Lamar Hurd has started his campaign to be first Black Bachelor contestant. Does he have what it takes?
I’ve never watched an episode of The Bachelor. It’s been on for 16 seasons, and despite my predilection toward everything pop culture, I’ve never found myself even thinking, “Ooh! Maybe I should!” I’ve seen the winners on the cover of the weekly tabloids, but I couldn’t pick nary a one out of a lineup. And this is coming from a woman who has spent the last 10 years of her life consuming near everything dating-, relationship-, marriage- and mating-related by profession.
Let me make it plain and un-PC: The show never had enough Black people to make me care all that much. There’s been a Black woman here and there on the show, but she was never picked as the winner. And there’s never, not once, ever been a Black Bachelor. That’s not just embarrassing — around season 14 there were speculations that the show might be racist, an allegation that, of course, was denied. Show creator Mike Fleiss told Entertainment Weekly that The Bachelor was always open to Black faces, but “it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would.”
Meet Lamar Hurd, who has risen to the occasion. The Houston-born, Portland-based sportscaster and entrepreneur is circulating an audition video that has gone viral. His assistant, who describes him as “perfect,” told EW on Friday that he has an interview with ABC today. But let me tell you what you really want to know: Hurd, who doesn’t list his age but appears to be in his early 30s, has had just three girlfriends, including a college sweetheart whom he married (they’re now divorced). He didn’t mention any children in his video, but I gathered that he likes them and is likely to be good with them since he coaches kiddie-basketball. Hurd appears to have a romantic streak as well: If money wasn’t a thing, his ideal romantic evening would be a trek thru Paris visiting castles, touring museums and dining out with his lady.
And now to the really good stuff: He appears to be ESSENCE.com Eye Candy of the Week material. He has pretty teeth, full eyebrows and a body and face that are very, very (did I say very?) easy on the eyes. The (potential) con — I’m keeping it real: I’m not sure he dates Black women. In the 10-minute audition video, there were lots of women vouching for him, but I spotted just one who maybe was a Sistah. That could be because he’s in Oregon, where Black folk aren’t plentiful the way they are in, say, Atlanta.
Whether Hurd makes the cut or not, just the idea of a Black “Bachelor” has some Black women practically swooning. Face it, we’ve gotten a bad deal when it comes to Bachelor knock-offs, and I’m plainly saddened that all we’ve had all these years are the likes of Flavor Flav, Ray J, and I Love New York rejects “Chance” and “Real.” Here’s hoping the odds for the next season of The Bachelor are ever in a Black guy’s favor.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk