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Matt James: I May Run It Back with Rachael Kirkconnell!

Matt James was unwilling to hug Rachael Kirkconnell this past Monday on ABC's After the Final Rose special.

And yet:

The very recent Bachelor lead has now hinted that he's not totally against the idea of doing a lot more than just hug Kirkconnell at some point down the line.

If you know what we mean!

Matt James GMA Picture

Appearing late last week on The Bill Simmons Podcast, James opened up about his unique Season 25 experience as the anchor of this beloved franchise.

Among the revelations?

James chose Kirkconnell with his final rose in November, was able to grow close to her via a number of secret weekends away and then learned about her questionable history of racist behavior in January.

The former athllete told Simmons he found out about Kirkconnell's resurfaced photos "just like everybody else did" -- through social media -- and that it was "heartbreaking" to discover they were real.

Rachael Kirkconnell with Matt

Does he think Rachael is a bad person? Of course not.

But her actions -- such as attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018 -- made Matt realize that there's just a huge disconnect between the two.

"The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me," he explained.

"You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed and that I don't want her to do better."

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell Together

James has faced a lot of backlash since dumping Rachael, but even Kirkconnell has told the haters to leave James alone.

She has also referred to James as the "love of her life," saying she can only hope to learn and evolve from her mistakes.

Does Matt feel a similar way toward his ex?

He didn't use such glowing language when talking about Kirkconnell on this podcast.

Matt James with a Finale Rose

However, Matt was asked at one point if he would consider being in a relationship again with Kirkconnell, replying in vague, albeit intriguing fashion.

"I don't think that anyone's irredeemable," he responded.

"And, I think that for Rachael, there's a lot that we didn't discuss that we probably should've talked about. I probably should've asked more clarifying questions.

"And I'm giving her that space to do that."

Matt and Rachael on After the Final Rose

James also said you won't be reading about him with anyone else on any celebrity gossip site, once again leaving the door open to a reconciliation.

"I'm working on myself. I'm not going to be dating," James told Simmon.

"I'm just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I've been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television."

Matt James on the Finale

During the podcast, James also confessed that he hasn't had time to fully process everything that's happened since the cameras stopped rolling.

There's just been so much going on.

"I'm so exhausted," he said.

"I need to take a step back and take in everything and process what's been going on."

Chris Harrison Lawyers Up. What Might This Mean?

Chris Harrison has said a lot ever since announcing his leave from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

But now it sounds like the host is set to let someone else do the talking.

And it may mean we're in for a rather ugly situation moving forward.

Chris Harrison Profile Picture

According to multiple insiders, Harrison has retained a high-powered attorney named Bryan Freedman, the same lawyer who represented Gabrielle Union in her recent dispute with America’s Got Talent at NBC.

We have no other information at this time.

But not a ton more is needed in order to connect some dots, you know?

Chris Harrison and Tayshia Adams

Harrison stepped into scalding hot water in early February when he leaped to the defense of Season 25 suitor Rachael Kirkconnell after a number of her past social media posts were exposed.

The long-time host asked folks to show Kirkconnell "grace and compassion," while somehow arguing that her attendance at a plantation-themed party in 2018 may look like a big deal now...

... but wasn't a big deal back then.

harrison statement

Harrison proceeed to apologize and said he was temporarily stepping aside as host of the franchise.

From there, Emmanuel Acho was chosen to replace Harrison as host of the After the Final Rose special, interviewing Matt James about his decision to dump Kirkconnell due to these questionable decisions and actions.

Harrison, meanwhile, appeared on Good Morning America, apologized some more - to Rachel Lindsay in particular and Black people in general - and emphasized that he planned to return as host.

And perhaps he still will someday.

harrison/gma tweet

However, ABC has confirmed that Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will emcee the next new season of The Bachelorette.

Now, a week later... Harrison has hired a new legal team. 

Is he considering a wrongful termination lawsuit?

Chris Harrison Plays Host

It seems unlikely because he hasn't been fired; heck, he's the one who resigned from his past via Instagram.

Is he considering a defamation of character-type of lawsuit?

This also seems rather unlikely because a) It's exceptionally hard for a public figure to win a suit based on these grounds; and b) ABC has not said anything negative about Harrison in public.

Matt James and Chris Harrison Photo

"Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette," Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a joint statement on March 13, adding simply:

"We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing."

As cited above, however, Freedman represented Union after she alleged a “toxic environment” on America's Got Talent and had been let go as a judge on the program.

The case was settled in September.

Chris Harrison as the Host

Last June, Freedman, had filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing on Union’s behalf, after NBC had wrapped its own investigation.

“Chris has had a spotless record for 20 years," a friend told Page Six after this lawyer was hired.

"He has always been the good company man."

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

"But, after the way he’s been treated by producers and executives over the past couple of weeks, he’s run out of cheeks to turn.”

It's not immediately clear what that means, or if he's simply retaining counsel in the event that he may explore his options.

Concludes this source:

“Now he’s ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there -- and he has plenty of evidence to back him up."

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

In other words?

Buckle up, Bachelor Nation.

Rachel Lindsay Has Thoughts on Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell and The Bachelor Finale

You didn't think Rachel Lindsay would have nothing to say about how The Bachelor Season 25 ended, did you?

The first-ever Black lead of The Bachelorette was front and center over the past several weeks, having been the person to interview Chris Harrison in February... back when he stuck his foot way deep into his mouth when asked about Rachael Kirkconnell.

Since then?

lindsay/james

Harrison has been temporarily replaced as host of The Bachelorette.

Lindsay has called for a pause on production until this franchise gets its racial $hit together.

James has given his final rose to Kirkconnell.

James has then dumped Kirkconnell due to the social media posts that have emerged and exposed her racial insensitivity and made James realize she couldn't understand his experiences as a Black man in America.

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell Together

Indeed, a lot has gone down, you guys.

On Tuesday's episode of Extra, Billy Bush asked for Lindsay's take on this fallout, starting with Kirkconnell and her response to the criticism that has come her way and the fact that she's no longer dating James.

"I hope that the finale gave her the closure that she needed," Lindsay replied, adding:

"I think that she's going to be fine."

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay on Set

Bush wondered if James was acting out of "personal conviction" when deciding to end his relationship with Kirkconnell.

Or if he felt pressure from the public to break up with her following the scandal.

"I think it's both, and I think it's hard for us to give an opinion as to what Matt should do or how he should navigate his relationship with Rachael," Lindsay said.

"I think it's just a personal decision."

Rachel Lindsay Says to Vote

Lindsay and Bush also delved into Matt's emotional chat with his mom on Monday night's finale and how it prompted him to decide NOT to propose to Kirkconnell... which was clearly a good call in the end.

Bush surmised that James was "hurt by his mom's feelings that love isn't always going to get you there" and his time spent defending her "hurt him a little bit in his ability to love."

"That's actually a good diagnosis," Lindsay said

. "I actually agree with you on that one. I think it's true. I think Matt has some issues that he needs to work through, and he was starting to work them out on this season, but that journey for him isn't over yet.

"So I think once he can get through that … then he can finally get there."

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

Lindsay, of course, has been quite outspoken about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette's struggles to properly deal with the topic of race over the years.

She expressed disappointment last week that not only isn't the show taking any kind of production break... it's airing TWO Bachelorette seasons in 2021!

As a result, the podcast host and TV correspondent says she's done being involved with the franchise after this controversy.

Rachel Lindsay Motives You

"I just don't think that things have been fixed in the right way," she told Bush.

"Anybody that's standing up for change, I don't understand how you could be a part of this current season, because as we have seen in this current episode, there is still so much work to be done."

Amen, Rachel.

Amen.

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams will be co-hosting the upcoming 17th season of the reality series.

Kirkconnell, meanwhile, shared a lengthy statement on Instagram this week in which she sounded sad, but also self-aware and a little optimistic.

"Of course i wish circumstances were different, but i still feel blessed for the time we did have together and the memories we made," Kirkconnell wrote.

"i got to fall in love, and i truly believe he was the love of my life. he will always hold a piece of my heart. i'll always be hopeful and believe what's meant to be will be."

The Bachelor Chooses His Obvious Winner. But Are They Still Together?

In the end -- following an unpredictable season that concluded with the temporary ousting of the only host the show has ever known -- The Bachelor ended in the most predictable fashion imaginable.

Matt James chose the woman everyone knew he would choose, almost since Day One.

While everything else surrounding the series went into upheaveal, the earliest Bachelor spoilers proved prophetic.

Matt James on the Finale

Matt James gave his final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell.

Before arriving at this decision, though, Matt's mom, Patty, and older brother, John, joined their loved one at Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Once there, they meet the two women with whom James was allegedly in love.

"I think it's a long shot that Matt would be engaged at the end of this," Patty told the cameras, perhaps hinting at the conclusion to come.

Matt James, Mom

Michelle ended up making quite the impression, however, telling Patty she was "very much" in love with her son.

That was seemingly all it took for Patty to be convinced Michelle could be part of the problem, which prompted Jams to gush in a confessional:

"I'm extremely excited about where we're at in our relationship. Today couldn't have gone any better."

What about Rachael, though?

Michelle Young Photo

"I've loved people and I've cared for people but I don't think I've ever been truly in love with someone to where I can see my future with him," Rachael told John, adding:

"This probably sounds crazy but I just feel like he is the other half of me that I've needed."

Heck, Patty even cried listening to Rachael gush over her child.

"I just want to let you know that I really, really, truly do love your son," Kirkconnell said to Patty.

Rachael Kirkconnell and The Bachelor

Despite the rave reviews both women received, and despite Matt saying he cared deeply for both Michelle and Rachael, Matt told Chris Harrison that he wasn't sure about proposing.

"I know that the easy thing for me to do would be to tell Rachael and Michelle what they want to hear and [that] is I'm ready and I've been through with this whole process and get down on one knee and do something that I'm not ready for," he explained.

"And then what happens?

"It sets off our relationship course on something that neither one of us are ready for."

Matt James in the Woods

Cut to Matt's final date with Michelle, which featured the pair rappelling down a building.

Later on, after confessing to the camera that he had some doubts, Matt had to come clean after Michelle gave him a basketball jersey and pulled out a matching one for her that said "Mrs. James" on the back.

"I'm just like, having doubts," he told Michelle.

"And I shouldn't be having any doubts about that. We're like, a day or two away. This is the first time I've felt any type of thing outside of wanting to be with you forever and having just any doubt in my mind at this point for me is just like, scary.

"I've been pushing through that feeling today and trying to get there because of how I feel about you and what I know life could look like with you.

"And I think the easy thing for me to do would be to tell you what you want to hear."

Michelle Young on ABC

Young, heartbroken, wondered how Matt could just "flip a switch" and no longer be in love with her.

But Matt simply apologized and said it wasn't like that.

He then told Harrison that he wasn't in love with Michelle.

Which brings up to Rachael's final date on the finale... sort of.

 
Rachael Kirkconnell on Video

To build drama, Matt actually canceled the date... pondered how he was feeling... and, of course, picked out an engagement ring as part of the network's advertising deal with jewelerr Neil Lane.

Rachael and Matt ended up meeting by the lake, with the former speaking first.

"I want to be there for you when you're hurting," she said. "And when you're hurting, I'm hurting. And I don't know what happened yesterday, but I do know I'm not going to run just when it gets tough.

"I don't know if you still want this but regardless, I feel so unbelievably lucky just to have felt what I have felt for you.

"I never felt a love like this in my entire life and at the end of the day I just want you to be happy, but I just know with all my heart that I love you and I will choose you every day from here on out if you'll let me."

Rachael Kirkconnell in the Limo

Matt responded by telling Rachael she's "everything that I came here looking for."

