Tayshia Adams couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Bachelor franchise’s more inclusive new era. The 30-year-old took over for Clare Crawley on this season of The Bachelorette, making her the show’s second Black lead. Matt James, who was announced to be the next Bachelor in June and is currently filming his season, will be the franchise’s third Black lead, and first Black Bachelor.
“It’s a beautiful journey,” Tayshia told ET’s Lauren Zima on Monday.
“Not only am I the second African American Bachelorette but I’m biracial — I’m also Mexican — so it is just an amazing opportunity to have been given a platform for women that are like me to see somebody represented and for me to find love and just show what that looks like,” she added. “I am happy to have that platform to do so.”
Tayshia’s casting comes three years after the franchise cast its first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, and on the heels of their first Latina lead, Clare. The Orange County, California, native had previously spoken about how seeing Rachel’s love story onscreen inspired her to apply for the franchise.
“I was also given the opportunity to date people that I might have not had the opportunity to,” she said of her season, “and that’s the part for me that I- honestly I keep saying I am so blessed, because I met some fantastic men.”
ET learned in August that Tayshia stepped in as lead when Clare fell for one of her men roughly two weeks into filming. Clare’s engagement to Dale Moss was shown on last week’s episode of The Bachelorette, with Tayshia exiting the limo and preparing to meet the contestants. Fans will have to wait to see how it all plays out, but a trailer for the season has already shown Tayshia having a heart-to-heart with one man, Ivan, about their biracial backgrounds.
The new Bachelorette said she was immediately impressed by the suitors that stayed from Clare’s season, including Ivan, Zac. C and Brendan, all of whom she’s seen on dates with in her new promo.
“That was definitely a fear of mine, that they weren’t going to be able to switch their mindset but they do welcome me with open arms,” she shared. “You will be seeing that and how excited they all were and how fun it’s going to be.”
Franchise fans will have to wait and see how Tayshia’s love story plays out — she admitted to ET that she falls in love with “multiple” men over the course of the season, but wouldn’t share if she’s currently in love or engaged.
“I’m happy,” she shared, “and part of the reason is, I can finally say that I’m the Bachelorette. It’s been a secret I’ve been holding onto for a long, long time.”
Tayshia said her season is full of “ups and downs” and fans will get to experience the roller coaster of emotions along with her. “There’s lots of happiness, but there’s also some sadness in it.”
“The one opportunity I had to think about [going in] was, my heart was ready,” she added. “With those intentions, I sort of went with it and it worked.”
In June, the Bachelor franchise acknowledged its “lack of representation of people of color,” and included a pledge to make significant changes moving forward. So far, it’s on a good path. All leads in the last year have been people of color. Peter Weber is Cuban, Clare is Mexican, Tayshia is biracial and Matt is Black.
“I think that just goes to show that people are trying,” Tayshia said. “The world is changing, as it should. Love comes in all different shades and colors and it looks like this. So the fact that you are starting to see that on television displayed is a step in the right direction.”
In a statement to ET in August, Rachel said she was “thrilled” to see another Black Bachelorette take the lead.
“I have been fighting for inclusion, and I‘ve said before that Tayshia would be an excellent Bachelorette, so I am more than happy to pass the torch,” she said. “I am so excited to see what she’s going to do, how she will represent herself and her journey to find love. Now she’s in the driver’s seat, and I’m excited to see her get this opportunity.”
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below, and tune in to Wednesday’s ET for more from our interview with Tayshia.
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