Season 25 of The Bachelor is getting down to the wire! While some viewers are patient enough to see who Matt James picks, others are ready for some major spoilers! To find out who Matt ends up with and if he gets engaged, keep reading.
Matt’s final four contestants were Serena Pitt, Bri Springs, Michelle Young and Rachael Kirkconnell. After Serena eliminated herself following her COVID-safe “hometown” date at the Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, with her family, Matt eliminated Bri the following rose ceremony. This left Matt’s final two as Michelle and Rachael.
According to Reality Steve, Matt chooses Rachael during the final rose ceremony, but it’s unclear if they get engaged or not. However, things have since come to an end.
“Matt and Rachael Kirkconnell are no longer together,” an insider told Life & Style in February, one day after the leading man spoke out about her past racist behavior. “Matt broke up with Rachael mainly due to the backlash. At the end of the day, he cared more about protecting himself, supporting his friend [former Bachelorette] Rachel Lindsay and speaking out against the franchise. Rachael can’t wait until she can finally share her side of the story once the finale airs.”
Shortly after season 25 premiered in January, allegations against the Cumming, Georgia, native began to surface on the internet. Most notably, photos circulated that showed Rachael attending an “Old South” plantation party at Georgia College & State University in 2018, where all of the women in attendance wore Antebellum-style gowns.
Rachael has since issued an apology for her actions. “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything,” she wrote on Instagram on February 11. “They are not acceptable or OK in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
“I haven’t talked to Rachael about it. And this is, again, where we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” Chris told Rachel during a virtual interview with Extra on February 9. “Because I’ve seen some stuff online — again this judge-jury-executioner thing — where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents and her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this. I haven’t heard Rachael speak on this yet. And until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this?”
When Rachel, who was the first-ever Black Bachelorette, suggested attending an “Old South” party was “not a good look,” Chris replied, “You’re 100 percent right in 2021. That was not the case in 2018. And again, I’m not defending Rachael. I just know that, I don’t know, 50 million people did that in 2018. That was a type of party that a lot of people went to. And again, I’m not defending it; I didn’t go to it.”
Almost immediately after the interview, Chris began to receive backlash from Bachelor Nation and viewers alike. “What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that, I am so deeply sorry,” he wrote on Instagram hours later. “I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable.”
On February 13, Chris announced he would be “stepping aside” from The Bachelor. “I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful. My ignorance did damage to my friends, my colleagues and strangers alike,” the ABC personality wrote on Instagram. “I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke. I set standards for myself and I have not met them. I feel that with every fiber of my being. Now, just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same.” He revealed he “plans” on returning to the franchise during an interview with GMA on March 4.
Matt has addressed Chris, Rachael and the franchise directly in his own statement. “The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life, and while there are several episodes left of the season, it is important that I take the time to address troubling information that has come to light since we wrapped filming, including the incredibly disappointing photos of Rachael Kirkconnell and the interview between Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison,” he began a lengthy statement on Instagram on February 22.
“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real-time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly. Chris’ failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand immediately, was troubling and painful to watch,” he continued. “As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years.”
Matt concluded his message by saying “this moment” has “pushed” him to “reevaluate and process what my experience on The Bachelor represents, not just for me, but for all of the contestants of color, especially the Black contestants of this season and seasons past, and for you, the viewers at home.”
He plans to “continue to process this experience” and promised fans they will “hear more” from him “in the end.”