SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you do not want to see potential spoilers for season 25 of The Bachelor! While season 16 of The Bachelorette is currently airing on ABC, viewers should not look to Clare Crawley’s suitors for the next lead of The Bachelor. Originally cast to date her, Matt James was removed from the cast list when it was announced in June on Good Morning America he would be the Bachelor for season 25.
James’ casting marks the first Black lead of The Bachelor and only the second of the franchise, after former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. He will mark the first Bachelor since Matt Grant to appear as The Bachelor without prior experience on a Bachelor Nation show. However, fans of the reality show may recognize him for his friendship with fan-favorite Tyler Cameron.
“While much of Bachelor Nation has fallen in love with him already, many will meet the 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder on his journey to find love for the first time,” according to his ABC biography.
Here’s what we know about his season thus far:
The Bachelor Is Filming in Pennsylvania
Season 25 of The Bachelor is filming at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania, reports Reality Steve.
“Situated on 2,000 acres, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, located in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania, features luxurious guestrooms, suites, townhomes and luxury vacation homes,” according to the resort’s website. The location also features a golf course, spa, rock course and outdoors sports facility.
This location will allow for a more seamless production “partly due to the every-changing production protocols in the state of California” according to host Chris Harrison in an interview with Variety. Like Crawley’s season, the entire season will be filmed at one resort for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans of the franchise may recognize the location from an episode of JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette. It has also recently been featured on the social media accounts of former Bachelor-Peter Weber and his contestant-turned-girlfriend Kelly Flanagan.
Filming Has Already Begun
See y’all in 2 months ❤️✌🏽
— Matt James (@mattjames919) September 23, 2020
James’ season of The Bachelor is already underway, with filming beginning on October 10, according to Reality Steve. He also reported the first date took place on October 12, with 10 minutes of fireworks concluding around 11 p.m. local time.
Rumors began to swirl that James’ season was already filming, especially after he tweeted, “See y’all in two months.” While Harrison denied the initial reports, his girlfriend Lauren Zima who is a correspondent on Entertainment Tonight, wrote on October 9, “He gone! Chris Harrison left for two months to film a fabulous little show called #TheBachelor. We got a goodbye dinner and some good wine in,” on Instagram.
The season is on track to premiere in January 2021, as is typical of the series.
He Already Handed out His First Impression Rose
Abigail Heringer of Salem, Oregon received James’ first impression rose, according to Reality Steve. The Client Financial Manager at Opus Agency is 25 years old and wears cochlear implants after being born deaf.
Heringer is one of 43 women cast for the upcoming season. Among those women is his possible ex, Madison Nelson. Reality Steve is reporting the potential couple dated in 2019, but it was not serious. Kit Keenan has also been making headlines, being reported on by outlets such as E!, as the youngest contestant this season, only 21 years old. Kennan is daughter of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and already has thousands of followers on Instagram.
10 of those 43 have already been eliminated, according to Reality Steve. Among the contestants are Saneh Ste Clare, Nicole Rovner, Marie Dolce, Kennedy Taylor and Kimberly Courneya.
The Season Will Be Filmed in a Bubble
Much like the current season of The Bachelorette, James’ season of dating show is being filmed in a bubble in order to maintain safety protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means the cast and crew had to quarantine for two weeks while being tested for the virus. According to ABC Entertainment’s Rob Mills in an interview with Variety, none of the women tested positive, but there were extra women brought in if needed.
“There was a ton of learning from the season of Bachelorette that we were able to take and make this season of Bachelor even better. It is impressive – the bubble that they’ve devised is so fantastic. It really is the one way you can do it safely,” said Mills.
While James’ season films, fans of the franchise can catch the current season of The Bachelorette on ABC every Tuesday.