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The Bachelor Bombshell: Jesse Palmer to Host Season 26!

Jesse Palmer has accepted a rose from ABC.

In a manner of speaking, that is.

On Tuesday night, the network made the surprising announcement that the former series lead and current college football analyst would step in and host The Bachelor Season 26.

He'll be the first person to emcee this franchise other than Chris Harrison.

Jesse Palmer Picture

“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” the ESPN personality said in a statement.

“Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience.

"I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.”

Jesse Palmer Photo

Harrison, of course, stepped into scalding hot water during Matt James' run as The Bachelor in early 2021.

He awkwardly defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after old social media posts of her surfaced in which she Liked photos of the Confederate Flag and bragged about attending a plantation-themed sorority party.

The long-time host apologized multiple times for the way he handled the situation and voluntarily stepped aside at the time.

A few months later, Harrison and executives agreed he ought to leave the show permanent... with sources claiming Harrison walked away with $25 million in hush money/buyout mone.

Chris Harrison Profile Picture

"I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter," he wrote in June via Instagram.

"I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together.

"While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime."

Harrison has said next to nothing in public in the time since.

palmer in a tux

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, meanwhile, came on board to host Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette, and will do the same this fall for Michelle Young.

Last week, numerous outlets confirmed that Clayton Echard -- a contestant on Young's upcoming season -- would anchor the next season of The Bachelor, which is expected to premiere in January.

You can meet the women he'll be selecting a fiancee from here:

Palmer, for his part, played quarterback at the University of Florida and was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL by the New York Giants.

He only played in 8 total professional games and compiled a 59.8 rating in the process.

More relevantly to The Bachelor, Palmer was front and center on Season 5.

He chose Jessica Bowlin as his winner, although the duo broke up shortly after the series aired and Palmer is now engaged to model Emely Fardo.

Jesse Palmer as a Model

Palmer has also hosted several reality shows over the years -- including The Proposal, Holiday Baking Championship and The Ultimate Surfer -- and seems to be a safe choice by producers.

Said ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon this summer after the companies basically forced Harrison out:

“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise.

"We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey."

The Bachelor 2022? You Haven’t Even Met Him Yet!

So much for those alleged Bachelor spoilers.

So much for the hate mail you planned on sending to ABC executives.

So much for the reports and the rumors and the speculation, most of which pointed to one of this franchise's most-hated villains somehow ending up as the lead of Season 26.

You can now forget it all, Bachelor Nation, according to what we've just read.

2022 bach logo

According to multiple reliable sources (Us Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter), Greg Grippo will NOT be the next Bachelor.

Over the past few weeks, various reports had indicated that Grippo had, indeed, landed the role - despite this suitor acting like a total douche canoe toward the end of Katie Thurston's recent Bachelorette season.

In case you missed it, Grippo threw a fit after Thurston continued to date other men... eventually storming off the show entirely because he claimed Katie had led him on.

Grippo admitted to acting like a jerk months after he quit the show, but not beforre Thurston tore into him on the After the Final Rose special.

Greg Grippo on Set

Despite this immature act of selfish gaslighting, Grippo was at one time confirmed by certain websites as the next Bachelor.

Many fans, meanwhile, have clamored for another former Thurson suitor to be named the next lead: beloved widow, Michael Allio.

Elsewhere, now that Tyler Cameron has split from his girlfriend, there's been talk that the uber popular ex of former Bachelorette Hannah Brown might end up with the gig.

Now, though?

Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown in Greece

Non on Grippo. No on Allio. And no on Cameron.

No, in fact, on every single contestant you've ever seen on The Bachelorette so far.

The next Bachelor will, instead, be one of the men vying for Michelle Young's heart on this upcoming season of The Bachelorette, as ABC is scheduled to soon premiere its second edition of the franchise in 2021.

Production is set to start at the end of September on The Bachelor Season 26, with the expected to air in January 2022.

Michelle Young with a Rose

“My two votes are going to be Andrew [Spencer] and Michael [Allio] for the next Bachelor,” Thurston said in July.

“I think they just both have a lot to offer, and I think they are in a place where they are ready to really settle down and they’ve really grown a lot as men.”

Alas, it looks like Katie won't get her wish.

As for Young?

Michelle Young and Katie Thurston

We have not yet come across any Bachelorette spoilers that confirm her winner, which means we can't cross that name off the list of potential Bachelor anchors.

