‘The Bachelor’ Star Rachel Nance Says Breakup With Joey Happened in ‘Best Way Possible’

“I had a feeling going into fantasy suites that it wasn’t going to be me,” the former contestant tells TheWrap

Rachel Nance and Joey Graziadei (Disney/John Fleenor)

Note: The following story contains spoilers for “The Bachelor” Women Tell All episode.

Despite being sent home ahead of “The Bachelor” finale, contestant Rachel Nance said her breakup with Joey Graziadei happened in the “best way possible.”

“I had a feeling going into fantasy suites that it wasn’t going to be me,” Nance told TheWrap. “I can say confidently that it ended in the best way possible for Joey and I. We still care for each other and we still have that love and adoration that won’t go away.”

Nance was one of the three remaining women that Graziadei courted through Fantasy Suites, and felt confident putting herself out there despite knowing she might not be Graziadei’s final rose pick from the start.

“I was freaking out, like ‘what if it’s not me at the end, but I’m just happy with how it ended,” Nance said. “I’m happy for him, and same for me.”

Below, Nance unpacks her final date with the ABC reality dating show’s leading man, and whether she might be interested in continuing her time in “Bachelor” nation, whether on “The Bachelorette” or on the beaches of “Bachelor in Paradise.”

TheWrap: Going back to your Fantasy Suite date, it got a bit derailed by your injury. Why were you hesitant to tell Joey something was wrong?

Rachel Nance: That’s always just been my personality since I was a kid. My mom always told me I was so hard-headed. I always try to tough everything out. I used to joke with my dad that I’m his favorite son because he has all girls. I didn’t want to “ruin the date” by saying I was injured. But I’m not gonna lie, it was so painful. I’m glad Joy was able to really see that be like, “Girl, something’s wrong — Let’s get you checked out,” and that I was able to let him take care of me, which is what I should have done from the beginning.

What’s it been like watching your journey back? Do you wish you would have opened up a bit sooner?

The Rachel while filming did amazing. Now, I’m able to open up way more because I’ve learned so much, but I’m so proud of what I shared in the moment. I shared things at my pace. I opened up when I was able to — I didn’t force anything. And if that was leaving a slow burn and I took too long to open, it was on my accord, and that’s how it should always be.

Going into the “Tell All,” was there anything you wanted to tell Joey?

I just wanted to let him know that I’m here for him. I also wanted to know if he’s happy, because if he’s happy that’s all I wanted. When you look back, the respect we have for each other is so evident when we’re speaking to each other. The calmness we both had when we sat next to each other — It just felt like we hung out yesterday, and that’s the beautiful part. Sometimes with exes, it doesn’t work like that. This is a sad breakup but such a beautiful ending to to our relationship.

Joey was also very complimentary of you as well. What did it feel like to be on the receiving end of that?

That’s just Joey — He’s such a sweetheart. His parents should be so proud of proud of him. He’s so genuine and just hearing him reassure me through all of this just goes to show that he does care about me.

Would you be up for being the next “Bachelorette?”

Honestly, I don’t know if I would do it, but it’d be an interesting season because I’d be like, “I don’t like you — you gotta go home.” But as of right now, I’m really enjoying things calming down, and I’m gonna go home and hang out with my family and enjoy this peace because things on social media have been crazy for me and I think I need some time to recuperate and decompress from all of it.

What about “Bachelor in Paradise?” Would you be up for going to the beach and who would you be excited to see from other seasons?

I felt like I wouldn’t like anybody on “Paradise,” but again, I’m never gonna say no to something right now. I’m just gonna see how I feel in the moment when asked.

You got to spend some time with Susan from “The Golden Bachelor” ahead of your Fantasy Suite date. What was it like meeting her?

I feel like I’ve known her for years. She’s like an auntie to me. We still talk to this day. She’s gone through so much and she has so much advice to give and such a beautiful range makes you feel seen and heard. She’s someone that everyone should get a chance to meet in my opinion.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The finale of “The Bachelor” premieres Monday, March 25, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


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