Fans first saw James’ beard in action on the “Men Tell All” special. He kept it long for the “After the Final Rose” special as well, and some fans have been hoping that he’d take a razor to his face sooner rather than later.
Comments on an August 9, 2021, Reddit post about James landing a Lululemon sponsorship offer a glimpse into fans’ feelings about the facial hair. “I would shave that god awful creature on his face in his sleep if I was Rachel,” one commenter wrote. In response, another said, “…please make it go away, run home back to its rat mother in a ditch somewhere … That beard is the stuff of nightmares.”
On September 1, 2021, Us Weekly confirmed that James would be competing on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.” James hasn’t confirmed the news himself, but he is expected to start practicing soon and is already in Los Angeles. With the exciting news, we wondered if James would be shaving ahead of his ballroom and debut, and, well, it happened!
James debuted his fresh face on Instagram on September 1.
Here’s what you need to know:
James Agreed to Shave if His Followers Did Him a Favor on Instagram
The day before Us Weekly reported that James was going to be on “DWTS,” the former “Bachelor” told his fans that he would shave his beard if they all followed the @BlockFi Instagram account.
The goal for James to shave his beard was 50,000 followers. A short while after his original Instagram Story was posted, he noted that the account’s follower count was over 30,000. Matt lowered the bar to 40,000 — and fans came through. And so did he.
According to E! News, James teamed up with a company called Lettuce Grow for his big reveal. He shared a video on Instagram to share a new initiative that he’s a part of. “We are all set to give away 50 @lettucegrow Farmstands to educators and pediatric/occupational therapists across the country for our back to school campaign!” his caption read, in part.
Knowing now, however, that he was joining “DWTS,” it seems reasonable to assume that James was going to shave either way. While his beard may have been a fun change for him, he’s embracing a smooth face for his next television gig.
It Took James Hours to Shave His Beard
In an interview with Pop Culture, James revealed, “the beard is gone. I shaved it last night.” He had a friend film the process, which took “like three hours,” according to James. While it’s possible that fans will see some of the footage on “DWTS,” James made the most of the big shave; he’s “turning the footage into an NFT” for a future project, Pop Culture reports.
“I’ve never had something so polarizing on me even when I had dreads,” he told the outlet.
The feedback so far has been super positive.
“Good to see the ole Matt!!” one Instagram user commented on a video that James posted showing him without his bushy beard.
“And suddenly I like Matt again !!!!!” added another.
“You look awesome,” a third person wrote.
“Finally the old Matt is back,” echoed a fourth.