“I’m looking for someone who’s gonna change the world with me. I’m ready," Young said in the first official promo for her run as The Bachelorette, which kicks off on October 19.

Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will return as co-hosts forr her season, as well.

You can check out the preview here:

And you can also get your first look at the next Bachelor below!

No, we don't know his identity.

But if he's one of Michelle Young's suitors?

Well... scroll down to meet Michelle Young's suitors!

The Bachelor 2022: Revealed! Very, VERY Controversial!

According to a brand new report... from an extremely reliable source... we've got the mother of all Bachelor spoilers for you. The show is really about to go there.

Producers have finally decided on a lead for Season 26.

And, not to be overly drama, not to hype up the selection to an unwarrantedd degree, not to be accused of simply trying to bait our readers for clicks here, but:

You. Will. Be. Stunned.

logo for the bachelor

And perhaps more than a tad bit angry.

Why?

Because, based on a series of Tweets from Reality Steve - the man who has made a living by correctly revealing an endless array of Bachelor and Bachelorette spoilers -- the identity of the next Bachelor?

It's Greg Grippo!

Greg Grippo with Wine

Wrote this reality television expert on Thursday afternoon:

(SPOILER): What I’ve been hearing the past 5 days or so regarding the next Bachelor are this…been told it’s going to be Greg.

Obviously it’s never “official” until ABC announces it (whenever that may be), but at this point I would be very surprised if it’s not him.

reality steve1

Grippo, of course, received the First Impression Rose from Katie Thurston on the most recent season of The Bachelorette.

He then advanced to Thurston's final four, only to storm off the show after initiating an ugly argument with the beautiful star.

On the August 2 episode of this long-running franchise, Grippo accused Thurston of leading him on, trashing her for having the audacity to keep dating other men.

Greg Grippo on Set

Despite, you know, such an arrangement being the entire premise of The Bachelorette.

"I haven't been this happy in the longest time," Greg told Katie after she met his family, adding at the time:

"I didn't know that I was going to fall in love with you. And I am in love with you."\

"You just make me the happiest I've ever been."

Katie and Greg

Thurston, though, did not fullly reciprocate these feelings.

She said she didn't feel comfortable using such extreme language while juggling multiple suitors, and this is what set Greg off.

"I'm so sad because I spilled my heart out to her last night. I don't know. I told her I was in love with her. She really didn't have any reaction," he said on camera, prior to confronting Katie in her hotel room.

Greg Grippo as a Suitor

"I wasn't asking for a lot, just the smallest thing to let me know she was feeling somewhat of the same."

In the aforementioned room, Grippo lost it.

"There's obviously a disconnect here. It's, like, clear. That's obvious," he told Thurston.

Greg Grippo Defends Himself

"As much as it hurts me, I've reached my breaking point with this. I gave you everything and I really hope you find something."

Wait, what? Thurston was very confused by this reaction.

"It was never about a rose for me this week and I was never asking for you to profess your love to me. I just wanted Katie," Grippo continued.

Greg Grippo with Katie

"I deserve more than what I've been given on your side. I'm not happy here anymore. I'm done here."

With that, Grippo left the season and Thurston broke down in tears.

Thurston would later accused Grippo of gaslighting her and would absolutely tear Greg a new one on the After the Final Rose special.

Suck It, Greg Grippo

"I never felt that you actually intended to probably ever get engaged," she said to him on stage.

"You’re saying that I’m not validating you enough but it’s, like, you got the first impression rose, you got the first one-on-one, a second one-on-one.

"Every single group date — and in the moment, I’m not realizing this, but I’m watching it back — I’m giving you validation every single week."

Greg Grippo Says Hello

Thurston went on to slam Grippo as a liar and a fraud and even mocked his supposed acting career ... after it came out that Greg had been hiding his past and may have only appeared on The Bachelorette to pad his resume.

Seriously.

“I fill a hole in your heart, yet you treated me the way you did. You spoke down to me. You didn’t even bother to say goodbye," Thurston continued on the special.

Greg Grippo on The Bachelorette

"You say you love me, but I don’t think you even know what love is because that was a time I needed you the most and you ran away.

“Paired with those rumors and acting school, I don’t know if I actually know who Greg is. You’re a liar. You did not love me.”

And now this is gonna be the man to lead the next Bachelorette?!?

Yes, Reality Steve alleges.

reality steve2

He also recognizes the potential for backlash, for reasons as follows:

I know you have questions, “why not so-and-so,” “why not this guy,” etc. Ultimately it doesn’t matter. It’s their choice to make, only one guy can get the gig, & there will always be people who disagree.

