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‘The Bachelor’ Makes History As African-American Contestant Moves Past Week 5

Franchise is notorious for sending home black contestants before the sixth week

“The Bachelor” contestant Rachel Lindsay has made it through the fifth week rose ceremony, a week notorious for eliminating African-American suitors.

Jasmine G., the other African-American contestant on the show, made it past the fifth week rose ceremony but was eliminated on a group date in this week’s episode.

Lindsay had been a clear front-runner since Nick Viall’s season premiered early last month. In the first episode, Lindsay made history when she became the first black contestant on either “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” to get the first impression rose, according to TV Guide.

Last week, Lindsay had received a rose on her one-on-one date with Viall in New Orleans, so she was safe going into this week. But Jaimi King, who is of mixed ethnicity, was sent home this week as well.

Indeed, TV’s most successful dating series has been criticized for years for its lack of diversity among both the leads and the 25 contestants who vie for their affections.

As TheWrap reported last year, even when non-white contestants are cast, they seldom go very far. As documented by Karen X. Cheng, a blogger who also makes commercials for brands like Beats By Dre, in fact, no black contestant has ever made it past week five in the first 20 seasons.

In Ben Higgins’ season, he sent home Jubilee Sharpe in the fifth week. Chris Soules sent home Amber James in week three of 2015’s season. And in 2013 and 2014, Sean Lowe and Juan Pablo Galavis sent home African-American contestants in the show’s fifth week. According to Fusion, 59 percent of all black contestants leave the show within two weeks.

Viall’s season is actually one of the most diverse yet, starting with 10 non-Caucasian contestants — at the beginning of the show, the two-time runner-up had at least five African-American suitors. Two were sent home at the first rose ceremony, while Dominique made it to episode three.

Non-white contestants have made it to the final rounds before: Higgins kept Caila Quinn, whose mother is Filipino, until the final three. Sean Lowe ended up choosing Catherine Guidici, also half Filipino.

And Sharleen Joynt, whose mother is Chinese, made it to episode 7 of Juan Pablo Galavis’ season back in 2014.

This week took a turn for Viall, who sent home girls who many had considered strong contenders for Viall’s heart. Danielle L. was sent home after a two-on-one date — a big shocker for Bachelor Nation.