ABC named its first Latino Bachelor: Venezuelan stud Juan Pablo Galavis.
Host Chris Harrison made the official announcement during the “After the Final Rose” special, following the season finale of “The Bachelorette” on Monday night.
Galavis, 32, was a season 17 contestant, who wooed female audiences during his brief run on the show. The Spanish-speaking Miami resident retired from professional football — ahem, soccer — in 2009 to spend more time with his daughter, Camila.
“It’s very hard to date when you have a daughter, that’s why I took the chance to come here,” Galavis told the cameras after he was booted from the show. “Hopefully I’ll find a stepmom for Camila pretty soon.”
While “The Bachelor” has had a handful of minorities as suitors before, never before has a non-Caucasian been cast in the titular role.
In 2012, two men who auditioned and failed to make the cut brought a class-action lawsuit against the show, arguing racial discrimination. A U.S. District Court ruled that ABC is protected by the First Amendment right to control the show’s creative content — like casting white people to appeal to a primarily white audience.
It’ll be interesting to see if ABC casts more Latina contestants than usual, and how over-the-top the network will be at reminding audiences of its Latin lover’s heritage.
Host Chris Harrison did greet Galavis on the show last night, “Hello, señor.”
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