How can you choose Sean, he was boring!

Wait, Nick? Where’d that come from?

Greg, 27

They pick who they pick and there will always be people upset no matter what. Greg will be no different.

I’m sure a certain podcast out there is now gonna have a conniption.

He’s a polarizing figure that will have people talking, which is what they want.

Greg Grippo

But by all accounts and everything I’m being told, he’s your next Bachelor so, I guess let’s get the hot take machine fired up.

Because here they come in full force.

Tyler Cameron to Be Announced as the Next Bachelor?!

We probably don't need to tell you that the last year has seen a lot of shake-ups in the world of the Bachelor franchise.

In addition to the difficulties created by the pandemic, Chris Harrison was fired, Tayshia and Kaitlyn came in as hosts, and David Spade brought some much-needed snark to the world of The Bachelor in Paradise.

The situation has led to an unusual scenario in which ABC will air consecutive seasons of The Bachelorette -- broken up by BiP -- and producers haven't named a new Bachelor since Matt James was announced back in June of 2020.

But now, it seems that long-empty slot has finally been filled -- and by none other than Matt's BFF.

Matt James with Tyler

Yes, rumor has it that Tyler Cameron has been chosen to break hearts and distribute roses on the next season of ABC's longest-running reality show.

Nothing has been announced yet, but recent social media activity from a few key players points to Tyler taking the reins from Matt for the 26th season of The Bachelor.

First, a tweet from the show's creator and executive producer, Matt Fleiss, led fans to the conclusion that a big announcement is on the way.

Tyler Cameron Works Out

"All I can tell you right now is that #BachelorNation will be very happy! Well, maybe not everybody… #TheBachelor," Fleiss tweeted.

It's tough to imagine what Fleiss might have been hinting at, other than a forthcoming announcement about the identity of the show's new lead.

Fleiss' statement about how happy viewers will be suggests that producers have selected a well-liked figure from the show's recent past.

Matt James and Tyler Cameron

On its own, however, that wouldn't be enough for fans to conclude that guy in question is Tyler.

But if you take a look at Tyler's most recent Instagram post, you'll understand exactly why his followers are so pumped.

Cameron posted some shirtless pics, which is the type of move that always earns an enthusiastic response from his fans.

Tyler Cameron Sans Shirt

And this time, they were even more excited than usual, as his caption hints at some big news just around the corner.

"Got a whole lot to smile about! Exciting stuff coming. Love you all!" Tyler wrote.

For years, fans have been rooting for Cameron to be cast as the Bachelor, but the problem is, the guy is rarely single!

Tyler Cameron Is Shirtless

After his time on the show, Tyler dated Gigi Hadid for a brief period.

Then, there were rumors of Cameron and Hannah Brown hooking up.

After that, Tyler entered a relationship with model Camilla Kendra.

Tyler Cameron, No Shirt Needed

That relationship recently came to an end, and it seems the split was anything but amicable.

Cameron hasn't spoken publicly about the breakup, but his recent tweets seem to make his feelings on the subject quite clear.

“The things people say and do to save face is quite comical,” he wrote.

Tyler Cameron on the Finale

“Things were going well until they weren’t,” an insider recently told Us Weekly.

“Friends were surprised things ended so quickly.”

The source went on to confirm that it was Camila who decided to end things.

Tyler Cameron

“Camila broke off the relationship,” the insider explained.

“It was time for her to refocus on her own very lucrative career.”

So expect to see a slightly broken-hearted Tyler Cameron coming to your screen sometime in 2022.

We're sure fans will love it even if he never takes his shirt off!

Bachelor Nation: Which Couples Are Still Together?

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

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

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

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

Have there been exceptions to this rule?

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

Nevertheless, it's an arduous, uphill battle.

See Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt. Oof. Or Peter Weber and Hannah Ann, or Peter 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. Dude was 0-for-3 in 2020!

The fact is, it's hard out there for duos spawned by this franchise to make it work, as we saw repeatedly last year.

If you recall, Colton and Cassie broke up last summer. Followed by Becca and Garrett. Then even Ashley and J.P.

Such a brutal year, 2020.

Fortunately, 2021 is looking up Clare and Dale back on, Tayshia and Zac going strong, and now Katie and Blake.

Heck, even Matt and Rachael are giving it another go after his disaster of a season. Perhaps there is hope yet!

