Rachel Lindsay Will Be the First African-American ‘Bachelorette,’ Nick Viall Reacts

It was announced on Monday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Rachel Lindsay, a former contestant from Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, will be the next Bachelorette.

Chris Harrison and Jimmy Kimmel revealed the news in a drawn-out segment on Liveafter reports alleging that Lindsay would be the show’s next star leaked earlier that day. Lindsay, a 31-year-old lawyer from Texas, is the series’ first African-American headlining contestant. Her season will premiere on May 22.

“We’re thrilled to have Rachel Lindsay as our next Bachelorette,” said ABC’s Robert Mills in a statement. “This coveted role is always reserved for a fan-favorite from the previous season, and Rachel is no exception and has been the fans’ choice since she exited the limo. She is an accomplished, confident and beautiful woman who knows what she wants in life. We all look forward to joining her on the joyous journey as she looks for that one special man.”

Lindsay expressed her excitement in this new journey on Instagram, writing in the caption of the photo below, “So happy for this moment!!! Thank you so much for the love and support!!!! Can’t believe I am the new bachelorette…still feel like I’m dreaming”

Lindsay appeared on Good Morning America to speak with Michael Strahan about her upcoming season.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to represent myself as an African-American woman,” Lindsay told Strahan. “I just hope that people rally behind me like they did in Nick’s season…just realize that my journey is just trying to find love. Even though I’m an African-American woman, it’s no different from any other Bachelorette.”

Lindsay told Strahan that she was only slightly hesitant about the offer before she decided to accept it.

“I’m a skeptical person, so I was excited that they asked me to do it but I was also equally nervous,” Lindsay said. “But then, when I started to weigh out the pros and the cons, I decided that this is too good of an opportunity to turn away.”

Viall, the current Bachelor, shared his support for Lindsay on Instagram.

“Bachelor Nation is so lucky to have her but not as lucky as the group of men who will have a chance at winning her heart,” he wrote in the caption below. “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!!’

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. I have met very few people who possess as much beauty, grace, and charisma as Rachel and after hearing that she’ll be the next Bachelorette I couldn’t be more excited. Bachelor Nation is so lucky to have her but not as lucky as the group of men who will have a chance at winning her heart. 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!! #thebachelor #thebachelorette

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