Matt James and Chris Harrison
Bachelor Nation

‘The Bachelor’ premiere recap: From purse meat to goat hooves, it was TV gold

Here’s everything that went down on the season premiere of The Bachelor.

‘The Bachelor’ has officially made history! It took 19 years but “Bachelor Nation” just witnessed the first episode of season 25 starring Matt James, the first Black Bachelor in history. The episode was filled with a record-breaking number of women of color and the melanin was a beautiful sight to see. It almost made us forget about the last season of ‘The Bachelorette’ starring Tayshia Adams that was recorded at the La Quinta in Palm Springs. James met 32‌ ‌women‌ ‌ ‌that had their eye on the prize and were determined to make the right amount of eye contact to get a rose. From the goat hooves, the purse meatball, the self-proclaimed queen, and the stand-out top 3 ladies- let’s recap the first episode.

Oh Matt, the things we can say about this ten out ten strikingly beautiful bachelor. James was noticeably nervous throughout the first episode which was a breath of fresh air from the overtly confident men that starred on Tayshia’s season. And Matt had a reason to be nervous- this group of women came out swinging with catchy lines about diversity, lingerie, and a… “adult toy.” ‌The first woman to leave Matt noticeably speechless was Mari from Puerto Rico, who was unfortunately touched in the shoulder with said “toy” but we will get back to that later.

‌One stand out queen was Magi who came all‌ ‌the‌ ‌way‌ ‌from‌ ‌Ethiopia‌ to try and find love with Matt. From then on, introductions slowly got weirder- as expected. One woman brought‌ ‌a‌ ‌piece‌ ‌of‌ ‌lavender‌ ‌from‌ ‌her‌ ‌mom‘s‌ ‌garden‌ ‌ ‌that sadly didn’t carry very well on the way to Pennsylvania because it looked like a sad twig. Alycia‌, a ‌professional‌ ‌ballerina‌ twinkle-toed her way over to Matt and a woman named Saneh‌ ‌showed‌ ‌up‌ ‌wearing goat hooves‌. Soon after Kaili made her entrance wearing nothing but lingerie which made Saneh question her foot wear choice. Matt ended up sending goat hooves home but fans (including me) think he made a terrible mistake.

We also had one bachelorette that presented Matt with a Lady‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌tramp-like recreation ‌with‌ ‌cold‌ ‌unseasoned‌ ‌spaghetti‌. ‌ ‌Thankfully, all of this nonsense led up to meeting the number 1 fan favorite that ended up trending on Twitter- Abigail, who openly and confidently told Matt when they met that she is deaf. We had a couple more queens enter the house like Pieper‌ who rocked ‌the‌ ‌hell‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌her‌ ‌blue‌ ‌dress and MJ‌ who ‌walked ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌broken‌ ‌Pizza‌ ‌delivery‌ ‌car‌ and handed Matt an empty pizza box because the “way to a man‘s heart is through his stomach.” MJ later proved to be a top competitor and is likely going to be in the top 5. Unfortunately she has been deemed “MJ 1” because the “adult toy” I keep mentioning’s name is also MJ… after Matt James of course. I wish I could talk about this toy less but it’s a major plot point in this episode. And it’s all because of Katie Thurston.

Katie‌ ‌brought ‌ “something‌ ‌from‌ ‌home‌” ‌that‌ ‌she‌ ‌hid‌ ‌behind‌ ‌her‌ ‌back‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌ ‌long‌ ‌time‌ when she met Matt. After‌ ‌venting‌ ‌about‌ ‌how‌ ‌hard‌ ‌the‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌was‌ ‌for‌ ‌her‌ ‌she ‌handed ‌him‌ ‌a‌ ‌large‌ ‌sparkly‌ ‌adult toy.‌ ‌Katie took the toy everywhere she went during the episode and it ‌was‌ ‌blurred‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ large ‌black‌ ‌square.‌ She ‌later‌ ‌used‌ ‌it‌ to‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌speech.‌ ‌ ‌

Matt then had a giant fish thrown at him but nothing could get as gross as the moment he was forced to eat a purse meatball. ‌Ileana‌ ‌asked‌ ‌if she‌ ‌could‌ “put‌ ‌her‌ ‌balls‌ ‌in‌ ‌‌his mouth” and clarified, “meatballs‌ ‌of‌ ‌course” before pulling out a large horrifying meatball that has been in her purse for God only knows how long. Unfortunately for everyone who had to see it, Matt took‌ ‌a‌ bite out of the large‌ ‌chunk‌ ‌of‌ mystery purse meat.