"I want to be everything to you, I want to be everything for you that my dad wasn't to my mom," James continued. "And as I'm wrestling with what I'm going to do today, the easy thing for me to do would be to brush those feelings and emotions off and make you happy.

"That's to propose to you today.

"But I couldn't live with myself if I put you through what my mom has been through. I've seen what rushing into a proposal, a marriage can do in my family and it's ugly and it's not something I want for you or for us.

"And that's why I can't propose to you today."

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell Together

Kirkconnell said she understood and both sides dropped the L-Bomb. Matt also added that he did see a future with Rachael.

"I do see you as my wife," the Bachelor concluded. "I see you as the mother of my kids."

Matt gave Rachael the final rose and, naturally, she accepted.

Then, Matt picked her up and they left together in a horse-drawn carriage.

And they lived happily ever after?

Emmanuel Acho

Not quite!

On the After the Final Rose special, hosted by Emmanuel Acho, James explained how he and Rachael were on an "extended honeymoon" after the finale wrapped.

Untill those social media photos were leaked online and Kirkconnell had to acknowledge mistakes she made in the past that were "racist and wrong."

"You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they're not true," James told Acho of how he felt when he first learned Kirkconnell had attended a plantation-themed party in 2018.

"And when you find out that they are, it makes you question everything."

Matt James Cries Over Reunion with Dad

Mat then said the entire incident and scandal made him think "Rachael might not understand what it means to be black in America."

He referenced her apology and how she said in it that "there's a lot of work that needs to be done," emphasizing for the audience:

"I have to step back and allow her to do that work."

So you're no longer together? Acho asked.

No, Matt replied.

Matt James in the Sun

And there you have it.

James bristled at the notion that some viewers might be "triggered" by his reaction to Rachael's past actions, adding that those folks simply do not understand his experience as a Black man.

In the end? Neither does Rachael Kirkconnell.

And therein lies the whole problem.

Katie Thurston is the Next Bachelorette … But She’ll Share the Honor With Another Matt James Runner-Up!

About midway through Matt James' season, Katie Thurston was surprisingly sent home following what appeared to be a successful one-on-one date.

Katie's dismissal came as a shock to viewers, not only because Matt had seemed to enjoy himself on their date, but also because Thurston had become a major fan favorite in recent weeks.

After distinguishing herself as "Vibrator Girl" on night one, Katie set herself apart for her willingness to stand up to the "mean girls" in this season's contestant pool.

And while she may not have been Matt's cup of tea, it looks as though all the goodwill she built up among viewers has served Katie well - and proved The Bachelorette spoilers correct.

Reality Steve is reporting that she's the next Bachelorette.

It's unclear when this will be announced, but it looks like a done deal - and not one that everybody in Bachelor Nation is happy with.

Perhaps as a result of the mixed response, producers have also selected another runner-up from Matt James' season, and this second lucky lady will soon be filming her own season of The Bachelorette!

Here's a rundown of what this unprecdented move means for the future of the franchise:

1. It's Katie's Turn!

Katie thurston photo
She may not be the most conventional choice, but it looks as though Katie Thurston will be the next Bachelorette.

2. A Divisive Decision

Katie thurston on instagram
While her fans are ecstatic, many citizens of Bachelor Nation are not taking the news well at all ...

3. Good Vibes

Katie thurston on the bachelor
Katie may have offered some comic relief by bringing her vibrator with her on her first night at Nemacolin, but many fans thought she would be one of the first contestants to leave the resort.

4. The Silent Type

Matt james gets serious
After all, Matt is a quiet, religious fella. Some folks have called him boring, but that's a conversation for another time.

5. Conflicting Values?

Matt james toasts
Let's not forget -- soon after Katie arrived with her little friend, Matt became the first Bachelor in franchise history to kick off his tenure on the show with a group prayer. Awkward!

6. Katie Thirstin'

Katie thurston
But it's not her ribald sense of humor or her candid discussion of her sexuality that's caused Katie's popularity to decline in recent weeks.
View Slideshow

Chris Harrison Vows to Return to The Bachelor, Apologizes to All Black People

The Chris Harrison Apology Tour hit its pinnacle on Thursday.

Or its nadir, depending on how you look at it.

The disgraced host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette spoke at length on Good Morning America to Michael Strahan, owning up immediately to his defense of Rachael Kirkconnell after the Season 25 suitor was exposed for past racist behavior.

Chris Harrison GMA Photo

"It was a mistake, I made a mistake," Harrison began on Thursday morning's installment of the prorgram, adding in annoying fashion:

"I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake, and I own that."

Kirkconnell, as you must know by now, came under fire weeks ago for old social media posts in which she dressed in Native American attire and attended an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018.

The presumed winner of Season 25 admitted herself that these actions were "racist and wrong."

Chris Harrison for The Bachelor

After failing to denounce Kirkconnell's behavior during an interview last month with Rachel Lindsay, Harrison issued a pair of apologetic statements and also said he would NOT host the March 15 After the Final Rose special.

"Antebellum parties are not okay, past, present, future. Knowing what that represents is unacceptable," Harrison told Strahan ... before extending another apology to Lindsay and the Black community. "

I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I didn't speak for my heart, that is to say I stand against all forms of racism...

"I'm sorry to Rachel Lindsay and I'm sorry to the Black community."

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

Lindsay, who recently had to delete her Instagram account because she's been bullied and harassed by trolls online, took major issue a few weeks ago with Harrison's mishandling of the Kirkconnell-centric scandal.

She has since said production on The Bachelorette should be postponed until the franchise takes meaningful steps toward fixing its very clear race problem.

"To anyone who Is throwing hate at Rachel Lindsay please stop," added Harrison on GMA.

"I am not a victim here, I made a mistake and I own that.

"Racism, oppression, this is a dynamic problem and they take work and I am committed to that work."

Chris Harrison Plays Host

The franchise host/producer also revealed today that he is working with "a race educator and strategist" and faith leaders and scholars like Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

"Dr. Dyson often talks to me about counsel, not cancel," he explained to Strahan.

"That is full accountability … owning from that, learning from that.

"Seeking council from the community that you hurt, gaining experience knowledge and moving forward."

Chris Harrrison on The Bachelor Season 25

It's already been confirmed that Emmanuel Acho will host the upcoming After the Final Rose special, which airs live in less than two weeks.

But will we ever see Harrison return to his emceeing days?

Anonymous sources have claimed ABC won't commit to his return for new seasons of The Bachelorette or The Bachelor.

Harrison, however, seems rather confident that he'll be back in front of the camera.

Chris Harrison as the Host

"I plan to be back and I want to be back," he said on GMA, emphasizing that the is "committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise."

"This interview is not the finish line," Harrison concluded.

"There is much more work to be done.

"And I am excited to be a part of that change."

Chris Harrison on the Couch

Are you buying what Harrison was selling on the show?

Strahan, for the record, is not.

"His apology is his apology, but it felt like I got nothing more than a surface response on any of this,” said Strahan on air.

“Obviously he’s a man who wants to clearly stay on the show, but only time will tell if there’s any meaning behind his words."

Rachel Lindsay Deletes Instagram Because Some People Suck

Rachel Lindsay has left social media.

The former Bachelorette -- who has played a prominent role in the ongoing franchise scandal centered around suitor Rachael Kirkconnell, host Chris Harrison and the topic of race -- deleted her Instagram entirely late last week.

We learned this from Van Latham, Lindsay's partner on the podcast Higher Learning.

Rachel Lindsay on Bravo

Said Lathan in a video shared on his Instagram account Friday:

She did it because that's how much hate she's getting from Bachelor fans who are spamming her with all kinds of rude and hateful things to say."

Lathan continued to defend Lindsay from the backlash, saying:

"Y'all have got to get a f— life. Seriously."

Rachel Lindsay Says to Vote

Several weeks ago, Lindsay conducted an interview with Harrison in which the latter withheld judgment on Kirkconnell after a series of inappropriate social media images emerged.

They featured the Season 25 contestant Liking the Confederate Flag and attending a plantation-themed party in 2018.

Rachael eventually apologizedd and conceded that some of her past behavior was "racist and wrong."

Harrison, however, mostly sided with Kirkconnell, ignoring how people of color may have felt about her actions and asking for "compassion and grace" -- for Kirkconnelll.

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

The host went on to issue his own mea culpa and even said he would temporarily step away as The Bachelor host.

“It was never my intention to see Chris Harrison step aside but it was my intention for others to see and hear this interview,”  in response to this news.

"It’s important to further and highlight these discussions.

"The only way to do that is to have these uncomfortable conversations so we can understand the underlying issues and implicit racism that exists within our society.

"When we can learn to recognize implicit and unconscious bias that history of our environments have taught us, then we can challenge one another to be better for ourselves but also for this society."

Rachel Lindsay Promo Pic

Lindsay, who has long been critical of how The Bachelor handles diversity, has said at other times that she may sever ties with the franchise altogether.

Latham, for his part, continued on Friday to blast critics of someone willing to take on important issues.

"Rachel is not responsible for Chris Harrison, a 49-year-old man who can't read the room in these 2021 times. She's not responsible for that," he said.

"It's not her job to make excuses or provide cover for somebody who doesn't understand what the f— triggers people in today's world. It's not.

"You're going after the wrong person."

Rachel Lindsay Red Carpet Photo

The media personality ended with a message of comfort to the star, saying:

"Rachel, we love you, we're with you."

Other residents of Bachelor Nation feel the same way, too.

Rachel Lindsay Motives You

Said Becca Kufrin after Lindsay deleted her Instagram:

“The harassment, cruelty and racism is a major issue and is not okay.

"You’re right, Rachel and I are friends in real life and unfortunately the world can’t see our personal interactions on a daily basis, and details aren’t anyone’s business.

"Just know I have her back and support her through whatever time or breaks she needs right now. Appreciate the concern."

Rachel Lindsay Is On GMA

Added Nick Viall:

“It’s sad that this even needs to be said, but Chris Harrison is in the position he is in because of what he said, not because of anything Rachel did.

"If you want to support Chris while he is down, you should be able to do that without showing hate to anyone else. I realize this is obvious to most people reading this, but if you are one of the people who have sent hateful or racist comments to Rachel please take a serious look at what’s in your heart.

"Your priorities are seriously out of whack.”

Rachel

We'll give JoJo Fletcher the final word:

Its [sic] honestly so sad that I’m even having to type this message, but unfortunately it’s not a new topic of concern.

If you are following me, and think it’s OK to send hateful, vile and harassing comments, please take a moment of deep self reflection and understand what that says about you.

Hearing that Rachel Lindsay had to deactivate her account bc of the horrible bullying taking place is awful and unacceptable.

We need to come together, and be kinder to one another. Please- if you have ever been on the wrong side of this, do better.

Be better.

The Bachelor Confirms Chris Harrison’s Replacement: Who is Hosting After the Final Rose?

Chris Harrison is out, potentially for good.

And now we know who will soon be in.

How is THAT for an intriguing tease?

Chris Harrison smiles

As you likely know by now, Harrison - the face of the franchise for nearly two decades - announced two weeks ago on Instagram that he was stepping aside as host of The Bachelor.

He made this declaration after the polarizing way in which he mishandled a race-based scandal centered around Season 25 finalist Rachael Kirkconnell.

The Georgia native made past decisions and statements that even she has admitted were "racist and wrong."

Rachael Kirkconnell Insta Pic

These actions included attendance at a plantation-themed party (above) and the Liking of photos that featured the Confederate Flag.

Speaking to Rachel Lindsay about Kirkconnell and her actions, Harrison asked for "compassion and grace" ... for Kirkconnell.

