The Bachelorette franchise has announced its newest star, and she’s making history as the show’s oldest Bachelorette.
“The most important thing is I want a man that will take off his armour,” Crawley said on GMA of what type of person she will be looking for. “I want a man who is strong, but is willing to take off the body armour, open himself up and be vulnerable, and I think that is some serious strength there.”
However, shortly after the announcement, trolls criticised the show’s choice to name Crawley, who has appeared on the show four times previously, as the newest Bachelorette because of her age.
“I guess that’s what they meant by casting ‘seniors,’” one person wrote in response to the news.
Another said: “The new Bachelorette is a thirty eight year old who has been on the various shows four times? Really?”
Previously, the oldest Bachelorette was Rachel Lindsay, who starred on the show’s 13th season when she was 32.
Despite the backlash, many fans have praised ABC for choosing an older contestant, as the average age of previous Bachelorette stars is 27, with contestants typically ranging in age from 23 to 35.
“Yesss. Amazing choice ABC! We’ve really needed an older Bachelor and Bachelorette,” one person wrote.
Someone else tweeted: “I’m so glad they went with an ‘older’ Bachelorette. She’s only two months younger than me and I love it! It will be nice to watch her journey.”
While appearing on GMA, Crawley addressed her age, and said it would be an advantage in the upcoming season.
“A lot of people put it out there as this negative thing, but for me, it just is more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for,” she said.
Crawley also said that the age of her potential suitors is not a problem as she has “been known to date younger guys,” and that she feels younger than she is.
“The thing is I'm wondering if they're ready for me, for my age. I feel like that would be more of an issue, than me with them, because I feel so much younger at heart than my actual age,” she explained, adding: “I'm proud of my age, but I just feel younger and I feel like that to me is what's important.”
Crawley first appeared on the show in 2014 as a contestant on Juan Pablo Galavis's season of The Bachelor. She later returned during season one and two of Bachelor in Paradise and for The Bachelor Winter Games in 2018.
The Bachelorette premiers Monday, 18 May.
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