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The First Asian American Bachelorette's Announcement Could Have Been Historic. But the Finale Editing Failed Jenn Tran.

Jenn Tran's reveal felt confusing at best and disappointing at worst

Kat Moon

It's finally happened. After 20 seasons — across roughly 21 years — The Bachelorette has its first Asian American lead. Jenn Tran is not only the first Asian American Bachelorette whose journey to find love will take center stage on the ABC series but also the first Asian American lead in The Bachelor franchise's history (no, we have not come even close to having an Asian American Bachelor). So why aren't we celebrating the news more?

If there were manuals on How to Announce the Bachelorette in the Most Anticlimactic Way Possible — and How to Not Get Fans Rallying Behind the Newest Lead of Your Series — ABC followed them to perfection. The network revealed Tran as the Bachelorette on Monday at the end of The Bachelor Season 28 finale. Across the three-hour-long episode that ended with Joey Graziadei proposing to Kelsey Anderson, host Jesse Palmer repeatedly teased the upcoming reveal. And when the news came in the last minutes of the finale, it felt confusing at best and disappointing at worst. 

Jenn Tran

Jenn Tran


Heading into the finale, Maria Georgas was Bachelor Nation's obvious pick to be the next Bachelorette. Her words and actions were met with ear-splitting screams at "The Women Tell All" last week, and all season long she's been rapidly gaining followers on social media. But another likely contender was the woman Graziadei did not choose in the finale — who it quickly became clear would be Daisy Kent. To any regular viewer of this franchise, Kent's "Bachelorette edit" was undeniable. The phrase is commonly used to refer to a contestant whose rejection is highlighted, presumedly to rally support behind their own upcoming journey to find love. That seemed like it was happening with Kent. This last episode followed her realization that she was not getting picked almost as much as it did Graziadei and Anderson's fairy tale ending.

The Bachelor Joey Graziadei Welcomes the Trauma Sharing in His One-on-Ones: 'It's the Time to Do It'

But nope, the Bachelorette edit was misleading. Palmer invited Kent onto the stage again when the finale was coming to a close and asked, "What's next for you? Are you ready to open up again, and date again?" — to which Kent replied that she's not ready for that right now. We totally support her decision, but this came as a surprise. The finale was three hours long! If she wasn't going to be the next Bachelorette, why did so much of the episode focus on getting viewers emotionally invested in her heartbreak? That in itself was not wrong, but the editing came at the expense of Tran's reveal, making it abrupt.

Just minutes before the finale ended, former Bachelorette Charity Lawson shared on stage that she was passing the baton to Tran. It was, at least from what I remember, the first time Tran, a 26-year-old physician assistant student, was mentioned in this episode. Comparably, even though Georgas was not verbally mentioned, the camera panned to her in the live audience multiple times throughout the evening. Fans immediately spotted that she was wearing a mic, which suggested that Georgas was part of the finale's programming. Sure, she said a few words of support to Tran at the end. But you can't tell me the show's producers did not think a mic-ed up Georgas would build up anticipation for Bachelor Nation, which in turn added to fans' disappointment that Tran was the pick.

Joey Graziadei, Jenn Tran, The Bachelor

Joey Graziadei, Jenn Tran, The Bachelor


Support for Tran is all the more necessary given well-documented incidents of racism within the franchise's history. At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in February, executive producers Bennett Graebner, Jason Erlich, and Claire Freeland froze when NPR's Eric Deggans asked why The Bachelor has had a hard time "dealing with racial issues." And last week at "The Women Tell All," contestant Rachel Nance opened up about racist comments she has received from viewers. As the first Asian American Bachelorette, Tran likely would have been subject to discrimination regardless of the show's framing. But the way her announcement was made opens her up to even more online attacks, particularly from those who hoped for Georgas or Kent to be the Bachelorette. After so many seasons, The Bachelor knows how to produce story arcs. But ABC failed narratively in the finale when it came to getting Bachelor Nation to root for their next lead — and to making Tran's announcement a historic, celebratory moment for the franchise. 

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The Bachelor is available to stream on Hulu.