Bachelor Nation remembers Matt James' season not because of the on-screen drama but what happened behind the scenes.
Rachael Kirkconnell was the last woman standing, but her past behavior proved to be beyond controversial before the series ended. Now, Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell are happy together, but one person is absent from the Bachelor universe - Chris Harrison.
Rachel Lindsay opened up about the drama surrounding Chris Harrison's departure for one final time.
The first Black Bachelorette, a lawyer, and an author was accused of killing Harrison's career after an interview. She received death threats and ended up with PTSD.
Ironically, Rachel Lindsay received hate for asking questions, and Harrison's answers showed him in less than flattering light.
Rachel Lindsay wrote in her new book Miss Me With That: Hot Takes, Helpful Tidbits, and a Few Hard Truths what it felt like to be in the eye of the media storm. Before you pick up the book, here are some things Lindsay wants you to know before picking up her book:
"I talked about how the interview made me feel initially after it happened, but I haven't talked about the fallout that much. Having to get off social media, and the reaction from it, from the fanbase and from people who didn't even watch the show who wanted to say: 'Rachel canceled that man,' who affiliated my name with cancel culture. I didn't discuss that."
Rachel explained that the drama continued, affecting her mental health:
"Every week was something new: Someone else was saying something, the show was reacting in some way, Chris Harrison was apologizing. The death threats continued. The media was picking it up. It just never stopped. But I think it's important for me to talk about it because it is a part of my story... and it is the reason that I completely separated myself from the franchise."
Rachel Lindsay's book is "a collection of essays." As the former Bachelorette explained, the readers should learn who is the woman behind the lens:
"I wanted people to peel back the layers and really get to know who Rachel is. Not just 'Big Rach' that you might see on camera. And I feel like I did that. I feel like you see that I'm sensitive. I'm vulnerable. I'm a little messy. I get lost sometimes. I deal with insecurities quite a bit to this day. And I think that's important because I want people to understand the real me."
Though she came off the show in 2017, Rachel thinks it was good to wait to collect the memories and everything that happened during her Bachelorette days:
"I still was caught up in being the Bachelorette — you're on this cloud nine because you found love."
Rachel married Bryan Abasolo, whom she met as a Bachelorette, and she is in no way trying to end the show, as some suggested. She wanted to make it better.
Becoming the first Black Bachelorette came with a hefty price:
"The way I was introduced [was]: Oh my gosh, she's the first Black Bachelorette in the franchise! It's been 15 years! It's a huge deal. Even ... I didn't realize how big of a deal it was until I got into it."
The things behind the scenes were challenging:
"I realized not the ill-intent, but the ignorance behind me being the first Black Bachelorette in that they weren't prepared. It was enough for the show to just check the box of having their first Black lead, rather than understanding: We need to put her in an environment to make her feel comfortable so she can be her best self. She's stepping into uncharted territory. And so are we."
As much as Rachel's experience with the Bachelor franchise was full of stereotypes, it gave her a unique chance to speak up. In her book, Miss Me with That: Hot Takes, Helpful Tidbits, and a Few Hard Truths, Rachel talks about starting therapy in your 30s and the relationship Black people have with therapy:
"There's a stigma in the Black community where you don't need therapy. If you do, something must be terribly wrong with you. I wanted to break that down."
Rachel Lindsay's journey was challenging, especially because most of the hate she got had nothing to do with her. She did not put words in Chris Harrison's mouth, nor did she make Rachel Kirkconnell show up an antebellum plantation-themed ball. She never wanted to cancel the show, but she wanted it to improve.
Yet, it appears that the 36-year-old star is in a much better place, with no roses left to burn.