The Bachelor first debuted in 2002 on ABC. Since the popular dating reality show’s conception, many spin-offs have been created including The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? and The Twins: Happily Ever After?, and Bachelor Winter Games.
In the first 21 seasons of The Bachelor and the 12 seasons of The Bachelorette, not one person of color has starred as the object of the contestants affection. As Season 13 of The Bachelorette begins tonight, Rachel Lindsay will break the status quo and become the first black Bachelorette to be featured on the franchise. Lindsay previously made history for the franchise when she was the first woman of color to be given the first impression rose of the season premiere of Nick Viall’s season.
Lindsay recently spoke with TVLine about being the first black bachelorette, drama between her suitors, and how her profession as an attorney influenced the experience. When asked how she feels about being the first black bachelorette, she responded, “I don’t want to shy away from the fact that I am the first black Bachelorette. It’s humbling. I’m honored just to be chosen, period, but also to represent myself as a black woman to America… it’s priceless. I wear it as a badge of honor. I was nervous to do it first, but now that I’m here and doing it, it’s amazing.” She did note that she is just a normal girl trying to find love, regardless of her race. While she’s proud to have been chosen as the first black Bachelorette, she does not want the fact to get in the way of her journey to finding love.
According to Lindsay, the men competing on her season got along just as well as the other contestants of Season 21 of The Bachelor did when she was in their shoes. She even mentioned that there is a bromance in the upcoming season. She admitted, “I would tease them about it all the time, like: ‘Who are you here for? Are you here for the right reasons? I didn’t realize it was going to be for the men in the house!'” She explained, “They really got along well. I mean, there were 31 men, so not everyone’s going to get along. But for the most part? Huge bromance.”
Many viewers were initially impressed with her on The Bachelor based on her character, as well as her profession as an attorney. Lindsay was not shy about using her professional skills to decipher between the good and bad eggs on her season.”When things started to get serious, I definitely put on my lawyer hat a little bit.” She did admit, though, that her job has gotten in the way of her past relationships. “I’ve had relationships that failed because I never could turn it off. When I would come home, I was still a lawyer. So I’ve learned to not do that. I need to show the softer side of me, the vulnerable side, the sensitive side.”
Lindsay may be the most highly anticipated Bachelorette to star on the franchise. While she’s clearly beautiful and intelligent, host Chris Harrison told TV Insider that the Texas based attorney is also a “badass.” And while viewers still have plenty more to learn about ABC’s new leading lady, Lindsay has confirmed that the season has a happy ending. She told TVLine that while she had “great men in my season,” she is happily engaged.
The Season 13 premiere of The Bachelorette airs tonight on ABC at 9/8c.