Hello, it's me — a reader of Bachelor and Bachelorette spoilers ever since I realized that Reality Steve does that sort of thing. But even though I've repeatedly done it myself, I'm actually here today to talk about why you shouldn't read spoilers for Rachel Lindsay's The Bachelorette season. The short answer: Because, true to their definition, spoilers spoil the process. Maybe not entirely, and maybe you don't mind, but knowing how a season ends does undeniably take away the element of the unknown, and wondering whom the Bachelor or Bachelorette will choose. And when we're talking about a show centered around the concept of falling in love in a short amount of time, that wondering is one of the biggest appeals, because it's what we use to get to know the Bachelor/ette and see if we agree with their choices.
Let's take last season of The Bachelor as an example. Before Nick Viall's search for love even began airing, I succumbed to temptation and went to look up who won the whole competition. I didn't look at the four who went to Hometowns, or who it came down to in the finale — I just looked up the eventual winner, so that I might know who to focus on when writing about the show. Vanessa Grimaldi. OK, but even though I knew it was her from day one, I never gave anything away in my writing. It wasn't about that. This was solely about me making sure I was making the best use of my time when covering a show with two-hour episodes. There's a lot to look at with 30 women milling about, so I wanted to ensure that I was pointing my attention toward the most important stuff.
My thinking definitely made sense, but I did come to regret my decision a bit, because I never got to experience the highs and lows of that season. While everyone was flipping out about Corinne Olympios, for example, and wondering what Viall saw in her and if she would win and what it would mean for the franchise if she did, I couldn't really chime in. Sure, I had opinions about Olympios, but none about the possibility of her winning, because I knew that wouldn't happen. And similarly, as runner-up Raven Gates was rejected by Viall at the final Rose Ceremony and sent home, I didn't get to feel truly heartbroken because I'd been preparing myself for that moment since the show's premiere. I was able to hold myself back from getting too invested in her as a contestant. Why bother falling in love with a contestant if she didn't win, after all? It would just mean getting hurt.
But here's the thing about all this — that's kind of the entire point of the show. You're supposed to get invested in people, so that in a small way, you can be on the same emotional journey that the Bachelor or Bachelorette is. When he or she is questioning things, you can be questioning them right along with them, and shouting at the television when things are particularly obvious to you... unless you already have all the answers. If I really want to be here for #therightreasons, I have to let my walls down, be vulnerable, and open myself up to getting hurt.
Reading spoilers made some sense for me with Viall's season, because he never had me fully on board with his judgement. I never completely trusted his intentions with the show or with the women, but I don't feel that way about Lindsay's season, so I should probably change my tactics. She has proven herself to be an intelligent, mature, quick-witted, straight-talking force of nature, so I'm going to stop clinging to my spoilers, close my eyes, and leap.
If she can be brave enough to tackle her love life on national television while simultaneously bearing the pressure of what it means to be the first black Bachelorette ever, then I can be brave enough to watch her season all the way through without jumping to the end and spoiling it for myself. And you know what? So can you.