Rachael Kirkconnell Says ‘Bachelor’ Producers Were ‘Disappointed’ Matt Chose Her

Rachael Kirkconnell & Matt James

Getty Rachael Kirkconnell & Matt James

Rachael Kirkconnell is speaking out about her time on the “Bachelor.” The 26-year-old was a guest on Bri Springs’ podcast “Ya, but who cares?” in October and the former reality star spilled some behind-the-scenes secrets about the popular franchise.

Kirkconnell, who is currently dating former “Bachelor” Matt James, hinted that producers did not want her and James to end up together.

Here’s what you need to know


Rachael Says Producers Were ‘Disappointed’ By Matt’s Pick

During her October appearance on “Ya, but who cares?”, Kirkconnell dished about the season 25 finale, which aired in the winter of 2021, telling host Bri Springs that she suspected producers were disappointed in Matt’s final decision.

“Talking with Matt about it — they did do, like, probably everything they could to to get us to not be together because they didn’t want us to be together,” she confessed.

“The finale, when we were wrapping filming up — you guys, it’s hilarious. They couldn’t have been more disappointed,” she added. “He handed me that final rose and as we’re, like, doing our final interview, they’re literally breaking apart the set. Not one single person, like, came and was like, ‘Congrats or I’m happy for you guys.’ Didn’t even say bye. There were people that I spent two months with that packed it up and were like, ‘We failed. Failure of a season and it hadn’t even aired yet.’ That’s what it felt like.”

On the podcast, both Kirkconnell and Springs said they thought the show was hoping James would end up with a woman of color.


Rachael Addresses “Bachelor” Controversy

In the October interview, Kirkconnell also touched on the controversy that followed her appearance on “The Bachelor.”

For fans who may not remember, the Georgia native faced backlash from fans after a photo of her attending an Old South, Antebellum-themed party surfaced online.

The “Bachelor” star addressed the controversy in a February 2021 Instagram post, telling fans she “didn’t recognize how offensive and racist” her actions were.

Kirkconnell followed up her initial statement with a seven-minute video posted to her Instagram later that month.

“Moving forward i will utilize my platform to amplify voices that are extremely knowledgeable in these subjects,” she wrote in the caption of the February 25 post. “Please go to my story for IG handles, links to explain my offenses, and my link in bio for more resources which i will continue to add to. please look into these platforms and sources, this is the first step for change.”

Kirkconnell spoke about the controversy on the podcast, telling Springs she felt “pushed” to write a statement instead of addressing the situation in a video.

“I was pushed to write a written statement and not speak to my followers, like, with my face and whatnot … by the show and by producers,” she said.

“I feel like that kind of backfired,” she continued. “People were either like, ‘Wow, she can’t even like say it.’ And then the other half was like ‘Wow, this was actually really well written, like, props to whoever wrote this for her.’ No one actually thought it was even from me.”

The controversy caused a rift in Kirkconnell and James’ relationship and the two even split for a brief time.

Rumors that the “Bachelor” stars had reconnected surfaced in the spring 2021 after fans spotted the two hanging out in New York City, People magazine reported.

Kirkconnell and James are still going strong since their reconciliation last spring. Kirkconnell showed her appreciation for her boyfriend in a November 7 Instagram post.

The season 25 winner shared a photo of her and James to celebrate him running the New York City marathon.

“You inspire me every single day, but especially on days like this one ,” she wrote in the caption. “Congrats to everyone who ran the nyc marathon yesterday, you’re all crazy and I freaking love it 🖤.”

“Bachelor in Paradise” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC.

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