Nick Viall's loss is America's gain

By Maria Yagoda and Christina Dugan
February 14, 2017 12:11 PM
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Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC via Getty

Nick Viall’s loss is America’s gain.

Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old attorney from Viall’s season of The Bachelor, was chosen as Bachelor Nation’s next leading lady,making her the first black woman to be cast as the Bachelorette.

The pick — somewhat of a spoiler because she hasn’t yet been eliminated from this season — was announced on Monday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Here are five things to know about the star of next season’s Bachelorette.

1. Yes, Lindsay is making history as the first black Bachelorette — but she says her journey to find love isn’t any different from anyone else’s.

“I’m happy to represent myself as a black woman in front of America and I’m happy for America to rally behind me and see what it’s like for me to be on this journey to find love,” Lindsay tells PEOPLE. “Honestly, it’s not going to be that different from any other season of The Bachelorette.”

Adding, “I’m obviously nervous and excited to take on this opportunity but I don’t feel added pressure being the first black Bachelorette, because to me I’m just a black woman trying to find love. Yes, I’m doing on this huge stage, but again my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.”

2. She’s super close with her family.

Lindsay, who will be introducing Nick to her family on next week’s Bachelor, cares a lot about her family’s opinion — and she gushes about them all the time on social media.

“Family and friends have been wonderful too,” Lindsay said about the reaction to the news. “I’m just glad I don’t have to keep it a secret anymore!”

3. Her job as attorney has actually prepared her for this role. (We’re serious.)

“My job is a pressure-filled job so I’m used to dealing with intense situations that have a lot of pressure,” Lindsay tells PEOPLE.

“That’s all of trial whenever I’m dealing with a case. But I don’t necessarily feel the added pressure,” she says. “Work is like a gift and a curse – it’s so demanding and it’s easy for me to just drown myself in my work and not deal with my emotions. But one thing that I learned from going through this whole process is – it’s okay to be vulnerable and open.”

4. Bachelor Nation has rallied behind her.

Lindsay is already one of the most popular Bachelorette picks ever – and she has members of the franchise already enthusiastically supporting her, including her ex Nick.

She also has some A-list fans: Jennifer Aniston, for example, predicted Lindsay would make it to Nick’s top four … without knowing anything about the show.

5. Basically, she’s super cute and smart and we can’t wait to spend Monday nights with her.

“You know, I said this on the show all the time, but I just like to keep it 100 and keep it real,” Lindsay tells Good Morning America. “I figure if I just stay true to myself, it’ll be a successful show.”

We agree.

The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.