Last night's reveal that Rachel Lindsay would be the next Bachelorette was shocking — and not just because Lindsay is the franchise's first Black lead. When Chris Harrison announced that the 31-year-old attorney would bear the Bachelorette mantle, he spoiled the current season of The Bachelor. As of now, Lindsay is still a contender for Nick Viall's heart. Except now that we know she'll be looking for love in May, her role on The Bachelor is all but moot. Clearly, Nick Viall isn't going to propose to Rachel Lindsay. The Bachelor franchise violated the premier tenet of modern pop culture: don't. spoil. anything. Now that they have, the show is subject to the internet's wrath. Twitter is alight with irate viewers, disgruntled that the show they love isn't such a mystery anymore. The Bachelor operates sort of like a football game — many watch for the thrill of not know who wins. Some viewers even enter fantasy football-style leagues or pools where money is at stake.
As someone who works in entertainment, I'm well aware of the backlash that follows a spoiler. If you've got a head on your shoulders, you simply don't do it. So why did the franchise break the rule and spoil their own show? There are a couple of reasons why this might have happened. For one, the show is already subject to rampant speculation because it's taped so far in advance. Thanks to bloggers like Reality Steve, the show's secrets aren't as clouded as they used to be. It's likely that at least a portion of the show's viewers know who will win the current season. The same goes for the biannual announcement. By the time the announcement is made, news of who is the next Bachelor or Bachelorette has usually already leaked. In the past, this has led to controversy — when Nick Viall was announced as Bachelor in summer of 2016, the news had already leaked that Luke Pell had been selected. Pell was blindsided with the Viall pick. (Allegedly, the same snafu occurred with Chase McNary, another runner up on Jojo Fletcher's season.) Before that, the franchise did a switcheroo with Caila Quinn and Jojo Fletcher — the news that Quinn had been selected made the rounds, and focus groups were allegedly not pleased with the pick. With the Lindsay pick on full display, the network no longer has to worry about these types of scuffles. The announcement is official — Lindsay appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to cement her new role. Now, the franchise won't have to perform the same fancy footwork they've done in the past. To boot, this time, the network was the one to break the news. Not Reality Steve. Not a few anonymous sources. By giving us the news early, ABC took control over the already spoiler-heavy show. Preventing Bachelorette leaks apparently took precedence over preventing Bachelor spoilers. The ending isn't entirely spoiled either. Nick Viall has three girls, Rachel Lindsay aside, remaining in his lady lagoon: Raven, Corinne, and Vanessa. No proposal has been made, so the mystery stands — who will Nick Viall pick? Detractors may be ticked that the show spoiled Lindsay's upcoming exit (or removal) from the show, but that shouldn't negate the show's impact. We're not watching because we want to know who wins. We're watching because we want to see man tears, shark dolphins, and one epic proposal, preferably with a helicopter involved.