We Got A First Look At Matt’s Season Of ‘The Bachelor’ And We Have Questions

We’re in the midst of a busy time for Bachelor Nation, and it didn’t come a moment too soon. After months of being force-fed third-tier Bachelor content (first it was Listen To Your Heart, followed by the 12 minutes of throwback content stretched into 30 hours that was The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!), things are finally back on track. Clare Crawley found her one true love, Tayshia’s season of The Bachelorette is in full swing, and last night, ABC gave us a sneak peek at Matt James’ season of The Bachelor. It’s all finally happening.

Matt’s season premieres on January 4th, and while that sounds like it’s a long time from now, it’s less than eight weeks away. Tayshia will have to hurry it up, because come 2021, we’re shifting our focus to scenic… Pennsylvania. While The Bachelorette opted for the California desert and they’re basically just having every date at a different swimming pool, The Bachelor filmed at Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, so for the first time ever, we’re getting The Bachelor in the woods.

Okay, so we’re not actually like, in the woods. As you can see, the hotel is still fancy AF. We get a glimpse of the classic limo entrances, and already this place looks way more grand than Clare and Tayshia’s desert oasis. Even the Bachelor mansion doesn’t have an entrance staircase like that! Nice to see that ABC has literally rolled out the red carpet for this season. They show us a handful of women stepping out of the limos, and while I’m not bothering to look up anyone’s name yet, I’m already rooting for the woman in the white dress who trips up the stairs. A relatable queen.

From there, ABC cuts directly to the money shot. Matt James, shirtless, walking through a field of grass directly toward the camera. Whoever was in charge of getting this footage, please drop your Venmo in the comments so I can thank you properly for your service.

We also get several quick flashes of him making out with various women, and at least a few of them are in one of those rustic wooden hot tubs—I’m loving the fall vibes already. Matt also tells Chris Harrison that he’s never been in love before, to which Chris replies “my job is to change that.”  Really Chris? I haven’t seen his contract, but I’m pretty sure his job is to show up for 45 seconds each episode and make sure no one’s checking into the fantasy suite too soon. He’s no Millionaire Matchmakerthat’s for sure.

There’s a lot to take in during this brief preview, but my favorite shot is from what appears to be the cocktail party on the first night. I don’t know what this camera angle is, but it looks like they pulled it from one of the hotel security cameras and just decided to use it in the show. Also, why is there a massive fish just lying on the table, and a naked statue/mannequin in the background? Maybe this hotel isn’t as fancy as I thought?

Overall, this preview doesn’t give us much context for what’s actually going to happen on the season—though it does give us a lot of vocal fry—but the excitement level is still high. Of course, Matt’s casting as the first Black Bachelor is an important, long-overdue milestone for the series, but he I just feel like he’s going to do a good job (and that prediction is only 50% based off that aforementioned abs shot). Also, the women look gorgeous, and I can’t wait to find out more about them—and by that, I mean to find out what job descriptions they’ve come up with that are just clever ways of saying “aspiring influencer.”

Here’s the full preview video—January can’t come soon enough!


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Images: ABC/Billy Kidd; bachelorabc / Instagram

Matt James Becomes The First Black Bachelor In The Show’s History

As much as we love talking about The Bachelor, it’s no secret that the franchise has some major issues when it comes to diversity. As it’s been discussed far and wide, The Bachelor has never done an adequate job of promoting diversity and racial equality across its shows. From a lack of diversity on screen (just one Black lead in FORTY seasons), to repeatedly casting people with a history of insensitive social media behavior, these issues have been around for a long time, and ABC is finally starting to addressing them, beginning with their announcement today for the next Bachelor.

Earlier this week, a Bachelor Diversity Campaign was launched, along with a petition that called on ABC and Warner Bros. to take 13 specific actions to address the issues within the franchise. The petition has garnered over 85,000 signatures in less than a week, and today demand number one has officially been met. On Friday morning, Matt James was announced as the next Bachelor, becoming the first Black man to lead the show in its 25-season run.


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It’s official…your next Bachelor is @mattjames919!

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This morning, Matt James appeared on Good Morning Americawhere he was introduced as the next Bachelor. James, who is best friends with Tyler Cameron, was initially cast as a contestant on Clare Crawley’s allegedly-still-happening season of The Bachelorette, but after they butted heads publicly on Twitter, maybe it’s for the best that he’ll be skipping that.

Of course, it’s exciting to see a Black man at the helm of The Bachelor. It took way too long to arrive at this moment, and for once, ABC did the right thing. But make no mistake, if the network is serious about addressing the issues within the franchise, this needs to be the beginning of the changes. In a statement, Karey Burke, the President of ABC Entertainment, said, “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing on screen are representative of the world we live in…we will continue to take action with regards to diversity issues on this franchise.” Burke added, “we feel privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor.”

In an interview for GMA, Rachel Lindsay cautioned against celebrating ABC for putting “a band-aid” over the larger issues, saying that she wants to see larger changes like producers of color and leads that are “interested in dating outside of their race.”  In his GMA interview, Matt James agreed that his casting is “a step in the right direction,” and that he hopes to be the first of many Black men in his position.

FIRST ON @GMA: The new @BachelorABC is Matt James.

Season 25 of “The Bachelor” is scheduled to premiere in 2021. https://t.co/c1NVcVkkpS #TheBachelor #BachelorNation pic.twitter.com/VEpDJMIlR2

— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 12, 2020

Bachelor Nation spoke out loud and clear, and ABC was forced to listen. But there are still 12 other points on that petition that also should be addressed. Will we get a diverse cast? Will ABC commit to thoroughly vetting their contestants, so we don’t have known racists appearing on their shows? Will they commit to fostering an actual conversation around diversity on their shows? Hopefully, yes! But we don’t know any of those things yet, so today’s announcement should be seen as an important milestone, not the final destination. That’s the whole thing about being an active ally—there is no final destination, but you can always keep going in the right direction.

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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodinbachelorabc / Instagram; gma / Twitter