The Bachelor Nick Viall is just days away from handing out his final rose, but the show’s producers may have bigger plans for one of his final four girls. For years, ABC’s popular reality dating series has struggled with diversity and now an African-American woman has, for the first time in the show’s history, made it to the final four.
UPDATE February 13, 2017: According to Reality Steve, the formal announcement that Rachel Lindsay has been named as the 2017 Bachelorette star will take place on Monday, February 13 during the Jimmy Kimmel Live, making her the first black lead in the history of the show. Steve’s confirmation comes hours after producer Mike Fleiss teased on Twitter than a “historic announcement” is coming on Monday night.
Contestant Rachel Lindsay, 31, has been a top contender since she first arrived at the Bachelor mansion when filming started in late September. Nick had 30 women to choose from on night one and gave the first impression rose to Rachel, a beautiful attorney from Dallas, Texas. According to Reality Steve, Rachel is the first black woman in the show’s history to get the first rose of the season — and there’s more.
(SPOILER): And a still picture of them w their faces stuck together... pic.twitter.com/RV9YQu2cM0— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) October 12, 2016
Not only did Rachel get the first impression rose, she went on to score one of four hometown dates with Nick and there is speculation that she is one of three girls who are currently filming the overnight dates overseas.
“Only took 21 seasons (33 if u count 12 Bachelorette), but we have our first black F4 contestant: Rachel Lindsay, 31, Dallas, TX,” Steve tweeted.
(SPOILER): Only took 21 seasons (33 if u count 12 Bachelorettes), but we have our first black F4 contestant: Rachel Lindsay, 31, Dallas, Tx pic.twitter.com/deJPluSOXY— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) October 28, 2016
Last year, ABC’s former entertainment chief Paul Lee was asked why the network had not cast a black Bachelor or Bachelorette yet. Entertainment Weekly states that Lee mentioned that they did have a “Latino Bachelor” (Juan Pablo Galavais), but were busy doing a “whole lot of tweaks” to the casting process.
He went on to say that he’d be “very surprised” if the 2016 Bachelorette “wasn’t diverse,” and sure enough, she wasn’t – unless you the fact that JoJo’s mother is Persian made her a diverse lead.
Now that Rachel Lindsay has made it to at least the final four on Nick’s season, it’s almost too obvious that ABC is trying to make up for lost time when it comes to casting a black lead for either the Bachelor or the Bachelorette.
According to a previous report from the Inquisitr, Nick picked his final three girls on Friday (November 4) and the cast and crew are currently filming the overnight dates in Finland.
It doesn’t matter if Rachel is one of the three girls who made it past the hometowns or not, she still has a good shot at becoming the next Bachelorette. In recent seasons, producers have picked ABC’s leading lady from one of the top four girls.
Of course, there’s always a chance that Rachel could become the next Mrs. Viall if Nick gives her his final rose, but the whole season already has that overly-produced feeling to it, what with producers giving Nick a fourth shot at finding love within the franchise.
Reality Steve hints at Nick’s desire to produce “good TV” on the upcoming season of the Bachelor, so it will be interesting to see if Nick really falls for Rachel or if he’s keeping her around so she can become the next Bachelorette and fulfill the show’s need for diversity.
“I’m not saying Nick gave Rachel the first impression because she’s black at all. I’m just saying I think it played a role based on everything I heard coming into this season. This has nothing to do with Rachel. Very attractive woman. All she did was agree to come on the show. I’m sure Nick is into Rachel. Without a doubt. I’m also sure that Nick is very interested in ‘producing’ good TV this season as well.”
Will fans finally see a black Bachelorette when the 12th season airs next Spring? Watch the Bachelor starring Nick Viall starting January 2 to find out if Rachel gets the final rose or if she is a top contender for the next Bachelorette gig.
[Featured Image by ABC Television Network/Rachel Lindsay, Facebook]