Rachel Makes It Far On 'The Bachelor'

Mark Coffey/ABC

Normally, we have to wait until after The Bachelor finale to find out who the next leading lady is, but this week brought an unexpected treat. Thanks to an announcement on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, we now know that Rachel Lindsay is the next Bachelorette, but there's something a little confusing about this announcement: She's still in the game on Nick Viall's season. Now that we know she obviously does not end up engaged to Nick, when does Rachel get sent home on The Bachelor? Obviously, she's going to make it pretty far if she got the gig.

On Monday night's ep, Nick had to make some important decisions — including making the big decision about whose parents he wanted to meet. With hometown dates coming next week, only four women can continue on to the next step of the process, and Rachel was among them. Knowing she's the Bachelorette, something has to happen between her and Nick that makes him realize she's not the right woman for him, but it must come after he meets her family, unless there's a surprise elimination between then and now.

And, even though I wouldn't put it past the producers after all the surprises this franchise has thrown at us lately, it definitely seems like she makes the cut in the next episode.

Plus, as Bachelorette tradition dictates, the woman who ends up with the role is usually in third place, and I can see that happening with Rachel. But after everything we've seen of Nick and Rachel so far and how much chemistry they have together, it's hard to imagine what his reason for sending her home could be.

I'm interested to see how this all plays out, especially since we know that Rachel could still get a happy ending after all, even if it isn't with Nick.