Matt James Says He Felt ‘Pressure’ to Choose a Black Woman on ‘The Bachelor’

ABC Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell are back on and stronger than ever.

Matt James opened up about his experience on “The Bachelor,” revealing that he felt a lot of pressure to choose a Black woman in the end. His candid admission came during on the Friday, September 24, 2021, episode of “The Ellen Degeneres Show.”

During an episode of “The Bachelor,” Matt told then-host Chris Harrison that he was frustrated on the show. “It’s like, people want me to end up with a certain type of person. And I get that… My mom is white, my dad is Black… You’ve got people cheering for you to find love and then you have people cheering for you to end up with a specific person of a specific race. That’s something that kept me up at night. It’s like, I don’t want to piss off Black people, I don’t want to piss off white people, but I’m both of those, you know what I mean? It’s like, how do I please everybody?” Matt said at the time.

Matt ended up choosing Rachael Kirkconnell on the finale. The two have solidified their relationship after wrapping “The Bachelor” and they appear to be stronger than ever before.

The couple spent the summer traveling together, spending time in different parts of the country, and really getting to know each other better. Now, with Matt competing on the current season of “Dancing With the Stars,” Rachael has been in Los Angeles to cheer on her main man — and she’s been helping him practice his steps after rehearsals.

“She’s been my dance partner outside of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I come back and try to apply the same lessons that I learned during my rehearsals. She’s been keeping me in shape,” Matt told People magazine in an interview that was published on September 8, 2021.

And while things are working out for Matt, he admits that it wasn’t easy.

Here’s what you need to know:


Matt Shared That He Felt ‘Pressure’ to Choose a Black Woman on ‘The Bachelor’


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It’s no secret that Matt didn’t have the easiest time on “The Bachelor,” and has admitted that he felt pressure to choose a Black woman to give his final rose to. Matt revealed this during an interview on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” that was guest-hosting by Arsenio Hall.

“It was a lot,” Matt said, telling Arsenio that he has a Black father and a white mother. “There was pressure on both sides, but ultimately, your heart leads you where love is and that’s what I followed,” Matt shared.

Although Matt and Rachael took some time apart back in March following a controversy that involved photos of Rachael at an Old South ball back in 2018 surfacing online, the two talked things out and were able to move forward.

“You’ve got to be very stern in how you feel about things. You don’t want to rush things, so we take things day by day and we’re very much in love and very happy right now,” Matt told Arsenio.


Matt Shared a Sweet Message for Rachael on Her Birthday

On September 26, 2021, Rachael celebrated her 25th birthday — and Matt took advantage of the special day to make sure to let everyone know just how special she is to him. He also shared a special role that she has in his life, beyond being his girlfriend.

In honor of Rachael’s birthday, Matt shared a post that included some of his favorite memories and photos of his girlfriend. In the caption, he wrote a bible quote.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6 reads.

Matt went on to call Rachael his “emergency contact,” which very well may have been an inside joke, or could have been Matt’s way of showing that he and Rachael are very serious, despite a few hiccups along the way.

Matt ended his post with a simple “I love you,” which marks the first time that he’s written those words about Rachael on social media… ever.

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