1:45pm PT by Christina Schoellkopf, Jackie Strause
'The Bachelorette': ABC Debuts Most Diverse Cast in Franchise History
The Bachelor continued to roll out the firsts by enlisting franchise host Chris Harrison to announce the cast of the upcoming historic season of The Bachelorette with Rachel Lindsay.
In a first-ever Facebook Live video cast announcement on Wednesday, Harrison introduced the men by headshot and bio, providing commentary and teasing what to expect from their introductions on night one. "They are a part of the most successful, most diverse and, of course, most dramatic cast we have ever had on the show," said Harrison. Describing the group as a whole as being older, with strong educational backgrounds and diverse jobs, Harrison, broadcasting from the show's official page, said, "Rachel knows what she wants. She's not looking to date, she's looking for someone serious."
After much hype over whether or not ABC would buck its tradition of trotting out a majority white cast, The Hollywood Reporter can confirm that the season 13 grouping is the most diverse in the history of the franchise. Lindsay has made show history as the first black lead, and the cast features the largest number of nonwhite contestants in the reality dating series' combined 33-season run over the last 15 years. The 31 contestants debuted by Harrison will compete for Lindsay's love when the ABC reality dating series premieres Monday, though only 23 will be gifted roses and invited to move into the iconic Bachelor mansion.
For the first time ever, we're announcing Rachel's men right here...LIVE with Chris Harrison! #TheBachelorette premieres MONDAY at 9|8c on ABC!Posted by The Bachelorette on Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Lindsay, a 31-year-old Texas attorney, first made headlines in February when she was announced in the history-making role. She competed on Nick Viall's 21st season of The Bachelor before being eliminated in his finale three and telling the 34-year-old she was in love with him. Viall ultimately got down on one knee before Vanessa Grimaldi, to whom he remains engaged.
"To be the first African-American woman is a beautiful thing," Lindsay told THR of her casting, while also opening up about the pressure she would soon face over picking a black winner. "I’m honored and humbled to be the one chosen. Because that’s how I feel: like I was chosen to be in this role."
Lindsay boasts a successful career as an attorney in Dallas, and a decent number of her 31 potential fiances do follow suit as working professionals: Three men are in the legal field, three in medicine and several are in consulting. Some have a clear advantage at the upcoming athletic dates, as a professional wrestler, former pro basketball player and personal trainer are also among the mix. Though, it wouldn't be a Bachelorette premiere without a few destined jokesters: a "tickle monster" and someone labeled only as the "whaboom." ("It's hard to explain, but it's a lifestyle," said Harrison of the latter.)
During the premiere episode, the memorable first meetings will include male model Brady using a sledgehammer to “break the ice,” construction sales rep Matt arriving in penguin costume, and Adam bringing along an identical dummy. But some bachelors go the extra mile, with fellow attorney Josiah opening up about his troubled past; Fred, who went to elementary school with Rachel, bringing along their old yearbook and admitting to a long-harbored crush; and single dad Kenny describing his devotion to his daughter.
The premiere will also see the return of the four suitors who, in another show first, met Lindsay early during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special following Viall's finale. That includes Blake E., who brings a marching band along and kicks off the season's confrontations when he accuses Lucas of not being on the show for the right reasons.
The Bachelorette returns May 22 at 9 p.m., before moving to its regular time of 8 p.m. on May 29, and launches on the heels of the announcement that Bachelor alums Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have split after a little more than a year of being engaged. The season 20 star and his fiancee moved to Denver and led their own Freeform spinoff and special before making their breakup public.
See the full list of Lindsay's men below.
Adam, 27, a real estate agent from Dallas, TX
Alex, 28, an information systems supervisor from Grosse Pointe Park, MI
Anthony, 26, an education software manager from Chicago, IL
Blake E., 31, an aspiring drummer from Marina del Rey, CA
Blake K., 29, a U.S. Marine veteran from San Francisco, CA
Brady, 29, a male model from Miami, FL
Bryan, 37, a chiropractor from Miami, FL
Bryce, 30, a firefighter from Orlando, FL
Dean, 26., a startup recruiter from Venice, CA
DeMario, 30, an executive recruiter from Century City, CA
Eric, 29, a personal trainer from Los Angeles, CA
Fred, 27, an executive assistant from Dallas, TX
Grant, 29, an emergency medicine physician from New York City, NY
Ignacio, “Iggy,” 30, a consulting firm CEO from Chicago, IL
Jack Stone, 32, an attorney from Dallas, TX
Jamey, 32, a sales account executive from Santa Monica, CA
Jedidiah, 35, an ER physician from Augusta, GA
Jonathan, 31, a tickle monster from New Smyrna Beach, FL
Josiah, 28, a prosecuting attorney from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Kenneth, “Diggy,” 31, a senior inventory analyst from Chicago, IL
Kenny, 35, a professional wrestler from Las Vegas, NV
Kyle 26, a marketing consultant from Los Angeles, CA
Lee, 30, a singer/songwriter from Nashville, TN
Lucas, 30, a “whaboom” from Santa Monica, CA
Matthew, “Matt,” 32, a construction sales rep from Meriden, CT
Michael, 26, a former professional basketball player from Chicago, IL
Milton, 31, a hotel recreation supervisor from North Bay Village, FL
Mohit, 26, a product manager from Pacifica, CA
Peter, 31, a business owner from Madison, WI
Robert “Rob,” 30, a law student from Houston, TX
Will, 28, a sales manager from Miami, FL