Was Matt James on The Bachelor for love or fame?


By Emily Heath, Reporter



Matt James started poorly on the most recent season of ABC’s The Bachelor, which began January 2021. The frustrating season was filmed in Farmington, Pennsylvania, where the decisions made by one man broke the hearts of many.

ABC Network’s The Bachelor is a nationally televised show of one man trying to find his one true love while dating multiple women all at once. Many men and women go on the show as a way for fame while others are in it to win it and find their true love, and yet out of the 25 seasons, only 14 of them ended in an engagement.  Matt James debuted as the first black bachelor, and the man of many women’s dreams in the 25th season of the show. 

Unfortunately, season 25 of The Bachelor is the worst season of The Bachelor by far. Decisions made by the bachelor himself resulted in negative outlooks on the season as a whole. 

The first reason why season 25 of The Bachelor was far from successful was the way James treated the women in the house. He failed to take the feelings of the show’s female contestants into account when making his decisions. His actions resulted in the heartbreak of several girls who were there for the right reasons, all the while those who were there for the fame got what they wanted. Contestants like Michelle, Rachel, Abigail, Bri, Katie, and a few others were all there for the love; on the other hand, girls such as Victoria, Anna, Kit, and Jessenia were on The Bachelor for fame rather than finding their true life partner with James. James’ attempt to be a “successful contestant” brought to light his true character in the end. 

Another reason why season 25 was the worst season to air was because of the actions of James. There were multiple instances where girls talked behind each other’s backs and engaged in hurtful acts, but James did not stop any of it. He was fully aware of what was going on inside of the house, but continued on, disregarding the way the women were toxically treating each other. For example, many women brought the action of one girl Victoria to his attention: she had been telling the other women that she was better than them, and pointing out all their flaws. She harassed new contestants and talked poorly about everyone who was also “dating” James. When brought to his attention, James brushed Victoria’s actions off and acted like nothing was wrong. In fact, he did not send Victoria home until he began to receive criticism from the public. These actions made James out to be a man who refused to acknowledge the actions of his possible future wife.

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the season, James decided not to propose to any of the girls whom he had been with for weeks on end. Although Rachel Kirkconnell, a graphic designer from Georgia with whom James claimed to be in love, was the winner, she did not find herself engaged to James at the end of the season. Apparently, Kirkconnell attended a plantation-themed fraternity party in 2018, and photographed herself at the event. Kirkconnell claimed that the party was just part of Greek life, and said she immediately deleted the pictures from the racist event from social media because she felt that they did not represent who she was and her own personal opinions. She knew the theme of the event was wrong, and was ashamed of her actions, doing the best to fix what she could. James was unable to let the situation go, and was actually extremely harsh about it despite Kirkconnell’s endless apologies. After the photos resurfaced, Kirkconnell was subjected to very strong criticism from the public and had to face the consequences from a party attended many years before. James played an over-exaggerated victim and made Kirkconnell look like a terrible person on live television. Kirkconnell has since made it more than clear that the photos are a poor representation of who she is as a person, and that she regrets every moment of the party. 

Season 25 of The Bachelor angered those who watched due to the fact that James did not take into account the feelings of the girls who were there for the right reason. His actions on the show seemed designed to make himself look like a good person, and he made sure to play the victim in every situation.

So, if you enjoy screaming at your TV over terrible decisions made by a man, then season 25 of The Bachelor is the show for you. 



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