Jury's still out on who is going to walk away with Nick Viall's heart at the end of this Bachelor season, but last Monday's episode made one thing abundantly clear: Rachel Lindsay is freakin' awesome. The 31-year-old caught Nick's eye right off the bat, winning the first impression rose during the season premiere. She also got a group date rose during Week 3, cementing Nick's interest in her. But it wasn't until her one-one-one date in the most recent episode that viewers got to know her better. Now, many are wondering whether Rachel could be the next Bachelorette.
The last installment of the series featured a seriously adorable New Orleans date for the attorney and her Bachelor. Fans hadn't seen much of Rachel in recent weeks — alas, it's been pretty much "The Corinne (or Corinne-versus-Taylor) Show" as of late. What was clear right away was how genuine and likable Rachel is — steering far away from any of the house drama and repeatedly making known that she was there for Nick and Nick only. Her one-on-one with Nick found them dancing in the street, enjoying a live band, and opening up to one another amidst various New Orleans parade floats. It was easily one of the cutest Bachelor dates ever and Rachel repeatedly said it was one of the best dates she'd ever been on, period.
I appreciated how real Rachel was. Unlike many other contestants who jump super quickly into protestations of love, Rachel was realistic about the fact that she hadn't gone into the show expecting to click with Nick so soon and that it had been a long while since she'd felt that strongly about anyone. It was super sweet and relatable and cemented the nation's love for Rachel. And by "the nation," I mean "Bachelor Twitter" which exploded with praise for (and cute gifs of) the contestant from Dallas.
Fans were also all about how much Nick was vibing with Rachel on their date. Sure enough, the Bachelor "broke the rules" by confessing how into her he was already.
The overwhelming consensus? If she doesn't win Nick's heart in the end, viewers are totally here for a full Bachelorette season of Rachel-centric adorableness. But don't just take it from me — take it from a Bachelor alum/de facto expert. Nick's immediate Bachelor predecessor Ben Higgins believes Rachel will be the next Bachelorette if she doesn't win this season.
If it was up to the fans (and Ben), Rachel would obviously have the job in the bag. But, of course, it's not just a straight-up fan vote. The producers technically make the final decisions, and there's always a chance that they could go in another direction — though the fact that there's yet to be a person of color star as either the Bachelor or Bachelorette means we are way, way overdue for some real diversity on this show. Not to mention the fact that Rachel is someone we're already rooting for and someone we'd just want to watch find love.
There's also the chance that Rachel — who, reminder, is a brilliant, badass lawyer on top of being a fun and likable lady — might not be interested in taking time away from her career to film another entire season so soon after taking time off to appear on The Bachelor. There are a lot of variables, but as of now, I would put Rachel at the top of any and every list of likely candidates for the next Bachelorette. Crossing all my appendages that the producers make this happen. #TeamRachel.