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Rachel Lindsay is the Next Bachelorette

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

America was shocked, and pleased, last week when Rachel Lindsay was announced as Bachelorette 2017.  Lindsay is currently a contestant on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, and since he has yet to hand out his final rose, the announcement served as a major spoiler.  But the response proved fans didn’t seem to mind.

Fans across the nation were excited to finally see diversity in the casting.  Rachel, a 31-year-old attorney, appears down to earth, intelligent and confident in herself and what she brings to the table.  She has avoided the incessant drama all season and truly seems to be taking the process seriously.  She is a smart, successful woman and deserves to be the show’s leading lady.  Rachel will also be the show’s first black leading woman, a move the show has been slowly working toward for years now.  In the past, minimal contestants were of diversity, which caused viewers to believe they were only placed on the show for the token diversity factor. However, Nick’s season was different.  This time, a record eight non-white women of 30 contestants exited the limo to compete for Nick’s heart.

Many were surprised at how early the announcement came.  Chris Harrison, The Bachelor host, explained to People that the reason for the early announcement had to do with short casting deadlines.

We named her the Bachelorette early because weird TV calendar stuff is that The Bachelor runs right up to when we start taping The Bachelorette,” Harrison said. “Like, we’re talking days. We’re done. And she goes further in the show and we’re like, ‘Well we need to let everybody know that Rachel’s our Bachelorette. We would like to cast the show for her.’ We cast all year long, but like we did with Nick, it’s easier with The Bachelor because the calendar is different leading into it. But we wanted everyone to know it’s Nick so we can find people that really want to be with Nick. And so we want to cast the show for Rachel, but we can’t do that in two days.”

There has also been talk that the extra-early announcement has to do with The Bachelor franchise wanting enough time to interest and cast men who may have not previously auditioned for the show.  Men who were previously turned off by the show’s lack of diversity may now consider falling for smart, successful Rachel.  By making the announcement so early and while Rachel is still a contestant, men can tune in to The Bachelor on Monday nights and get a real sense for Rachel, her character and whether or not they would be a good match.  

Rachel spoke with People after the reveal, admitting she was nervous and excited to have her own journey to find love on national television.

“I’m happy to represent myself as a black woman in front of America, and I’m happy for America to rally behind me and see what it’s like for me to be on this journey to find love,”  Lindsay said. “Honestly, it’s not going to be that different from any other season of The Bachelorette.”

She added, “I’m obviously nervous and excited to take on this opportunity but I don’t feel added pressure being the first black Bachelorette, because to me I’m just a black woman trying to find love. Yes, I’m doing on this huge stage, but again my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.”

HC Contributer Mizzou