This season, one of the things that was most noticeable about the cast for “The Bachelor” was precisely how diverse it was. You had women taking part from all different sorts of ethnic backgrounds, and this in our mind certainly helped to get to know many people right out of the way. There was a little less in the way of confusion as to who everyone was on the first night, though admittedly there were still around five or so brunettes who we couldn’t tell apart to save our lives.
So does this diversity mean that we could be in turn getting our first minority Bachelorette? To date, Juan Pablo Galavis and JoJo Fletcher (who is half Persian, but it was barely even referenced last season) are two of the only recent contestants with a different ethnic background, and he wasn’t exactly popular by the end of his season. It’s understandable that people want a different voice, and in theory there are many different people on the show still this season who could be contenders.
However, it also doesn’t quite seem like producers are just going to choose a minority for the sake of doing so. As programming head Channing Dungey told Deadline at the TCA Winter Press Tour earlier today, what the show is really doing is casting more diverse contestants from the get-go, and as a result of that playing the odds in order to properly determine who they feel best represents the show moving into the summer season:
“We have really upped out quotient in terms of diversity of bachelorette candidates which is wonderful, it’s a third more than we’ve ever had … And because what is working so well in that fandom — which is rabid — it is so much the audience helping us choose the next person in the franchise. So the first step for me was trying to change the population to try to get to that place, and I feel this year we have a couple of potentially really good candidates. I’m feeling optimistic.”
This is a smart, measured approach by Dungey, and one that probably stems from the confusion that came out of last when Paul Lee, who was the programming head at the time, seemed to heavily tip his cap that Caila Quinn was going to be the next star of the show. However, the fans later rallied behind JoJo, and she ended up becoming the choices.
We do hope that there is a Bachelorette who comes from a different background for this coming season, but we also don’t want it to be done for the sake of doing so. If there is a compelling person and they make it far enough (we definitely think that there are many compelling people this season), why not give them a chance?
Do you think that we will have more minority representation on “The Bachelorette” over the summer? Share below, and be sure to check out a new photo preview now for Monday night’s new episode of “The Bachelor” focusing almost entirely on the group date! (Photo: ABC.)