Matt James is a new face who will be the first lead of The Bachelor in 13 years who didn’t previously appear on The Bachelorette. But the season won’t be completely made up of strangers. According to spoilers expert Reality Steve, a former contestant will show up to compete for James’ heart.
Update: Reality Steve says the woman is Heather Martin from season 23 of The Bachelor. Martin is best remembered as “never been kissed” girl, who said her on-screen kiss with Colton Underwood was her first ever. She made it to the final six before deciding to go home on her own accord with hometown visits looming.
In the nearly two years since her time on The Bachelor, Martin has remained close with fellow contestant Hannah Brown, who was eliminated on the same episode in season 23. Brown went on to become The Bachelorette and has become close with new Bachelor Matt James in 2020.
According to Reality Steve, Martin arrives after the first night and “it’s clear this was put together by Hannah Brown.” Alas, it doesn’t work out and James sends her home the same night she tries to join the group of contestants. We’ll have to wait and see his reasoning, but it’s not an unprecedented situation.
In November, Reality Steve reported that Brown was on the set of The Bachelor, but he confirmed that she wasn’t there to be a contestant. That feels obvious considering her prior relationship with James’ best friend, Tyler Cameron, and the fact that Brown has referred to James as her “BFF.” Brown will likely make a quick appearance to help with a group date, something Bachelor Nation alumni do frequently.
Martin Won’t Be the First Bachelor/Bachelorette Returnee
We’ll have to wait and see what drama is stirred up when Martin crashes an already crowded group of contestants on James’ season. Previous returnees have had mixed results at getting a shot at love on a second try.
When Chris Bukowski, a final four contestant on season eight of The Bachelorette, tried to join the cast on season 10, he was turned away by Andi Dorfman who didn’t want another man added to the mix. Ben Flajnik made the same decision on season 16 of The Bachelor when Shawntel Newton tried to join the list of contestants on week three.
Nick Viall, on the other hand, returned for season 11 of The Bachelorette after finishing as the runner-up on season 10. During season 20 of The Bachelor, two contestants from season 19 — Becca Tilley and Amber James — both returned and were given the opportunity to compete.
Most recently, Brown seemed to legitimately consider the possibility of joining Peter Weber’s cast of women on season 24 of The Bachelor. After a lengthy conversation that included Weber asking Brown if she’d be interested in being a contestant, the pair agreed that it was best they go their separate ways.
James’ Season Will Be Filmed in a Bubble
This season of The Bachelorette has looked pretty different as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of extravagant dates in incredible places all over the globe, the group of men competing for Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams has been sequestered at La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, California.
James’ season will be similar, even if it’s a change of scenery. The Bachelor was filmed at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, beginning in September.
The timeline and location were just about the only clues Bachelor Nation had about the mystery woman. That led some to believe the woman could be Maurissa Gunn. She was eliminated night one of Weber’s season and recently disappeared from social media for most of September and October.
Martin slipped under the radar because her Instagram hasn’t had any significant lapses over the last couple of months. But it turns out a one-night stint on The Bachelor won’t tie up your Instagram.
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