In a tone-deaf interview, Harrison seemingly ignored the victims of her behavior to focus instead of the perpetrator. 

It was not great.

Chris Harrison Plays Host

In response, Harrison has apologized and said he won't, at minimum, be hosting this spring's After the Final Rose special.

(All other Season 25 episodes were filmed months ago.)

Who would be taking over for Harrison? Even just on this one unique installlment?

We now have an answer.

Chris Harrrison on The Bachelor Season 25

On Saturday, February 27, Emmanuel Acho announced he will be hosting The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special - which is scheduled to air on Monday, March 15.

"IT'S OFFICIAL," Acho began his Instagram caption today.

"I've accepted the Rose and am honored to be hosting the @bachelorabc After the Final Rose this year."

Heck yeah!

Emmanuel Acho

"It's been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming.

"Share the news! I'll see y'all then!"

Acho is a former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker.

He now serves as a sports analyst and is the New York Times bestselling author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man; he hosts a popular YouTube series of the same name.

Emmanuel Acho Pic

After growing up in a predominantly Caucasion neighborhood and later embracing his Black culture in college and the NFL, Acho has said he felt he could serve as "a bridge" between the Black and white communities.

Certainly, given what we've learned about the show's fans and the problems endemic to the franchise, that could only be a good thing.

On the heels of George Floyd's killing in May of 2020, Acho started conducting interviews on race issues in America, with millions of viewers watching each week.

Matt James and Chris Harrison Photo

"It's both an honor and privilege to be hosting After the Final Rose," Acho said in a follow-up statement about his new gig.

"This is an incredibly pivotal episode on one of the most storied shows in television history."

Amazingly, with everything that's gone down over the past few weeks, that's not that much of an exaggeration.

Acho will sit down with star Matt James next month to talk about everything we've watched play out and more.

Matt James in the Sun

The two will discuss the reality star's "season, his final decision and where he is now, as well as cover the current events about the franchise," according to a press release issued on Saturday.

"Acho will also speak with the final three women, Bri [Springs], Michelle [Young] and Rachael [Kirkconnell] during the one-hour special."

A few days ago, Lindsay threw her support behind Acho for this job.

Rachel Lindsay Says to Vote

“Emmanuel would be great,” the former Bachelorette explained on the Bachelor Party podcast, adding during this interview:

“He’s not biased in any way, he doesn’t watch the show, he doesn’t know the people involved.

"He should be there to be able to facilitate a conversation that we need to see happen.”

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

Might Acho stick around beyond this one taping?

"There are talks happening regarding Chris Harrison and his future with the show," a source claimed this week to People Magazine.

For his part, Harrison said the following upon stating he won't be around to speak with Matt and his winner (see The Bachelor spoilers for more on that topic) on the After the Final Rose special...

harrison statement

I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology.

I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday I took a stance on topics which I should have been better informed.

What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism.

For that I am so deeply sorry.

Emmanuel Acho Picture

Wrapping up a season like no other, The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special will air Monday, March 15 at 10/9c on ABC.

Are you excited to see Emmanuel Acho's debut on the season finale of The Bachelor?

Rachel Lindsay on Rachael Kirkconnell: This Loser Ruined The Bachelor!

If you're a fan of The Bachelor, we probably don't need to tell you these are very strange times for the longtime ABC ratings stalwart.

For nearly 20 years, the franchise has thrived on predictability:

Sure, you don't who will win (unless you read our The Bachelor spoilers) until the last episode, but you always have a pretty good idea of how the season will unfold.

Until now ...

Matt James in the Sun

In the beginning, aside from the fact that it featured the first Black Bachelor in the show's history, Matt James' season offered more of the same:

A handsome and successful young man met a slew of single ladies who were all smiles and jump-hugs on their dates, but were quick to let the claws come out in their interactions with one another.

There were villains (we're looking at you, Queen Victoria!), fan favorites, and hot takes galore following every rose ceremony.

Rachael Kirkconnell Photograph

But in recent weeks, all that has been overshadowed by a series of scandals that highlighted some of the most damaging problems plaguing not only the Bachelor franchise but American society as a whole.

First, a former high school classmate accused frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell of bullying her for dating black men.

Shortly thereafter, photos of Kirkconnell attending a plantation party emerged and created an uproar among fans.

Rachael Kirkconnell with Matt James

The situation was soon exacerbated by Kirkconnell's apology, which many regarded as insincere and unconvincing.

Making matters even worse was an interview in which host Chris Harrison spoke with Rachel Lindsay.

To the shock of many fans, the host clumsily and callously defended Rachael's actions while speaking with the first Black star of The Bachelorette.

The interview gave Lindsay a starring role in the saga of the Bachelor breakdown, and she's using her platform to call attention to systemic issues in both the show and society.

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

Speaking on the Bachelor Party podcast this week, Lindsay addressed Kirkconnell's recent Instagram Story, in which she's seen reading a book entitled Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man.

“You almost feel like you know everything you need to know about her in that picture,” Lindsay explained.

“The fact that that’s what she decided to do. Several people sent me that Story. Her apology was well-written, it was pretty, and it was sincere. I’m not going to knock anyone’s apology."

Rachel Lindsay Shakes Her Head Awkwardly

Lindsay was more accepting than most with regard to Kirkconnell's apology, but it seems she's unimpressed with the 24-year-old's actions in the weeks since.

"But then the next step is to take action. Taking action to me isn’t showing everybody that you’re reading the book," Lindsay said.

"You have such a big platform. There’s a lot of people who don’t necessarily understand what Chris said in the interview or why people are so upset, so this is an opportunity for you to explain that.”

Rachel Lindsay Motives You

Lindsay saved her harshest comments for last, describing Kirkconnell's efforts to appear woke as "vapid."

“Vapid is the word that comes to mind,” Lindsay about Kirkconnell’s recent affectations.

“I don’t think it could get any worse, unless he chooses Rachael.”

Rachael Kirkconnell and The Bachelor

At this point we're gonna go ahead and issue a SPOILER ALERT for anyone who's not yet aware of how this season ends:

Lindsay will probably be unhappy to learn that Matt does pick Rachael in his season finale.

However, insiders say Kirkconnell and James have already broken up.

So buckle up folks -- this season might be almost over, but it sounds like the twists and turns are just beginning!

The Bachelor Blows Up! Matt Cries! One Suitor Quits!

The Bachelor really is going through it these days.

We're talking not just about the franchise, either, amid an ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed the Season 25 favorite and also the only host the show has ever known.

We're also talking about The Bachelor himsellf, Matt James.

james and this lady

Shortly after James addressed the Rachael Kirkconnell-Chris Harrison saga on Instagram, he went on a quartet of hometown dates with his final four.

Sort of.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series brought Bri, Michelle, Rachael and Serena P.'s loved ones to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania.

We opened with Michelle taking Matt on a bike ride and then on a virtual trip to the classroom in which she teaches.

Matt James and Michelle

"How many girlfriends do you have?" one student asked, to which Matt replied deftly: "I've got one right here, Ms. Young."

Another student, Kelsey, wondered if the couple planned on having babies.

"That's a great question. And yeah, I do want kids. A lot of them," James responded, while later telliing another student that he and Michelle are discussing the whole marriage thing.

After these cute interactions, the pair kissed and Michelle told the cameras that the day had gone "even better" than she could've imagined.

Michelle Young Photo

"I'm falling in love with Matt," she confessed, adding:

"And I think my family, they're going to have no problem falling in love with him, too. But tonight, if they for some reason said, 'No, we don't like Matt,' it would be really hard for me to move forward with our relationship."

No pressure, though!

On her own, Michelle told her dad that she would accept a proposal from Matt.

When this same father proceeded to ask Matt if he loves her daughter, James diidn't give a straight answer:

"I haven't told her that yet and it's not something I will share with her until I meant it. And I am all in for your daughter."

Matt James in the Sun

Michelle, Matt and her parents ended the night playing basketball together.

"I connect with you in a way that I've never connected with anyone before, and so I do want you to know that after you meeting my family, I knew that I was going to take my emotions to a whole different level and I was ready for that," Michelle said to Matt.

"And I can say that I am falling in love with you. And that makes me so excited and it's so scary but it's so genuine and it's so real."

They they smooched.

Rachael Kirkconnell Photo

From there, it was Rachael's time.

She picked James up in a sports car, blindfolded him and took him to another location -- which ended up being the spot for skydiving!

Matt said it was the "perfect idea," while Rachael admitted to being pretty anxious.

"It's a different feeling when you're falling in love and that person's potentially, like, really hurt," Matt told Rachael after both survived the adventure, but the latter took a hard fall.

"And the thought of losing you set in in that moment. I was like, damn we're just getting started. I didn't realize how strongly I felt until something like that happened to you."

Rachael Kirkconnell and The Bachelor

Later, when her parents arrived, Rachael held nothing back.

"I've definitely been falling in love with him so easily," she told her mom, adding:

"If he were to propose to me tomorrow, I would be confident in saying 'yes.' Like, I know we can make this work. At least I think so."

Kirkconnell's mom was supportive, but her dad continually told Matt that it appeared as if the romance was moving too quickly.

Rachael ended up disappointed when Matt eventually told her he failed to ask for her father's blessing, prompting this quote from her: "I will be completely crushed if I don't end up with Matt."

Pre-Fantasy Suite

Up next, Bri took Matt off-roading; this time, with her behind the wheel.

When Bri's mother asked what Matt liked about her child, Matt mentioned the commonality they shared of being raised by a single parent.

"The level we connect on is different than the conversations and connections I have with other women here, and I realized that early on when I shared with her what it's like to grow up with a single parent," Matt said.

"It's made me who I am and everything that you've done for Bri has made her into this woman who she is today. And I see it working with Bri."

Matt James Keeps Warm

Matt refused to drop the L-Bomb either to Bri or about Bri, but she went all in after James met her mom and her BFF.

"After taking to my mom and [my friend] Bri, I feel like I'm falling in love with you and I just… I want more time with you," she told Matt, who gave her a kiss in response.

Would he give her a rose later on, however?

Matt and Serena P.

Finally, Serena brought Matt to a private bar decked out with Canadian flags, maple syrup and beaver stuffed animals.

She wanted to give him the full Canada experience.

Serena's mom, Rasna, pulled Matt aside to talk almost as soon as she got there, asking him what he liked about her daughter.

"She's smart, beautiful, has her head on her shoulders and she challenges me," he responded.

"She doesn't take crap from anybody and every time I've left a conversation with her, I'm thinking about her and wanting to know everything I can about her."

Serena P for Season 25

In a separate conversation, after hearing that Matt was "everything" she would want for Serena, the suitor's sibling, Talia, told her sister:

"You don't seem smitten.

"And I think it's because you're in your head, personally. I think you're logically thinking, 'Yeah, Matt checks all the boxes, but where's that it-factor?'"

While speaking with her dad, Serena confessed that the certainty she felt in her relationship with Matt had started to wane.

"On one end I was confident, but now I'm not 1000 percent sure," Serena said.

Sensing that something remained "off" after the quasi hometown date, Matt paid Serena a visit at her suite and she shared the decision she came to following their meeting with her loved ones.

"When it came to being able to actually talk about my feelings for you and how I felt about you, I really struggled," she explained.

"And I thought that it was fear initially, that I was just scared.

But I think if I'm being honest with myself, it's more than that. And I think that it just comes down to the fact that I don't think that you're my person."

Matt took a long pause, clearly not too upset about the decision, and said:

"It sucks to hear that, 'cause I just want what's best for you. And if that's not going to be me, I can't make you happy and be all those things for you then like, that stinks."

With Serena headed home, Matt had a message for his final three prior to Fantasy Suite week:

"I just want to reiterate what it means when I offer you a rose and what comes with accepting that rose is accepting what comes with being here for me that's an engagement," Matt told his remaining suitors before starting the rose ceremony.

