UPDATE: This article was originally published on February 25 at 5:30 pm ET.
As finished The Bachelor, some of Bachelor Nation was most concerned about who Colton Underwood’s final rose would go to. But if you are like me, a die-hard fan of this never-ending franchise, then you are already preoccupied with thoughts about the impending premiere of the 2019 season of The Bachelorette. And now that we know that Bachelorette is Hannah B., that need to know is even stronger. Fortunately on After The Final Rose, Chris Harrison delivered the good news: Hannah B's journey will begin on May 13. (That's not all that far away!) Here's what else we know.
Bachelorette season is exciting for many reasons, but namely that the Bachelor spin-off flips the script, making men fight for one woman after all the Bachelor drama. (There's also the fact that six out of 14 bachelorettes are still with the man they gave their final rose to, giving The Bachelorette a much better success rate than The Bachelor and making it much more believable.) But, when does the new season of The Bachelorette start and what else do we know so far? We’ve broken down what we know for sure, who's in the running for the lead, and what we can deduce from Bachelor Nation's oh-so predictable patterns.
When Does The Bachelorette Premiere?
The last five years of The Bachelorette saw the series follow a predictable pattern: Andi Dorfman (Season 10), Kaitlyn Bristowe (Season 11), Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher (Season 12), Rachel Lindsay (Season 13), and Becca Kufrin (Season 14) all saw their seasons premiere during the last two weeks of May. And so far, the flagship seems to be paving the way right on schedule: ABC recently confirmed that The Bachelor finale will be split into two nights, Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12, and that the Women Tell All will air on the Tuesday prior, which will keep the season from running too far into March.
Last year, American Idol expanded its reign from Sundays, to both Sundays and Monday after of The Bachelor after Arie’s season ended. The singing competition ran from March 11, 2018 to May 21, 2018 (19 episodes), with Becca’s season of The Bachelorette airing the following Monday on May 28, 2018. As American Idol premieres Sunday, March 3, if ABC chooses to replace The Bachelor with American Idol on Mondays again and follows the same 19-episode schedule, then the next season of The Bachelorette should begin on May 27.
Who Is In The Running To Be The Bachelorette?
It's likely to down to the four women remaining on Colton's season during Hometowns: Caelynn Miller-Keyes, Cassie Randolph, Tayshia Adams, and Hannah Godwin. It is fairly likely one of these four women will be cast as the lead because the last four Bachelorettes have all made it to at least the final four on their Bachelor seasons.
So far, Caelynn seems to be a frontrunner for the Bachelorette title. She became an important figure in the franchise and a fan-favourite when she bravely revealed to Underwood in episode four that she is a sexual assault survivor. She did have unresolved tension with Hannah B. earlier on in the season and then with Tayshia in the most recent episode, which could affect her chances to be The Bachelorette. The last five Bachelorettes were not women who were involved with drama.
There's Cassie, who has had relatively limited screen time with Underwood but certainly makes the most of it when we see her. Cassie and Colton have insane chemistry and she has developed a substantial fanbase. But, like Caelynn, Cassie had dramatic moments in a recent episode when Tayshia and Kirpa Sudick questioned her intentions. We will have to stay tuned to see who was right, which could greatly impact her chance to be The Bachelorette.
Tayshia has had pretty constant screen time since episode three. She did call out Cassie and Caelynn before Hometowns and since then, her Instagram has been flooded with hateful comments. While the producers seem to be more lenient when it comes to how well liked the lead for The Bachelor is (ahem, Colton), they usually cast one of the most liked women in the house and on social media for The Bachelorette. Plus, this show has not had many diverse leads. In 14 seasons, Rachel Lindsay was the only Bachelorette of colour.
Last up we have Hannah Godwin aka Hannah G. She somehow managed to stay out of the drama between Tayshia, Kirpa, Caelynn, and Cassie, but that was mainly because she was barely in the ep. (We never even saw her have a conversation with Colton!) Still, we know that ever since he gave her the first impression rose night she's been a solid candidate. She is quiet, but she is appreciated in the franchise for her drama-free edit, which could make her a top contender.
Although The Bachelorette has followed a pattern, they could throw us for a loop with another choice: Hannah Brown aka Hannah B. Brown went home before Hometowns and didn’t have the best image on the show when it started due to her she said-she said issue with Caelynn. But, her heartfelt goodbye last episode and her empowering final message to want to be “chosen” every day could put her in the running. Also, with Brown’s goofy, endearing personality, she could certainly carry the show as the lead.
What's Up With That Khloe Kardashian Bachelorette Rumour?
With all the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal news breaking in tandem with The Bachelor airing, some members of Bachelor Nation, including Bachelor royalty Ashley Iaconetti, suggested that Khloé Kardashian could be the new Bachelorette. Iaconetti tweeted, “On Monday we were stressed trying to figure out who would be a good Bachelorette. Then Tuesday gave us this...Let’s arrange the meeting @Kris Jenner, @khloekardashian, @fleissmeiser, & @Millsy11374. Creator Mike Fleiss entertained the idea, tweeting that Kris Jenner’s final approval is needed. Robert Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, also responded and proposed a secret meeting with the Kardashian members.
While the idea came from a good place, both Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian have since responded to the Bachelorette rumour escalating with the help of Fleiss' tweets. Kim first called it "fake fucking news" which inspired Fleiss to suggest that Kim just wasn't privy to the deal. Kim eventually tweeted the receipts (below) and Khloe stuck up for herself. "I'm not fucking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers. How insensitive!!" tweeted Khloe.
Plus, this rumour shouldn't have gotten this far in the first place: Not only is Khloe dealing with some very upsetting real life drama, but in 14 seasons The Bachelorette has never chosen a lead who didn’t come from The Bachelor.
When Will We Find Out Who The New Bachelorette Is?
For the last four out of five Bachelorettes, the casting decision was announced on the After the Final Rose special that airs as the final episode of that year's Bachelor season. Becca, Jojo, and Andi were all named the lead in the final minutes of the special. Kaitlyn was also announced on the After the Final Rose special, but host Chris Harrison also shocked and confused audiences by revealing Kaitlyn would compete with fellow season 19 (the one with Chris Soules) contestant Britt Nilsson to see who would be chosen as the Bachelorette. Lindsay had the unique distinction of being announced as The Bachelorette on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when she was still a contestant on Nick Viall’s season, which was rather odd.
It's unlikely that the producers will take any time beyond After The Final Rose to decide though, because The Bachelorette goes into production almost immediately after the special in order to stick to the show's yearly late May premiere date. So, we should expect one of the women from Colton’s season to be introduced to the world as the new Bachelorette on After the Final Rose, airing March 12.
When Is The Cast For The Bachelorette Announced?
Seeing the list of eligible bachelors competing for The Bachelorette’s heart is the final step in the process leading up to the premiere of the new season, so it's going to be a minute. ABC usually releases their cringeworthy cast bios about a week before the premiere. Harrison has also recently started doing Facebook Live presentations a few days before the season starts to give a quick rundown of all the contestants. It is possible we could get a glimpse of a few of the guys on the show before then: Becca and Rachel both met a small group (four or five) of the their potential suitors on After The Final Rose. Let’s hope the show continues with this new tradition so we won’t have to wait too long to become familiar with these dudes.
And that's about all we know for now, but Spring (aka Bachelorette season) is just around the corner.