ABC late-night star Jimmy Kimmel announced Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old lawyer currently competing in The Bachelor, has been cast as the lead of the next Bachelorette. Lindsay becomes the first African American cast in the lead of either reality competition series.
“Should I say congratulations?” Kimmel asked Lindsay, who still is being seen competing on The Bachelor, making it a bit awkward. “I think it’s safe to say your hometown date with Nick did not go as planned? This is a bit of a spoiler because you’re still on the show.”
It is, she acknowledged. “But, you know, we’re a couple of weeks out from filming, ready to get this started; I’m ready to find love, find a husband – so if you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up.”
Lindsay said when approached about taking the lead in the next Bachelorette, “I honestly thought they were doing it just to make me feel better, from the heartbreak. And then, as it kept going, I realized they are actually serious about this thing.”
In January, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline the casting of a black lead finally would happen, during a one-on-one at TCA, explaining that it came as a result of boosting “our quotient in terms of diversity of bachelorette candidates which is wonderful, it’s a third more than we’ve ever had.”