This summer, new ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey made it clear that The Bachelor franchise needed to diversify. Specifically, she said, “we need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning.”
That has happened. Today, ABC officially announced the identities of the 30 women who will give Nick Viall his fourth attempt at ABC love The Bachelor season 21, and it is a cast that is more diverse than usual.
What does this mean for a franchise that has struggled mightily with diversity, and has typically been as white as newly fallen snow on Wonderbread in a bag of cotton balls sitting on an iceberg?
Warning: Spoilers—without names—are ahead, so skip to the next section of you don’t want to know.
In late November, Reality Steve spoiled the season’s outcome, including the final four and who Nick chooses—and revealed there will a major milestone achieved after 20 seasons: a black woman makes the final three. Again, that’s a first for the franchise.
Because The Bachelorette typically casts a fan-favorite Bachelor contestant who goes far in the season, this at least increases the likelihood that The Bachelorette could have its first-ever black star.
Then again, producers set up Caila to be the first Asian Bachelorette star and even cast her, but switched to a white woman at the last minute. So, as with all things Bachelor, time will tell.
The Bachelor’s dolphin-crazy cast
ABC’s press release starts by asking, “What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million-dollar flooring empire, a bachelorette who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor.”
And something else they have in common: dolphins. Yes, that first woman has dolphins in common with many of her fellow contestants. That’s because:
- Nine of the 30 women would like to live in the ocean: When asked to choose which fictional character they would become, four chose The Little Mermaid star Ariel, and when asked which animal they’d like to be, five chose dolphins. One of those women, Alexis, has her profession listed as “aspiring dolphin trainer.”
Also of interest: Nick is 36 years old, but:
- 27 of the women are in their 20s, and the oldest is 31
Here is the full cast list, from ABC:
- Alexis, 23, aspiring dolphin trainer, Secaucus, NJ
- Angela, 26, model, Greenville, SC
- Astrid, 26, plastic surgery office manager, Tampa, FL
- Briana, 28, surgical unit nurse, Salt Lake City, UT
- Brittany, 26, travel nurse, Santa Monica, CA
- Christen, 25, wedding videographer, Tulsa, OK
- Corrine, 24, business owner, Miami, FL
- Danielle L., 27, small business owner, Los Angeles, CA
- Danielle M., 31, neonatal nurse, Nashville, TN
- Dominique, 25, restaurant server, Los Angeles, CA
- Elizabeth (“Liz”), 29, doula, Las Vegas, NV
- Elizabeth, 24, marketing manager, Dallas, TX
- Hailey, 23, photographer, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Ida Marie, 23, sales manager, Harlingen, TX
- Jaimi, 28, chef, New Orleans, LA
- Jasmine B., 25, flight attendant, Tacoma, WA
- Jasmine G., 29, pro basketball dancer, San Francisco, CA
- Josephine, 24, unemployed nurse, Santa Cruz, CA
- Kristina, 24, dental hygienist, Lexington, KY
- Lacey, 25, digital marketing manager, Manhattan, NY
- Lauren, 30, law school graduate, Naples, FL
- Michelle, 24, food truck owner, Los Angeles, CA
- Olivia, 25, apparel sales representative, Nashville, TN
- Rachel, 31, attorney, Dallas, TX
- Raven, 25, fashion boutique owner, Hoxie, AR
- Sarah, 26, grade school teacher, Newport Beach, CA
- Susannah, 26, account manager, San Diego, CA
- Taylor, 23, mental health counselor, Seattle, WA
- Vanessa, 29, special education teacher, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Whitney, 25, Pilates instructor, Chanhassen, MN