How Chris Harrison Helped Calm Matt James' Nerves Before Night 1 as the Bachelor
What he’s there fore! Chris Harrison took Matt James out for a game of golf a few months back, right before his journey as the Bachelor commenced.
The show’s beloved host celebrated tonight’s landmark 25th premiere by sharing video footage from his day on the greens with Matt. In the clip, the handsome real estate broker admits he is nervous prior to meeting the 32 women competing for his heart at Farmington, Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
“Matt, it all starts tonight. We’re getting a little bit of pre-rose golf in. I don’t think we’ve ever done this in the history of the show,” Chris says in the clip, to which our new Matt-chelor responds, “I think you’re seeing a lot of the first-night jitters in my swing.”
“Is that it?” Chris asks with a laugh.
“Yeah, it’s been all over the place,” says Matt. “But I’ll be locked in for tonight. Right now, it’s been nice to just relax and take in what’s about to take place.”
Chris couldn’t help but continue to poke fun at Matt’s golfing abilities (or lack of, apparently). “I’m not going to lie. I hope you make you love better than you hit a golf ball,” he quips.
“Hey, stay tuned for that!” Matt exclaims as he walks out of frame.
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Though the North Carolina native is ready to have a good time as the Bachelor, he understands the weight of being the first Black male lead in the franchise’s nearly 19-year history.
“I felt a lot [of pressure], I’m not going to lie,” he recently told “Entertainment Tonight.” “But the more conversations I had with Chris — he helped me realize that I only speak for myself, and my experience was my own, and when someone has an opinion, whether they’re white or Black, that’s their opinion. It doesn’t mean that all Black or white people think that way.”
According to Matt, he was thrilled to get face time with an incredibly inclusive group of contestants. “What I’m looking for isn’t specific to a race, and that’s why I was extremely excited about the group of women I saw,” he said. “It represented everybody.”
Matt was announced as the Bachelor during a pivotal time in the U.S. when the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited in direct response to the murder of George Floyd and unceasing police brutality against people of color. A nationwide reckoning of systemic racism quickly followed, demanding change within a multitude of industries and prompting important conversations about representation.
“I think I did a great job representing how I was raised and where I come from and what I’m looking for,” said Matt, whose father is Black and mother is white. “And I hope people see that too.”