The news that Rachel Lindsay, an attorney who competed for Nick Viall's gently worn heart on the current season of The Bachelor, will star on the next season of The Bachelorette was met with a resounding round of applause—despite the fact that she hasn't yet left The Bachelor, thereby rendering last night's episode a quarter moot.
The 31-year-old attorney from Dallas certainly seems to have a good head on her shoulders, having avoided the hysterics that seem to be the go-to move for half the women on the show and sounding confident in both what she has to offer and what she wants from a relationship. She will also be the first black Bachelorette, a years-in-the-making move on the show's part after a checkered history of token diversity leading up to this season of The Bachelor, which included a record eight non-white women among the initial 30 who emerged from the limos.
But back to Rachel's life choices...
Isn't it fairly apparent at this point that choosing to go on The Bachelor is a questionable decision in general? Nothing good comes out of it for anyone besides one woman—and that's if it all goes according to plan. Most of the time it doesn't turn out well for any of them, either in the moment or down the road.
But maybe we shouldn't be looking for Rachel's marbles just yet.
The Bachelor success rate as measured by actual marriages resulting from meeting on the show is still a lowly two out of 20—and that's if you count Jason Mesnick realizing he was in love with runner-up Molly Mesnick (née Malaney) after initially proposing to Melissa Rycroft. Otherwise, Sean Loweis the only Bachelor to have successfully played this game from start to finish, thereby giving him license to live-tweet The Bachelor and bust Nick's, er, chops week after week.
Sean, before embarking on his own Bachelor journey and finding his now-wife Catherine Lowe, was second runner-up on The Bachelorette; Ben Higgins, who's angling to become only the third Bachelor to seal the deal with a woman from the show, Lauren Bushnell, finished in third place on The Bachelorette as well.
But even though Emily Maynard didn't pick Sean, a wholly decent fellow if there ever was one on reality TV, and Kaitlyn Bristowe didn't pick Ben, the fact that they both guys made it so far along says something about The Bachelorette in general.
Which is that the women who've stepped into that spot, as Rachel Lindsay will do soon, are just better at this overall. And yes, while luck does factor into it and there haven't been as many seasons of The Bachelorette, we'll still high-and-mightily claim on the ladies' behalf advanced emotional maturity, more self-awareness, less susceptibility to being distracted by sexual chemistry without anything to back it up, a lower B.S. threshold and ultimately less patience for useless dicking around.
Both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette start out with fantastical (or nightmarish, depending on your personality) scenarios—more than two dozen women or men coming at you, intentions ultimately unknown (surely Bentley haunted Ashley Hebert's dreams for awhile), who have been brainwashed to think that not getting sent home after spending eight or nine hours alone with you means something for your future together.
Yet while the Bachelorettes hardly have a 100 percent success rate, and while every nice girl has had intense feelings for a lothario (or a few) at some point, they are generally so much more efficient at thinning the herd than the men are.
For starters, none of this Corinne-style nonsense leading all the way up to hometowns for the women. As most ladies would attest to, without having to ever actually go on The Bachelorette or even watch an episode, the crazy act gets real old, real fast. Even if "real fast" is a couple of years in real-life dating time, it is not sustainable.
Proportioned for TV, that's the reason why JoJo Fletcher sent Chad Johnson packing in week four. No time to waste to see if he was going to be able to turn it around or act like he wasn't auditioning for Bachelor in Paradise.
Similarly, the ladies aren't looking for snakes, while Nick, though he doesn't exactly seem to be buying the so-called sincere side of Corinne, sure hasn't been in any hurry to send her on her way so he can focus on women who aren't tackling The Bachelor like a sorority stunt.
We don't foresee Nick going the way of Ben Flajnik and actually proposing to the most cutthroat woman in the bunch, but Corinne has certainly outlasted all sane (and naive) viewers' expectations.
So there's another reason right there as to why Rachel is looking wiser by the minute.
Meanwhile, all 12 Bachelorettes to date have received and accepted a proposal from their chosen suitors at season's end, while seven out of the first 12 seasons of The Bachelor, including season one, did not result in a proposal.
Since season 13, only Juan Pablo Galavis did not propose to anybody, and again, Jason and Sean are the only guys among the last eight Bachelors to get married—and not just to their mate from the show, but to anyone at all.
Now, Trista Rehn may have set the bar unreasonably high as far as viewers' expectations go when, as the inaugural Bachelorette, she met Ryan Sutter, who's now her husband of 13 years and the father of her two children.
But Trista and Ryan weren't entirely a fluke. Ashley has two children with husband and season seven winner J.P. Rosenbaum, and Desiree Hartsock welcomed her first child with hubby Chris Siegfried, champion of season nine, in October. Moreover, six of the seven Bachelorettes who didn't end up with the men they initially said yes to have since married and/or started families with others, and both Kaitlyn and JoJo are engaged to their fiancés of choice.
If Kaitlyn and JoJo get married, that means 42 percent of the Bachelorettes will have married men they picked on the show, to The Bachelor's 15 percent—and that's generously including Jason and Molly and if Ben and Lauren tie the knot.
Moreover, a lot of the temporarily lovelorn women from The Bachelor who went far but pulled up shy of the altar went on to find love with men they met off-camera, under more normal circumstances.
So at this point it's reasonable to venture that—even aside from the dozens of women who have climbed out of those limos (or off of a four-legged animal) on The Bachelor who made temporary imprints on the zeitgeist and then headed off into the night, never to be heard from again or unforgettable for all the wrong reasons—just like in real life, the women who tackle the starring role of Bachelorette have more of a handle on the journey that awaits and know what to do at their destination once they get there.
(Side note: in no way are we suggesting that marriage or settling down with one person is the be-all and end-all of existence. We're merely focusing on the priorities The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have laid out for us.)
It's always a little jarring at first, no matter how much "sense" it makes, to find out who the new Bachelorette is—mainly because, at the end of the day, it's still unfathomable as to why anyone wants to go through that, especially while knowing what the rest of the world is saying about it. Though being the picker instead of the one waiting to be picked always does look like the better option...
And so far the ladies have proven far better at picking winners.