Every Single Thing We Know About Matt James's Season of'The Bachelor'

Every Single Thing We Know About Matt James's Season of'The Bachelor'

Spoilers for The Bachelor ahead. If it feels like Tayshia Adams and Claire Crawley's season of The Bachelorette just ended, that's because, uh, it did. Just two weeks separated the finale of their season of The Bachelorette and the premiere of Matt James' season of The Bachelor>>>P, which started on January 4, 2021 on ABC at 8 p.m. (hallelujah, we're back to that Monday slot!). Early spoilers for James' season from Bachelor Nation guru Reality Steve suggest that this season is going to be just as dramatic (or"dra-MATT-ic," as ABC puts it). It's early days, but we already have plenty of information about the season, which also takes place in a single location: this time, the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.

James is unique for being both the first Black Bachelor and the first Bachelor in years that wasn't a fan favorite from previous seasons. Instead, James was plucked from Crawley's cast before he'd even met her—and the timing was interesting>>>P, to say the least, since a petition had just begun circulating that demanded a greater commitment to diversity in The Bachelor franchise. But James also ticks a lot of the boxes for the franchise: He's handsome, charming, best friends with Tyler Cameron>>>P, and committed to charity work. Who wouldn't want to date him? So let's get to what we do and don't know about this"dra-MATT-ic" season, shall we?

Who wins Matt James' season and gets engaged to him?

Let's get straight to the good stuff, shall we? According to Reality Steve, the four final contestants who make it to hometowns are: Serena Pitt—not to be confused with Serena Chew, the other Serena on this season; Rachael Kirkconnell, Bri Springs, and Michelle Young.

Here's Rachel Kirkconnell (you can learn more about her here):

a woman posing for a picture: rachael-matt-james © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images rachael-matt-james

a man and a woman standing on a stage in front of a curtain: ABC's © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images ABC's

And here's Serena Pitt (more on her here):

a woman standing in front of a building: ABC's © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images ABC's a woman sitting on the grass: serena-pitt © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images serena-pitt

Michelle Young arrives later on in the season (more on that in a second), but here's her Instagram:

And here's Bri Springs:

a group of people sitting at a table with a glass of water: bri-springs-matt-james © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images bri-springs-matt-james

And Abigail Heringer, who got the coveted first impression rose, places fifth:

a group of people standing on top of a cutting board with a cake: ABC's © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images ABC's

As for who wins the season and James' heart, Reality Steve says it comes down to Rachael and Michelle as James' final two>>>P, with Rachael ultimately winning the season and getting James' final rose. RS says he isn't sure whether they're engaged now or not, though he thinks they aren't. Still, considering how surprising it would be if they decided not to get engaged—my money is on their being engaged now.

a group of people standing next to a person: rachael-matt-james © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images rachael-matt-james

If you needed more evidence: @BachSleuthers discovered that James had been listening to one of Rachael's playlists (I mean, do you listen to your ex's Spotify playlists?). Rachael has also gotten by far the most airtime of any of Reality Steve's final four, even though they haven't had a one-on-one date and she hasn't gotten involved in any of the ~drama~.

What else happens on James' season?

In I-feel-weird-about-this news: Matt James's dad, who wasn't around when James and his brother were growing up, will make an appearance."I don’t know the outcome. If it was contentious, if Matt got closure, if it’s a touching moment, etc. Not sure," RS writes>>>P. What is clear is that James did not consent to his dad being brought on the show—which feels uncomfortable, frankly, but judging by the amount of press James has been doing around the show, we can assume he's not too furious about it.

Then there's the arrival of Heather Martin, a Bachelor favorite and friend of Hannah Brown's who you'll remember from Colton's season:

a man standing next to a woman: Heather Martin and Colton Underwood. © Rick Rowell - Getty Images Heather Martin and Colton Underwood.

ABC Entertainment Executive Rob Mills said of Martin:"She felt for sure this was her husband and basically did anything she could to get there and track him down." (Which feels kind of shame-y, considering every woman on the show is doing the same thing?) There's also a preview in which Chris Harrison tells her:“Heather, what are you doing here? You could honestly destroy this whole thing for Matt.” (Which...how?)

It sounds like a Nick-Viall-on-Kaitlyn's-season situation, in that Martin shows up a few episodes in and tells James she's interested in getting to know him—but unlike Viall, Martin does not get added to the cast. It's not totally clear why, but Reality Steve says that James sends her home almost immediately.

Also, we learned some...weird details from an interview between the owner of the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Page Six:"Sometimes there’s some hanky-panky going on where it should not have been, but I can’t tell you everything that was going on. We are on 3,000 acres. So there’s a lot of land, and a lot of woods out there. There were things going on inside and outside of the hotel all the time...We actually found a used condom in the tree branch.” (Reality Steve confirmed that, yes, these comments are weird, and no, James did not have s** in the forest.)

Who is the villain on Matt James' season?

This one is clear from the get-go: The"villain edit" of the season goes to Victoria Larson, a self-described"queen" who arrives on a throne and memorably tells another contestant on night one:"Move aside, the queen is here." There's so much drama involving Larson, in fact, that some fans are nursing a conspiracy theory that she might be a "producer plant," meaning she was hired, not cast, to stir things up.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing next to a woman: victoria-the-bachelor © Craig Sjodin - Getty Images victoria-the-bachelor

For her part, Larson has already hinted that she's not happy with her edit and the response, posting Instagram captions like"Real life > cyber bullies" and"It’s a beautiful place to be when you know the truth & outside noise doesn’t affect you." She's turned off comments for other Instagrams.

Who will be The Bachelorette next season?

This is an interesting one. Reality Steve reported that ABC had chosen Katie Thurston>>>P, the contestant you'll remember for calling out Victoria and everyone else when you were screaming at the TV, but then Thurston posted an Instagram story that sent:"Reading my texts this morning like...news to me."

a woman looking at the camera: bachelor © Instagram bachelor

ABC typically selects its next lead from the batch of contestants in the last season—but they broke with tradition to cast Matt, and it's anyone's guess whether they plan to return to form with a contestant from Matt's season, or pick someone else entirely. If ABC does go with someone from Matt's season, the most obvious choice would be Michelle Young>>>P, Serena Pitt, or Bri Springs>>>P, all of whom make it to hometowns but don't win the season. They've all gotten good edits, too—another sign that the show may be setting them up to be the Bachelorette>>>P. Two more contestants from this season that have become fan favorites are Abigail Heringer and, of course, Katie>>>P.

But in recent years, ABC has broke with tradition—think Arie, Clare, and of course Matt—and picked a fan favorite from a previous season instead. If they do that, Kristina Schulman is a top contender, and fans have suggested that now-single Kelley Flanagan and past Bachelorette Andi Dorfman could be considered for the role.

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