The first four! Following The Bachelor‘s team previously dropping numerous hints about the season 21 After the Final Rose special’s “historic” moment, the show finally arrived, and the surprise involved new Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
In a first for the franchise, Lindsay met a few of her men on Monday, March 13, during the ATFR show for Nick Viall‘s recently completed run. Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss was among those who had teased the segment on Twitter. (Click here to find out who Viall picked and read comments from the special about the current status of their relationship.)
Lindsay herself claimed to have no idea about the twist and appeared to be shocked as the stage was transformed to resemble the Bachelor mansion. “I’m excited to meet the guys — and nervous!” she told host Chris Harrison.
The first suitor Lindsay met was Demario, who told the 31-year-old attorney that she’s “beautiful.” He added, “So what I did, I booked some flights to Vegas for us to elope.” At that, he showed her apparent plane tickets and a wedding ring.
Next was Blake, who admitted to being nervous after he awkwardly kissed her hand when she thought he was going in for a hug. “You look good — you smell good,” he informed Lindsay.
At that point, the Bachelorette told Harrison about the first two contestants, “They’re great! We could stop there — or we could keep going.”
In fact, there were two more gentlemen waiting in the wings. One was Dean, who told Lindsay, “I just want you to know, I’m ready to go black, and I’m never going to go back.” Uh, OK. And the final guy to take the stage was Eric.
Before meeting her guys, Lindsay told Harrison that her biggest fear about being the show’s lead is that the process “won’t work.” She added about ex Viall, “I loved how direct he was, how matter-of-fact he was. He just went with his gut, and I plan to do that exact same thing in my season.” (Lindsay was Viall’s third-place finisher.)
Tell Us: What do you think of Rachel’s men so far?
The Bachelorette returns to ABC Monday, May 22, at 9 p.m. ET.