Most of the time when a contestant goes home on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, they're not doing so by choice; it's because they just haven't clicked enough to be in a relationship by the end of the show. With Rachel and Kenny on the June 27 episode, things got a little more complicated. Rachel sent Kenny home on The Bachelorette not because she didn't connect with him, but because she could tell just how much being away from his daughter was hurting him — and both of them walked away feeling better for it.
Although Kenny and Rachel seemed to be in a much better place with each other after the much-hyped two-on-one date with Lee was finally resolved, throughout the episode it was pretty clear that Kenny had concerns about how much time he’d gotten to spend with her. The traditional homecoming dates also seemed to be weighing pretty heavily on his mind; in a conversation with another contestant, he suggested that it was only days away, which felt way too soon considering how many men are still left on the show.
But once Kenny had the chance to talk with Rachel again, it became clear why he was so preoccupied with hometown dates: not only did he worry that he and Rachel weren’t at the level of intimacy that he’d wanted them to be at that point, but he didn’t want to bring her home to McKenzie and end up getting his daughter's hopes up. With that in mind, Rachel chose to make a tough decision and let Kenny go home. As she told the rest of the men later, it was a mutual and amicable choice for the two of them, and she has nothing but respect for Kenny and his love for his daughter.
Kenny is at his best when McKenzie is around...she's one lucky girl #thebachelorette— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 28, 2017
"It’s hard to not look at Rachel and see potential," Kenny said to the camera as he left. "She’s intelligent. She’s gorgeous. She’s got it all.” He even added that if McKenzie ended up growing up like her, he’d have done his job as a father.
But as he explained to McKenzie in a phone call on the way home from the Bachelorette lodgings in Denmark, leaving might have been tough, but was ultimately for the best. "We really like each other but she really realized how much being away from me hurt you and was breaking me in half,” he said.
Kenny and Rachel had a lot of chemistry together, but sometimes chemistry isn't enough to sustain a relationship: it takes tough conversations like the one they had before he went home. At the very least, Kenny secured his status as one of the most caring and kind contestants on this season of The Bachelorette — and more importantly, as a really great dad.