There’s a long list of women vying for Matt James’ heart on the upcoming season of The Bachelor, but according to a report, one of the contestants already had a shot at love with James.
In October, ABC named 43 women as possible cast members of season 25 and Bachelor insider Reality Steve quickly pointed to Madison Nelson as an intriguing addition. He said James and Nelson briefly dated in 2019.
While the relationship between James and Nelson didn’t appear to be too serious, it still makes her a peculiar and intriguing addition to the cast.
Nelson & James Were Spotted at New York Fashion Week Together
Details of the reported relationship between Nelson and James are scarce, to say the least. The only physical evidence of the duo is a blurry photo tweeted by Reality Steve that appears to show the pair sitting next to each other at a New York fashion show in 2019.
Nelson is from Granger, Indiana, but lives in New York City. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she took a job at IBM where she’s worked for several years as a communications specialist.
It’s unclear how long she was with James, but Reality Steve called the relationship “somewhat serious.”
“I heard it wasn’t too long, maybe a couple months, I don’t know if he ended with her, she ended it with him, or whether it was a bad breakup, etc. I don’t know anything but I know they dated and it was somewhat serious considering some of the text convos I saw,” Reality Steve wrote on his website. “How will Matt react when he sees her? I’m guessing that’ll be a major early storyline. Will it play out like Nick and Liz’s storyline? Or will it end like a Peter/Kelley thing, although they only saw each other once pre-show and never dated. I’m talking more about the outcome.”
Nelson Won’t Be the First Bachelor Contestant to Try to Win Back an Ex
This isn’t a completely unprecedented situation for the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. While producers have increasingly put their thumbs on the scales in recent seasons, according to the Washington Post, the return of an ex has been a staple of the show for a long time.
Among the most notable and comparable examples include when Nick Viall showed up a few weeks into season 11 of The Bachelorette and asked Kaitlyn Bristowe for a chance to join the cast. Viall and Bristowe had struck up a relationship just prior to the show’s start.
There was also a brief meeting between Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan before season 24 of The Bachelor. Flanagan didn’t get the final rose, but she and Weber began dating after the show ended and still remain together.
The best comparison to the relationship between Nelson and James is when Liz Sandoz appeared on Viall’s season of The Bachelor. That came about nine months after the pair had a one-night stand. Sandoz lasted just a few episodes before she was eliminated by Viall, though.
There’s a chance Nelson’s prior relationship with James will be a huge advantage that vaults her deep into the season. There’s also a possibility that it will be a disadvantage if James wants a fresh start.