Future seasons of ABC's The Bachelorette
will want to avoid most of the things that happened in the 2017 finale. It's best for the continuation of the franchise if the runner-up isn't eliminated a day before their competitor. Adding to it, fans of the show liking the runner-up more than the actual "winner."
That said, there is one change that The Bachelorette season 13 finale made to its usual format that should stick around. For the first time ever, the lead was with host Chris Harrison for the entire finale.
There was special reason for Rachel Lindsay being involved in the finale way earlier than usual. The break-up with Peter before the final day of the show created a situation that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. The Bachelorette didn't so much have a final episode and an After the Final Rose special because of the Peter situation. It mixed them together -- but it worked. Having Rachel on hand for the season 13 finale for quick interviews added an unusual, but necessary, new perspective to events.
The twist worked as well as it did because it was Rachel Lindsay in the spotlight. Rachel is so much better under pressure and in an interview situation than most leads of the franchise. Rachel, likely because of her lawyer background, knows how to give enough, but not too much, away. Rachel added the perfect dose of insight without tipping her hand too much about what was coming in the finale episode. Rachel might have a head start because of her occupation but any lead could manage to do it with the right mindset.
The confessionals give viewers an idea about what the people on the show are thinking but only in that relative moment in time. Rachel Lindsay being there at the Bachelorette finale not only added more perspective to her thoughts during the show but it was perspective that came with time. It was new and different, not just a repetition of the episode. Though obviously a part of the show, it felt enough separated that it was constructive and interesting. The interviews might have broken up the flow of the episode but only in way that added to the episode It wasn't a distraction. Rachel didn't comment on every commercial break but only when it seemed appropriate.
After the Final Rose might be live but it always feels like everything that happens on it has been agreed upon beforehand and everyone has at least a vague idea of what is coming. This wasn't the case with the season 13 finale. The finale taking periodic timeouts to get Rachel's opinion and memories of the episode was far more interesting (and realistic) than the usual wrap-up interview formula on After the Final Rose. The answers were not only more immediate but far less rehearsed than usual. The new twist to proceedings made the finale feel more of a cohesive unit, which is necessary in a three-hour TV event. It wasn't just an episode with unnecessary and overly produced After the Final Rose following it, everything came altogether.
The Bachelorette season 13 finale wasn't perfect. Particularly at the end with the break-up and subsequent interview with Peter, since it completely spoiled the actual end to the season. This is really just a symptom of the messiness that was the whole Peter situation rather than having anything to do with Rachel being present for the finale. As unpopular as the finale might among fans, this twist was one of the best things about it.