And the New Bachelorette Is...Rachel Lindsay!
And she's ready to find love, y'all.
Bachelor Nation is full of surprises, and this season of The Bachelor has been an especially unconventional one. So we think it's pretty safe to say that the entirety of Bachelor Nation gasped with shock last night when producers decided to shake things up and break the news of who would be the next Bachelorette early. So early, in fact, it's before the star in question has even left this season's Bachelor!Though rumors swirled of who it would be during last night's episode of The Bachelor, it was confirmed on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the show that it's fan favorite Rachel Lindsay.
Chris Harrison broke the news. "Ladies and gentlemen, Jimmy, this is the most dramatic announcement ever," Harrison said. He then joked with Kimmel, delaying the announcement by taking a look back at the contestants of the current season, and asking if "his heart was ready for the journey." Finally, Rachel walked out! Not only does Bachelor Nation love this Dallas-based lawyer, she is also the first ever African-American lead in the history of the show. It's an important moment for the franchise, which has been previously criticised throughout the years for its lack of diversity.
"We're a couple weeks out from filming," Rachel told Kimmel. "We're ready to get this started, I'm ready to find love and find my husband!" Rachel also shared how producers reached out and asked if she would want to take on the role. "It wasn't that long after I got off the show that I was approached, but I honestly thought that they were doing it just to make me feel better from the heartbreak," she said. "And then as it kept going I realized okay, they're actually serious about this thing."
The announcement is a bit of a spoiler this season, since Rachel is still on the show and presumably heading to her hometown date with Nick. The current Bachelor himself took to Instagram to congratulate Rachel, and share some details about their upcoming breakup.
"Bachelor Nation doesn't know how it all goes down yet, but as you'll surely see saying goodbye to Rachel was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life," Nick captioned the photo. "No one is better prepared to show Bachelor Nation, and the world, the beauty of embracing diversity. Good luck, Rachel, not that you'll be needing it. I'm so proud and happy for you, I'm honored to be able to call you a friend. I can't wait to watch your journey!!" It's safe to say we feel the same way, Nick!