Gabby Windey may be conflicted about being The Bachelorette, but fans know that Grandpa John is the grandfather that America needs. Fans of the series met (and fell in love with) Grandpa John when Gabby was competing for The Bachelor Clayton Echard’s heart. “America’s Grandpa” charmed viewers with his humor and direct, off the cuff remarks.
Gabby has struggled this season as one of the show’s co-leads, and while this beautiful, charming, and witty woman has so much love to offer the right man, her insecurities and personal trauma have her caught in a vicious spiral of self-doubt. Onscreen, she explained to Erich Schwer that “people want to see the Rachels because she’s easy,” referring to her co-star, Rachel Recchia. Gabby wanted him to understand that she comes with baggage. This is due to a lifetime of hurt stemming from having a challenging childhood relationship (and a non-existent adult relationship) with her mother. This has become a focal point in Gabby’s story arc this season, as fans watch the intelligent ICU nurse grapple with her own emotional demons during her quest to find love.
Fans were delighted that The Bachelorette broke from tradition, by bringing Grandpa John back for Gabby and Erich’s date in week 3. After the men all but ignored Gabby when she came to visit, she needed her grandfather. He made an appearance after Clayton’s final rose ceremony, and Gabby’s relationship with her grandfather is clearly central in her life. Grandpa John and Gabby are perceived as a comedic duo, but in The Bachelorette week 3, he stole the show, leaving viewers even more enamored of Gabby’s biggest fan.
Gabby’s cryptic date invitation to Erich read, “Three’s a crowd,” leaving Erich to wonder who the third wheel would be. As Gabby came to collect her suitor, Grandpa John happily strolled in. While family visits are usually reserved for the end of a season, the delighted reactions from the men (and the show’s fans) made it clear that this was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce the popular relative. As the trio drove to their sound bath and energetic cleansing, Grandpa John immediately asked, “So, where’s my date?” Gabby’s charisma certainly comes from her grandfather, because this cheeky man knows how to chat up women. When he mentioned meeting “good-looking chicks” in Santa Monica to Erich, Gabby quipped, “Grandpa, you’re a pervert!” Nevertheless, Grandpa John almost certainly got permission to slide into the DMs of his surprise date Julie at the bowling alley. Married for 50 years, this flirty widower is open to new experiences.
The beloved “America’s Grandpa” brings his jovial sense of humor, and the wisdom that comes with age. After napping at the sound bath, he made the insightful comment that the sound bath was a new experience, but at his age, “any new experience is a good experience.” Grandpa John gave an excellent assessment of Clayton, saying “he’s full of sh*t,” and cautioning Gabby. His biggest piece of advice to Gabby was to follow her heart, and to, “think before taking the final step.” Fans are anxious to hear Grandpa John’s assessment of Erich and the other men pursuing his granddaughter.
Hopefully, Gabby’s grandpa’s visit helped her to regain her confidence. Having her grandfather along made it easier for her to open up to Erich, once they were alone for the final portion of their date. It ultimately helped the pair to become closer, earning Erich a rose, and a spot on Team Gabby. So far, Gabby’s grandfather seems to be the favorite single man on The Bachelorette, and fans would love to see more of Grandpa John in the future. Come to think of it, he would make a much more compelling Bachelor than Clayton, and fans would probably love it if he kept his treasured wedding ring on throughout the show, too.