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7 'Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette' leads who made franchise history with their casting

Jenn poses for photos in a yellow dress, gold earrings, and silver bracelet.
Jenn Tran on season 28 of "The Bachelor."Disney/Richard Middlesworth
  • Jenn Tran was recently announced as the first Asian American star of "The Bachelorette."

  • Before that, Rachel Lindsay and Matt James made history as the first Black leads in the franchise.

  • Clare Crawley became the oldest "Bachelorette" star in 2020.

Jenn Tran was a surprise pick to lead the new season of "The Bachelorette." But even though some had expected it to be Joey Graziadei's runner-up Daisy Kent or fan-favorite contestant Maria Georgas, Tran's casting was exciting for another, more profound reason.

Tran will be the first Asian-American lead in the show's 20-year history when her season premieres later this year. It's a milestone for the reality franchise, which has long struggled with diverse representation and race.

Here are seven Bachelor Nation leads who have made history with their casting.

Rachel Lindsay

Rachel Lindsay during "The Bachelor" women tell all in 2017
Rachel Lindsay was the first Black lead of "The Bachelorette."Michael Yada/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Lindsay became the first Black star of "The Bachelorette" back in 2017. She's since distanced herself from the franchise after being vocally critical of its handling of race.

Clare Crawley

Clare Crawley
Clare Crawley is the oldest "Bachelorette."Paul Hebert/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Crawley became the oldest star of "The Bachelorette" in 2020. She was 39 years old at the time her season was filmed.

Tayshia Adams

Tayshia Adams
Tayshia AdamsJohn Fleenor via Getty Images

Also in 2020, Tayshia Adams, who competed on Colton Underwood's season of "The Bachelor," became the first midseason replacement "Bachelorette" star. Adams, who is biracial and half Mexican, was also the first Black and Latina lead.

She took over as the lead when Crawley left weeks into the season after falling in love with Dale Moss.

Matt James

Matt James on "The Bachelor" in 2020
Matt James was the first black "Bachelor."Craig Sjodin/Getty Images

James was a surprising pick for the lead of "The Bachelor." The role would typically go to a popular contestant from a past season of "The Bachelorette." He was initially cast to compete on Crawley's season of "The Bachelorette," but due to the pandemic pushing back filming, he hadn't appeared in the franchise at all when he was instead chosen to be the franchise's first Black lead in 2020.

James rose to popularity as the best friend of fan-favorite "Bachelorette" runner-up Tyler Cameron, who'd competed on Hannah Brown's season.

Jenn Tran

Jesse Palmer and Jenn Tran on season 28 of "The Bachelor."
Jenn Tran on season 28 of "The Bachelor."John Fleenor/Disney

Tran, a contestant on Joey Graziadei's season of "The Bachelor," made history as the first Asian American lead when she was announced as the new star of "The Bachelorette" in March 2024.

Brad Womack

Brad Womack on season 15 of "The Bachelor"
Brad Womack remains the only two-time lead in the franchise's history.Mark Wessels/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Womack wasn't ground-breaking as a "Bachelor" lead for diversity reasons, but he did make history in another way. He became the first (and to date, only) two-time lead in the franchise's history when he returned to star on season 15 of "The Bachelor" four years after starring on season 11, where he didn't pick anyone at the end. (It didn't work out for him the second time, either.)

Emily Maynard

Emily Maynard on "The Bachelorette"
Emily Maynard was the first single mom lead.Francisco Roman/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Maynard won Womack's second season, but the two split soon after, freeing her up to become the first single mom to star as "The Bachelorette."

Read the original article on Business Insider