The Bachelorette kicked off with a bang — or rather, "a whaboom" — when it premiered Monday night.
Bachelor Nation met a cast of characters during the season 13 premiere who are now off and running with the TV competition for Rachel Lindsay's heart. Joining an impressive group of lawyers, medical professionals and consultants were a few eyebrow-raisers: Adam Jr. the doll, a sexually forward drummer who boasted about "the amazingness of my penis" and someone who identified himself as "a whaboom." (The latter is still up for interpretation.)
Outside of a whacky variety of occupations, Lindsay's cast as a whole is the most diverse group of contestants in the ABC reality franchise's 15-year history. Nonwhite suitors accounted for nearly half of the original 31 men who vied for Lindsay's heart. After a premiere that slashed Lindsay's total number down to 23, only five nonwhite men were eliminated, making for a continued — and rare for the series — near 50-50 breakdown.
Ahead of Monday's launch, the reality star revealed the role she had in casting her men while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. "I just wanted to see a diverse group," the 32-year-old Dallas attorney explained. "I told them that I date everyone. I don't just date white or black. I date Asian, Hispanic, and have dated Middle Eastern men. I wanted the people coming out of the limousine to reflect my dating history — and I wasn't disappointed."
See photos of Rachel Lindsay:
While Lindsay hoped to be introduced to men with a wide variety of ethnicities, she continued to stress that race was not a factor in choosing her fiance: "When they were coming out of the limo I wasn't keeping count." Adding, "In my final decision, I just went with my heart and the person I found my forever with." The only requirement was an age range. "I did say that I didn't want any babies in their 20's, their young 20's."
When THR spoke to the show's casting director Lacey Pemberton about the yearlong process of casting the contestants, the show veteran explained that her top search requirement is to find people who want to meet someone in an usual way.
The Bachelorette, who revealed she is engaged in a rare announcement ahead of the premiere, remains tight-lipped about to whom she is ready to say "I do." But she did offer this tease to THR: He "likes sports" and has "a great smile." In a series of rapid fire questions below, Lindsay sounded off on a few more secrets and behind-the-scenes facts of her season, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
What was the latest time a rose ceremony wrapped while filming?
Probably the first night, at 7:30 or 8 in the morning.
Which was your favorite premiere-night limo entrance?
The marching band with Blake E.
Fill in the blank: I don't anticipate getting through watching this season without...
Rolling my eyes.
What's your go-to rose ceremony cocktail?
Jameson on the rocks.
How many outfits did you buy for this season?
Describe the dynamic in the mansion.
There was a huge bromance in the mansion. Huge. To the point where they would challenge me sometimes over my decisions because they loved each other that much.
See photos of Rachel Lindsay's suitors:
What was your down time like in between dates?
Putting my feet up, closing my eyes and listening to music.
How much sleep did you get?
No days off, no sleep. I probably averaged four hours a night.
Is there a workout routine you were expected to follow?
I thought I was going to work out and I did not. My working out consisted of hand-to-plate-to-mouth.
What was the most difficult part about filming this season?
The emotions. You can't prepare for that.
What surprised you most about being on this side of the show?
How much I connected with the men.
What do you think of Lindsay's cast? Tell THR in the comments below and check back in with Live Feed for season-long coverage of The Bachelorette.