We’ll accept his rose: Matt James proves to be a strong lead on The Bachelor


Matt James makes history as the first Black lead on “The Bachelor” photo credit: https://abc.com/shows/the-bachelor/cast/bachelor-2021-matt-james

Tara Goff

*This post contains spoilers for season 25 of The Bachelor*

Following a controversial season with the very conflicted Peter Weber, also known as “Pilot Pete”, as the lead of the series, The Bachelor fans feel season 25 is going to be much rosier. The lead, Matt James, though never having appeared on the franchise before, is already loved by the audience for his kind-heart, strong values, and of course, good looks.

A family-man originally from North Carolina, James, 29, now works as a real-estate broker in New York City, however is also the founder of ABC Food Tours, an organization designed to help under-privileged kids. James engages with them by feeding them, playing with them, and helping teach them about overall well-being. 

Many fans have gotten to know more about James over the quarantine, as he is best friends with Tyler Cameron, frontrunner on season 15 of The Bachelorette. It was Cameron’s mom, who passed away in 2020, who nominated James. He says, “I think she saw how much it meant to Tyler and how much he grew as a man, and how much she wanted that for me.”

Being the first Black bachelor, James has put pressure on himself. He told Chris Harrison, the show’s host, on night one that he finds “You’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love, and you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person – a specific person of a specific race. That’s something that has kept me up at night.” Despite his own hesitation, fans are pleased at the growing diversity of the show. This feeling heightened when James gave the first impression rose to Abigail Heringer, who wears a cochlear implant for a hearing impairment. No matter how the season ends, it for sure will go down in history.

Easy-going personalities such as Heringer match that of James, causing fans to stir with excitement. The season seems to have lots of quality contenders for the final rose, a pleasant surprise given a common lack of maturity among contestants. Other frontrunners include Bri Springs, who got the first one-on-one date, Sarah Trott, who unfortunately sent herself home, and Rachael Kirkconnell, a Georgia resident herself. On the other hand, some seem loud and too much to handle, such as Victoria Larson, who refers to herself as “the Queen” and constantly fights for James’s attention, even if it is at the expense of other girls. She even stooped low enough to make up lies that ultimately sent Marylynn Sienna home, and bullied Trott, who was already hesitant about the process. Despite the chaos, James keeps a cool demeanor, trying to divide his attention between all and play the mediator. Read more about James’s ladies here.

In other Bachelor franchise news, The Bachelorette’s original season 16 lead, Clare Crawley, and her fiancé, Dale Moss, have ended their engagement. Crawley called it quits as the lead not far into her season, claiming Moss was her prince charming. Unfortunately, it seems as though the couple will not be riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

Watch The Bachelor on Monday nights at 8 PM EST on ABC, or for free on the ABC website here.