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‘The Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay Teases Drama, Pressure and Big Personalities in Season 13

Variety logo Variety 5/22/2017 Seth Kelley
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Rachel Lindsay may not have won Nick Viall’s season of “The Bachelor,” but she arguably won a much more preferable prize — a whole season of television all to her own.

On “The Bachelor,” the 32-year-old lawyer from Dallas displayed poise, charm and an overall sense of groundedness, but how will she fare now that she’s holding the roses? Lindsay previewed what’s to come on her season of “The Bachelorette” ahead of its season premiere on Monday.

For one, there will be tears — and not necessarily hers. “I love a man that’s in touch with his feelings,” Lindsay said on a conference call with Variety and several other outlets that occurred post-filming, but before any footage aired. “Now, I mean, I don’t need you to cry more than you talk. But I love that if you’re feeling something you just go with it.”

Much has been made about Lindsay being the first black “Bachelorette,” or “Bachelor” in over 30 combined seasons of the shows. Lindsay said she has both embraced the opportunity, and understands the extra scrutiny she will most likely endure as both a woman and an African-American who has agreed to be the center of a nationally televised show.

“I do feel a sense of responsibility to [get into] this role and be the first,” she said. “You know, I’m representing myself as an African-American woman and — on a platform that hasn’t been done before. So all eyes are going to be on me. They’re going to be, you know, giving me their opinions. And I do feel that pressure, but I also think that it’s such a humbling and honoring experience that I accept the challenge and I’m more than happy to do it.”

Still, she has yet to see how the audience will react. And that response has been harsh in the past — Season 11’s Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe, faced online harassment after she had sex with a contestant fairly early on in the show. But Lindsay said she is confident about her ability to face judgment.

“Am I worried about what people think? Not really,” she said. “For me to agree to do this, I had to get over that. I’m sure there will be things here and there that will affect me but I have to get used to that, that I cannot please everyone and everyone will have an opinion and it won’t always be for me.”

While almost every season of the franchise has ended with a proposal, many Bachelors and Bachelorettes-past have chosen to be secretive about how their experience ended. Not so for Lindsay. “I am very much so in love and very much so engaged,” she said.

But she still has no idea what sort of drama was going on behind the scenes, and will be anxiously watching along with everything else. “I don’t live in the house with the guys,” she said. “So I really don’t know everything that went on … But I do have guys with big personalities and I have a big personality too. I believe [host] Chris [Harrison] when he says that it’s the most dramatic season ever.”

“If I was a betting woman,” she said, “I’d put my money on that.”

“The Bachelorette” Season 13 premieres on ABC Monday night.

‘The Bachelorette’ Season 13: Meet the Contestants

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