Rachel Lindsay’s groundbreaking Bachelorette season is almost here!
The 32-year-old attorney is the first black lead in Bachelor franchise history, and though she told ET that she’ll “address” the race issue on night one, that’s not the only thing she’s doing differently.
Here’s everything you can expect from this season of The Bachelorette, from Lindsay to her 31 suitors:
1. She'll be direct
"I'm so direct that I won't entertain the drama or the [pettiness] or cattiness [in the house]. I'll just deal with situations as they come to me, so if guys come to me about a villain in the house, I'll be aware of it, my antennas will be up but I'm not going to feed into it too much," she told ET at her first official Bachelorette photo shoot. "That's not my style."
"I'm not going to toe the line or be indecisive when I make my decisions,” she added. “When I know I want to do something I'm just gonna do it.”
"I always say, it's something that should be talked about," Lindsay said bluntly. "I'm happy to address it. I'm honored to be the first [black Bachelorette]."
"With the guys, you know, if it's something new to them, then I want to talk about it the same way that I [wanted] to talk to Nick about it: 'Have you ever dated a black woman before?'" she shared. "I'll talk about my experiences as well. You know, it's about me, too, but I don't want it to be something that defines our relationship. But I think it's something important to address."
In a conference call with reporters after her season had wrapped on Thursday, Lindsay explained that her open approach to the topic made sure it wasn’t a “theme” throughout filming.
“Those conversations were had later on, but it really wasn’t a theme or an issue during the season,” she revealed.
"When I was talking to Nick [Viall] a little bit off camera, he was saying [that] typically he's not that sensitive, but you become so invested in this process," she told ET at her photo shoot. "He was like, 'You'll be surprised, you'll be more emotional than you think you will be.'"
“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,” she added on Thursday’s conference call.
4. She won't be getting intimate in the Fantasy Suites -- at least she didn’t think so
"Right as I stand here today, no [I don't see myself getting intimate with everyone in the fantasy suites]," Lindsay told ET. "But when you get in that moment, you just don't know. So we'll have to wait, watch and see, but no, I don't see that happening for me."
5. We might see her breaking point
“I would love to say that it was always sunshine and blue skies, but it’s hard. It’s hard physically, it’s hard emotionally. You really become invested in the men that are there for you. You have no idea how they’re going to impact your life,” the Dallas native said on the conference call. “So I definitely had my days where it’s -- it was harder than most, and you’ll see that as you watch the show. You’ll definitely see it.”
6. Her family will be skeptical yet supportive
Lindsay’s mother delivered the hard questions to Viall on last season of The Bachelor, and it seems fans should get ready for round two.
“[My family was] excited. I mean, you know, my family is a little skeptical as far as this -- they know how badly I want this. So they’re like, ‘Is this the way that, you know, you’re going to find what you want?’” Lindsay confessed to reporters on the conference call. “But they trust my judgment, they want me to be happy, and so they’re absolutely supportive of me finding love in this manner.”
Whether we’ll see Lindsay’s dad on her season, however, is still up in the air.
During Thursday’s conference call, Lindsay revealed that she is “very much so in love and very much so engaged.”
8. But she’ll only tell one person she loves them
“I definitely didn’t do what [former Bachelor] Ben [Higgins] did,” she said of Higgins’ telling two women that he loved them. “But I -- you will see that I have very strong connections with several of the men and you’ll see that play out throughout the journey, and so -- and... about the way that we felt about each other. But I didn’t do what Ben did. No.”
9. She'll have a more diverse cast
Lindsay said from the beginning that fans should expect to see more diversity on her season.
"I obviously expect to see a wider pool of African-American men just because that's me, but what I'm excited about is I'm hoping that my cast reflects what America looks like," she told ET at The Bachelor: Women Tell All taping in February. "I don't [exclusively] date African-American men, I've dated all races before, and so I'm hoping the cast reflects what America looks like and I'm excited that my season is hopefully the one that has the opportunity to do that."
In the first-ever Facebook Live video cast announcement on Wednesday, Harrison revealed the largest cast in Bachelorette history -- and the most diverse.
"They are a part of the most successful, most diverse and, of course, most dramatic cast we have ever had on the show," the longtime Bachelor host said, describing the group as a whole as being older, with strong educational backgrounds and more diverse jobs than fans have seen in the past.
Fans already got a sneak peek at Lindsay's suitors when Harrison surprised her with four guys during Viall's After the Final Rose special. We already saw DeMario, who asked her to elope (with tickets to Las Vegas in hand) and Dean, who admitted that he's "ready to go black and I'm never going back."
Lindsay will meet the rest of her suitors on Monday, who don’t disappoint with their limo exits, some including a penguin suit, an Urkel impression and even a whole marching band.
12. We'll see a heated confrontation
“There are going to be battles, there are going to be guys that just go after each other,” Harrison told ET on Wednesday. “There are two guys that are going after each other, they end up getting sent home on the same night -- they almost don’t even care, and they start going after each other in the exit interview. One walks over to the other and starts verbally just going after, abusing him, as he is giving his goodbye speech. Like, they can’t stop this battle, and that is such a guy thing.
Harrison told ET on Wednesday to expect the waterworks on Lindsay’s season.
“So, on the Mesnick scale, which is how all emotion scales are weighed, I would say it is a good 7 or 8,” he joked in reference to former Bachelor Jason Mesnick’s infamous balcony meltdown. “I don’t know if it is a full Mesnick -- I was trying to think if we had a full Mesnick -- I don’t think we go that far, but it’s Mesnickian.”
14. It will for sure be most dramatic season yet
Though Harrison famously touts each new season of The Bachelorette as “the most dramatic yet,” Lindsay said this time, he’s telling the truth.
“I do have guys with big personalities and I have a big personality too. So, believe Chris when he says that it’s the most dramatic season ever,” she said on Thursday’s conference call. “If I was a betting woman, I’d put my money on that.”
The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.