Maybe it’s the pandemic time warp of it all, but this season of The Bachelor felt extremely long. Victoria? We haven’t heard that name in 84 years. Following weeks of controversy over photos of frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell at an antebellum-themed party and host Chris Harrison’s offensive defense of the photos (tl;dr: 2018 was like 100 years ago! It’s fine!) to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, and Harrison’s subsequent “stepping away” from the franchise to sit in a corner and think about what he’s done, followed by a chat with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America, during which Harrison apologized again (and Strahan was not impressed), and the news that Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette—after all of that, Matt James, the franchise’s first Black Bachelor, has made his choice. And he choo-choo-chooses.... the racist lady! Of course!
We all knew this was coming, from their Pretty Woman date, where Matt played dress-up with Rachael, who did a great job of pretending like all her clothes are from Shein.com, to the harrowing skydiving date in which Rachael—assisted by what appears to have been a boy of no more than 14—landed on her face, causing Matt to confront her mortality. After introducing Rachael and co-finalist Michelle to his family, Matt decided he wasn’t quite ready to propose—so although he chose Rachael, the pair didn’t end the season with an engagement.
Which is all for the best, as we learned during the “After The Final Rose” special, hosted by former NFL player, author, and podcast host Emmanuel Acho. (It’s not a great sign that the show still used Harrison’s voice over for the special—a truly bizarre choice.) Speaking with Acho, Matt revealed that he and Rachael are no longer together; it wasn’t until after she apologized publicly that Matt says he felt he could check in with how he was feeling about the whole thing, and as it turns out, the answer was NOT GREAT. Many fans had assumed this outcome based on the incredible beard Matt’s been sporting, which is very much not the facial hair of a Bachelor who is in any kind of relationship with anyone but himself.
For those hoping Matt might still be able to make things work with Michelle—first of all, could you imagine how insulted she would be??? And second, Michelle revealed during the special that she tried to reach out and get some closure from Matt after he dumped her, but he refused to speak with her. Yikes.