A Dallas attorney makes history in US light entertainment Monday when she graces the small screen as America’s first black contestant on the long-running reality dating show “The Bachelorette.”
Stunning 32-year-old Rachel Lindsay first appeared on the ABC franchise as a woman vying for the affections of a white man on parent show “The Bachelor” when a male lead dates women concurrently in the hope of finding a “soul mate.”
Lindsay fell for Nick Viall and made it to the final three, but was dumped after a date in Lapland. Yet she was such a hit with viewers that producers approached her to star in “The Bachelorette” version of the show.
Now the tables have turned and 31 men are competing for Lindsay’s affections.
The franchise has been under fire for years for lack of diversity and never previously starring a black lead in 33 combined seasons, selecting mostly white people to look for love.
“When I was first approached I couldn’t believe it, but I was also very nervous, because to be the first at anything that’s terrifying,” Lindsay told National Public Radio in an interview that aired Monday.
“Just the pros outweighed the cons.”
Apparently it worked. The Texan lawyer says she is now happily engaged, though she is not at liberty to reveal any details for risk of spoiling viewers’ suspense.
“I’m a 100 percent in love,” she told NPR.
Lindsay says she does not date men from a particular race and that because of this ABC’s selection of suitors is more diverse than usual.
The men looking for love are 26- to 37-years-old, including doctors, lawyers, a professional wrestler, a singer/songwriter, a male model and a secret admirer who has had a crush her since childhood, ABC television says.
Season 13 of “The Bachelorette” begins Monday on ABC at 9:00pm (0100 GMT Tuesday).
“The Bachelor and “The Bachelorette” first aired in 2002 and 2003 respectively.