'The Bachelor' Season 25: Everything to Know Before Matt James' Premiere
Bachelor Nation, are you ready to meet your Matt-chelor?
We’re just days away from the premiere of Matt James’ landmark 25th season of “The Bachelor.” From the show’s stunning filming locale to the safety precautions taken to keep the cast safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here is your primer for the latest installment of the show before its much-anticipated return.
Season 25 of “The Bachelor” premieres Monday, January 4, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Matt’s season was filmed at Farmington, Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Fans may recognize the property from a two-on-one date during JoJo Fletcher’s season of “The Bachelorette” in 2016.
Preview clips show Matt’s group of women doing their best to impress him with grand entrances on night one — including hostess Kaili, who wears nothing but lingerie and a silk robe; and Victoria, a self-proclaimed “queen,” who arrives on a Cleopatra-inspired litter, sporting a tiara and wielding a scepter.
In an extended trailer, Victoria seems to emerge as this season’s villain. “The queen has arrived, b--ches!” she declares in a confessional, prior to addressing her castmates with this line: “Sometimes you just have to let a b--ch go.”
“Queen Victoria is definitely more of a drama queen,” says copywriter Anna, before bank marketing manager Katie claims, “Victoria has been a mean girl since day one.”
Other early standout contestants include professional ballerina Alicia, runway model Chelsea, broadcast journalist Sarah, corporate attorney Lauren, pharmacist Magi, and fashion entrepreneur Kit.
As one contestant explained in a recent preview, Matt’s suitresses are “going to war” for the handsome real estate broker’s heart. “Everyone is ready to go for the kill,” says one woman competing for Matt’s final rose, while another teases the drama that’s going on behind his back: “In this house, there are no secrets.”
There is even chatter among the ladies about a cast member who “may be having a transactional relationship with wealthy men.” Katie elaborates, “I’ve heard two terms going around. I’ve heard ‘sugar baby’ and ‘escort.’”
Aside from catfights, sneak peeks also show romantic dates, steamy makeout sessions, champagne toasts, and, of course, lots of tears. Some of them even come from Matt himself.
In one moment, a distraught Matt tells host Chris Harrison that he is “not” OK. The Season 25 lead — who hails from Raleigh, North Carolina, but now lives in New York City — later shares his fears about opening himself up to the possibility of finding true love.
“One of the things that has been hard for me in my relationships is going deep and sharing who I am, what I’m about, and what I’ve been through because it opens up this place that scares me,” he says, adding that his upbringing is partially to blame.
“I think about my mom, I think about my brother, and how this broken family and broken marriage has affected their lives,” he continues. “I don’t want to put anybody through that. And the only thing I’m certain of is that love causes you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do.”
As a precaution, extra contestants were brought to Pennsylvania just in case anyone tested positive for COVID-19. However, all contestants tested negative and were given the green light to film. “We brought all these women out just in case any of them tested positive,” ABC Entertainment's Rob Mills told Variety in October. “You just never know, so we always have alternates. Maybe next time, we don’t have to bring in as many people.”
Similar to Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams’ Season 16 of “The Bachelorette,” there was no traveling for the cast as to ensure maximum safety inside of a coronavirus-free bubble.
What Matt’s Looking for in a Woman
Back in June, Matt told “Good Morning America” that his ideal partner is someone who is “selfless, honest, caring, [and] compassionate.” At the time, he also revealed his hope to see “a lot of diversity and… every type of woman coming out of that limo” when his journey begins.
“Getting down on one knee, I only want to do that one time for one woman,” Matt has previously said.
How Matt Feels About Being the First Black Bachelor
During his same chat with “GMA” earlier this year, Matt opened up about making history as the first Black lead of “The Bachelor.”
“We can’t have change until we put that first foot forward,” he said. “I think a lot of people are in that situation where they’re uncomfortable dating outside their race. It’s a conversation starter for a lot of people. And hopefully again it paves the way for a lot of diverse love stories, because those are beautiful stories.”
Matt expressed even more enthusiasm over taking on the role as Bachelor during an appearance on this summer’s “The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons — Ever!” He said, “I’ve heard from a lot of my Black friends that aren’t Bachelor Nation faithful that are excited about me and honored that I’m in the position I’m in and have this opportunity to just represent what it’s going to look like to have diverse relationships and tell those love stories.”