It's almost Valentine's Day, so, you know, it would add up if The Bachelorette being announced on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday, Feb. 13. That appears to be what The Bachelorette producer Mike Fleiss is hinting on Twitter, anyway. Fleiss, who is behind shows like The Bachelor, Superstar USA, and High School Reunion, tweeted on Sunday, Feb. 11 that presenter Jimmy Kimmel would make "the historic announcement" on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live! This said, he used the hashtag #thebachelor, and not #thebachelorette, and there were no specifics given as to what that historic announcement might be. Update: Sources close to the show have allegedly confirmed to E! News, The Hollywood Reporter, and EW that Rachel Lindsay will be announced on Jimmy Kimmel as the next Bachelorette. Bustle has reached out to ABC for confirmation, but did not immediately receive a response.
Earlier: This would be unusually early for us to find out who the next bachelorette will be, since The Bachelor Season 21 is barely half over and normally they announce the bachelorette, taken from the pool of contestants on The Bachelor, after the season has wrapped. Isn't that the whole point of "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose?" (OK, it's not, but still, the last two Bachelorettes were announced during that season finale episode.)
So who is she likely to be? If you make an educated guess based purely on popular support across social media, then attorney Rachel Lindsay looks like a shoe-in for the spot. This would be particularly exciting since she would be the franchise's first African-American bachelorette. Host Chris Harrison told E! News that audience support for a participant does play some role in how likely they are to go on to become the next bachelorette.
While he stressed that popular support does not "absolutely determine" who the bachelorette will be, his emphasis on the importance of an audience connection with the potential bachelorette suggests otherwise. How much you, the viewer, care about that person does matter, and that's why the show usually waits so long to choose the next bachelorette.
People think we've already made a decision and we do this very early, but we don't for that reason. One, we want to see how it turns out. Two, you want to see how Bachelor Nation responds to a certain person, because honestly, in the past, we've had an idea of someone we thought would be great, and the audience just didn't respond to them.
Given that Kimmel retweeted Fleiss's cryptic message to his eight million followers, it looks like something very exciting is happening Monday night. Since Jimmy Kimmel Live!, like both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, is owned by ABC, and since Kimmel always predicts the outcome of the show, there doesn't seem a better place to announce it. And given how soon Valentine's Day is, the timing seems even more perfect.
So will we be finding out who our next bachelorette is tonight? It certainly looks that way.