Rachel Lindsay said she originally turned down the lead role on The Bachelorette, but the mom of a fan changed her mind.
In a new interview, Rachel told Page Six that when some of her co-workers first urged her to be on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, she laughed it off. She ended up doing the series but planned to retire from reality TV afterward. When producers came calling again, this time to offer her the role as the first-ever Black star of the female-led version, she initially rejected them.
“When they offered me The Bachelorette I told them no,” she said. “It was a mother coming up to me saying, ‘I heard you’re going to be on The Bachelorette. My daughter stopped watching the show, but she’s gonna start watching it again because there’s [minority] representation,’ and I said, ‘OK then I have to do The Bachelorette.'”
Rachel, who was working as an attorney at the time, revealed she never thought of the “bigger picture” and where her reality TV fame would ultimately take her. Not only did she find a husband, Bryan Abasolo, thanks to her stint starring on the show, but she also made a major career change.
Rachel just signed on as a correspondent for Extra and she co-hosts MTV’s Ghosted. She noted that her decision to join the ABC dating show sent her life on an entirely different course that she never imagined.
Rachel has been vocal about the ABC series’ lack of diversity and has been extremely critical of the casting in recent years. She called the lack of diverse leads “embarrassing” and even threatened to completely disassociate herself from the franchise if changes weren’t made. Shortly after Rachel’s comments, Matt James was cast as the first Black star of The Bachelor.
Just after Matt’s announcement, Tayshia Adams was chosen to replace Clare Crawley as The Bachelorette, making her the second Black woman cast for the lead role in the history of the ABC franchise.
Rachel told ET Online she was “happy to pass the torch” to Tayshia after explaining that she when she stepped in as the leading lady three years ago, she wanted to “pave a way for more diversity” and for more people who look like her and who don’t look like “the typical lead.”
Though the rose-filled reality show changed her life forever, Rachel apparently doesn’t want to rehash it, according to Entertainment Weekly. When The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons –Ever! reairs Nick’s season this week — a season that had her scoring the first impression rose and going all the way to the Fantasy Suite dates — Rachel reportedly won’t appear via video chat to give an update on her life.