For a franchise that loves to hype up each season as the “most dramatic yet,” Matt James’ season of The Bachelor really outdid itself with real-world drama surrounding Rachael Kirkconnell’s racial controversy, Chris Harrison’s downfall, and the bullying between the women in the house.
In the season finale, Matt James expressed some doubts about his final two women: Rachael and Michelle Young.
After Michelle gave him a jersey with his name on it (and a matching one for herself that read “Mrs. James), Matt decided it was the perfect time to break her heart. He explained that he didn’t feel the same way about her as she did for him.
“I just want clarity,” Michelle said about his feelings, to which he responded: “I don’t think I could get there with you.”
And thus… that left us with one woman standing: Rachael.
But does she get the final rose?
Matt still had doubts because he took what his mother said about love not being enough to sustain a relationship. He took that into consideration and questioned whether or not he was “there.” He realized he wasn’t sure that was ready to make a big decision or commitment like marriage regardless of the woman.
“What do I tell Rachael,” he questioned, adding, “Rushing into something I’m not ready for is… I’m not willing to make the same mistake my dad did.”
Harrison then informed Rachael that there wouldn’t be a date that evening because Matt was confused and needed some time. Naturally, she took it personally and broke down crying.
After some time to think it over, Matt revealed that he’s never felt this way before and that he knew he loved Rachael.
During their last meeting, Rachael poured her heart out and said she’d choose him everyday from here on out, through the good and bad.
Matt said that he saw what rushing a marriage did to his mom and his family and explained it’s not something he wants for them. “That’s why I can’t propose to you today,” he said, adding, “but that doesn’t mean I want to lose you.”
He explained that he wants to live his life with Rachael and wants to commit to her and build on what they started during their Bachelor journey.
“I’m in love you, and I see you as my wife and the mother of my kids,” he said.
So, while there’s no proposal, there is a future for Rachael and Matt… that is until those photos from the antebellum photos surfaced. All of that will be addressed during the “After the Rose” ceremony hosted by Emmanuel Acho.
During the “After the Rose” post-show, Matt revealed that his relationship with Rachael did not overcome the controversy.
“I’m really sorry that I hurt you,” Rachael told him in their first post-breakup meeting. Despite her apologies, Matt said he couldn’t get back together as she still had a lot to do. And though it was painful, the duo went their separate ways.
Chris Harrison Leaving ‘The Bachelor’ Franchise After 19 Years
After hosting The Bachelor for nearly 20 years, Chris Harrison is leaving the show.
His exit follows the February controversy in which he defended Season 25 contestant Rachel Kirkconnell after photos of her at an Antebellum party in 2018 surfaced. At the time, he defended Kirkconnell’s actions stating that they only looked bad through a 2021 lens.
He since apologized publicly on Twitter stating he promised to do better and took a hiatus from hosting in which he became “educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”
However, Variety reports that despite Harrison’s desire to stay on the show, the incident’s escalation pushed Harrison’s lawyers to devise an exit strategy. A settlement was reached with Warner Horizon along the lines of eight figures.
With the hiatus becoming permanent, Warner Horizon and ABC issued a joint statement: “We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”
While there has been no permanent replacement for the host of the franchise, the current Season 17 of The Bachelorette is being hosted by previous contestants Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. And this summer’s Bachelor in Paradise will be hosted by David Spade, among a rotation of other celebrities.
Harrison took to Instagram to express his gratitude and confirm his exit: “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. 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.”
Best Tweets from Tonight’s ‘The Bachelor’ Finale and ‘After the Rose’
Tonight is the night.
Does Matt James make the right choice between Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young on the season finale of The Bachelor Season 25?
And what did Twitter have to say? Find out who won Matt James’ season now.
Here are the best tweets:
Emmanuel: you ready to see Matt?
Rachael: no I’m not
— Lauren (@lperkowski3) March 16, 2021
— nic ミ☆ (@dwtsbach) March 16, 2021
— Nadja (@itsnadjanicole) March 16, 2021
“You can love someone and still want them to do better.”
— Geena Arevalo (@GeenaA_WAVY) March 16, 2021
— Chloe Crozier (@ChloeCrozier) March 16, 2021
— Rachel Tal (@rachelmtal) March 16, 2021
Matt James 20 times an episode: pic.twitter.com/Zr2I3O5b8J
— Bob Lunch (@miladyramos_) March 16, 2021
— Natalie Caballero (@NatCaballero5) March 16, 2021
— erin carley (@erincarleyxo) March 16, 2021
— J (@juliesgotjuice) March 16, 2021
— FIRE HOWIE ROSEMAN ✨ (@meerkatttttt) March 16, 2021
— Rachel Ferry Thoms (@ChachyFerry) March 16, 2021
— K & S (@90day_bachelor) March 16, 2021
— SB (@MonieeLovee_) March 16, 2021
— Kara (@kdeyerme) March 16, 2021
Listen, I want Matt to make the best decision for himself. I also get TV is smoke and mirrors. However, Matt and Michelle seem so much more connected than he and Rachel. #TheBachelor #TheBachelorFinale #Bach
— BlakeClifton (@BlakeCNorman) March 16, 2021
— yams (@aquariusneptune) March 16, 2021
— Served Hot N Ready (@cancel_2020) March 16, 2021
— Lex (@alexis_menard) March 16, 2021
— L (@LMo_Rouge) March 16, 2021
— Alyssa Schifano (@alyssaschifano) March 16, 2021
— Joy ⭐️ (@joydanielleeee) March 16, 2021
— wotv4women (@WOTV4Women) March 16, 2021
— Bachelor(ette) Highlights (@bachspilltea) March 16, 2021
— Tundun (@Tundun7611) March 16, 2021
Here’s Who Is Replacing Chris Harrison on ‘The Bachelorette’ Next Season
Chris Harrison’s future with The Bachelor franchise remains uncertain.
“Bachelorette” alums Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will serve as co-hosts and temporarily replace Harrison amid the ongoing controversy surrounding his comments defending Rachael Kirkconnell. The latest Bachelor contestant from Matt James’ season was dragged online after photos of her attending an antebellum plantation party surfaced.
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ‘The Bachelorette.’ We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing,” according to a joint statement from ABC Entertainment and Warner Horizon, obtained by Variety.
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) March 13, 2021
“In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season,” the statement continues. “As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”
It’s unclear what this means for his future with the franchise.
After defending Kirkconnell while speaking with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, Harrison announced he would not be hosting the “After the Rose” segment following The Bachelor finale. It was announced that former linebacker Emmanuel Acho would be stepping in instead.
The upcoming season of The Bachelorette is set to begin filming next week. Cast and crew are reportedly quarantining in New Mexico.
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