“It is about damn time!” said Michelle Young, better known as the most recent star of ABC’s long-running reality show, The Bachelorette. Time for what? Well, it only took 18 seasons, but as of Tuesday night, Young and her now-fiancé Nayte Olukoya were revealed to be the first Black couple to ever graduate the franchise.
“Black love, baby!” exclaimed Olukoya during the couple’s postmortem with the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast (h/t People magazine). In fact, as the magazine notes, the lovebirds are the first-ever couple of color to enjoy a final rose ceremony in the nearly two-decade history of Bachelor/Bachelorette nation; about damn time, indeed.
Young acknowledges the long-overdue milestone as “a very cool thing” for the franchise, crediting the fact that she and Olukoya are both “goal setters” as the initial foundation upon which their relationship grew. “And so it’s been cool to be a part of this experience and to make history in this way,” she later added.
It wasn’t the first time the 28-year-old elementary school teacher made history during her season; in a departure from her Black Bachelorette predecessors, all of Young’s final four contestants were men of color.
Since becoming happily engaged during the finale taping two months ago, what’s next? Wedding planning, of course—and 27-year-old Olukoya’s move from Austin, Tx. to establish a home with Young in her native Minnesota (which is much closer to his own hometown of Winnipeg, Canada). When the couple appeared on Tuesday night’s After the Rose broadcast, Olukoya confirmed he had “no hesitation” and would be moving “very soon”—specifically, in the next few months.
“We’re not waiting,” he said during AFR. “There’s no reason to wait with Michelle. Let’s do this!”
The couple received an unexpected assist towards that goal from the Bachelor family during the broadcast, delivered via a gingerbread house topped with a big red bow: a $200,000 down payment for their first home.
Hopefully, it’s the start of a beautiful life together; which would make the couple one of the franchise’s rare long-term success stories. They’re off to a solid start; as they told People, they’ve only grown in love since being off-camera.
“Now it’s done and we’re just two people madly in love going down this road,” Olukoya shared. “And we’re each other’s rocks for life.”
“I fall more in love every day,” said Young. “I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family with a healthy marriage and I thought, I’m not going to give up until I have that. He’s my person. And I didn’t know I could love at this level.”
Olukoya enthusiastically agreed, saying: “It’s so natural for us to be together. I’ve never felt the way I feel before. I’m all in!”
Here’s to Black love!