The first edition of the TV series “The Bachelorette” to star an African-American woman will feature a series-record 31 bachelors, ABC announced Monday.
The bachelorette, Texas attorney Rachel Lindsay, 31, was second runner-up on “The Bachelor” Season 21 earlier this year, behind boutique owner Raven Gates and special-education teacher Vanessa Grimaldi.
ABC also said that Ellen DeGeneres, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis will guest-star on Season 13 of the dating competition, which the network previously announced will debut May 22.
DeGeneres will appear in an episode in which Lindsay and six of the men visit the set of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where the bachelors “strip Chippendales style and play a game of Never Have I Ever,” said the network. Another episode finds NBA legend Abdul-Jabbar running 10 men through basketball drills, then having them play a game before a large crowd. In yet another, actors Kutcher and Kunis will judge the bachelors’ performance in a “husband-material obstacle course.”
The opening episode finds Lindsay commiserating with her “Bachelor” friends Gates, Whitney Fransway, Jasmine Goode, Astrid Loch, Corinne Olympios, Kristina Schulman and Alexis Waters, and such first-impression stunts as a man using a sledgehammer to “break the ice,” another donning a penguin costume and one accompanied by a marching band.
Locales this year include Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and international stops in Copenhagen, Geneva and Oslo, where the men compete in one of Norway’s most popular sports, handball.
Lindsay is a 2007 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin who went on to obtain her law degree in 2011 from Marquette University in Milwaukee. Now an associate in the Dallas office of Cooper & Scully, Lindsay was admitted to the bar in Texas and Wisconsin in 2011.
A sports buff, she got her undergraduate degree in kinesiology and studied sports management at college, where she was captain of its 2006 intramural women’s basketball championship team. She played for her law school’s 2008 intramural women’s basketball champs.