"I want you all to think long and hard about that commitment before you accept the rose tonight."

Michelle accepted "without hesitation," as did Rachael and then Bri.

However, Bri felt some type of way about being the last one offered a rose.

"There's just something a little bit disheartening knowing that I got the last rose," she told the cameras. "I can't help but just wonder where Matt's head is at."

Editor's Note:

We've read The Bachelor spoilers, Bri. We know the answer.

Matt James Finally Addresses "Heartbreaking" Scandal with Rachael Kirkconnell and Chris Harrison

At last.

Matt James is finally speaking out about the ongoing Bachelor franchise controversy that has taken attention away from his search for true love on Season 25 of The Bachelor.

And he has a lot to say.

Rachael Kirkconnell and The Bachelor

On Monday, Febrruary 22, just prior to a new episode of the show, The Bachelor lead took to Instagram and held little back when addressing some of the headlines-making news within the ABC reality show franchise.

Opened James:

"The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address the troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison.

Indeed, there's been a lot to digest over the past few weeks.

Rachael Kirkconnell with Matt James

"The reality is that I'm learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly," Matt continued.

Earlier this year, old photos of Kirkconnell attending a plantation-themed party emerged on social media.

So did photos of Kirkconnell Liking the Confederate Flag.

Moreover, a former high school classmate of the aspiring wife said Kirkconnell used to give a hard time to white women who dated Black men.

Matt James In a Hoodie

Kirkconnell eventually apologized for her past comments, actions and behavior, referring to them as "racist and wrong."

In his own interview on the subject, however, Harrison chose to withhold judgment on Kirkconnell, asking critics for "compassion and grace."

He received such backlash for the remarks -- for essentially siding with the person who committed the wrong, versus those who were wronged -- that he issued his own mea culpa.

And then Harrison announced he was stepping aside as host.

Rachael Kirkconnell Photograph

This has all happened, it must be noted, during the first-ever season with a Black star in James.

"Chris' failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch," Matt continued.

"As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years."

Rachael Kirkconnell on The Bachelor

Added James, who most The Bachelor spoilers have said ends up proposing to Rachael:

"This moment has sparked critical conversations and reporting, raised important questions, and resulted in inspiring displays of solidarity from The Bachelor nation.

"It has also pushed me to reevaluate and process what my experience on The Bachelor represents, not just for me, but for all of the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home."

james statement2

James concluded by sharing that he will be saying more at a later time, presumably after the current season's finale.

"I will continue to process this experience, and you will hear more from me in the end," he said.

"My greatest prayer is that this is an inflection point that results in real and institutional change for the better."

Matt James Keeps Warm

Wrote Kirkconnell back on February 11:

"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them.

"My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense.

"I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."

Matt James Gets Serious

In a rare move, Bachelor contestants from Season 25 even came together to release a statement on this situation a few weeks ago.

"We are deeply disappointed and want to make it clear that we denounce any defense of racism," the woman wrote.

"Any defense of racist behavior denies the lived and continued experiences of BIPOC individuals.

"These experiences are not to be exploited or tokenized."

Chris Harrison: Will He Be Cut from The Bachelor Season 25?

As you likely know by now, Chris Harrison is stepping away from The Bachelor.

As have also likely noticed by now, Chris Harrison hasn't actually gone anywhere.

Two days after shocking the television-watching world by announcing he was taking time away from the show he's never not hosted, Harrison was back on the air this past week.

Chris Harrrison on The Bachelor Season 25

What gives?

Why was Harrison still offering up advice to Matt James and setting up rose ceremonies for his suitors... despite having just confirmed his departure from The Bachelor?

Because Season 25 wrapped filming months ago.

In his statement, Harrison said he will NOT play a role on the After the Final Rose special, which airs and shoots in March -- but the best guess is that he just goes right back into his hosting role next year on The Bachelorette.

Chris Harrison as the Host

Not much of a self-imposed punishment, is it?

Not really, but that may change, according to Us Weekly.

“There have been conversations about somehow cutting Chris Harrison out from some of the prerecorded episodes or at least some of the portions,” an insider tells this tabloid.

“If not, they may add a disclaimer at the top of the remaining episodes.”

Chris Harrison on the Couch

Typically, once The Bachelor concludes, a new season of The Bachelorette starts up almost right away.

However, “there have been conversations about pushing the Bachelorette back,” this same insider claims, in order to give Harrison more time away from the franchise.

Harrison -- who has hosted every season of the series since its 2002 debut -- came under extreme fire for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after she posted and Liked a slew of racially insensitive Instagram photos.

Kirkconnell has also been accused, in high school, of givng white women who were dating Black men a hard time.

Clare, Dale and Chris

Rachael, who The Bachelor spoilers allege will go on to earn a proposal from James, has apologized for these instances and confessed that they were "wrong" and "racist."

Shortly before she did do, though, Harrison gave an interview to Rachel Lindsay in which he asked folks to show some "grace" and "compassion" for Kirkconnell,

He asked for judgment to be withheld.

But he didn't show much grace or compassion himself to those affected by Kirkconnell words and actions, that's the issue here.

Chris Harrison on Set

Wrote Harrison as part of his own mea culpa for this response to the scandal:

“I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.

"I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day.”

harrison statement

In her first public statement since facing criticism for the aforementioned photos and for her past social media behavior, Kirkconnell said this month that she "didn't recognize how offensive and racist" her actions were at the time.

"At one point, I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them," said the contestant aspiring wife.

"My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense.

"I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."

Chris Harrison to Step Aside Amid Racism Controversy on The Bachelor

Wow, you guys.

Just... wow.

Facing serious backlash for the way he has handled a race-based controversy on Season 25 of The Bachelor, Chris Harrison announced on Saturday that he's stepping back as host.

Chris Harrison as the Host

"I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful,' wrote Harrison on Instagram.

"My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike.

"I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke."

To what, exactly, is Harrison referring here?

Chris Harrison on the Couch

Contestant Rachael Kirkconnell has been at the center of an ongoing scandal after photos emerged online of the Season 25 favorite attending a plantation-themed party.

She also Liked photos of the Confederate Flag in the past and was accused of a former high school classmate of mistreating Black students.

Kirkconnell has since admitted her actions were "racist," said she was "wrong" and has vowed to do better.

Matt James and Chris Harrison

She said these words not long after Harrison got in trouble for what he said about Rachael in an inteview with ex-Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay.

“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," he said at that time.

"I have seen some stuff online. Again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart..."

"Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this..."

Rachael Kirkconnell Insta Pic

Harrison continued in his apparent defense of Rachael attending "Old South" parties:

"I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it... My guess?"

"These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time, they were 18 years old."

"Now, does that make it OK? I don’t know Rachel, you tell me."

Clare Crawley and Chris Harrison Pic

Harrison ended up apologizing for the insensitive nature of his remarks, but it was a matter of too little, too late in the eyes of many.

For the first time in series history, The Bachelor suitors got together to condemn any and all defenses of racism in the wake of Kirkconnell's behavior.

That, and Harrison's awkward, bumbling response.

Now he's out, and trying to explain himself.

Rachael Kirkconnell Image

"I set standards for myself, and have to meet them," he said.

"I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same."

"By excusing historical racism, I defended it. I invoked the term 'woke police,' which is unacceptable."

"I am ashamed over how uninformed I was. I was so wrong."

women statement

He continued:

"To the Black community, to the BIPOC community: I am so sorry. My words were harmful."

"I am listening, and I truly apologize for my ignorance and any pain it caused you."

"I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people from these communities who I've had enlightening conversations with over the past few days, and I am so grateful to those who have reached out to help me on my path to anti-racism."

harrison statement

Following her chat with Harrison, Lindsay hinted strongly this week that she was sick of being associated with The Bachelor franchise.

And this is all happening, of course, with Matt James, the show's first-ever Black lead, as the focus of each episode.

Wrote Harrison today:

"The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions."

Matt James Gets Serious

Chris adds:

"To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special."

It doesn't sound as if Harrison will appear again this season, and no replacement has been announced.

Rachael Kirkconnell with Matt James

"I want to ensure our cast and crew members, to my friends, colleagues and our fans: this is not just a moment, but a commitment to much greater understanding that I will actively make every day," he concluded.

"From here I can only try to evolve and be a better man, and I humble myself before all of you.

"I hope I will again live up to the expectations you all rightfully have for me and the expectations I have for myself."

Again, wow. And this situation is even crazier when you see how the season allegedly ends (see gallery above).

The Bachelor Recap: What is SHE Doing Here?

Matt James was a man on a mission this week.

The Bachelor wasted no time in stating that he was gonna settle the MJ-Jessenia feud... once and for all.

"This isn't how I was planning on spending the evening," he told the women.

"But I'm here to find a wife and there's obviously some tension in the issue between the both of y'all that we need to get to the bottom of."

mj/jesenia

For her part, Jessenia literrally said that MJ "started it" and was a huge bully, while MJ broke down in tears and trrashed Jessenia as a "little bitch."

"She's not going to get away with this," MJ said, telling Matt the following:

"The fact that Jessenia said that I was creating this divide in the house as I'm trying to bring everyone together, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted.

"And then to have my character put into question ... that hurt me the most."

Jessenia for Season 25

Matt was taken aback and confused and unsure what to do.

But, in the end, he said he couldn't trust MJ, sending the fan favorite home.

We then went straight to the cocktail party, where James kept both Serena C. and Katie, along with Serena P., Michelle, Pieper, Bri and Chelsea.

This meant newcomers Brittany and Ryan headed home, as well as Magi.

hot james

Despite Matt's attempt to clean house last week, the drama continued this Monday.

Because Katie stuck around, Serena C. chose to confront her.

"I'm just super frustrated by time continually being taken away by your antics," she told Katie.

"And the reason why I'm coming to you is because I don't think that you are truly here for Matt."

Serena C for Season 25

Replied Katie:

"The fact that you're sitting here still trying to attack me is pathetic. Pathetic. If you have a problem with last night, take it up with Matt.

"How is telling Matt about being a bully and toxicity and mean girls — that doesn't help your relationship at all," Serena C. shot back, prompting Katie to say she already did so:

"I'm not going to sit here and let bullsh-t happen in this house.

"I'm not going to sit here and let mean girls be mean girls in this house. So guess what? I told him, yeah, there's bullsh-t going on in this house."

Katie for Season 25

Elsewhere, across the resort, Heather Martin from Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor showed up in a limo.

She explained to Chris Harrison that her close pal, former Bachelorette lead Hannah Brown, thought Matt was "like, the perfect match" for her, so she had to try to meet him.

Makes total sense, right?

Because this is totally how the show works...

matt and this woman2

Harrison, hilariously, acted as if this were a surprise -- and then said Heather could stay, but she had to quarantine first due to COVID-19.

Matt then spent his first one-on-one date of the week with Pieper at a carnival. The two played games, rode rides, ate cotton candy, kissed and opened up to each other.

"The culture in my family overall is we don't really say love," Pieper said, receiving support from James and then just coming out and saying it:

"I don't want to be afraid of how I feel anymore...

"You know, Matt, I am falling in love with you, and that is the scariest thing in the world to say because I have always seen that as giving up part of myself."

Pieper and Matt

Matt ended up giving Pieper a rose, telling her: "I want you to trust me with your feelings and your heart and I will continue to be open."

For the group date, Bri, Kit, Rachael, Michelle, Jessenia, Serena P., Abigail, Chelsea and Serena C. went bowling with The Bachelor.

Serena P. told the hunk at the after-party she was falling for him and they smooched... but he ended up giving the group date rose to Michelle.

