ABC announces the lead for the next season of The Bachelorette. During The Bachelor’s season 23 finale starring Colton Underwood, long-time series host Chris Harrison introduced Hannah Brown as the franchise’s next star.
On The Bachelor season 23, Brown reached the Top 7 but was ultimately sent home by Underwood, a 27-year-old who played on various NFL practice squads from 2015 to 2016. As for Brown, the 24-year-old often discussed her Alabama roots during the latest season, as the Tuscaloosa native graduated from the University of Alabama and was crowned Miss Alabama USA 2018. On the show, Brown clashed with fellow castmate Caelynn Miller-Keyes (Miss North Carolina USA 2018), whom she’d known from prior pageant competitions. Before winning the Miss Alabama USA 2018 title, Brown competed in 2017 against Hannah Godwin, who ultimately reached the Top 3 in the latest season of The Bachelor. In season 15, Brown was known to viewers as “Hannah B,” while Godwin was known as “Hannah G.”
Per THR, Brown has been cast as The Bachelorette’s season 15 lead, and offered statements to the outlet shortly before the big announcement. Prior to The Bachelor’s “Women Tell All” episode, Brown told THR that "I came into this very ready for the endgame and so as Bachelorette, I would be very ready for the endgame of that, too.” After The Bachelor’s controversial season finale, Brown was introduced to a live studio audience before learning that her Bachelorette experience would begin at that moment, as she was subsequently introduced to five potential partners. While Brown appeared shocked, the first introduction segment has become part of the show’s format in recent seasons.
Production for The Bachelorette season 15 begins this week. While Brown has a long history of performing for audiences, she was noticeably awkward while opening up during certain episodes of The Bachelor season 23. With that said, Brown addressed the difficulty of trying to overcome pageant routines, in order to allow herself to open up to potential romantic partners. As THR noted, ABC’s casting of Brown is unique, as The Bachelorette typically casts women who finish in the Top 4 of The Bachelor. When Brown was announced as the new Bachelorette, she appeared ready for the challenge, but also hesitated when answering the host’s questions, thus creating “dead air.” Still, such moments are part of the series’ appeal.
While Brown may not have been the obvious choice for The Bachelorette, she’s undoubtedly familiar with the basics of television broadcasts. Given her association with The Bachelor’s highly rated season 23, loyal viewers will most likely tune in to see how the drama unfolds when her new ABC journey begins.