It was clear Bachelor Nation was in for some drama during season 25 after a whopping 43 contestants were initially announced, despite only 32 women stepping out of the limo on night one. ABC executive Robert Mills told Variety the extra people were brought in because of health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We brought all these women out just in case any of them tested positive,” the reality exec explained. “You just never know, so we always have alternates. Maybe next time, we don’t have to bring in as many people.”
The producers put the extra women to good use and had five new contestants — Brittany Galvin, Catalina Morales, Kim Li, Michelle Young and Ryan Claytor — join the cast during week 4. Although Matt seemed to already have a connection with many women in the house, he hit it off with Brittany and Michelle right off the bat. Unfortunately, their presence was extremely tense and led to awkward encounters.
Anna Redman said she “heard” rumors that Brittany is an “escort” and “entertains men for money” around Chicago, where they both reside. Brittany denied the accusations, but that didn’t stop it from spreading through the house like wildfire.
Victoria Larson and Kit Keenan also ganged up on some other ladies, like Sarah Trott. All the cast fighting eventually led Katie Thurston to pull Matt aside and ask him to address the bullying in the house.
Of course, not all the drama happened on our screens. Rachael Kirkconnell came under fire for past racist behavior, for which she later apologized. However, in the midst of her scandal, Chris Harrison received backlash for his tone-deaf comments about the situation during an interview with Rachel Lindsay on Extra. He revealed on February 13 that he is temporarily stepping down as host of the franchise.
Many other contestants also found themselves surrounded in controversy. Victoria’s mugshot from a 2012 shoplifting arrest in Florida began circulating in January 2021. Sarah’s love life also became a point of conversation when photos surfaced that showed her out with musician G-Eazy in Los Angeles.
At the end of the day, Matt is looking for love. He said during an interview on Good Morning America in June he wants his future wife to have the same “qualities” his “mom embodies,” including being “selfless, honest, caring [and] compassionate.”
“Those are qualities found in women all shape, sizes and races, and it’s not a Black or white thing,” Matt continued. “So, I’m hoping that when that limo pulls up there is a lot of diversity, and I see every type of woman coming out of that limo.”
Before he gives away his final rose, Matt’s season will have a lot more drama. Keep scrolling to see it all!
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