Controversial Bachelor Matt James had one of the most provocative seasons of “The Bachelor” ever. Season 25 winner, Rachael Kirkconnell, was a major part of the controversy. After being accused of racist behaviors, which ultimately resulted in Chris Harrison’s departure from the show when the outspoken host defended her, many thought James and Kirkconnell’s relationship was over. On “After the Final Rose,” James essentially said as much.
As many “Bachelor” fans know, however, the break-up was short-lived. In fact, James announced in an Almost Famous podcast interview on April 26, 2022 that “What you didn’t see on the ‘Final Rose’ was that we left the stage hand-in-hand.”
Matt James Admits That Marriage with Rachael Kirkconnell Is the ‘Endgame’
Podcast host, Justin Sylvester asked James, “Speaking of Rachael, we noticed, where’s that bling?” Sylvester injected the question into a conversation he and the other two hosts, Loni Love and Bobby Berk, were having with James about his new memoir, “First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations with a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness.”
Sylvester continued, “What’s going on? Is marriage still the endgame?” James replied, “I think marriage is always the endgame when…at my stage of the game.” He followed up by saying, “I’m not gonna, I’m not in the business of wasting anybody’s time, and I think the good thing about our relationship is we go at our own pace. And you’ve seen with other couples, you know, they force the engagement and they’re not together anymore. So, I think what we got is a working recipe and we’re gonna get there.”
James Feels His Season of “The Bachelorette” Did Not Go Deep Enough
The conversation quickly turned to James’ dissatisfaction with his portrayal on “The Bachelorette.” The 30-year-old has been very vocal about how he thinks the show was edited to portray a particular storyline, which is a common theme in his new book.
James told E! News, “there’s a lot more to my story than, like, how it came about, and like I went deep. Like I talked about real s*** with the people on the show…and when a lot of that didn’t come across, I felt like it just lacked depth that we could have capitalized on, being the first Black bachelor and having important conversations.”
James and the hosts then laughed when they discussed how James did not even know he was the first Black bachelor when he was quarantining before the show.
Because James was the first Black bachelor, racial issues were already a major theme of his season. When actions from Kirkconnell’s past came to the surface, the racial tension exploded. Many fans are still upset that James and Kirkconnell are happily dating and moving toward marriage.
One Reddit user posted, “everyone was on matt’s side the whole time….like matt, YOU were against her too until you had a “change of heart.”
Another Reddit poster observed, “While some fans had his back and felt bad for him, lots of them didn’t and he’s still being judged for staying with her and choosing to give her a second chance.”
An Instagram post read, “What a joke they are.” But it seems as if the couple remains pretty serious. Although James has not busted out the ring yet, his recent podcast interview at E! indicates an engagement will probably happen.