Jubilee Sharpe is one of the standouts on The Bachelor this season, but spoilers from inside the network indicate that producers may have some bigger plans for her than simply being one of the more than 20 contestants vying for the affections of Ben Higgins.
[Warning: Potential Bachelor spoilers ahead]
Sharpe has been a favorite of fans at the early point of Ben’s Bachelor season, a contestant who has served in the U.S. Army and endured the heartache of losing family in Haiti. Spoilers from this season of The Bachelor indicate that Jubilee is not receiving a final rose, but that doesn’t mean her run is over. She is mentioned among a small group of women being considered to serve as the next Bachelorette later this year.
— Dora Peggy (@iDoraPeggy) January 24, 2016
She has a lot in her favor. Jubilee is popular with fans, has a television-friendly background as a veteran, and a wholesome image.
Who’s ready for week 3?! pic.twitter.com/DB8HUAy2Aq
— Jubilee Sharpe (@JubileeSharpe1) January 12, 2016
But maybe more importantly, Jubilee Sharpe is the right contestant at the right time — a black woman gaining popularity at a time when producers have said they’re looking for a non-white lead for the next show.
At the Television Critics Association earlier this month, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said that the show is aiming for a more diverse lead.
“I’d be very surprised if [the Bachelorette] in the summer isn’t diverse,” Lee said, according to TV Guide. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but I think that’s likely to happen.”
As TV Guide report noted, it’s been a long time coming for The Bachelorette to inject some diversity among its cast.
“ABC has taken heat for its lack of diversity on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for years. Lee pointed out that though The Bachelor has not starred a black man, it has boasted a Latino, Season 18’s Juan Pablo Galavis, who endeared himself to no one with his homophobic comments. ‘We’re doing a whole lot of tweaks. Because we have the farm team, right, which allows us to then pick the next one,’ Lee said, referring to the franchise’s tradition of casting the next man or woman from among the previous season’s batch of candidates. (The current season of The Bachelor features three non-white women.)”
Jubilee Sharpe is seen by many as the best fit for the next Bachelorette. Us Weekly identified both Jubilee and Amber James as potential picks for the next lead of the dating reality show and cited another source calling for more diversity among the cast.
“That’s the goal,” said Mike Fleiss, the show’s creator, about the idea of picking a more diverse contestant. “We’re going to do everything possible to pick the right person.”
She also has a fan in Chris Harrison, the show’s host who told Yahoo TV that she has the right combination of attitude and sweetness to be a success on the show.
“She has a great name. It should be a nail polish,” Chris explained. “She was in the army and is a war veteran. She’s a very strong, bold, loyal woman.”
“You get this intensity with her because she has the military background, but on the inside, she is actually very vulnerable and sensitive. She has an amazing story. She had a bit of a rough upbringing — born in Haiti, adopted by an American couple, and then served. Ben is impressed with her story as he gets to know her.”
It will still be some time before it’s clear whether Jubilee Sharpe could be the next Bachelorette. For one, she is still rolling on The Bachelor, although insiders say her run is coming to an end fairly soon.
[Image via Instagram/Jubilee Sharpe]