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Article about Matt James as the first Black bachelor on "The Bachelor." (Image via Google Images)

Fans of ABC’s hit reality dating competition are in love with Matt James, the show’s first Black lead.

Roses are red. Those who went home are blue. I think Matt is the hottest bachelor yet, what about you?

Quickly following the end of Tayshia Adams’ season of “The Bachelorette,” Matt James is making his official debut to Bachelor Nation as the star of “The Bachelor.”

Unlike most bachelors in “The Bachelor” franchise, Matt has never competed in a prior season of the show. He was picked to be a contestant for Clare Crawley’s season of “The Bachelorette” and quickly won over the hearts of fans with his charm in preseason interviews. When Clare’s season’s filming was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Matt was picked to be the next bachelor before Clare’s season’s filming had even begun.

Never having been on the show is not the only way Matt is breaking “The Bachelor” mold. He is the first Black bachelor. For a show that is often criticized for its lack of diversity, Matt is paving the way in more ways than one for Bachelor Nation.

Matt is also biracial. His mother is white and his father is Black.

Matt openly discussed the pressures of being the first Black bachelor with host Chris Harrison before the women arrived on night one.

“It’s like people want you to end up with a certain time of person,” said Matt. “You’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love and then you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race. That’s something that kept me up at night. I don’t want to piss off Black people. I don’t want to piss off white people. Cause I’m both of those. How do I please everybody?”

Chris Harrison affirmed Matt’s feelings, telling him it was a lot to carry but assuring him that his journey as the first Black bachelor would be worth it.

Women of differing races and ethnicities continued to affirm the bachelor’s feelings throughout the night, letting him know how meaningful it was to them that he was stepping into the role as the first Black bachelor.

Matt’s charm — which fans of “The Bachelor” swooned over in his preseason interviews and won him the gig as a bachelor to begin with — proved to be a consistent personality trait throughout the first evening.

He greeted each woman with politeness and grace as they stepped out of the limo and spoke to him for the first time. He allowed himself to be vulnerable with the women, sharing that he too was nervous and assuring them that he was also new to “The Bachelor” scene.

His kindness brought the women to tears, literally. After every woman arrived, he began the cocktail party portion of the evening with a prayer. His sweet words melted the hearts of the contestants to the point that some of them were crying.

But the night was not all pleasantness and roses. After all, it would not be a premiere of “The Bachelor” if at least a little drama did not ensue.

This season’s “Bachelor” villain takes shape in the form of a crown-wearing brunette from Los Angeles named Victoria Larson. Victoria, a self-proclaimed queen, made it clear in her entrance that she would not be overlooked. She was carried in by four men as she sat atop a throne, graciously twirling a scepter.

The bachelor was charmed by Victoria’s entrance; however, the rest of the women in the house were not quite as entertained. They whispered amongst themselves, sharing that they found her outfit and entrance to be showy and obnoxious.

Throughout the night, Victoria furthered the enmity from the other contestants by trying to monopolize Matt’s time and complaining to other women in the house.

Although I’m not sure if Victoria’s abrasiveness is the best fit for Matt James’ kind heart, I am certain that she will continue to add a little entertainment value to the season.

Another notable contestant from night one is Abigail Heringer. Abigail made a modest entrance, sharing just a few kind words with Matt before entering the resort with the other contestants.

Later on in the night, Abigail received the first impression rose along with the first kiss after opening up to the bachelor about her deafness and the ways in which this has affected her life. Matt shared that he appreciated Abigail’s vulnerability and found her incredibly honest and beautiful.

The episode concluded with the always dramatic and highly anticipated rose ceremony. Each woman waited anxiously for Matt to call her name and for a rose to be placed in her hand. The final rose was given out to Queen Victoria herself. As she flaunted her rose, several women left the mansion having barely gotten to know Matt.

An exclusive season preview following the episode confirmed that this season of “The Bachelor” was going to be unlike any other.

The preview hinted that new contestants will be arriving mid-season, including Heather Martin, a Bachelor Nation fan-favorite who competed on Colton’s season of “The Bachelor.”

Whatever twists and turns this season may take, one thing is for certain — drama, romance and love will ensue.

Writer Profile

Anna Wurm

Texas A&M University
Communication and Journalism

I’m a senior communication and journalism major at Texas A&M! I’m involved in organizations on campus and love living life in College Station. I have always loved writing and am pumped to write for Study Breaks!

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