Looking back now, which duos are still living happily ever after after the final rose was bestowed?

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

1. Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes

Katie thurston and blake moynes engaged
Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes are engaged after The Bachelorette finale and banging each other senseless in the honeymoon phase of their surely happy relationship. Will it last is the question. While doubts persist, particularly after the controversial departure of suitor Greg Grippo, and that may make for great gossip fodder, it's way too early to know - and we don't count Blake and Katie out. They are clearly very into each other and seem to have the same shared goals and dreams. Here's hoping they continue the recent hot (or at least lukewarm) streak from the franchise's pairings.

2. Clare Crawley and Dale Moss

Clare crawley and dale moss on the gram
Where to begin with Clare Crawley and Dale Moss? These two got engaged after like two weeks, peaced out of the show, and were head over heels in love before a host of usual suspects - cheating allegations, long-distance relationships, conflicting priorities, the stress of the spotlight, the honeymoon phase wearing off - derailed their romance in spectacular fashion in early 2021. Is it possible for a breakup to be surprising and yet not at all? Not as surprising as the fact that they quietly reconciled after that and appear to be making it work. Honestly, did anyone see that coming?

3. Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark

Zac clark picture
Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark, on the other hand, appear happy as can be - at least for the time being. Almost boringly so, from a gossip standpoint! After she took over The Bachelorette when Clare bounced with Dale, she went on to enjoy a relatively conventional season, culminating in an engagement to Zac. We wish these two all the best, as they certainly do seem like a great fit. You just never get your hopes up too high as a fan these days.

4. Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell

Rachael kirkconnell with matt
What a mess. What a complete and utter mess. An unmitigated disaster that the show will take a long time to recover from, if it ever does, no one can take away the fact that it was, truly, the most shocking season in Bachelor history. (Ironically, Chris Harrison stepped down at the end of it.) Of course Matt James, hyped for months as the first Black Bachelor, would end up giving Rachael Kirkconnell - who came under fire for racially insensitive photos and comments - his final rose. He never even proposed to her (no promise ring, no nothing) on the finale, which is probably the only good news producers could've hoped for, as their Valentine's Day breakup (a month before the season finale even aired) was relatively quick and painless. Yet, after all that, we're here eating our words in August 2021, as these two are back together again, living their lives, and seemingly oblivious to criticism. Who would've ever guessed?

5. 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.

6. 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.
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Ben Higgins Admits to Mental Breakdown: What Role Did The Bachelor Play?

Ben Higgins has made an unfortunate admission as part of a recent podcast interview:

The former Bachelor lead says things are not exactly rosy for him these days.

Sitting down with Trista Sutter on the latest episode of “Better Etc.," Higgins got very real and very candd about how being in the public eye has impacted his mental health.

Five years after anchoring this ABC smash hit, Higgins admitted he's returned to his native state to do some much-needed soul searching.

Ben Higgins on Instagram

“I am back in Indiana right now because of a breakdown, again, in my life where I don’t know what’s happening,” Higgins said on air.

“I don’t know what this next season of life looks like for me.

"I’m farther and farther removed from the show, and at the same time, I need to figure out what my life is going to look like and what my legacy is going to be.”

Higgins is engaged to a woman named Jessica Clarke and said his troubles have nothing to do with their relationship.

Ben Higgins, Jessica

Without delving too deeply into specifics, Higgins said he's trying to keep a positive attitude.

"It's a really exciting season. The seasons are unfamiliar to me, but it's also really hard because I'm at a low place," he continued.

"I don't see myself as this thriving figure right now. I'm kind of lamenting and separating myself from a lot of things that I've held close."

ben h

Higgins made his small screen debut on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s of The Bachelorette in 2015.

He finished as second runner-up and was later named the lead for season 20 of The Bachelor.

As such, Ben proposed to Lauren Bushnell during the March 2016 finale, only the pair ended their engagement in May 2017.

Landing this lead role opened the door to many opportunities for Higgins, however, even if it didn't end with a marriage.

Ben Higgins and Fiancee

“All of a sudden I go from feeling like I’m an outsider to, over a period of time, having enough people tell me that I’m awesome to start feeling pretty good about [myself],” he said on Tuesday.

“I start building an identity around that. I started to really feel like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is the thing that I was needing to fill me...

"'I’ll be in the in-group forever.'”

Eventually, though?

