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Viewers have been asking for a little more diversity on The Bachelorette for years. There have even been petitions to get a Black bachelor or bachelorette. It should come as no surprise that everyone was buzzing when ABC announced that Rachel would be the first Black bachelorette.
She confessed during the premiere, “I keep waiting for someone to say, ‘Just kidding!’”
Me, too, TBH.
Given ABC’s casting trends, I was a bit concerned about some of the guys that would be trotted out to compete for Rachel’s affections. I’ve never been a faithful Bachelor/Bachelorette viewer, but it’s no secret that ABC casts for characters just as much as viable suitors.
She met 4 of her 31 suitors a little early during the last season of the Bachelor in what could only be described as an ambush. We can’t forget Dean, the guy that said he’s ready to go Black and never go back.
After quickly catching up with Rachel, who was living in her moment at her Bachelorette promo photo shoot, it was time to meet some of the guys in some hometown clips.
There was Kenny, a pro-wrestler and single dad. Jack, lawyer who dreams of having a big family, has had his eye on Rachel since the last season of The Bachelor. Alex is a gym buff and computer nerd all coded into one. Then, there was Josiah, who was once a troubled youth and grew up to become a lawyer. Diggy had some nerdy chic swag and thinks he’ll make some cute kids with Rachel.
The suitor pool was shaping up nicely for our girl, Rachel.
There was also Blake E, an “aspiring drummer” who pretty much used his entire intro to talk about sex. After bragging about his sexual skills (he said he had a PhD in sex), he hinted that he’s only good for 30 minutes of fun. Boy, bye!
And lets not forget Lucas, who can simply be summed up in word: Whaboom.
Then it was finally time for the in-person intros! Bryan immediately framed himself as the Latin Lover by smoothly speaking to her in Spanish, but Bryce literally swept her off of her feet.
Rachel was pleasantly surprised to see her former classmate Fred step out of the limo, but she remembers him being a pretty bad kid back in the 8th grade.
While Blake K. had a pretty sweet anecdote about his grandparents, Blake E. wanted to make a grand entrance with his marching band. Then there was Matt, who showed up in a penguin suit, and Adam brought a creepy doll.
And then there was Lucas. He arrived with a bullhorn and announced that one of this testicles was smaller than the other. He’s got marriage material written all over him, eh?
In the house, the guys wasted no time getting competitive. DeMario and Josiah were determined that Rachel was already their wife.
Although the Black men were enjoying the diversity, none of them seemed to notice that the odds were not in their favor.
Of the 31 suitors only 11 were Black; 3 of them were Asian. We also know that one was Latino. So, that means that more than half of the guys on the cast were White. We see you, ABC. You ain’t slick!
The fellas were not letting each other get a moment in edgewise with Rachel because they didn’t know how much time they actually had with her. Alex, even scooted through someone else’s private moment with a vaccum cleaner.
Milton, on the other hand, spent his moment growling at Rachel because that’s his idea of sexy. What a tiger…
Of course, all of the guys were smitten with Rachel, but Bryan was the only one to snag a kiss from her during their alone time. While Rachel wasn’t planning to smooch anyone on the first night, she didn’t mind him taking the initiative.
In the end, Bryan’s approach seemed to work because he got the first impression rose. With that, he was safe from elimination, but there were still 30 more guys anxious to see whether Rachel would give them a rose and an invite to stay.
Here’s where things went a wee bit left, and I suspect that people are going to feel a way about it. There may even be a few think pieces this week. Why? Rachel’s selections didn’t seem to deviate much from the usual pattern. In short, Black men didn’t seem to have a better chance at getting chose simply because the Bachelorette was also Black.
The first guy she picked was Peter. Josiah had to be consoled after Rachel skipped over him for the first impression rose, and he was noticeably perturbed that he didn’t get the first rose.
By four guys in it, was clear that she was going to be picking her roster of suitors like any other Bachelor or Bachelorette. We had to wonder how Rachel was making these decisions because we didn’t see much of her interaction with men she picked, and (surprisingly) they were mostly White.
Josiah and DeMario had to sweat it out a bit, but they eventually got their roses, as did Kenny and Diggy just to name a few. Fred also got his rose, I’m interested to see how their relationship develops since they’re already familiar with one another.
I thought it was suspect for Rachel to pick Blake E, Jonathan, and Dean. But then I had to give her some everlasting side-eye because she chose Lucas. WTF?! No, for real. WTF?!
I’m convinced this has to be a stunt casting cooked up by the producers. No woman in her right mind would do this. Can she get a do over on this? There were at least five other guys that would have been a way better choice than Lucas.
Blake K. for example would have been an amazing suitor! I was really disappointed to see him get cut, but he took the rejection in stride. He really did deserve better than getting booted on the first night. Is there any way she can bring him back and swap him out for that other Blake?
Poor Milton, though,…he was crushed. He shed real tears, but I can’t tell if it was about Rachel. He was pretty mad he didn’t get to show off his wardrobe–and even more upset that he got beat by Lucas and some guy in penguin suit.
To recap, Rachel (a lawyer) picked an aspiring drummer and the Whaboom guy over a doctor, a contracting CEO, and Blake K. This is shaping up to be a season of terrible decisions, and I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
I’m also hoping for a campaign to bring back Blake K. or Milton (so he can show us his outfits).
It’s great that we finally have a Black Bachelorette, but we can’t co-sign a few of these picks. Girl, what were you thinking?
Ah well, here’s to a season of romance and dramatics! From the preview, there are going to be a few can’t-miss moment. The real gag is going to be when one of the suitors is outed for already for having a girl back home. She’s going to come to the set and bust up a date to show Rachel the receipts. This is going to be a season to remember!