The Bachelorette 2017 start date is coming up soon, and fans are gearing up for the 33rd incarnation of the popular franchise, which, as of this writing, so far includes 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 of The Bachelorette.
Beginning May 22, 2017, fans will be able to watch Bachelorette history unfold before their eyes. What’s historic about this season of the popular ABC reality franchise? Two things, really: first, this marks the first time a Bachelorette contestant was announced while she was still competing on the show’s brother franchise (spoiler: she doesn’t win), The Bachelor; and second, it marks the first time the starring role of the franchise will be given over to a woman of color.
— TVBuzer (@TVBuzer) March 9, 2017
First, let’s talk about that weird casting announcement. While production (and airing) of the current season of The Bachelor was taking place (and specifically, we’re going back to middle February 2017), franchise creator Mike Fleiss teased a “historic announcement” on Twitter, as E! Online reported at the time.
— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) February 12, 2017
That night, Jimmy Kimmel made the announcement: The Bachelorette 2017 would be hosted by Rachel Lindsay.
That was rather shocking to some fans at the time, because when the announcement was made, she was still (as far as fans knew) a contestant on the show, competing for Nick Viall’s rose. By announcing her as the hostess for the upcoming installment of the sister franchise, the announcement partially spoiled the ongoing, current season of the show, by telling fans that she obviously won’t be getting the final rose, since she’s getting her own show and all.
Lindsay cracked wise with Kimmel about it on the show.
“We’re a couple weeks out from filming, we’re 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, go ahead and get started.”
OK, so announcing Rachel as the next Bachelorette didn’t entirely spoil the show, as this bit of casting didn’t reveal who will actually go on to win the coveted rose; it just revealed the name of one particular contestant who won’t be winning the rose.
Secondly, the upcoming season of The Bachelorette will be historic because Rachel Lindsay will be the first black woman to ever hold the title. The 31-year-old Dallas lawyer is already a hit with other Bachelorette contestants, including 12th season hostess JoJo Fletcher, according to a February E! Online report.
“I just love that she’s a good age. She’s very smart. She handles herself well. She’s super confident and it’s nice that they are mixing it up, so props to them.”
— ExtraTV (@extratv) March 7, 2017
And as for having a black hostess, Season 19 runner-up Becca Tilley doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.
“I think progression only happens when you kind of push the boundaries and you make people get used to something or get comfortable with something.”‘
As for what she wants to get out of the show, Lindsay has been clear that she hopes the producers give her a wide choice of men, including men of color, according to TV Buzer.
“I obviously expect to see a wider pool of African-American men just because that’s me, but what I’m excited about is I’m hoping that my cast reflects what America looks like. I don’t [exclusively] date African-American men, I’ve dated all races before, and so I’m hoping the cast reflects what America looks like and I’m excited that my season is hopefully the one that has the opportunity to do that.”
The Bachelorette 2017 start date is May 22, 2017, at a time to be determined, on ABC.
[Featured Image by Ridofranz/Thinkstock]