Ben Higgins with Jessica Clarke

Higgins confessed to Sutter that his “infatuation” for fame “started to fade" -- and the more he tried to “reach” to stay relevant, the more he felt like he’d “lost” himself.

He explains:

“I was living not just for other people, but just for other people’s attention."

Pretty interesting, right?

Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke

Yes, being a part of Bachelor Nation "might be the best thing that ever happened" to him, Higgins said, he acknowledged that he's also not sure of his place within that world anymore

"I don't know how to make it my purpose now. I don't know what to do with it anymore," he said on Sutter's podcast.

"It's not really a piece of me anymore. I can talk about it, I can share my experience about it but ultimately, I was just telling Jess this the other day, I was like:

"'I feel like my only role in the Bachelor now is to be there for the contestants that want me to be there for them.'"

Ben Higgins, Fiancee

Earlier this year, Higgins opened up about his past addiction to pain killers, having thankfully overcome the obstacle several years ago.

Higgins said he now understands first-hand "how good it feels when fame is just being poured all over you."

But he also understands how "hard it feels when that's ripped away from you and people move on and a new generation comes up through and you don't even understand them."

Again: Pretty interesting, right?

Ben Higgins in a Tanktop

We send our absolute best to Ben Higgins and we salute him for his honesty.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Rachel Lindsay Reacts to Chris Harrison Leaving The Bachelor: I’m Shocked!

Rachel Lindsay is not about to do any victory laps.

She knows better than that.

But the first-ever Black Bachelorette, who has become a leading critic of this franchise ever since her run concluded, had to say something about Chris Harrison, you know?

Lindsay was front and center, after all, for the scandal that ended up leading to the host's permanent departure from ABC.

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay on Set

Indeed:

On Tuesday afternoon, Harrison confirmed that he won't be returning as emcee of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise.

"I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter," Harrison wrote on yesterday via Instagram, adding:

"I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime."

Chris Harrison Bachelorette Photo

This development was a long time coming, for anyone who has been paying attention.

Back in February, Harrison appeared as a guest on Extra and spoke to Lindsay about a number of social media posts from Bachelor suitor Rachael Kirkconnell's past.

Harrison responded to the controversy of, for example, Kirkconnell having attended a plantation-themed party just three years ago, but asking for critics to show Rachael "grace" and for seemingly hurling shade at the "woke police."

It was a pretty bad look for Harrison at the time.

Chris with a Rose

He has since apologized on multiple occasions and he announced late this winter that he'd be taking a temporary break from his hosting duties.

Alas, that break is no longer temporary.

Sources claim that Harrison will walk away from The Bachelor with millions of dollars in his bank account, prepared for whatever job lies ahead.

What does Lindsay think of the departure?

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay

"I wasn't expecting for it to happen, not after the announcement," the 36-year-old former Bachelorette star said in a conversation with Extra host Billy Bush last night.

Lindsay added that she believes fans and viewers can only "speculate" at the reasons behind Harrison's exit.

Was it by his own volition?

Or, after Harrison claimed a few months ago that he planned to be back, was he forced out?

Chris Harrison Profile Picture

"I think several past contestants coming forward and saying they didn't want him to be part of Paradise.

"I think Katie Thurston, her very last tweet before she went to film her season was that Chris needed to step away," Lindsay continued.

"I think that, coupled with the interview that happened on this very stage, maybe led to him not coming back."

Thurston - the current Bachelorette, who was also on Matt James' season - Tweeted on February 26 that she "will always be a Rachel Lindsay supporter."

Chris Harrison for The Bachelor

Lindsay did her best to remain diplomatic in responding to the Harrison news. 

"Well, it's been 19 years and if you do watch the show we saw less and less of Chris," she said on Extra.

"19 years is a big accomplishment. Maybe that's the case. We don't know. Maybe they were ready to move on."

For the first time since 2002, a different host (or hosts, as the case has proven to be, between Tayshia Adams and Kailtyn Bristowe) took to The Bachelorette stage this past Monday night when Thurston made her debut.

Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison Photo

Deadline, which broke the news of Harrison's departure, reported that the host will receive an eight-figure payout to step away and stay mum about his exit.

He almost definitely signed a non-disclosure agreement, so we shouldn't expect him to spill any secret any time down the line.

Lindsay, for her part, reiterated this week on Extra that she previously said she accepted Harrison's apology for how he mishandled the Kirkconnell saga.

"I still stand by that," she said. "I do. I think that's the way to move forward."

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!
View Slideshow

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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