Just hours after the Jan. 18 episode aired, during which Bachelor Nation saw Sarah's tense exchange with the fellow contestants, the broadcast journalist took to Instagram to send a message. In her post, Sarah shared a quote that read, "Real queens fix each other's crowns," which appeared to be a reference to her fellow contestant "queen" Victoria Larson.
"We see the quote 'women supporting women' all the time on the internet but what does that really mean?" Sarah asked. "To me, it means sharing encouragement instead of judgment. Refraining from negative comments even when it's sometimes easier to say something mean instead of something nice. It means supporting a female owned business and paying full price. It means supporting a younger woman in your industry and offering guidance and support when appropriate. It means valuing community over competition."
While Sarah acknowledged "it does NOT mean you have to pretend to like everyone always," noting "that's impossible," she stated "it DOES mean being a good person, keeping your head up and refraining from degrading another human being."
"You never know the internal battles another person is going through," she concluded. "At the end of the day, please just be a decent, kind individual."
While Sarah's journey to find love with Bachelor Matt started off on a high note—receiving a one-on-one date during week two—everything changed during week three.
The most recent episode started off with Sarah fainting in the middle of a rose ceremony. Some of the women accused Sarah, who already had a rose, of fainting for attention and were annoyed. Victoria said "her fainting spell came across really fake," and Anna Redman said Sarah "is getting exactly what she wants" when Matt went to check on her.
Things didn't get much better for Sarah after the rose ceremony ended. She admitted she was having challenges with the process after watching women on a group date write and read love scenes.
"I just feel, like, emotionally exhausted," Sarah said at one point. "I should have known though that, like, this would trigger me. Just because, like, in my past, like, dealing with, like, faithfulness and, like, commitment issues and, like, jealousy and all of those feelings and emotions are, like, coming back so quickly. In my heart, I know all these special moments we had and it, like, kills me to think, like, he's having these special moments with other women, too. I just, like, worry if I, like, can't get past this, it's really going to be a roadblock in my relationship with Matt. And now, I feel like I should do something about it."
So, she ended up crashing the group date and interrupted Katie Thurston's conversation with Matt to speak with him. Needless to say, the other women weren't happy about her unexpected arrival. And while Sarah eventually left and apologized, the other women questioned why she didn't have this conversation with Matt at another time.
However, the drama didn't end there. The next day, Matt came to pick Serena Pitt up for a date and Matt went to check on Sarah after he heard she had been keeping to herself. As the day went on and Sarah stayed in her room, tensions continued to rise.
Later on, Sarah apologized to the women for interrupting their group date and for not addressing the situation sooner. She explained she was "overwhelmed by this process" and that she had debated going home. However, many of the women were still upset she had taken up the time.
"The time that he spent reassuring you, some of us didn't get to talk to him at all," Kaili Anderson said. "So, he can't even explore those relationships and we can't explore those relationships with him."
And some of the women weren't ready to forgive. "I hope that your connection with Matt is very strong right now," Kit Keenan told her, "because the rest of your living situation here is going to be horrible."
Ultimately, Sarah decided to leave. But before she left, she had a conversation with Katie, who wanted to ensure she didn't feel "bullied out" of the house. Sarah said she wasn't "cut out" for this process and opened up about her father's battle with ALS.
"He has a terminal illness and, like, it's not, like, years; it's more months; it's, like, maybe, like, weeks," she said. "So that's really weighing on my heart, too—time away from him—and I thought I was ready for this but I have to be true to myself."
Katie shared her dad passed away in 2012 and expressed how she understood. Sarah then said her final farewell to Matt.
"I believe in the feelings with Matt," Sarah said during a confessional. "We have a great connection, but Matt deserves the best and I just don't feel my best."
Viewers had a lot of thoughts on Sarah crashing the group date and later leaving, and even members of Bachelor Nation shared different viewpoints.
"I am so incredibly proud of you!!!" Mykenna Dorn wrote underneath Sarah' post. "Never forget how amazing you are. Putting yourself and mental health first is so important and admire your strength. Sending love to you and your family."
Demi Burnett also initially tweeted that Sarah "being so overly emotionally invested this soon is BIG RED FLAG BEHAVIOR" but then seemed to have a change of heart, writing, "OK, so I know I called her out earlier for being overly emotional, but I have mad respect for Sarah's vulnerability."
In the end, Katie reminded fans to show compassion, tweeting, "Just a reminder all of us women have our own stories and we are just regular people. #staykind #TheBachelor."