Let's Bowl!

Prior to his solo date with Katie, Matt got a chance to hang out and play pool with BFF Tyler Cameron.

"She's owned who she is," Matt said of his upcoming date. "She is unapologetically herself and that's what I like about her."

Tyler said he understood, but told James to perhaps slow his roll, based on his own experience.

"My relationship on the show was a slower burning one that started really late, like, started catching fire later," Tyler said of Hannah.

"There's maybe some girl that comes out of nowhere where if you start building this different connection, you're like, oh what is that? Stay open and stay into these conversations."

Tyler asked Matt if he could see himself proposing at the end of this process, to which James replied, "I do."

"My boy's all boo'ed up!" Tyler responded.

(The Bachelor Spoilers Alert: We hear Matt is, indeed, engaged!)

For the aforementioned date, Katie and Matt played a prank on Tyler while he got a massage -- and James found himself quite smitten.

"Katie continues to blow me away," he told the cameras. "And I want this to work with Katie. She's incredible, but I need to see what the romance side looks like with Katie."

mj bowlling

After a heartfelt chat with Katie about her latest three-year relationship and what she's looking for now in a man... Matt took the contestant by surprise.

"You've been honest with me and I owe the same honesty to you," he told Katie.

"And the truth is, my relationship with some of the other women in the house has progressed further along than ours has up until this point, and I can't give you this rose tonight.

"And that's not a slight at who you are and what our time's been together. I just haven't had those feelings that I need to have for finding a wife in this process."

matt and this woman1

BOOM! Katie was then gone, confessing she did not see the elimination coming at all.

At the cocktail party ahead of the next rose ceremony, Heather then made her grand entrance in a white gown, smiling and wavong at one group of women before interrupting Matt's conversation with Pieper.

James fell over laughing and asked Pieper for a minute with Heather.

"I feel like I'm in a dream right now," he told this newbie.

The other women thought they were in a nightmare.

"If you're going to let a new girl come in or if you're going to give a new girl a rose over some of us that have been here for this long, then you better marry that girl," Chelsea said in an on-camera interview.

"Because the rest of us are going to be pissed."

And, with that, we'll need to wait for next Monday to see the fallout from this unexpected addition to the series.

The Bachelor Spoilers: We Know the Winner … and a Proposal Shocker!

Matt James has made history. But to whom will he make love on The Bachelor - and to whom will be bequeath that coveted final rose?

This is the question viewers around the nation have, as they head into a brand new year, and season of this beloved TV franchise.

Well, we now answers. More of them each day.

Based on a number of sources and reports, we've got The Bachelor spoilers for you for the still-unfolding 2021 campaign.

Gotta love it. Bachelor spoilers make things more fun, after all, especially as the episodes fly by and pieces fall into place.

There are still gaps to fill in, but the top four, the final two and the winner herself have been revealed by Reality Steve.

The man is good at what he does. And now we're starting to get a clearer sense of the order in which the gals go home.

But will you love the results? Will Matt's journey end in a proposal? Will his season go down as one of the best ever?

Time will tell re: some of those historical topics, but as far as the spoilers go, we've got you. Scroll down to find out now.

[Spoiler alert, obviously.]

1. James is Making History

Matt james shirtless
On the Season 25 premiere, Matt James - not only the first Black lead, but the first franchise newcomer to hand out the roses in years - admits to Chris Harrison that he's never been in love. Not ever. Not once in his life. "It's my job to change that," the host tells The Bachelor.

2. He Has Quite a Few Choices, Too

Matt james in uniform
ABC released the names and photos of 43 women ahead of the season premiere. They range in ages from 21 through 32, but not all of these suitors will end up appearing on the show.

3. Wait, Where is the Season Being Filmed?

Matt james poster
James' journey kicked off January 4 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. The set was reportedly isolated and all COVID-19 protocols were being followed.

4. Make Way for Tayshia!

Tayshia adams has a rose
If you recognize the surroundings, your eyes are not deceiving you. The latest Bachelorette actually filmed her After the Final Rose ceremony at this same place - and the newly-engaged Tayshia is expected to pop up at some point on Matt's season.

5. Will Other Familiar Faces Show Up?

Matt james and tyler cameron on instagram
Yup! In addition to Tayshia, look for Matt's great pal, Tyler Cameron, to make an appearance. And also Hannah Brown, who is friends with Matt and, uh, "friends" with Tyler as well. And also Wells Adams. Seriously.

6. Matt Being Matt

Matt james and tyler
For a long time, there was no reliable intel, and we were forced to rely on comments like this one from Tyler: "Matt is being Matt and we're going to get the Matt we all love. He's extremely happy. He loves the girls. He spoke so highly of them. There are so many great girls, he says he's really pushing himself to be vulnerable to put himself out there, and I think you're going to get a great season and a great Matt." Never a doubt!
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Matt James Blasts Friend for Awful Comment About Victoria Larson

All hail the Queen?

Not quite.

Not to the shock, dismay and anger of Matt James.

Allow us to explain...

Matt James and the Queen

In a video shared on Instagram this past Monday by Bachelornation.Scoop, the Bachelor lead is seen playing a round of golf with a group of friends, including former Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron.

As James prepares to putt, a friend named Jerry tries to distract him by bringing up this season's most polarizing suitor and asking:

"Now how was Victoria's body? 'Cause when I look at her, it doesn't look very nice … and you've been making out with this woman."

Ouch, huh?

Victoria Larson on The Bachelor

Larson -- who has declared herself the "Queen" of Season 25 and who isn't very popular -- left a comment on the video that read, "Cute ... I love my body :)" with a pink heart emoji.

She also appeared to clap back on her own Instagram feed.

Captioning her first post with a golfer emoji, the 27-year-old shared a split-screen photo of Miss Universe contestants in bikinis, above an image of a shirtless man sitting on a couch and holding a glass of beer.

The photo of the man included the words, "Her nose is too big."

Victoria Larson Bikini Pic

Larson also posted a snapshot of herself in a black bikini, captioning the post, "Y'all r too much body by @naturalpilates & @carriespilatesplus."

Jerry has since said he has "no regrets" over his body-shaming, describing Victoria as "ignorant, obnoxious [and] self-entitled."

That may all be true, but James appeared on Thursday's episode of The Real and called his so-called friend out for crossing a lline.

Victoria Larson and Matt

"It's just a constant reminder that you need to be smart about the people you surround yourself with," James said of this Jerry person.

"And those moments when you're in sports and people are trying to say things to you to throw things off your game, it's sad that someone would think saying something like that about a woman that I was dating would deter me from what I was trying to do."

That's a long-winded way of saying:

Lame trash talk, Jerry!

Queen Victoria on The Bachelor

Concluded James on the topic:

"Who is he to comment on someone's body? It's such a low blow for any man to try and take a dig at something like that."

"That's not my character and that's not what I'm about. It's a shame that that's even associated with what was going on."

"I apologize on his behalf. I don't know if you'll get it from him, but that's not something I support or stand for."

Victoria Larson The Bachelor

Well said, Matt!

Indeed, while ratings for this ongoing season have not been especially strong, most viewers remain big fans of James as the show's anchor.

According to a bunch of The Bachelor spoilers, things about to pick up, too. Big time.

Click below and scroll all around to see what we mean:

The Bachelor Spoilers: We Have the Identities of Matt James’ Top Two!

Matt James has made history. But to whom will he make love on The Bachelor - and to whom will be bequeath that coveted final rose?

This is the question viewers around the nation have, as they head into a brand new year, and season of this beloved TV franchise.

Well, we now answers. More of them each day.

Based on a number of sources and reports, we've got The Bachelor spoilers for you for the still-unfolding 2021 campaign.

Gotta love it. Bachelor spoilers make things more fun, after all, especially as the episodes fly by and pieces fall into place.

There are still gaps to fill in, but the top four, the final two and the winner herself have been revealed by Reality Steve.

The man is good at what he does. And now we're starting to get a clearer sense of the order in which the gals go home.

But will you love the results? Will Matt's journey end in a proposal? Will his season go down as one of the best ever?

Time will tell re: some of those historical topics, but as far as the spoilers go, we've got you. Scroll down to find out now.

[Spoiler alert, obviously.]

1. James is Ready for Another First

Matt james shirtless
On the Season 25 premiere, Matt James - not only the first Black lead, but the first franchise newcomer to hand out the roses in years - admits to Chris Harrison that he's never been in love. Not ever. Not once in his life. "It's my job to change that," the host tells The Bachelor.

2. He'll Have Quite a Few Choices, Too

Matt james in uniform
ABC released the names and photos of 43 women ahead of the season premiere. They range in ages from 21 through 32, but not all of these suitors will end up appearing on the show.

3. Wait, Where is the Season Being Filmed?

Matt james poster
James' journey kicked off January 4 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. The set was reportedly isolated and all COVID-19 protocols were being followed.

4. Make Way for Tayshia!

Tayshia adams has a rose
If you recognize the surroundings, your eyes are not deceiving you. The latest Bachelorette actually filmed her After the Final Rose ceremony at this same place - and the newly-engaged Tayshia is expected to pop up at some point on Matt's season.

5. Will Other Familiar Faces Show Up?

Matt james and tyler cameron on instagram
Yup! In addition to Tayshia, look for Matt's great pal, Tyler Cameron, to make an appearance. And also Hannah Brown, who is friends with Matt and, uh, "friends" with Tyler as well. And also Wells Adams. Seriously.

6. Matt Being Matt

Matt james and tyler
For a long time, there was no reliable intel, and we were forced to rely on comments like this one from Tyler: "Matt is being Matt and we're going to get the Matt we all love. He's extremely happy. He loves the girls. He spoke so highly of them. There are so many great girls, he says he's really pushing himself to be vulnerable to put himself out there, and I think you're going to get a great season and a great Matt." Never a doubt!
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The Bachelor Teases Arrival of 5 "Random A$$ Hoes"

The Bachelor lost one front-runner on Monday night.

To the surprise of many viewers, Sarah Trott left the show of her own volition, telling Matt James that she was emotionally exhausted both from the arrangement of having all these other women vying for his attention..

... and also from the stress of having a siick father back at home.

With Trott walking out the door, however, a quintet of new women are about to walk through the same door.

In a stunning promo for next Monday's episode of the ABC competition, James and his current suitors act shocked when a bunch of new aspiring waves exit a network-sponsored limousine.

And it's safe to say they are not greeted with open arms.

"Who the f--k are these random ass hoes?" asks Victoria Larson upon learning of their arrival.

Other contestants don't react in exactly the same manner.

But one says she "wants to vomit right now," while another breaks down in tears and anotherr says simple: "People are pissed."

Meanwhile, we've identified the fresh wave of stars as Catalina Morales, Kim Li, Michelle Young, Brittany Galvin, and Ryan Clator... with Galvin being of special interest.

A 25-year old from Chicago, Brittany has a deal with Wilhelmina Models.

She has posed for such brands/companiies as Emirates, Nike Woman, and Free People.

This explains why Brittany already has over 27.4k followers on IG and an impressive 24k plus on TikTok.

Oh, and did we mention that she also might be an escort!

After footage rolls in this trailer of the ladies learning of the new arrivals, the sneak peek transitions to a scene with contestants Anna and Victoria speaking about one of the new additions.

"People have gone out of their way to find me and tell me, 'Oh my God, watch out for this girl,'" Anna says, prompting Victoria to ask:

"Watch out with her how?"

Alleging that the contestant -- who is not identified in the preview -- "is entertaining men for money," Anna then adds in a confessional:

"I'd heard rumors that she may be an escort."

None other than The Bachelor spoilers expert Reality Steve has previously hinted about tension between Brittany and a couple other women, specially Kaili Anderson and Anna Redman, both of whom also hail from Chicago.

