The host of The Bachelor special took to Instagram on March 16 to detail a conversation between Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young that didn't air.
While talking to Michelle, Emmanuel could "sense the heartbreak over her loss of a former lover" in Matt James, who sent her home during the finale, as well as "the despair over her loss of a former friend in Rachael" after photos of the Georgia contestant attending an antebellum plantation themed fraternity formal in 2018 resurfaced online.
"Now, Michelle had reached out to Rachael but had never heard back," Emmanuel said, "and so Michelle was broken over that."
So although it wasn't planned, Emmanuel asked the producers if they could bring Michelle and Rachael out to talk face to face and possibly reconcile.
"I knew after talking to Matt we probably weren't going to see reconciliation relationally between him and Rachael during the course of the episode," he said. "So, what kind of reconciliation could we see? I said, 'Well, look, Rachael you put out a public apology for the world, but there were women that you were friends with that haven't heard from you and still feel broken because of that. So, if you're willing, Michelle would love to talk to you.' Rachael smiled and of course she obliged."
So, what happened next? "Michelle walks out, they sit down on the couch together and after Michelle pours her heart out and Rachael pours her heart out, the two shared an embrace," Emmanuel recalled. "And I simply sat there and witnessed it and thought, 'If we could see this collectively as a society, we could all grow.'"
Emmanuel noted the conversation was cut due to TV time constraints but shared a photo of the contestants talking in his Instagram video.
Fans did see Michelle talk about Rachael and the photos earlier in the episode. "As more and more information started to come out, I started to feel hurt by what I was seeing," the future Bachelorette said. "That was a prime example of not understanding the history behind it, not being educated enough on what that actually meant, what her actions actually meant, how we see it. I feel like Rachael has a good heart. I do. But there's a lot of learning. It comes off very inconsiderate."
They also saw Rachael address the pictures. "I never once asked myself at any point, like 'What's the tradition behind this? What does this represent? You know, why do we wear those dresses?'" she said. "I'm not going to sit here and say I didn't know any better because I could have easily asked myself those questions. You know, I never took the time to make that connection. Because if I would have taken the time, I easily could have understood what was wrong with it."
In addition, they watched Rachael apologize to Matt and speak to him for the first time since he'd given her his final rose and then ended their relationship.
"The most disappointing thing for me was having to explain to you why what I saw was problematic and why I was so upset," he told her. "And that's why it was problematic because when I'm in a relationship, it means that I'm committed to that person. And commitment for me, when I'm dating someone, is on track to get married. And so when I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America and what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet."
Near the end, Matt was asked if there was a chance for reconciliation. "I don't wanna be emotionally responsible for those tears," he replied. "'Cause it's, like, the work and the reconciliation that needs to be done is work that I can't do for you, and I know that you're capable of doing it. The last thing I want is for people to be calling to have you canceled or people to be calling you out for things. I really want them to call you in, and I want you to do this work because that's the best thing that could come out of this. And that's something that she's gotta do on her own."