Hey, they did promise a “historic” announcement.
Rachel Lindsay was officially named the next Bachelorette on Monday night, with the announcement being made on Jimmy Kimmel Live after reports surfaced earlier in the day about Rachel’s casting. So why is the announcement so historic, as franchise creator Mike Fleiss said on Twitter?
The 31-year-old attorney from Dallas is the franchise’s first black lead in its 33-season history, 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 of The Bachelorette.
The announcement came at an unusual time as Rachel is still competing on Nick Viall‘s current season of The Bachelor, during which she quickly became a fan-favorite. And while she earned Nick’s First Impression rose, it’s obvious that she doesn’t ultimately “win” the season, since, you know, she’s the next Bachelorette, which is the first time the franchise has ever spoiled the outcome.
After much messing around with Chris Harrison, Jimmy Kimmel finally brought Rachel out on stage.
“I take it your hometown date with Nick did not go as planned?” Kimmel asked. “This is a bit of a spoiler, ’cause you’re still on the show.”
“Yes, it is,” Rachel admitted. “But we’re a couple weeks out from filming, we’re ready to get this started, I’m ready to find love, find a husband, so if you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up, go ahead and get started.”
Lindsay revealed that she was first approached to be the Bachelorette fairly soon after her time on The Bachelor ended.
“I honestly thought they were just doing it to make me feel better from the heartbreak,” she said. “I am excited. I’m ready.”
As for what she’s looking for, she wants someone who’s “ready for what [she’s] ready for.”
“At this point in my life, 31, I’m ready to find a husband, somebody who’s ready to start a family,” she told Jimmy. “I’m looking for someone who can make me laugh, a great smile…”
Hopefully, she’ll be able to find it when The Bachelorette premieres in May.
When E! News caught up with Nick after the premiere aired, he described Rachel as “beautiful” and “intelligent,” and said, “She was so calm and so natural, very easy to talk to. I could’ve talked to her for hours that night. She made me feel comfortable and was a calming influence on me.”
In August 2016, ABC president Channing Dungey talked about the lack of diversity in The Bachelor franchise, noting the pattern of selecting a popular contestant from a previous cycle as part of the issue.
“It’s worked very well for us because the audiences feel really engaged [in choosing] that candidate,” she said at the Summer TCA Press Tour. “What we’d like to do is broaden that. We need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning. That is something we really want to put some effort and energy towards.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m., and The Bachelorette will premiere May 22 on ABC.