The Bachelor Season 25 Premiere Recap: Love is available in all flavors
After 25 seasons and nearly 19 years on the air, The Bachelor kicked off its final season on Monday night with the first eligible black man ever to look for love on the popular ABC series.
Commercial real estate agent Matt James says after quarantining too many hours alone during the pandemic, he realized it was time to share his life with someone.
To help him find the right soul mate to stay at home, the producers grappled with 32 black, white, brown and Asian women from all walks of life. Despite the inclusiveness of the participants, the 28-year-old Matt feels a lot of pressure to choose the right woman for cultural reasons.
“People want you to end up with a certain kind of person. I get it, ”Matt says to presenter Chris Harrison at the beginning of the show before the ladies arrive. “My mother is white and my father is black, and I have seen what it is like to be the product of an interracial marriage.”
Matt says, more than anything, that he doesn’t want to disappoint viewers, although he probably won’t care. “It’s difficult because you have people who have certain views, old school views of what a relationship is and what love is,” he adds. “You have people cheering you on to find love and you have people cheering you on to end up with a certain person of a certain race.”
“That kept me up at night,” continues Matt. “I don’t want to upset the blacks. I don’t want to upset whites. But I am both. How can I please everyone? “
Unfortunately for Matt and the nearly three dozen women in this Bachelor’s incarnation – and at any time of the year by the way – disappointment and rejection are a given. Dude can’t pick them all. However, he appeared to be more related to some participants than to others. One of the early frontrunners is Khaylah, a 28-year-old healthcare attorney who, like Matt, is from North Carolina. Khaylah caught Matt’s attention by pulling up in a pickup truck and later having a picnic for two in the truck bed.
Meanwhile, Kaili, 26, a Chicago hostess, caught Matt’s attention by showing up in lingerie and asking the former college basketball star to pick one of two dresses she’d hung on a rack.
The group also included a woman in goat slippers (Saneh, 25, an IT consultant from Denver) and another who was delivering a pizza (MJ, 23, a hairdresser from Ohio).
Of course, there’s always a bad guy, and this season it’s Victoria, 27, a self-described “Queen” from Los Angeles. Katie, 29, a Washington state banker, also rubbed some of the other women the wrong way by waving around the vibrator that was keeping her company in quarantine. She even tapped Mari, 24, on the shoulder with the device – much to the chagrin of the former Puerto Rican beauty contestant.
But in the end, the First Impression Rose went to Abigail, 25, an adorable and dimpled Oregon woman who was born deaf and works in finance. After an intense conversation about vulnerability, the two kissed and Matt gave her the coveted flower. And there were even more roses to discover when Matt picked 23 other candidates, including Victoria (seriously? Can you say “the producers choice”!) And Bri, a San Francisco communications manager who is also biracial.
What is your early take on Matt, who was an obvious contender on The Bachelorette’s final season, and his early tips?