Matt James Pleads With ‘The Bachelor’ to Show Something ‘Real’

Some authors are eager for the world to hear their stories, but others are not. Matt JamesWas ready to give Bachelor viewers the missing pieces to his journey — and encouraged the franchise to be more transparent to avoid tell-all books in the future.

“I had already said it, like, I was preparing [to see it] on TV and when I didn’t see it, I’m, like, ‘Dang, I guess it was too raw,’” the 30-year-old season 25 star said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast about opening up about race, his family and more while filming the show. “I guess it was too raw for what they were looking for, which is unfortunate because when you’re vulnerable and you’re open about those things, like, the little bits that they shared that I was very vulnerable, hella people resonated with that. They’re like, ‘Yo, I felt that.’ I’m like, ‘It’s not that hard of a formula — how about y’all double down on the realness?’”


Matt James
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Matt’s season debuted in January 2021, making him the first Black Bachelor since the 2002 premiere.

“People aren’t dumb anymore. Maybe back in the day, you could get away with like, ‘Oh my, this is crazy.’ [But] there’s been too many books come out. There’s been too many whistleblowers, like, we’re past that. Come on now, let’s be real,” the First Impressions author continued. “That’s why you’re seeing people go watch these other shows because, like, they’re not tiptoeing around. … How about you double down, BachelorOr Bachelorette on the realness and you’re straight. It’s frustrating because you’ve got so much good stuff there and you’re fumbling the bag.”

In his book, which hit shelves on Tuesday, May 3, Matt insists that the show cut out his deep conversations for “blatantly inauthentic dramatic twists.” Still, he managed to find love with Rachael Kirkconnell. Their relationship was fraught with controversy. However, the season was airing and photos of the Georgia native at a Rose Ball Formal at a plantation in college were resurfaced. Then-host Chris Harrison subsequently came under fire when asking the fans to have “grace” for the contestant.

After the March 2021 finale, Matt and Rachael were reunited. However, the network cut all ties with Harrison.

“We spent enough time talking about that stuff,” Matt told UseHarrison’s name was not mentioned in the book. “I hate beating a dead horse and everything’s played out how it’s played out and there’s no need to go back [to] something that we’ve talked so much about because unfortunately, those type of conversations overshadowed context that I would’ve liked to have been applied to the season that would’ve answered a bunch of questions. I had many things to talk about and discuss with them. So I didn’t wanna take any more time to talk about that stuff. I wanted to focus on themes that I felt could really help people and I don’t think that going back on that would be any help to anybody.”

First ImpressionsIt is now available. For more from Matt, listen to the Tuesday, May 3, episode of the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.