Everything We Know About Matt James (aka the New Bachelor)
Introducing ABC’s first-ever Black Bachelor, Matt James. The 28-year-old was supposed to appear on Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which allowed James to take center stage.
So, who is the new Bachelor, Matt James? Here’s everything we know.
1. He's a real estate broker
Meet Matt James, a real estate broker from North Carolina. He obtained a degree in economics from Wake Forest University and even played professional football after college. Since retiring his uniform, James moved to New York City, where he currently works as a broker for CBRE.
2. He's BFFs with Tyler Cameron
If James looks familiar, it’s probably because he’s best friends with BiP alum Tyler Cameron and makes regular appearances on his Instagram page. The pair both attended Wake Forest University and have maintained a strong friendship ever since. Not only did they live together when James first moved to NYC, but they were also a part of former Bachelorette Hannah Brown’s famous “quarantine crew.”
3. He was originally cast on Clare Crawley's season of 'The Bachelorette'
Although Crawley’s season has been delayed, production had already begun prior to social distancing. This gave producers the opportunity to meet James, which must have been one hell of a first impression.
“When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor,” Karey Burke, the president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement. “We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in and we are proudly in service to our audience.”
4. He gives back to the community
James is the founder of ABC Food Tours, an organization that presents young students with culinary experiences. “We encourage them to try everything,” he told DeacLink. “The kids don’t have to like it, but they’re able to speak as to why they do or don’t by the end of a tour.”
5. He's ready to make history as the first Black Bachelor
During his appearance on Good Morning America, James revealed that he couldn’t be more thrilled to lead season 25 of The Bachelor. He also referenced former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who recently spoke out about the show’s systemic racism and lack of diversity.
“When Rachel [Lindsay] speaks, we listen. She has a very important voice in all this, being the first Black woman, person of color to be a lead, and…this is hopefully the first of many Black men to be in the position I’m at now,” he said.
James also teased what’s to come, adding, “I’m just going to lean into myself and how my mom raised me, and hopefully when people invite me into their homes on Monday night, they see that diverse love stories are beautiful.”
James’s season of The Bachelor is expected to premiere sometime in 2021, so let the countdown commence.