- Leslie Gray Streeter
Imagine you’re the last of a large family to get married, and everyone at your sister’s wedding is excited about your upcoming one, which is sure to be as lavish and over-the-top as everyone else’s. So in between “The Electric Slide’ and “The Cupid Shuffle,” your dad grabs the mic and says “Surprise! Your dream wedding starts NOW!”
All of a sudden they’re slapping a fake veil on your head, and you’re still wearing the bridesmaid’s dress from your sister’s shindig. They’ve even propped you up against a cardboard cutout of the Mexican resort you wanted to go to and expect you to be excited about it. And even though you smile and wave and hug Grandma, all the while you’re thinking “Daggone! Can’t a girl get her own thing?”
This, more or less, is the fate that befell Rachel Lindsay, who was recently named the first black lead in ABC’s “The Bachelor/The Bachelorette” franchise.
On Monday night’s season finale of “The Bachelor,” Nick Viall proposed to the woman of his choice, and Lindsay was greeted with enthusiastic applause and a lot of questions from host Chris Harrison about how excited she is to start her season. And then Harrison announced a surprise, one he’d been promising all evening -- Rachel’s season was about to start now. That moment. In a studio, tacked on to the engagement of the dude who dumped her.
And just like that, Lindsay was meeting four of her future suitors, driven onto the set in a limo, literally against a backdrop of the Bachelor mansion. A backdrop, y’all, like the fake Old West saloons you get goofy photos taken in front of at the fair. She didn’t even get the fancy dress or the silly, melodramatic voiceovers where that year’s Bachelor or Bachelorette looks soulfully into the ocean and talks about their hopes and dreams. She got no preparation to meet a group that, Harrison breathlessly reminded her, could include her future husband, like a white guy who actually told a “Once you go black, you never go back” joke. This should have immediately gotten him run over with the limo.
Did I mention the dude who dumped her was still in the building? It was cute and all, and she handled it like a champ, but I swear I saw in Lindsay’s eyes the slightest hint of “I don’t even get a real building?”
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