By now you’ve heard The Bachelor spoilers: Rachel Lindsay is The Bachelorette, despite still being in contention for Nick Viall’s heart.
On TV, that is. She’s been eliminated by this point, as filming has concluded. We’re just learning about it ahead of time … from ABC.
Therein lies the true “historic” nature of this announcement.
Yes, Rachel Lindsay is the first African-American lead in 34 seasons of the reality franchise. That is significant and a very good thing.
Giving away the fact that Rachel, a popular contestant this season, is not The Bachelor winner is a surprising and controversial decision.
Rachel is still competing on the show, and will go on a hometown date (as will Corinne Olympios, Raven Gates and Vanessa Grimaldi).
You can follow the links above to find out, but the assumption that Nick eliminates her after the hometown date isn’t necessarily true.
It wouldn’t make a lot of sense if she made the finale now, but she could easily make it to the subsequent overnights following hometowns.
For obvious reasons, the next star of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette has never been announced during the current season they’re on.
As a result, Chris Harrison has apologized for this spoiler … one most likely necessitated or inspired by The Bachelor spoilers themselves.
The third- or fourth-place finisher going on to be the next lead of the franchise is not abnormal. Finding out about it right now definitely is.
If you’re hoping for a detailed, truthful answer to why the show’s brain trust went this route, you’re not gonna get it this week, anyway.
“I hate that anything was ruined for #BachelorNation but I’m incredibly excited that @therachlindsay is our new #Bachelorette,” Harrison wrote.
Notably absent? Any explanation of why.
Entertainment Tonight reports that The Bachelorette will begin production sooner than usual, right after Nick’s season wraps on March 13.
Producers need to start the process of casting suitors for Lindsay as soon as possible, and need additional time to generate interest?
The producers did do this with Emily Maynard, who wasn’t on The Bachelor that season, as a means of getting applicants / fans excited.
Perhaps the fact that Rachel has less of a social media presence than Corinne, Raven or others played a role in their decision to spill?
Or, maybe it’s as simple as Chris, Mike Fleiss and their associates wanting to get ahead of the story and control it from the beginning.
Every season, it’s spoiled. Just not by them.
Rachel Lindsay has a fan base, one that is likely to grow in the period between the announcement and when she’s eliminated by Nick.
Now that we know she’s The Bachelorette, the producers can craft what we see on and off the show accordingly to boost her popularity.
Moreover, it avoids any disappointment by Bachelor fans who might be hoping for Raven or Vanessa to get the job (or Corinne, LOL).
Dragging it out increases the possibility of spoilers, rumors and confusion taking away from Rachel’s announcement tour. No longer.
As for whether the viewing audience will accept a black Bachelorette, and rumors that this had something to do with the early unveiling?
We don’t see it.
This is a show that has survived since the early 2000s because of its format, not necessarily based on the strength of any one lead.
Some leads are more controversial than others (Nick). Others (cough, Juan Pablo Galavis) have even gone onto be universally despised.
Still, The Bachelor and Bachelorette soldier on, and by and large, the biggest stars of both genders are more popular with fans than not.
Rachel will be no exception.
As Harrison put it, she’s “a smart, strong, independent Texan who loves her @dallascowboys. What more could a man want?”
Get to know her more via the gallery below and tell us what you think of ABC’s decision to cast her – and do so in unorthodox fashion …