Matt James’ search for love on The Bachelor will reach its conclusion with a two-hour finale followed by a one-hour “After the Final Rose” special.
In the penultimate episode, James sent Bri Springs home, leaving only Michelle Young and Rachael Kirkconnell remaining from a list that reached 37 contestants (38 if you include Heather Martin). The finale isn’t expected to be smooth sailing across the finish line, though.
The “After the Final Rose” special will cap a saga that has consumed The Bachelor world for weeks. Kirkconnell was accused of racist behavior in her past — including attendance at an antebellum south plantation party — and waited weeks before apologizing for her actions. But the controversy reached a fever pitch when Chris Harrison defended Kirkconnell against the “woke police.”
Harrison later apologized for his comments multiple times and stepped down as host of The Bachelor temporarily. Now Emmanuel Acho will host the “After the Final Rose” special and former leads Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will host the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
Here’s what to expect in the final three hours of season 25 of The Bachelor:
WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY SPOILERS FROM ‘THE BACHELOR’ SEASON FINALE, DO NOT KEEP READING.
Who Will Receive the Final Rose?
The final decision made by James was spoiled way back in January. Reality Steve and other spoiler accounts indicated all along that Kirkconnell would be James’ winner, adding plenty of kindling to the fire of controversy that came with her past actions.
It wasn’t until the final weeks of the season that Reality Steve finally pulled back the veil of the painful decisions that led James to that choice.
Both Young and Kirkconnell will meet James’ mom, but Reality Steve says that the relationship with Young will end during their final date of the season. While Young has told James that she’s in love, he hasn’t reciprocated and during the night portion of their date he’ll break up with Young.
But James doesn’t take the decision lightly and he cancels his date with Kirkconnell while he deals with a flood of emotions. Eventually at a final rose ceremony he still chooses Kirkconnell, but opts against proposing to her in the finale.
Are Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell Still Together?
For fans of The Bachelor who have already seen spoilers for weeks, the main event of the evening will be the “After the Final Rose” special. Many reports — including one from Reality Steve — have indicated that James and Kirkconnell are no longer together amid the scandal that has surrounded Kirkconnell for weeks.
“This is the most uncomfortable conversation in the history of The Bachelor franchise because it’s not just about relationships, but now it’s about race,” Acho said in an interview on Good Morning America.
Spoiled and unspoiled fans will both get to see for the first time what Young, Kirkconnell, and James have to say about their breakups. But don’t expect any reconciliation between James and Young, with the latter set to lead a season of The Bachelorette later in 2021.