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Rachel's 'Bachelorette' Journey Is Just Beginning

When Rachel Lindsay was announced as Season 13's Bachelorette, fans were excited for more than a few reasons. For one, Rachel has proven time and again throughout her appearances on Nick Viall's Bachelor season that she's amazing and compulsively watchable. For another, her casting makes her the first black Bachelorette ever, which is literally historic. Anticipation for Season 13 is through the roof already, with many wondering whether Rachel's season of The Bachelorette started filming yet.

Questions about whether Rachel's season is filming definitely stem from the need to watch her find love ASAP, and I can totally relate. She's still technically in the running on The Bachelor, as one of Nick's final three women heading into overnight dates, but viewers already know (thanks to that Bachelorette announcement) that she isn't his pick at the end of the season. The fact that we're locked in a slow, brutal countdown to watching Rachel get her heart crushed by a future Dancing With The Stars contestant is making us all root for her that much harder.

Plus, teases like this from Bachelor Nation head honcho Mike Fleiss himself are definitely not doing anything to ease our anticipation.

But between Fleiss' wording of the tweet and some recent explanations from Bachelor host Chris Harrison, it seems clear that filming for Rachel's season has yet to officially begin. Fleiss noted that he "can't wait" for her season to start, implying that they haven't yet started filming. Similarly, Harrison appeared on Live With Kelly shortly after the Bachelorette announcement, when everyone was giving him grief about having spoiled the ending of Nick's season.

In explanation, Harrison said that, because of "weird TV calendar stuff," the airing of the last few episodes of The Bachelor runs right up into the beginning of Bachelorette taping. According to the host, there are literally just days between the end of The Bachelor season and the beginning of Bachelorette filming. Given that timeline, and knowing that Nick's finale airs on March 13, it stands to reason that Rachel will probably begin her journey to find love sometime that week, or by the end of March at latest.

That also tracks with what fans know about past Bachelorette season filming dates. Season 11 started filming on March 12 of that year, while JoJo Fletcher's season last year started filming on March 16.

In any case, I don't particularly mind that the announcement about Rachel spoiled the ending of Nick's season. Like Harrison told Ripa, they wanted to be sure to cast men who were interested in Rachel specifically — by announcing her as the star early, hopefully they're securing a fittingly awesome crop of dudes for her to pick from. We all know she deserves the best.