Rachel Lindsay announced as first-ever black 'The Bachelorette' star -- "I'm ready to find my husband!"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/14/2017
Rachel Lindsay has been announced as the next The Bachelorette star, putting longtime criticism to rest that the show lacks diversity and ABC has never selected an African-American male or female lead.
Lindsay, a 31-year-old attorney from Dallas, TX, is still in the running for Nick Viall's heart on Season 21 of The Bachelor with hometown dates coming up next week; however, ABC decided to announce the Season 13 Bachelorette prematurely on Monday night's broadcast of Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Jimmy Kimmel was joined by The Bachelor franchise's host Chris Harrison to share the big news with fans, but first, the pair played out a humorous skit.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Jimmy, this is the most dramatic announcement ever," Harrison declared.
"I agree. Let's meet the new Bachelorette!" Kimmel said.
"There were many women to consider, but this one really stood out," Harrison interjected. "Let's meet her. How do you feel right now?"
"How do I feel?" Kimmel asked in annoyance. "Fine."
"Because this is a big moment! The new Bachelorette. How does it feel to be the one to introduce the next Bachelorette?" Harrison questioned Kimmel.
"It feels good. Can we please just introduce her now?" Kimmel said as the audience cheered and laughed.
Harrison -- poking fun at some of the show's overused cliche phrases -- then said, "Only if your heart is ready for this journey. Jimmy, look at me. Is your heart ready for this journey?"
After a little more banter and stalling, Kimmel finally announced, "Ladies and gentlemen please welcome our next Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay!"
Lindsay, wearing a tight black dress with her hair down straight and draped over one shoulder, then joined Kimmel onstage for a brief interview.
"Congratulations," Kimmel noted.
"Thank you very much," Lindsay said with a bright smile.
"I think it's safe to say your hometown date with Nick didn't go as planned?" Kimmel asked with a laugh.
"Well. Yeah, yeah, yeah," Lindsay said while nodding her head.
Kimmel pointed out that it's weird timing for a Bachelorette to be announced considering she's still on the show and her The Bachelorette participation is a major spoiler that she didn't end up engaged to Viall.
"Yea it is [an early announcement], but we're a couple weeks out from filming. We're ready to get this started. I'm ready to find love, find my husband," Lindsay explained. "So if you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up!"
Lindsay revealed producers approached her to be Season 13's The Bachelorette star "not long after" she got dumped by Viall and kicked off The Bachelor.
"But I honestly thought they were doing it just to make me feel better from my heartbreak," Lindsay admitted. "And then when it kept going, I realized, 'Okay they're actually serious about this thing.'"
As for what she's looking for in a boyfriend and potential husband, Lindsay told Kimmel, "I'm looking for someone who's ready for what I'm ready for. At this point in my life, I'm 31, I'm ready to find my husband and start a family... [also] someone who can make me laugh and has a great smile physically."
"I am excited!" she added, "I'm ready! I'm ready to find love."
ABC has never cast a black lead in all 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 seasons of The Bachelorette, so Lindsay will be making history as far as the show is concerned and hopefully solving the franchise's diversity issue.
Caila Quinn, who is part Filipino, was almost cast as the Bachelorette last season, but she lost the opportunity to JoJo Fletcher. And the franchise has only seen one Latino Bachelor in Juan Pablo Galavis a few seasons ago in Season 18.
Lindsay has received overwhelming support since last night's revelation, so it appears America is really embracing ABC's decision.