Bachelor fans haven't found any shortage of memorable contestants on Nick Viall's season. Right off the bat, Corinne Olympios made a name for herself as one of the franchise's most popular "villains. Rachel Lindsay, too, quickly gained acclaim as one of the season's most down to earth and likable women. But recently, Kristina Schulman has also been added to the talked-about contestants list. The Kentuckian's big moment in the most recent episode has fans wondering whether Kristina will be the next Bachelorette later this year.
On Monday's episode, Kristina surprised Nick (and the viewers) by opening up about her rough background. Bachelor shows have had contestants discuss their painful histories and personal tragedies before — just earlier this season, for instance, Danielle Maltby briefly told Nick about the unexpected death of her fiancé. But there was something about the way Kristina told her story — a heartbreaking tale of perseverance and strength about growing up impoverished in a small Russian village, being abandoned in an orphanage by her mother, and finally choosing to leave behind the only family she'd ever known for a new life with her adopted family in America — that really provoked a reaction in the people watching.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Lexington dental hygienist's story deals with the harsh reality of being an American immigrant. It's certainly something that's become a serious hot-button topic in recent months, thanks to the current political climate. Bachelor producer Elan Gale even spoke a bit towards that very topic on Twitter after Monday's episode aired.
Kristina's emotionally vulnerable one-on-one date appears to have catapulted her to the top of the list of current fan-favorites. Immediately after the episode aired, a "Kristina for Bachelorette" post popped up on the show's subreddit. Various other posts there have echoed the same praise for the Russian native, with many saying that it has to be Kristina if, for some reason, current Bachelorette frontrunner Rachel isn't asked or declines the offer.
Either way, one thing is for sure: I'm happy to see as much of Kristina as we can get on this show. Hopefully she makes it far, even if she doesn't win Nick's final rose (or the role of the next Bachelorette) in the end. And you never know — she may just show up on Bachelor in Paradise at some point.