But although audiences are pleased to see the 31-year-old attorney make history as the first black woman to be cast as the Bachelorette, the reveal was a major spoiler to viewers, who are still watching Lindsay compete for Viall’s final rose on the series as one of the four remaining contestants.
“You would have thought I started the next World War with the response,” Harrison, 45, told Ripa, 46, on Friday.
“Here’s the thing, in all seriousness, I just want to say this in front of everyone: it’s Kelly’s fault,” he quipped before making the real explanation.
“So, can we clear something up? First of all, I am so excited it’s Rachel. I adore this woman. She’s going to be fantastic,” Harrison said. “She’s a star. She just has this star quality about her.”
“We named her the Bachelorette early because weird TV calendar stuff is that The Bachelor runs right up to when we start taping The Bachelorette. Like, we’re talking days. We’re done. And she goes further in the show and we’re like, ‘Well we need to let everybody know that Rachel’s our Bachelorette. We would like to cast the show for her.’ We cast all year long, but like we did with Nick, it’s easier with The Bachelor because the calendar is different leading into it. But we wanted everyone to know it’s Nick so we can find people that really want to be with Nick. And so we want to cast the show for Rachel, but we can’t do that in two days.”
VIDEO: Inside the $7.4 Million Bachelor Mansion
Speaking with PEOPLE after the reveal, Lindsay said that she is both nervous and excited about her journey to find love on national television.
“I’m happy to represent myself as a black woman in front of America and I’m happy for America to rally behind me and see what it’s like for me to be on this journey to find love,” Lindsay told PEOPLE. “Honestly, it’s not going to be that different from any other season of The Bachelorette.”
She added: “I’m obviously nervous and excited to take on this opportunity but I don’t feel added pressure being the first black Bachelorette, because to me I’m just a black woman trying to find love. Yes, I’m doing on this huge stage, but again my journey of love isn’t any different just because my skin color is.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
This Story Originally Appeared On People