‘The Bachelorette’ is back

Romance sparks again every Tuesday on Hulu or ABC



This year’s season of “The Bachelorette” features a more diverse cast and crew.

CAROLYN MCCAMPBELL, Evergreen columnist

Love is in the air after the 18th season of “The Bachelorette” aired on Oct. 19 this year. So far, there are six episodes available to watch on ABC or Hulu. Former Bachelorette’s Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe also returned for their roles as co-hosts.

The second season of “The Bachelorette” for this year features Michelle Young, a 28-year-old elementary school teacher from Minnesota, and the 30 men she will be dating. Young was featured on the last season of “The Bachelor,” of which she was a runner-up. She is the third bachelorette of color ever featured, after Rachel Lindsay and Tayshia Adams.

The show has been rocked by allegations of racially-insensitive material over its 19-year run. However, this season marks a historic moment in ABC’s attempt to create a more diverse cast and crew. The series is featuring a Black lead, co-host and executive producer, according to an article in The Los Angeles Times.

Young grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota, with her parents and two siblings. She was part of her school’s basketball team, but did not start dating until her senior year of high school. Dating hadn’t been easy for her. She playfully said while on the show that her parents were the reason she’s still single because she’s not willing to settle until she has a love as powerful as theirs.

For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it has the same format each season. There is one lead, in this case the bachelorette, and the contestants competing for her love.  The first night, the lead meets all their contestants by greeting them after their arrival. Then follows a cocktail party and the ever dramatic rose ceremony. If the contestants do not receive a rose, they must pack their bags and leave. 

In the weeks following, dates are planned by producers in order for the contestants and the lead to get to know each other. This includes group dates — multiple contestants and the lead — and one on one dates, where the lead can get to know an individual contestant better. Group dates end with a cocktail party where one individual is awarded a rose, whereas one on ones end with a candlelit dinner and another opportunity for a rose. 

The dates can consist of any number of activities. One of the group dates this season featured the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel, with two of the stars, Glen Powell and Jay Ellis, helping Young find her soulmate. Other dates require the contestants to focus on self-expression and getting their creative juices flowing. This season, Young’s men had to write poems about their experiences with love and vulnerabilities. 

“I’ve never written a poem before, but being expressive is just being able to be open, vulnerable, while remaining yourself and being able to stand on who you are,” contestant Leroy Arthur said in his confessional.

Young also participated. Her poem was a letter to her soulmate, talking about her experiences and struggles of being a woman of color in a predominantly white area. Through her poem, she explains that she wants to be seen and for her soulmate to understand what it’s like growing up as a minority.

“To my future soulmate. There are some things you need to see, like finding love hasn’t really been easy for me,” Young read from her poem. “Growing up in school I would take a look around, already knowing there would be no others like me to be found.”

You can follow Young’s love story on ABC Tuesday at 8 p.m. or on Hulu at the same date and time.