‘The Bachelor’ Premiere Recap: Matt James Does Not Want To Be Victoria’s King

Jane Asher
‘The Bachelor’ Premiere Recap: Matt James Does Not Want To Be Victoria’s King
Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin

After having spent 2020 Bachelor-less, I couldn’t be more excited to get this show on the road with Matt James. Last night’s premiere of The Bachelor brought everything I love about this show. Tears, forced vulnerability, the beginnings of a house feud, and of course, a few women I’m sure will fall head over heels for Matt. Let’s get into it.

We begin not with our regular ‘man shirtless in the shower scene’ but rather a pensive (and very tall) Bachelor wandering the grounds of the Nemacolin resort, pondering the future of his love life. We get a heartfelt sit-down with his mom and we don’t shy away from recognizing that this is a truly historic season of the show with our first-ever Black Bachelor.

We also don’t get our usual intros of a select group of women. Instead, we have quarantine-budget-sized clips of a few women dancing around in their hotel rooms. Hey, whatever gets us to the actual good stuff faster is fine by me.

But, before we can watch Matt meet his ladies, our Bachelor pulls Chris aside for a minute to chat. This seemed very unscripted and Chris actually seemed surprised by the request. Matt is clearly really nervous and needs a pep talk from Chris. We could all use a pep talk from Chris.

Matt also uses this time to talk about race and growing up with a white mom and a Black dad and the pressure of being the first Black Bachelor. It’s all very surface level, but at least it’s being discussed.

STYLECASTER | The Bachelor premiere recap

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Now, back to the good stuff. Matt meets his ladies, one by one and I’m actually impressed by the diversity they’ve brought in this season. I think we would have all seen right through this whole thing if our first Black Bachelor had a cast full of white women.

Let’s talk first impressions. Anna, red dress, big smile, seems really eager and pretty genuine. I’m keeping my eye on her. Chelsea did *not* have to go there with that dress, but phew, girl brought it. Rachael and Bri are stunning and will definitely be here for the long haul. They both seem to have some natural chemistry with Matt and don’t come off as try-hards. A good combination

Kit is 21, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley’s daughter, and definitely has a trust fund. She does not belong here and is certainly looking for Instagram followers, not love. But, she starts off on a sympathetic note thanks to Queen Victoria who so rudely interrupts her time with Matt.

STYLECASTER | The Bachelor premiere recap

ABC/Craig Sjodin

More women arrive, some with impressive gimmicks like Katie’s dildo, and a few lame attempts, like MJ’s pizza delivery. My favorite part of the dildo exchange was Katie waving the dildo in Matt’s face as she says, “I’ll see you inside!” Matt really got a crack out of that one. Well done, Katie.

Matt starts the cocktail party off with a prayer, how very Madison Prewett of him. The girls eat that sh*t up and are convinced it makes him the most grounded Bachelor of all time. Let’s not forget Colton was pretty religious, but that definitely did not make him a good guy.

Let’s talk about Queen Victoria. This poor girl is a mess. Her makeup is already down her face when she steps out of the limo and seems to have gotten drunk by the middle of the night. I know she’s supposed to be our villain, but I honestly just feel bad for her. Plus, the moment where Matt had to explain his fire hydrant metaphor to her and she *still* didn’t get it was a dealbreaker for me. Matt is clearly not that into her but, spoiler, producers want her around for the drama, so she gets the last rose of the night.

Our first impression rose also goes to the girl who gets the first kiss: Adorable Abigail. Abigail was born deaf and growing up with a disability seems to have grounded her. She seems genuine, ready to get vulnerable and of course, is gorgeous. Team Abigail, for sure.

STYLECASTER | The Bachelor premiere recap

ABC/Craig Sjodin

The rest of the roses are handed out and eight women are sent home. I couldn’t tell you who, except for ballerina Alicia, since the producers decided to give a ton of intro time to her at the beginning of the episode. If that’s the producers trying to throw us off, I guess it worked.

And now, for the best part of the episode, the sneak peek at what’s to come this season. We have a shirtless, soapy Matt, we have Katie cursing out some other girl, we have Queen Victoria being a mess (again) and to my surprise, we’re going to get new contestants thrown in after the first night. Producers must have loved the drama that caused in Tayshia’s season and I must say, I’m excited to watch the pettiness go down.

We also get a clip of Heather from Colton’s season dropping in on the group. After a quick Google search, it seems she and Matt know each other thanks to Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron. I think her surprise entrance will end up being irrelevant though. If Matt wanted to date her when they first met, he could have.

Well, this certainly seems like an incredible season of The Bachelor and I can’t wait to watch it all go down at the Nemacolin Resort. Here’s to finding love in 2021. Cheers!

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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