Well, folks, it’s official — the very first black Bachelorette has been cast, and that woman is Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old lawyer from Dallas, Texas. She may not have charmed Nick Viall to the end of his Bachelor season but apparently was loved enough for the producers to nab her. The only problem is that she’s still on The Bachelor. So, why did The Bachelorette announce Rachel so early? Well, it’s likely all about hype.
To say that Rachel’s casting is historic is an understatement, because she’s the first Bachelorette in a long line of seasons that were repeatedly condemned for their lack of diversity. While it may seem trivial to celebrate the fact that a black woman is the new lead on a reality TV show, it’s really not. The Bachelor has had 20 seasons where a woman of color didn’t make it past week five — now, Rachel has made it to the final four (at least, because we’re not sure how far she goes on The Bachelor) and gotten her own spinoff. That’s progress, even if the progress is in a reality television show about finding love.
The one problem is that Rachel is still on The Bachelor. Nick hasn't left Rachel on an island yet, so when she leaves remains to be seen, but I think that ABC just really wanted to maximize the publicity they have for Rachel and that's why they're announcing things so early. She's the first black Bachelorette!
ABC likely wants to get everyone on the Rachel train before her season starts airing and to begin casting for her season. Her premiere will likely be around Memorial Day like in past seasons, so there are a few months to go, but I don't think keeping her popularity going will be hard. Rachel is very, very likable. I love Rachel — I think she's smart, capable, and a perfect choice for The Bachelorette, so I am interested to see how she handles her historic journey toward love.