Rachel Lindsay Named the First Black ‘Bachelorette’ Star!
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Credit: ABC video still    

The Bachelorette

Rachel Lindsay Named the First Black ‘Bachelorette’ Star!

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UPDATE (2/13/2017 at 11:45 p.m. ET):

It’s official: Rachel Lindsay is the next Bachelorette 2017 star!

On the February 13 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host confirmed what we’d suspected for months now — ABC is finally giving us our first black lead in 33 combined franchise seasons (and 14 years)!

The always busy Chris Harrison was, of course, on-hand for the exciting announcement.

“There were many women to be considered but this one really stood out,” he started, making us wait for what felt like ages before the Dallas lawyer herself finally walked out!

“I think it’s safe to say your Hometown Date with Nick did not go as planned,” Jimmy quipped about this spoiling her Bachelor 2017 ending.

“We’re a couple of weeks out from filming, we’re ready to get this started,” she reasoned. “I’m ready to find love, find a husband. So if you know anybody out there who needs to apply, sign up, go ahead and get started!”

But how did this all come about?

She detailed, “It wasn’t that long after I got off the show that I got approached. But I honestly thought they were just doing it to try to make me feel better from the heartbreak.”

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Credit: ABC video still    

As for what she's hoping for in a future husband, the brunette beauty highlights a man who is serious about his future — but who also has a sense of humor.

“I’m looking for someone who’s ready for what I’m ready for," she stated. "At this point in my life, 31, I’m ready for a husband, someone that’s ready to start a family."

Congratulations Rachel! We’re setting our DVR season passes now.

Original story (2/13/2017 at 3:45 p.m. ET):

Bachelor Nationers, whatever you do, do not miss Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight!

For weeks, showrunner Mike Fleiss has been teasing a “historic announcement” to come on the late night talk show, and we now know what, or rather who, the February 13 reveal will be: the next Bachelorette 2017 star!

Over the weekend, Mike teased on Twitter, “We've decided to let our friend @jimmykimmel make the historic announcement during tomorrow night's show. #thebachelor.”

Now, we know that could mean a plethora of things, but then he clarified more in a follow-up tweet.

“This historic, history-making announcement regarding #thebachelor actually doesn't involve #thebachelor,” he added.

In other words, this is not about Bachelor, but instead Bachelorette — more specifically, the groundbreaking change they’re making with their Season 13 casting.

Though we don’t know officially who the gal will be, a number of hints were dropped over the last few days — including one from Chris Harrison himself.

Chris Harrison on After Paradise
Credit: ABC    

The longtime host and executive producer told Us Weekly they’d “be lucky to have” a certain special gal…

Dallas-based lawyer, Rachel Lindsay!

“She would be incredible,” he gushed. “She’s incredibly smart, she’s sweet and caring yet strong and independent, obviously wicked smart and a lawyer and very accomplished, has a lot of attributes.”

However, Host Harrison said that about a few remaining Bachelor 2017 contestants, so we sought confirmation for Rachel elsewhere — and we got it!

Late last week, a reporter from the L.A. Times tweeted, “I just found out a piece of information that makes me 100% certain that @TheRachLindsay is the next ‘Bachelorette.’ It's happening.”

Eek! In other words, it’s time to get excited about the first black Bachelorette, you guys. And if you’re still not convinced, maybe you’ll believe the always-in-the-know Reality Steve.

The spoiler king wrote on his blog Monday, “Rachel Lindsay is going to be named the next Bachelorette.”

RACHEL, NICK VIALL
Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell    

Makes a lot of sense it would be the 31-year-old beauty — not only is she a fan favorite on Nick’s season, but she does fit the “historic” criteria in two ways.

First is the aforementioned fact that she’ll be the first person of color to be the lead in the franchise.

RACHEL, NICK VIALL
Credit: ABC/Mark Coffey    

While this is definitely the most important landmark of this decision, it’s also the first time they’re announcing the lead while they’re still competing on Bachelor!

Rachel isn’t even going home in tonight’s Episode 7. The Southern gal makes it through to next week’s Hometown Dates and even into the following week’s Fantasy Suites.

RACHEL, NICK VIALL
Credit: ABC/Mark Coffey    

So why would producers spoil a whole three episodes?!

We’re not totally sure about this, but there is the theory producers wanted to have more time to promote her as the new Bachelorette.

Usually, the lead is announced during the Bachelor post-finale After the Final Rose special in mid-March. Then, days later, filming begins on the gal’s season.

By announcing early, the show will have a full month to build interest but also, hopefully, have more time to cast a really interesting, impressive, and diverse group of men for her.

We’ll have to wait until tonight for the official confirmation, but be sure to tune in for the reveal!

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET, and The Bachelorette Season 13 premieres in late May 2017 on ABC.

Check out more of Wetpaint’s coverage of The Bachelor below:

Kelly Ripa Rips Into Bachelor Nick Viall! (VIDEO)
Even 2 Chainz Is Worried About Bachelor’s Corinne (VIDEO)
15 Things to Know About Bachelor Fave Vanessa Grimaldi
Will Nick & His Bachelor Winner Get Their Own Show?
Nick Viall Reveals Some Secret Bachelor Hookups!