Her season of The Bachelorette hasn’t even started yet, but Rachel Lindsay has already given us a maaaajor hint about what goes down in the finale! Ahead of Monday’s big premiere, we hopped on a media call with the lovely Bachelorette-to-be… and found out that she’s engaged!!! The badass lawyer from Dallas felt no need to conceal the fact that, yes, she’s “very much so in love, and very much so engaged.” And while she definitely *did* feel a strong connection with more than one of the 31 lucky dudes vying for her heart, she assured us that she didn’t pull a Ben (if you’re new to Bachelor Nation, that means she didn’t drop the ILY bomb on more than one person). Read on for more about the most dramatic season of The Bachelorette yet—which Rachel promises isn’t an over exaggeration this time around—and then tune in to City on Monday at 9:oo EST to watch as Rachel begins her journey to happily-ever-after.
Do you feel a sense of responsibility being the first woman of colour to helm the series?
I do feel a sense of responsibility. I’m representing myself as an African-American woman on a platform that hasn’t done that before. So all eyes are going to be on me, judging me, giving me their opinions. And I do feel that pressure, but I also think this is such a humbling and honouring experience and I’m more than happy to do it.
So obviously on The Bachelor, you were the one fighting for the guy. What’s it like being in the driver’s seat, this time around? From the look of your promos, it seems like you were totally loving it.
I mean, I can’t complain about 31 guys coming just to date me; that’s the positive side. So yes it feels good to be in the driver’s seat, it feels good to be wanted in that way and by that many men. But on the flip side, I dated 31 men [laughs]. So that could be a negative at the same time, and I really wanted to make sure that I didn’t come off as intimidating or too powerful being in that position. I wanted to remain vulnerable and soft for the men and let them know that they could approach me in that way too.
In the most recent promo for your season it looks like the guys did A LOT of crying. What’s your take on man tears?
I love a man that’s in touch with his feelings. Now, 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. And I’m talking to myself when I say that, too. I made sure not to hold back with my own emotions because I can do that sometimes, just put a wall up. So it was nice that the men were so willing to embrace their emotions during my season. I loved that.
What’s the #1 thing you learned from Nick in terms of being a compassionate lead on this series?
Two things that I really took from Nick: one is that he was very direct. He didn’t drag anyone along, when he knew he knew and he didn’t waste anyone’s time. I appreciated that. I also liked that he’s so forthcoming with his emotions and his feelings. That’s something that I struggle with at times and I wanted to take that into my experience. I wanted to be open, if these men were going to be open with me I wanted to give them that same respect.
If you could have had a contestant from a past season come on yours, who would you have wanted it to be?
That’s a good question. Honestly, I wasn’t really that familiar with the show so I really couldn’t name people. But I loved my 31 guys. I think I had the most ever and they were all great in their own right so I wouldn’t trade them out for anyone else.
In a previous interview you mentioned that Nick actually did meet your dad off-camera during hometowns, he just wasn’t comfortable being on the show because of his job. Does that mean we won’t meet him on your season either?
That’s something that you’ll have to watch and see how it plays out this season. But I’ll just say my dad is very supportive in everything that I’m doing but you’ll have to tune in and see.