'The Bachelor' 's Gabi Elnicki Explains Why She Didn't Drop Out of the Running for Zach Shallcross's Heart

The Vermont native told Joe Amabile on the Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast that Kaity Biggar "was truly the choice" for Shallcross

Gabi Elnicki knew Zach Shallcross would propose to Kaity Biggar at the end of The Bachelor, but she saw it through until the end — for Biggar's sake.

"I thought about my relationship with Kaity and if I were in her shoes and it was clear, Kaity was the choice," Elnicki, 25, told Joe Amabile on the Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast. "Kaity had been the choice. But if I had left, she could've felt like she was the choice by default. And she was truly the choice."

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Gabi and Zach. Craig Sjodin/ABC

The Vermont native said she felt like Shallcross "was always choosing Kaity," but she didn't want Biggar, 28, to have any second thoughts about getting engagement. "I didn't want her to feel any kind of doubt when proposed to her and she watched it all back," Elnicki continued.

Elnicki suspected during the rose ceremony after Fantasy Suites — in which that Shallcross, 26, called breaking his own no-sex policy with her the "biggest mistake I could've done" — wouldn't be proposing to her in the end.

"In that rose ceremony when he was only speaking to Kaity, and he wasn't making eye contact with me, it was a really isolating feeling," she said. "And in that moment, I knew it was not me because anyone who loved me and wanted it to be me wouldn't speak of something that was a special moment in that way."

Elnicki continued, "And I understand he was speaking about his parameter and the mistake he made by setting that parameter, but however, there was a level of these words are really, like, mean. Like, why are you saying these words? They're so mean and I knew that it was not me."

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Elnicki explained that she continued to meet Shallcross's family because she "was craving my family so badly."

"I just wanted to be home with the people I loved and I could feel the love in his family," the account executive said. "They are very close family. It reminded me so much of my family and I felt, felt very in love in that moment. But I don't know if I was just so craving like my family that I just needed any kind of love."

But then, on that final date on the beach, "I knew for sure, it's not you," Elnicki said.

Christopher Willard/ABC

Amabile, 36, called Elnicki's choice to ride out the season for Biggar's benefit "very commendable."

"That is the sign of a very good person," he said.

Biggar told PEOPLE she considers Elnicki and Shallcross's other finalist Ariel Frenkel close friends.

"I have really good relationships with quite a few of the girls, but I would say my closest that I could foresee being at the wedding would be Ariel, for sure," the ER nurse said. "She's been a huge supporter and always there for me throughout this. Gabi, her and I are really good friends. And Jess and Mercedes for sure. Those are my girls."

Bachelor Finale Zach
ABC/Craig Sjodin

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Shallcross suspected Biggar would be the one from the start.

"She, from the very beginning, was someone that just exuded everything I was looking for — that kindness, that loving, funny, sweet, independent, beautiful person," Shallcross told PEOPLE. "I always felt so pulled and attracted to her, and she was someone that throughout the entire process, it was becoming so easy in my mind that this person is my future and I want to do life with her. I just absolutely fell in love with her and I was like, 'I can't lose her. She's mine.'"

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