Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year-old attorney from Dallas, made history on Monday's season premiere of The Bachelor when she became the first black woman to receive the coveted first impression rose, which marks the contestant who gets it as an early frontrunner. She's the first black contestant on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette to get the first impression rose.
And Rachel will continue to succeed on the show. In the sneak peek of the rest of the season shown at the end of the episode, Rachel is seen with Nick Viall in Finland, where the season's final rose ceremony will take place. So Rachel will be making it to at least the final four. Previously, no black contestant made it past week five.
Season 21 of the show is already shaping up to be a better-than-average one for non-white contestants on the show, which has an infamously poor track record with including black contestants especially. Ten of the 30 initial contestants are not white, a higher percentage than usual.
Fans were excited that Rachel got singled out:
So a woman of color with a post-graduate degree gets the first impression rose?! Welcome new era for #TheBachelor.— Jane McManus (@janesports) January 3, 2017
I like Rachel the lawyer. Civil litigator. Admitted to the bar 2011. Gorgeous and a badass attorney. She may be my favorite. #TheBachelor— Eliza Orlins (@eorlins) January 3, 2017
It's still too early to be too congratulatory to the franchise for making progress. Four of the eight women sent home were not white. And only one episode has aired so far, so we don't know if Rachel will be the only black contestant to advance. More than half of The Bachelor's and The Bachelorette's black contestants are eliminated by week two. So it remains to be seen whether Rachel's success is a fluke or a sign of a change in the franchise.
And it's also much too early to know who will be the next Bachelorette, but the Bachelorette is always one of the top four finishers on The Bachelor. So Rachel will be in contention to become the first black Bachelorette. Or maybe she'll end this as Nick's fiancée — they seem to have chemistry.
Are you excited to watch Rachel's journey on The Bachelor?
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.