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Rachel Lindsay has made series history by becoming the first black contestant on The Bachelorette. While Rachel has been making headlines thanks to ABC's announcement, she seems to be pretty grounded regarding the event, which has been a long time coming. Rachel appeared on Good Morning America to share her thoughts with Michael Strahan on what it means to be the first African-American contestant on The Bachelorette:
I don't feel added pressure. You know, I'm honored to have this opportunity and to represent myself as an African-American woman. And I just hope that people rally behind me like they did in Nick's season. I'm just trying to find love, and even though I'm an African-American woman, it's no different than any other Bachelorette.
For those that don't keep up with the series, this may seem like a "non-news" story. A black woman is leading a reality series in 2017? Where's the headline in that? Yet, as fans of The Bachelorette will note, it's fairly strange that every contestant since 2003 has been a white female. That's 12 contestants, or one more than required to field a defensive lineup in the NFL. As Rachel Lindsay notes in the interview with GMA, the new version will pretty much be no different than any other Bachelorette, so why did it take so long to sign someone like her on as the lead looking for love?
Perhaps more surprising than the news is the timing of the announcement. Rachel Lindsay is a current contestant on Season 21 of The Bachelor. The announcement, which was made Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, appears to indicate that the top 3 contestant does not win over current contestant Nick Viall. While it is not at all surprising that a final contestant has been approached with the opportunity to be the lead on The Bachelorette, usually that news is revealed during the finale of The Bachelor. A leak may have contributed to ABC making the quick announcement ahead of the end of Season 21.
While Rachel Lindsay is the first African-American lead, she is not the first non-white headliner in the franchise. Rachel is preceded by Juan Pablo Galavais who was the lead on The Bachelor Season 18. Juan had dual nationality between America and Venezuela and was the first non-caucasian to ever headline The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Mind you that was only 3 years ago, and The Bachelorette has never had a black woman head up the series, although people of multiple races have competed on both ABC shows.
The Bachelorette Season 13 will presumably air this May, and we will finally get to see Rachel captain the ship. Will the Dallas, Texas, lawyer find true love? We always hope so anyway! Now that the surprise is gone, you're going to stop watching The Bachelor right? Just kidding, we know you're addicted, but there's not a lot of time left to enjoy it. You better make sure to stop by our midseason premiere guide and find another show to pick up before The Bachelorette starts.