Since night one of Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, fans have been questioning the authenticity of contestant Bryan Abasolo. He seemed to win over Rachel—he got her first impression rose and held strong from there on out—but viewers felt his cheesy lines and the pair’s nonstop makeouts were red flags.
I had a chance to talk with the newly engaged pair—yes, Bryan received Rachel’s final rose—during a press call Tuesday, and they were quick to defend Bryan’s actions.
For her part, Rachel is confused by viewers who are still questioning whether her fiancé means what he says. “I learned a long time ago that nobody knows your relationship like you do,” Rachel said. “And, you know, people give me credit about being a smart girl, and I really was smart about navigating through these relationships. And Bryan is extremely sincere. He’s definitely the most sincere guy in the house, and I think because he was so direct and straightforward with this, it was like something you hadn’t seen before. And I questioned Bryan, and you hear me say he was the most steady and confident man in the house. And that still rings true today.”
She continued, “I could understand how maybe someone said [he wasn’t sincere] on the first night, but watching Bryan throughout the season, it baffles my mind how you could still say that he’s not sincere. I mean, this is the most sincere and genuine man that I know.”
Bryan chimed in to explain why he went after Rachel in the way that he did. “I think it goes back to what I was telling Rachel on the first night. I mean, again, I’m 37 years old, I’m not into playing games, I know what I want. And I told her exactly why I was there.
“And to some people, maybe being so forthright from the beginning, it may come off as a little insincere, but I truly came on this show to see if Rachel was the one for me. And I was going to basically empty out my heart to this woman and let her know exactly how it felt, where I stood with her at each encounter. And that was basically my m.o. throughout the entire season, you know? I was focused on her. I wasn’t worrying about drama with other guys or talking behind people’s backs. I was truly focused on her, because at the end of the day, yes, I made a lot of friends on the show, but my number one goal was to see if Rachel was the one for me.
“And I think people are just taken aback. They like the more ‘realistic’ approach—get to know the person—but I already know what I want. I know what I’m looking for. I’ve had other serious relationships in my past, and I took all those experiences and that molded me into the person I am today.”
Despite how the audience perceived him, Bryan stayed true to himself. “I can’t help what others think about me—about being insincere or what not,” he said. “But this is exactly who I really am.”
It seemed like all Rachel and Bryan could do whenever they shared screen time was make out, which really hit a nerve with some viewers. But the couple assured reporters that there’s more to their relationship than kissing. “You obviously see us and we’re very passionate with each other, but you don’t see the depth that our relationship had,” Rachel said. “And like Bryan has said, it’s a very mature relationship. There was no drama. It was very effortless. And it was really a beautiful thing to watch unfold.”
Bryan added, “It wasn’t all making out and little romantic Latin music in the background playing.”
This may not be enough to sway Bryan detractors, but I’d urge you to give Rachel and Bryan’s relationship a chance before you write them off.