supportive. The thing is there's three guys left and every single one of them has faced negativity in their own right. And so, it's hard."
But, in the end, Lindsay — who revealed ahead of the season that she is engaged to the winner — has no regrets.
"I've learned that he is exactly the person that he said is, which is scary," she says of her fiance. "Even in Fantasy Suites where you have off camera time together, it's not this extensive time, so you're thrown into this world and you feel strongly for this person you want to spend the rest of your life with. But you're also like 'Is this person the person they say they are?' And I can honestly say that my fiance is even better than the way I thought he was. And that's what's been so great."
After next week's Men Tell All reunion special, Lindsay returns with all three finalists — marking another franchise first in her historic journey — for the two-hour finale on Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Sydney Odman contributed to this story.