Based on this teaser, we have no idea if Galvin is an escort.

But she definitely isn't shy.

Watch now to see what we mean.

The Bachelor airs Mondays (at 8/7c) on ABC.

The bachelor teases arrival of 5 random a%24%24 hoes

Katie Thurston, Dildo-Loving Bachelor Suitor, Once Said She Would "F–k a Ghost"

Katie Thurston did not win the coveted First Impression Rose on the Season 25 premiere of The Bachelor.

But that didn't mean this suitor didn't make an impression on Matt James this past Monday night.

QUITE an impression, we should add.

Katie Thurston on The Bachelor

Thurston is the woman who arrived at the Bachelor mansion on the aforementioned premiere... and presented James with a sex toy.

"This pandemic was really hard for me and this just really got me through a lot, and I was hoping to pass the torch to you," Katie said before a vibrator, which she referred to as a "special item."

James laughed... and then Thurston changed her mind. In very smooth fashion.

"After seeing how you look and knowing that the Fantasy Suite is so far away, I actually am going to need it just for a little bit longer," the bank marketing manager said as candidly as one can.

Katie Thurston Picture

This was a first on The Bachelor.

But it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who follows Katie Thurston on social media.

After all, this is the same woman who titled a TikTok video over the summer: "I'd f**k a ghost."

She then went on to explain her thinking, relating it to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Katie Thurston

'Be honest who's masturbating more than they normally do?" Thurston asked.

"I swear there was a day where I did it three times, just because I was bored and I could.

"It's like when you're hungry and you open the fridge throughout the day, but it's like the same stuff is in there. It's not any better, but you just keep doing it.

"Like I'm literally getting tired of getting off on my own."

Katie for Season 25

Hey, at least she's honest, right?

"In fact, I went to PornHub for the first time. That was an experience. I'll save that for another video," she continued at the time.

"But yeah last night, my phone fell off the nightstand, by itself. And so my first thought was that was a f**king ghost.

"And then literally my second thought was, I wonder if ghosts can have sex."

katie vibrate

It seems unlikely -- but a girl can fantasize, right? Especially when under quarantine...

"Like if this ghost wanted to f**k me like I would let him or her like whatever just... just you're a ghost. I don't care. It'd be the most action I've had in months.

"I was like where does this stem from. And then I remembered Casper.

"Casper was the first movie where I started feeling like tingly feelings over a cartoon."

Casper was a friendly ghost. Makes one think, doesn't it?

Thurston's actions on the premiere, though, simply made viewers sick.

"It’s still early but I just can’t imagine Matt bringing dildo girl to meet his mom. Too trashy!” wrote one critic online.

Added another:

“Do not share your dildo. Do not touch people on the shoulder with your dildo. This girl is chaotic."

But she apparently is also horny.

And that may appeal to James.

You can visit our section of The Bachelor spoilers to find out if chooses Katie to be his wife.

Abigail Heringer: Meet the First-Ever Deaf Bachelor Suitor!

Abigail Heringer didn't just make a major impression on The Bachelor Season 25 premiere.

She made THE impression.

Which is to say... she earned the official First Impression Rose from Matt James after bonding with the series lead at the opening evening's cocktail party.

Impressive, right?

Abigail Heringer

Even more impressive? Even more noteworthy?

Abigail Heringer is the first Deaf contestant in the history of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

Just before forking over the aforementioned flower to Abigal, James told his potential wife:

"One of the things that I challenged the women with was being vulnerable and I felt like you were everything that I am asking of these women tonight.

"And knowing that you're a fighter, I thought that it was only appropriate that I ask you something. Abigail, will you accept this rose?"

Matt James and Abigail

Said host Chris Harrison of Heringer before the season kicked off:'

“Abigail is one of our favorites. This is an absolute gem of a woman, impossible not to fall in love with.

"Abigail has an incredible story; she’s the first hearing-impaired person we’ve ever had on the show.

"[She] is just beautiful and sincere, the true definition of someone here for the right reasons.”

Abigail Heringer Picture

Will Abigail get engaged to Matt James?

Visit our section of The Bachelor spoilers to find out.

Will she be sticking around for awhile, though?

It sure seems that way.

Matt James iin a Tux

So... what do we know about these remarkable young woman?

Abigail is one of four children and lives with her sister, Rachel. She also has two younger brothers.

Both Abigail, 25, and Rachel were born with congenital hearing loss.

According to their mother, Rachel was the youngest child to undergo cochlear implantation surgery at Oregon Health & Science University when she was two years old.

(Abigail also underwent the same procedure when she was also two.)

Abigail for Season 25

Heringer was born and raised in Oregon and stills resides in the Pacific Northwest.

She loves microbrews.

She studied finance at Linfield, and is now a client financial analyst at Beaverton, Oregon-based marketing firm Opus Agency.

abi, sister

According to her ABC bio, Abigail is “looking for a man who will lift her up and make her feel like it’s just the two of them in the whole wide world.”

Hey, who out there isn't looking for this?!?

But will she find that man on The Bachelor?

Abigail’s mom, Suzie, told the Statesman Journal in October that she wasn't so certain.

matt and ladies

“To be honest. I don’t think this is a great way to meet your forever person,” Abigail’s mother said... before acknowledging it’s challenging to find love amid the coronavirus pandemic.

”Actually, in the age of COVID, it’s a safe way to date.”

Will it be a successful way for her daughter, though?

We'll soon find out!

The Hottest Bachelors in History: Where Does Matt James Rank?

With Matt James ready to make history on ABC, it's almost time to talk about The Bachelor spoilers ... but also this:

Which Bachelor is the #1 hottest of all time!?

'Cause, even if ABC does scour the Earth for eligible dudes who are the total package, that's still a real debate.

And subjective, we know. But a fun one!

For those keeping score, Matt is the star of The Bachelor's 25th season, making him the 24th Bachelor of all time.

(Brad Womack famously got two cracks at the job ... and yet didn't get a happily ever, or even close, after either).

Obviously, Matt is the first black Bachelor, and the franchise's second black lead overall, following Rachel Lindsay.

The show's low-key racism and how it needs to handle Matt's 2021 season are topics that will be debated at length.

But we're glad he's the new leading man of the franchise, and today we're just here for pointless fun in his honor.

Gaze at the ghosts of Bachelors past, see for yourself who's the hottest of the hot and where you'd rank Matt.

24. Matt Grant

Matt grant photograph
Matt Grant is, if you couldn't immediately tell, British. He's the first (and only) British Bachelor, in fact. Amazingly, he gave his final rose to none other than Shayne Lamas. They were then engaged for like 40 minutes before she upgraded BIGLY to celebrity gossip blogging legend, scholar and entrepreneur Nik Richie.

23. Lorenzo Borghese

Lorenzo borghese photo
If there were a Bachelor, and season of The Bachelor, that left less than a memorable impression, it might have to be Lorenzo Borghese. He is eminently forgettable. But he's not exactly hard to look upon.

22. Andrew Firestone

Andrew firestone pic
Is Andrew Firestone a contender for Hottest Bachelor Ever? Maybe. Do you remember that he was actually on The Bachelor? Less-convincing maybe.

21. Bob Guiney

Bob guiney carves a turkey
Bachelor Bob Guiney starred in Season 4 of the ABC hit. No, seriously, he did. Guy was kind of a turkey TBH.

20. Charlie O'Connell

Charlie oconnell
Not to be confused with his brother Jerry O'Connell, who's starred on things like Sliders, Scream 2, and Crossing Jordan, Charlie O'Connell once starred on the ABC show.

19. Byron Velvick

Byron velvick
The bass-fishing Byron Velvick had the outdoorsy thing going for him in Season 7, that's for sure. He got engaged to Mary Delgado, with whom he had a tumultuous relationship.
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Bachelor Nation Couples: Is Anyone Still Together in 2021??

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are TV shows with a clear goal that you don't need Bachelor spoilers to figure out:

Set up a man or woman with his or her soulmate.

Heck, nearly every season ends with a proposal, right? And yet, over time, almost no proposals end in actual marriage.

By the numbers, few couples from Bachelor Nation last months; let alone years; let alone an entire lifetime together.

Have there been exceptions to this rule?

Oh yeah, just look at Jason and Molly. Or Sean and Cat. Rachel and Bryan. Even Arie and Lauren ... or JoJo and Jordan.

Nevertheless, it's still an arduous, uphill battle.

See Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt, or Peter Weber and Hannah Ann, or Peter Weber and Madison for that matter.

Their engagements lasted ... days? Hours?

These are unique cases, and yet ... not. Heck, Peter and Kelley Flanagan broke up too now. Dude was 0-for-3 in 2020!

The fact is that it's hard out there for duos spawned by this franchise to make it work, as we saw again this weekend.

Yes, you probably saw that Colton and Cassie broke up last summer. And Becca and Garrett. Then Ashley and J.P.

Some people are just meant to be friends.

Will Clare Crawley (or Tayshia Adams) fare any better in 2021, now that filming has wrapped and real life has begun?

We hope so. But we doubt it. Anyway ...

So looking back through the years, who is still living happily ever after after the final rose was handed out?

Take a look at notable duos from The Bachelor and Bachelorette and see whether they're still a romantic item now.

1. Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph

Colton cassie
Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph, as we mentioned and you probably heard if you're reading this, broke up in late May 2020. By all accounts, Cassie was The One for Colton from the start, and it appeared that she was along for the ride long after he busted the inaugural nut. Whether they actually make it to the altar was always suspect, however, given the hesitation we'd seen on the show ... and some of the bombshells he dropped in his recent memoir ... and just the overall odds of reality TV relationships actually lasting. Not good. But hey. They made it over a year and as they said in their joint statement, some people are just meant to be friends instead. No shame in that truth. Of course, given her recent accusations and the restraining order she filed, there may be plenty of shame we've yet to learn about.

2. Peter Weber and Madison Prewett

Madison prewett and peter weber
Peter Weber was an iconic disaster on The Bachelor. So much so that it's hard to decide which of his relationships to even include here. He began his season needing "closure" with Hannah Brown, who returned to the show for multiple episodes ... then got engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss on the finale and dumped her a month later (long before the finale actually made it to air). Then Chris Harrison flew to Alabama to set Peter up with runner-up Madison Prewett, who he went public with on the After the Final Rose special. They broke up two days after. Then he got together with Kelley Flanagan, another contestant on his season who didn't even make it to hometown dates. Good luck to her.

3. Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt

Jed wyatt photo
This one didn't come close to working out. Hannah accepted Jed's proposal... only to find out TWO WHOLE DAYS later that Wyatt had never told her about a quasi girlfriend back at home. She then dumped him. A year later, she said she had doubts even during the proposal itself. Maybe she shouldn't have put herself through that, but what can you do. The heart wants what it wants and sometimes that's douchelords.

4. Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen

Becca kufrin and garrett yrigoyen engagement pic
Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen hit it off from the very start, and after a fairly conventional season of The Bachelorette, they got engaged on the finale. Perhaps the most notable obstacle for this duo came prior to the season, when his Instagram "double-tapping" of some seriously offensive posts and memes came to light. It appeared they were destined to stay on cloud nine, until the spring and summer of 2020, when it appears his support of Blue Lives Matter and their different world views were just too much to overcome. They split August 6.

5. JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers

Jordan rodgers and jojo fletcher after the final rose
JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers have been an interesting case, both seemingly over the moon in love and behind the proverbial eight ball since day one. They certainly seem to have weathered whatever storms have been in their path thus far, and enough time has passed that they're no longer in the "honeymoon" phase that they've proven us wrong, for sure. Whether or not they make it to the altar is still an open question, but there's zero signs of trouble right now, at least publicly. It's been FOUR YEARS at this point so we have to give them credit. Hey, they even got engaged, again. For whatever that's worth.

6. Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo

Rachel lindsay engagement ring
Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo are a match made in heaven. Bachelor Nation seemed to prefer runner-up Peter Kraus, but Rachel went with the smooth (too smooth for some fans' liking) doctor from Miami at the last minute. And it worked out for them! These two got married in August 2019!
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The Bachelor Stars Ranked By Relationship Length!

Matt James, take heed.

You don't need The Bachelor spoilers to tell you that love - like fame - fades. Real life eventually sinks in, and hits hard.

And fast. That is cynical, yes.

But it's just factual, guys.

While things were looking up for a time, The Bachelor stars have not exactly had the best track record over the long run.

How bad is it? Well, Peter Weber didn't exactly raise the bar for future Bachelors last year by dumping both finalists.

Dude sure did get laid a lot, from girlfriend Kelley Flanagan ... just not from his true love of a lifetime, Hannah Ann.

Or Madison, for those 48 hours.

Anyway, that guy was always a mess. And now that Peter and Kelley have called it quits, well, he's 0-3 in 2020.

Like we said, Pete sets a very low bar for James and future Bachelor stars - but he's not the lowest of the low.

Check out the full Bachelor relationship rankings by length and see how they fared once the cameras turned off.

1. Brad Womack

Brad womack deanna pappas
Brad Womack, in the first of his two stints as The Bachelor, takes the cake by not choosing to propose to, or even continue his relationship with, either of the final two women, Jenni Croft or DeAnna Pappas (pictured). Wow.

2. Travis Stork

Travis lane stork photo
Dr. Travis Stork and Sarah Stone were broken up so fast, they got to talk about it on the After the Final Rose special. And they lived in the same city, so it's not like the distance factor played any role at all. Pretty impressive!

3. Jake Pavelka

Jake pavelka vienna girardi breakup interview
Jake Pavelka chose Vienna Girardi with his final rose on The Bachelor. By the time The Bachelorette aired a few months later, the two had broken up in epic fashion ... and this interview with Chris Harrison shows you why.

4. Peter Weber

Kelley flanagan peter weber on july 4
Take your pick with this guy. He got engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss on his season finale, then dumped her before that even made it to air, then got back together with Madison Prewett, then split with her two days later. You read that correctly. To think that the pilot could've had either of them had he been willing to commit, yet lost both in spectacular fashion while his mom became a meme is quite something, even by this show's standards. He later went on to date Kelley Flanagan (pictured), an early-season castoff from his season, for nine months. Then they broke up as well after his desired move to NYC apparently took priority over her. Fourth time's the charm in 2021?

5. Jesse Palmer

Jesse palmer
Jesse Palmer, former NFL quarterback and current sports TV analyst, did not propose to Jessica Bowlin. They continued to date but broke up just weeks later.

6. Aaron Buerge

Aaron buerge
Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz also lasted a matter of weeks. (Yes, this was a real couple on The Bachelor. Show has been on for an eternity.)
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Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan Call It Quits, Surprise Absolutely No One

2020 is not the only thing that has now come to an end.

So has any chance of Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan ever getting married.

Kelley Flanagan, Peter Weber on July 4

On the final day of this calendar year, the 29-year old former Bachelor lead announced that he and his seemingly very serious girlfriend decided to break up.

It doesn't appear as if there are any hard feelings.

"Love is a funny thing," Weber wrote as a caption to a lovely photo of the pair.

Peter and Kelley (The Bachelor)

"It can make you you feel on top of the world and it can make you feel a pain you wish didn't exist."

"I'm here to share that Kelley and I have decided to go our separate ways."

"While our relationship was filled with countless beautiful memories, our relationship simply didn't work out in the end."

weber message

Weber anchored Season 24 of The Bachelor -- and concluded his run as one of the least decisive and most polarizing cast members in show history.

First, he proposed to Hannah Ann Sluss.

Then, he ended that engagement and dated runner-up Madison Prewett.

Then, following a very short courtship with Prewett, Weber moved on to Flanagan, who he had sent home a few weeks before the Season 24 finale was filmed.

Kelley Flanagan with Her Man

Weber, who finished in third place on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette and famously slept with that star four times inside of a windmill, added:

"Kelley is someone I will always have a special love for."

"Someone I have learned more from than she will ever understand. Someone I am so thankful came into my life and someone who I will always wish all of life's greatest blessings on."

Kelley is yet to address the split in public or on social media.

Hannah Ann and Peter Weber

But Weber concluded as follows:

"These moments in life always hurt, but in my opinion that shows you it was worth the time you spent together. Thank you Kelley."

This news likely comes as a legitimate shocker to many fans, considering that Peter had posted on his Instagram Story on December 22 that the two would be moving to New York City together.

They had spent the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic living in Kelley's Chicago's apartment.

Peter Weber and Sluss

They had also spent this time filming many videos of themselves and sticking it to all critics who doubed their romance would last.

Alas, those critics have now been proven correct.

"So grateful Kell was on board with the move!" Peter wrote online, just over a week ago."

Kelley, Peter Together

He added:

"I had actually made it a goal of mine when I turned 20 that I wanted to live in New York City before my 20s were up and I'm just barely crossing it off the list!"

Welp, Weber can still cross it off his list.

He'll just be doing so alone.

We wish the very best to Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan in all future romantic endeavors.

It really was just like 2020 to wrap up with yet another heart-breaker, huh?

Good riddance, awful year.

Bachelor Nation: Their Sexiest Swimsuit Pics of All Time!

Well, the summer of 2020 may have come to an end, but we can still live vicariously through the stars.

Specifically, the stars of the sexiest reality franchise on television!

As you're probably aware, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette casts do not lack for gorgeous women.

And they do not lack for confidence when it comes to their looks.

Don't believe us? (We're sure you believe us, right?)

Whether you're a skeptic or just want to bask in the glory, we invite you to take a look at some of their most tantalizing, beauitful swimwear photos through the years.

You're welcome, basically.

1. Hannah Brown

Hannah brown bikini
Hannah Brown was unlucky in love on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Which is really somewhat remarkable given her looks and personality. Guess some things are not meant to be (or they just make terrible life choices, cough, Jed Wyatt).

2. Hannah Ann

Hannah ann sluss the bachelor
We could honestly have done a gallery of only Hannah Ann Sluss and we would've been content with that. To say that the original winner of Peter Weber's season is easy on the eyes is an understatement.

3. Hannah Godwin

Hannah godwin bikini photo
Yup, we're kicking this thing off with three Hannahs. Hannah G. may be the least known of this trifecta, but she's certainly not the last stunning. (We're not ranking them, they're all stunning. My goodness.)

4. Victoria Fuller

Victoria fuller works the angles
Some people accused Victoria of manipulating Peter Weber during her time on his season of The Bachelor. We don't know about all that, but the girl certainly knows how to work the angles when there's a camera on her!

5. Lesley Murphy

Lesley murphy bikini image
Lesley Murphy vied for Sean Lowe's heart in Season 17 of The Bachelor. She came in fifth. Later, she wisely underwent a double mastectomy to lower her risk of breast cancer, and then underwent the slow process of receiving implants. At The Bachelor: Winter Games in 2018, she and Dean Unglert hit it off. Though Dean redeemed himself thorugh their romance, the two broke it off a few months later. Still, she is all kinds of gorgeous.

6. Jade Roper

Jade roper bikini photo
Jade Roper shows off her gorgeous looks without any filter or photoshop. It's not really a surprise that she looks mind-blowingly hot in a bikini, as she was once a Playboy model.
View Slideshow

Rachel Lindsay on Matt James as The Bachelor: Great. Then What???

Rachel Lindsay is very happy that Matt James has been cast as The Bachelor.

Don't get her wrong.

But the reality star, who had been the only African-American lead of this franchise up until Friday's confirmation that James has landed this role, also wants to make one thing clear:

james.linsday

Racism still exists.

And it will take a lot more than one decision by The Bachelor executives to fix things.

Appearing on The Ringer podcast Bachelor Party, after the decision was made public, Lindsay sounded skeptical of the choice, simply due to the timing.

(James was chosen after a petition circulated around the Internet that urged ABC to finally select a person of color as The Bachelor.)

Matt James as The Bachelor

"I hate that it is in response -- or it seems like it is a knee-jerk reaction and in response -- to what happened in our society, what happened with George Floyd, and the pressure that you're getting from society," Rachel said on the podcast.

"It's almost like a man had to die in such a gruesome and public way for us to get a Black Bachelor.

"That's what it feels like."

rl reaction

Lindsay, of course, is referring to the heinous killing of Floyd last month by a white police officer in Minnesota.

The act has sparked renewed calls for social justice and police reform across America, and also regenerated the debate over how few African-Americans have been featured on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

"This announcement, without any further commitments regarding diversity, sweepingly brushes deeper issues under the rug," Lindsay said in a responsive statement.

"Until we see action to address the systemic racism within the franchise, the casting news today is equivalent to the trend of posting a black box on your social media account without other steps taken to dismantle the systems of injustice.

"I look forward to hearing more about the additional efforts the franchise plans to make towards change."

Rachel Lindsay Promo Pic

Lindsay has been outspoken on this topic of late.

She said just a few days ago that she's ashamed to be associated with Bachelor Nation due to its lack of diversity.

"I want producers of color," she also said on Good Morning America.

"I would like for them to cast leads that are interested in dating outside of their race that aren’t just getting their first time experience for the first time on national TV.

"I need the acknowledgment of that."

Rachel Lindsay Is On GMA

Lindsay added that she doesn’t want the network’s historic decision in picking a black male lead to be like “putting a Band-Aid over the situation and just saying:

"‘Here, we’re going to put this here. Are you happy now?'"

For his part, James understands the unique nature of his situation.

For now, he just sounds grateful for the opportunity.

Ready with a Rose

"It’s an honor [to be the first black Bachelor],” he said on Good Morning America.

“I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me, and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday nights, they’re going to see that I’m not much different from them and they see that diverse love stories are beautiful."

No word yet on when The Bachelor Season 25 will air.

Rachel Lindsay: I’m Ashamed to Be Associated with The Bachelor!

Rachel Lindsay will forever be a part of Bachelor Nation.

This is simply a fact, considering she anchored Season 13 of The Bachelorette.

However, amid civil unrest the likes of which this country has scarcely ever seen before, Lindsay has now made it pretty clear...

Rachel Lindsay Promo Pic

... she wishes she could immigrate.

As part of a virtual interview with Page Six, the former ABC personality opened up about how it's more likely a person of color will be the leader of the free world than cast as the lead of this long-running franchise.

Just think about that for a moment.

Rachel Lindsay Shakes Her Head Awkwardly

"There's been one person of color in 40 seasons," the attorney explained.

"We have 45 presidents. There has been one person of color.

"We are literally on par to saying that you are more likely to become the president of the United States than you are to be the lead of this franchise.

"That is insane."

Rachel Lindsay Red Carpet Photo

Lindsay addressed this topic in the wake of George Floyd being killed by a Minnesota police officer.

In the days since, this officer has been arrested on second-degree murder charges -- while protests have broken out in all 50 states.

Every night, the streets are filled with protestors yelling, screaming and pleading for racial equality, along with various police reform measures.

With the country seemingly on the verge of a revolution, Lindsay freely admits she's ashamed of her professional past.

Rachel Lindsay Motives You

Continued the star:

"When I look at what's happening in our country, and then I look at the franchise, I can't continue to be affiliated -- it's embarrassing honestly at this point -- to be affiliated with a franchise who is not on the right side of this.

Lindsay grew understandably upset at the interview kept going.

