The co-leads ended part one of the finale with one suitor remaining for each of them. While Rachel is hoping for a proposal from Tino Franco during part two, which airs on Tuesday, September 20, Gabby thinks Erich Schwer is The One for her. Part two is set to pick up during an emotional fight between the pair over an engagement.
“I don’t want to force him into his decision,” Gabby said during part one after Erich suggested they just date instead of getting engaged. “I want to be with Erich forever — so I want him to propose. What am I supposed to do? Walk away because he’s not ready to propose?”
The ICU nurse had her sights on Erich from the beginning of the season, giving him a one-on-one date during week three. Their relationship continued to blossom when she met his family, including his father, who had terminal cancer. (Erich’s dad, Allan Schwer, died in July, months after the hometown date filmed.)
During the overnight dates, Erich and Gabby hit a roadblock as he struggled with the idea of her spending the night with Jason Alabaster and/or Johnny DePhillipo. While he briefly spiraled on screen before Gabby sent her other two finalists home, things got even worse for Erich off camera.
On September 8, a photo of the New Jersey native in blackface from his high school yearbook resurfaced. He apologized via Instagram, writing in part: “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior.”
Days later, a woman named Amanda Kaylor alleged that she was seeing Erich before he left to film The Bachelorette. She shared screenshots of their alleged text messages after he informed her of his decision on March 10, claiming that Erich wanted her to stay open to the idea of dating when he returned.
“You just expected me to continue dating you while you go on a reality show to ‘find love,’” Amanda texted.
Erich allegedly responded, “It isn’t real, but you’re right. I am sorry I really didn’t think this all through. … I didn’t realize the implications. I am sorry I thought we could get on the same page about this. I really didn’t mean for this to hurt you.”
In another message, he supposedly explained that he signed up for the ABC show because he was “miserable” and felt “stuck in my career path” as a real estate analyst.
Before he headed to Los Angeles to shoot the show, Reality Steve reports that Erich sent Amanda flowers with a note that read: “I’ll never stop thinking of you.”
Scroll through for a complete timeline of the scandal: