During the premiere of The Bachelorette season 19, Gabby Windey gave Mario Vassall her first impression rose, but now Mario admitted that he was still open to getting to know Rachel Recchia because it was so early in the process. Mario, a 31-year-old personal trainer from Naperville, Illinois, made quite an entrance from the limousine as he danced up to the women, chanting, “Rachel and Gabby, okay!” The women were charmed by Mario’s sweet and friendly personality.
As the night progressed, Gabby had some one-on-one time with Mario, during which he told her that he wanted to be vulnerable with her and break the stereotype that men are closed off. At the end of their conversation, they shared a kiss, and Gabby said in her confessional that Mario gave her “butterflies.” Later in the night, Gabby gave Mario her first impression rose, and they shared another kiss. In his confessional, Mario said that he hoped to build their connection in the next few weeks.
On the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast hosted by Becca Kufrin and Michelle Young, Mario admitted that, although he was happy to receive Gabby’s first impression rose, because it was so early in his Bachelorette journey, he was still open to getting to know Rachel too. Mario said that when he emerged from the limousine, he had actually initially felt that he had made a connection with Rachel because she grabbed his hands and asked him if he liked the Cubs or the White Sox. He later had his great conversation with Gabby during which they connected, and it led to the kiss and first impression rose. He said that he was not sure if he really stood out to Gabby after their conversation and kiss because there were so many other men there and he didn’t know if she had kissed or connected with them as well. However, he said that later that night, receiving the first impression rose “made me feel really good.”
At the end of The Bachelorette premiere, Gabby and Rachel decided to cancel the Rose Ceremony because they did not feel that they had enough time to get to know all of the men. Mario confessed that when Gabby made her toast and said that there were still so many men with whom she had not connected, even though he had her first impression rose, it made him realize that he might want to get to know Rachel too. Mario explained that when she said that, he realized that “it’s still early.” He said, “This rose is huge. I’m still trying to see how things are gonna play out. Gabby and I had a great connection, but I am open to having a conversation with Rachel.” Mario admitted, “I wasn’t necessarily a hundred percent locked in on Gabby. I still wanted to get to know Rachel. But that was as a result of what she said.” He knew that there were many guys who did not get time with the women that night who “kind of bypassed that Rose Ceremony,” and he had stood out. However, he also recognized that he had a target on his back because there were still guys that wanted to spend time with Gabby and Rachel. This made Mario realize that he should be “open and available too.” He said that he was “definitely leaning more toward Gabby naturally because I just got the first impression rose from her, but being open to Rachel was something that I was [too].”
This season of The Bachelorette is especially interesting because it is not just the lead who has to make decisions about who she wants to be with. The men also have a choice and have to analyze with whom they connected more. Although in the past, the man who received the first impression rose has made it to the end on The Bachelorette, this season is so different because of the dual leads. Bachelor Nation will have to wait and see if Mario connects with Rachel in addition to Gabby.