On Monday's episode of The Bachelor, Raven, the 25-year-old fashion boutique owner from Hoxie, Ark., finally got some extended screen time thanks to a one-on-one date with Nick Viall, and she made the most of it. She came off so well, in fact, that she put herself in the running as a serious candidate for The Bachelorette.
Raven, who we thought up until this point was just a sweet Southern girl, told Nick an incredible story that made her look sympathetic and badass at the same time. In February — just one month after Nick hooked up with Liz at Jade and Tanner's wedding, never forget — Raven got a tip that her boyfriend was cheating on her, and was with the other woman at this very minute. She told her parents (!), and rushed home, kicking her own bedroom door open to catch them in the act.
"I know what her vagina looks like," she said.
But Raven is tough, and she picked up the woman's stiletto and bashed her boyfriend in the head with the heel. Nick asked if she felt ashamed to be cheated on, and she said no. She said she learned from the experience that she needs to be with someone who values her.
The anecdote was a perfect Bachelorette audition. Raven came off as spunky, funny and a little heartbroken, all excellent traits in a Bachelorette.
Elsewhere on the one-on-one, Raven hung out with Nick's 11-year-old sister Bella, and Bella approved, so Raven is officially family-friendly.
Raven would be a very safe, very traditional choice for The Bachelorette. The show loves Southern belles — look at Emily Maynard, or even JoJo Fletcher — and Raven is one of the most Southern the show has ever had. In the premiere, she said her tiny hometown's values are "faith, family and football." And, of course, she's charming and pretty and well-spoken. We also know from the previews that she makes it far enough to be in contention for the Bachelorette, who is drawn from The Bachelor's final four.
But this might not be the right time for a traditional Bachelorette. The frontrunner for Bachelorette right now is Rachel, who would be the first black Bachelorette or Bachelor in franchise history. Rachel is one of the most likable contestants on the season, is intelligent and beautiful, and, as a lawyer (Andi Dorfman) from Dallas (JoJo Fletcher) isn't biographically that different from previous Bachelorettes.
Raven would be a serviceable pick, but she's too traditional, especially coming this soon after JoJo. We would still watch if Raven was the Bachelorette, but we would carry a bit of disappointment all through her season. The franchise shouldn't squander its chance to have its first black Bachelorette.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.