She simply could not remain quiet any longer.

Rachel

"How can I sit back and be quiet, when I am a part of something that isn't as supportive or doesn't reflect who I am?" Lindsay added.

"I just feel like if anybody is in my position, you couldn't sit quiet about that. And I don't think that anyone would fault me -- a higher up in the franchise  -- for saying that."

Rachel, who was also in the news of late for having to deal with Hannah Brown's use of the N-word, did accept some responsibility as well.

Bryan Abasolo and Rachel Lindsay

"I feel like I've been a little bit a part of the problem," Lindsay confessed admitted.

"We continue to make excuses as to why we haven't seen this change. You continue to say, 'Oh, well it's just because the lead hasn't picked a person of color that's gone far enough.

"'Oh, this person was more qualified for this person. Oh, the audience liked this person more.'

"But that’s not true."

Rachel Lindasy and Bryan Abasolo on Instagram

Almost every year, it seems as though The Bachelor is asked about casting another person of color as the lead.

And every year except for 2017, producers ramble on about diversity in some fashion... and then choose a white man or woman.

"It's time to stop making excuses," Lindsay told Page Six.

Rachel Lindsay in a Black Top

She then concluded with these words of wisdom:

There are so many different ways in which you can take action … by posting, by letting people know you're aware, by sharing your own story of how maybe you were ignorant before, how you did choose to be silent because of whatever reason.

You were scared, you didn't know, you chose to ignore it.

And I think donating to these causes --  maybe you don't know how to use your voice -- but donate to a cause that does.

Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph Stun Bachelor Nation: It’s Over!!

Cassie Randolph may have been Colton Underwood's first, but it's now official:

She will not be his last.

In a shocking announcement that rocked Bachelor Nation to its core on Friday night, the couple announced they have broken up.

Colton and Cassie Online

Along with the following sweet photo of herself and Underwood, Cassie confirmed this sad news today as follows:

First off, I want to say this is one of the hardest things I have had to share as neither one of us is quite ready to talk about it yet.

However, because our relationship is such a public one, our silence on the matter has been speaking for us. Colton and I have broken up, but have decided to remain a part of each others lives.

With all that we have gone through, we have a special bond that will always be there. I love Colton very much and have an enormous amount of respect for him.

We have both learned and grown so much these past couple years, and will always have each others back. Always.

Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph in Happier Times

For his part, Underwood also posted a picture of the pair (below) and wrote:

Its been a crazy few months to say the least, Cass and I have been doing a lot of self-reflecting.

Sometimes people are just meant to be friends - and that’s okay.

We both have grown immensely and been through so much together - so this isn’t the end of our story, it’s the start of a whole new chapter for us.

cass and col

Underwood and Randolph have been a relevant couple for numerous reasons.

First, they got together at the close of Colton's season of The Bachelor -- and managed to stay together for a long time, which is rare in this universe.

Second, Underwood was very open about being a virgin and having Cassie be first woman he ever slept with.

Finally, Underwood tested positive this spring for the coronavirus and quarantined upstairs in Randolph's parents' house.

The two seemed stronger than ever at the time.

Cassie Randolph with Colton

In his recent memoir, The First Time, Underwood revealed that he and Randolph actually briefly split last August.

But this separation helped the couple in the long run, he wrote.

"It was also very good to be real and emotional because it forced us to have conversations and move on," Colton explained on the page.

"Now, we know the flags to look for. When issues start to creep up, it's like, let's go have a conversation. We're trying to be more transparent and honest and really trust each other."

Cassie Randolph and Colton Underwood at the MTV Movie and TV Awards

As for this break-up?

"They put a lot of thought into it," an insider tells People Magazine, adding:

"Ultimately, Colton and Cassie just weren’t on the same page. Colton really wanted to settle down and get married — he’s been ready for a long time. And Cassie just wasn’t ready.

"They both knew it wasn’t going to work.”

Colton Underwood and Cassie in Love

At first, toward the end of The Bachelor Season 23, it looked as if these two weren't going to end up together because Randolph left the show after refusing to commit to a proposal from Underwood.

However, Underwood fought hard to win her back, even sending home the final two women despite having no committment from Cassie.

Ultimately, the reality stars left the series as a couple -- but not an engaged one -- after reuniting in Portugal.

We wish them both the best.

Nick Viall Destroys Madison Prewett: What a Self-Righteous LIAR!

Nick Viall simply does not have time for Madison Prewett.

Or, to be a little more specific and accurate, Nick Viall simply does not have time for what he believes to be Madison Prewett's total and complete BS.

viall/madi

On the latest episode of his podcast, The Viall Files, the reality defended Peter Weber for his recent clap-back at his ex-girlfriend.

Prewett, of course, bolted The Bachelor finale last season after getting trashed by Peter's mom and then getting into it a bit with Weber over his decision to sleep with some other suitors.

(Prewett is a virgin who is saving herself for marriage.)

Madi Prewett and Peter Weber

She then briefly (like, VERY briefly) dated Weber following his After the Final Rose ceremony, and has since said she was "hurt and thrown off" by Weber's decision to move in with Kelley Flanagan -- one of his eliminated Bachelor hopefuls --  last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It's been quite a messy and complicated quasi love triangle.

And now Viall has gotten himself involved, responding to Prewett's allegation that Weber reached out to her in an attempt to get back together... two days before starting up with Flanagan.

Madison and Peter in Love

"We know Madison to be a little bit of a liar," Viall said on air this week.

"People want to forget  -- I know Madison wants to forget it -- but her Instagram…It's a fact she did that. And, listen, it is silly and trivial and there's a logical explanation for it that, you know, she wanted people to like her.

"It's a totally relatable thing."

Madison and Peter Down Under

Weber, for his part, wrote online that he thought Madison would have a 'little more respect for" his "situation" with Flanagan, "given we both know there's more to the story…"

And Viall is very much on Team Pilot.

"Here's what we know: Peter might be a lot of things.

'He might have been sloppy, you could have argued that maybe he's got some maturing to do, he's certainly indecisive, but what Peter has also been is honest, even to a fault, almost," said the former Bachelor.

"He's been so honest that he's probably gotten himself into more trouble than he needed to, where other leads have been a little bit more measured and made decisions a little bit more based off of what the audience might think, and Peter truly hasn't done that."

Peter Weber on Instagram

Viall then turned his attention again to Prewett.

"If you're going to be righteous and you're going to be pious and you're going to, like, talk about your relationship with God and how you want to be example to young women, blah, blah, blah, I hold you to a higher standard, so don't be a liar.

"Don't be vain. I'm vain, I can be vain.

"Don't have your family use Bruce Pearl's house for your hometown and sell it as your own home when it's not your home."

Madison Prewett After The Bachelor

Prewett has been accused of creating a fake fan account to compliment herself while the Bachelor season was airing in January.

She's also received some flak; not for being a virgin, but for judging Peter's non-virginal actions, especially when she should have known what happens on The Bachelor before deciding to apply.

"Madison is very smart and very calculated," Viall continued.

"Her brand is God and righteousness and being the true follower of Christ."

Madison Prewett After the Finale

Viall then focused on his version of Christianity -- and how it differs from that of Prewett, in his view.

"Being a good Christian isn't just about not kissing and having sex with other people and talking about God.

"There's a lot more that goes into that, like humility and honesty and things like that, and a lack of vanity, and all the things that as humans we do.

"I'm hyper-critical of that kind of behavior, to be honest, just because I've seen it my whole life and it comes across as incredibly disingenuous."

Madi

Viall concluded by inviting Madison on to his podcast, and by emphasizing that he doesn't trust her.

At all.

"I don't like that if you're going to be super pious. I've talked to producers and they like Madison, but they also think she can be a little manipulative and a little bit of a liar."

Hannah Ann Sluss on Peter Weber: This F–k Boi …

Peter Weber made a living as a pilot, prior to striking it rich as a reality star on The Bachelor.

And this profession is proving to be more and more apt as times goes by ...

 p  and hanna

... because Weber is simply flying through his Season 24 suitors!

Last summer, of course, Weber had massive amounts of windmill sex with Hannah Brown on The Bachelorette.

Then he got down on one knee and proposed to Hannah Ann Sluss on 2020's dramatic finale of The Bachelor.

Hannah Ann Sluss and Peter Engaged

But then, as predicted, he split from Sluss after a few weeks because his heart wasn't into their engagement ...

... because it obviously still belonged to this season's second-place finisher, the virginal Madison Prewett.

So, what did Weber do from there?

Madi Prewett and Peter Weber

After Chris Harrison played matchmaker, Peter asked Madison (above) out on ABC's After the Final Rose special.

The two of them became a much-buzzed-about celebrity couple - for a total of two g-d damn days before splitting.

Weber and Prewett, to their credit, both handled the breakup maturely and very amicably on social media. BUT ...

Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan

A few days ago, not even three weeks after all this played out, Weber was spotted out and about with Kelley Flanagan (above).

Yes, another girl from the show.

She didn't even make it to hometown dates, but a few weeks prior to this, rumors had sprung up that Weber actually had gotten Flanagan pregnant. Untrue, but man, this dude gets around.

Kelley and Peter Weber

While Peter and Kelly (above) aren't having any children (that we know of), they are having fun together.

By all accounts, they've started dating, or at least "hanging out" a.k.a. drinking and banging each other.

Not surprisingly, Hannah Ann Sluss is just as blindsided - and baffled - by this turn of events as you are.

Hannah Ann and Peter Weber

Sluss (above) told Nick Viall on Instagram Live after photos surfaced this week of Weber and Flanagan in Chicago:

"I was completely blindsided by a lot, if it has been going on all along that would be very sneaky."

"Maybe it will work out for them and he will be decisive about her."

1. Yeah, right; 2. How long until Nick tries to bang Hannah?

Eff You, Peter

Anyway, says an onlooker about Weber: "Peter was vibing and it seemed like, at one point, Kelley had his leg in her lap."

Peter Weber: Vibing through Bachelor Nation like a madman.

Sluss, to her credit, has taken the high road, yet is no shrinking violent when it comes to telling Peter exactly what she thinks.

Hannah Ann Sluss Talks

After previously saying that Peter is a phony who just tells women what they want to hear, Hannah Ann told Viall:

"Honestly, when I saw [Peter and Kelly together], I wasn't really surprised, because that's been the pattern."

"Everything going in all directions."

After all, as we discussed above, dude's gone from Hannah Brown, to Hannah Ann... to Madison... and now to Kelley.

Peter Weber, After the Rose

Sluss also liked multiple tweets this week shading her ex, one of which called hilariously labeled him a "f--k-boi."

In his defense, we guess, Weber has never been shy or guarded about who he is. Even his mother knows this. 

My son f--ks, Madison.

Yet, as Bachelor Nation will also recall, Hannah Ann committed to him in ways he said were reciprocal, but were not.

Cuddling with Hannah Ann

She confronted Peter over his inability to commit to just one woman:

"Peter, we've been through a lot together, and I should have really picked up on the first red flag to give to me, when you wanted to reach out to Hannah Brown to find closure with her..."

"So looking back on it, our engagement involved three women, me, you still being in love with Madison and proposing to me, and your need for closure with Hannah Brown."

"That is three women involved in our engagement."

Peter Weber in a Promo Pic

Hannah Ann was justifiably sad about him taking her first engagement, but at the same time, she dodged a bullet.

The popular star has already deleted all photos with Peter from her Instagram and she says she's already dating.

Or at least, she will be.

Sluss, Hannah

"I'm getting to know lots of different people, but I will say there is one person in particular that I'm excited to go on a date with after [the coronavirus pandemic] is over with," she told Viall, concluding:

"Really excited about it."

Lucky guy.