Michelle Young is only the third lead of color in The Bachelorette season history. The school teacher is adding to her history-making season by doing something that’s never been seen: her final four men are all men of color. The selections come amid a difficult year centered around race and diversity for the franchise and its brother show, The Bachelor. Her final selection will be the first to feature a couple of color. Fans are eager to see who she chooses between Joe, Rodney, Brandon and Nayte.
Spoilers for the outcome of The Bachelorette 18 below:
Michelle Young says the love stories on her season are not commonly portrayed
Young is not naive to her final four moment. In a recent chat with Entertainment Tonight, she says she is happy to showcase something different that represents what life really looks like.
“I’m really excited just for the whole world to be able to see these love stories, because they’ve been love stories that haven’t been common in the past,” Michelle told ET’s Lauren Zima. “For the viewers to be able to see that, this raw emotion that we talk about race, we talk about difficult things, that’s important.”
“For me, it’s not this strategy to put four men of color in the top four, but for me that happened to be the four I truly did connect with,” she continued. “There’s so many wonderful things that the world is going to see.”
And she has nothing but positive things to say about her mates. “Minnesota Joe, he just gets that basketball life with me and that’s a piece of me that you can’t explain, but when you understand it, it brings the relationship to a different level,” she said. The two share the same hometown.
“I’ve just never had questions or concerns about Rodney,” she added. “He’s all in. He was all in from the [first] moment. Life would be so much fun [with him].” Young says Brandon “is probably the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve the most,” adding, “I’ve never seen a man so capable of being so vulnerable. I felt like he really challenged me to do that.”
Nayte (who we know is spoiler alert….the winner of the season) also has a special place in her heart. “Nayte is like this kinetic, passionate, interaction and connection,” she said of the sales executive. “There’s times when I can explain it, and there’s times where I can’t.”
Nayte is proud the final four are men of color
Nayte is equally excited as Young for what the final four represents. “For the first time in Bachelor franchise history, the final four men are all POC,” he wrote in his Instagram post featuring a photo of him and Michelle with Brandon, Joe, and Rodney on the show. “I’m proud to be a part of this moment and to be able to stand beside three men whom I admire.”
He also reflected on growing up in the minority in Canada and how this moment is extra special to him because of what he lacked in his personal life. “I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, went to predominately white schools, and was raised by my Mom and her side of the family. I didn’t see many people who looked like me. And when I did, it was mainly on TV. And many of us know how people who look like me tend to be portrayed on TV…” he added.”
The Bachelorette airs weekly on ABC.