‌Thankfully we quickly met Victoria the self-proclaimed queen who quickly distracted us with her Cinderella sparkling ballgown and crown.‌ Her occupation literally said ‌“Queen.”‌ ‌After‌ ‌boasting‌ ‌about‌ ‌her‌ ‌royalty‌ ‌Victoria‌ ‌fell‌ ‌going‌ ‌up‌ ‌the‌ ‌stairs.‌ ‌Girls‌ instantly side-eyed ‌her and she made an instant enemy out of Kit, who came in wearing a short feathery dress instead of the usual ball gown.‌

The editing for this season was just right and the introductions went on for just the right amount of time. Which led us to another bachelor first that brought many of the girls to tears- a prayer. That’s right, Matt led all 32 girls in prayer and we learned his go to the word of the season: vulnerability‌. ‌While many of the girls were touched, no one was as moved as Rachael, who will likely be in the top 3. Rachael seems like she’s going to be the unproblematic, drama-free member this season and she knows how to make eye contact. Matt felt it too ‌“she‌’s ‌beautiful,‌ ‌she’s‌ ‌ articulate,‌ ‌she’s‌ ‌sexy….‌ ‌She’s‌ ‌blowing‌ ‌me‌ ‌away.‌”

We then got to meet a softer side of Matt who said he was looking forward ‌to‌ ‌unpacking‌ ‌and‌ ‌sharing‌ ‌his‌ ‌imperfections‌ ‌with‌ ‌people‌. He also said he felt a lot of responsibility being the first black bachelor and could only speak on the things he’s experienced and live out his truth. “Being‌ ‌a‌ ‌person of color, ‌it‌ ’s ‌important ‌to‌ ‌me‌ ‌someone‌ ‌knows‌ ‌what‌ ‌that‌ ‌like ‌and‌ ‌embraces‌ ‌it‌ ‌because‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌apart‌ ‌of‌ ‌who‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌and‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ be ‌apart‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌relationship‌,” James expressed. ‌ ‌

‌We then came back to Mari‌ ‌who is from Puerto‌ ‌Rico. Matt asked her how her family was doing after the hurricanes on her island and she began opening up about her older grandparents before Katie showed up and TOUCHED‌ ‌HER ON‌ ‌THE‌ ‌SHOULDER‌ ‌WITH‌ ‌HER TOY.‌ ‌She felt absolutely no remorse for the action and said she was proud to have ‌tapped‌ ‌a‌ ‌“pageant‌ ‌queen‌” ‌with‌ it.‌ Katie ‌even‌ ‌offered‌ ‌to‌ ‌let‌ ‌her‌ ‌borrow‌ ‌‌ ‌it ‌if‌ ‌they‌ ‌were‌ ‌roomies.‌ ‌ ‌

Victoria, the self-proclaimed queen grew increasingly glossy eyed as the episode went on and interrupted another girl’s alone time with Matt to talk to him for the second time. She also handed out a bunch of unsolicited advice and made some pretty funny puns along the way. The‌ ‌rest of the girls‌ who hadn’t talked to Matt ‌slowly‌ began to ‌panic as we got to know one more break out competitor, Bri. Bri is gorgeous and said she wanted to see what diverse, happy love looks like.

While Bri and Rachael were clearly in the running for the first impression rose, it all came back to sweet Abigail. Matt remembered everything she told him about her hearing and they talked about her sister who is also deaf and how she followed in her footsteps when it came to being open about her hearing. It all led up to the first- not forced steamy kiss of the season and it quickly became apparent that Abigail would be getting the first impression rose. Matt found her after picking up the rose and told her “‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌things‌ ‌I‌ ‌challenged‌ ‌women‌ ‌with‌ ‌was‌ ‌being‌ ‌vulnerable… You‘re‌ ‌a‌ ‌fighter.”‌ ‌They‌ ‌then made‌ ‌out‌ ‌again‌ before Abigail said in an interview. “The‌ ‌fact‌ ‌that‌ ‌he‌ ‌sees‌ ‌potential‌ ‌in‌ ‌me‌ ‌just‌, ‌makes‌ ‌me‌ really ‌‌ excited.”‌ ‌ ‌

It all finally led up to the rose ceremony and the women looked exhausted, a little tipsy, and scared that they would go home. The first‌ ‌rose‌ of course, went‌ ‌out‌ ‌to‌ ‌Bri‌, and it was quickly followed by ‌Rachael.‌ ‌Both women looked fresh-faced even though it was like 6 am. They were then followed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Chelsea‌ ‌who is also a total sweetheart. Matt then vented about how hard it was “making‌ ‌eye‌ ‌contact‌ ‌with‌ ‌girls‌ ‌that‌ ‌you‌ ‌know‌ ‌you‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌rose‌ ‌for”‌ ‌and even the viewers at home could feel the desperate pleas through some of the girl’s eyes. No one could compare to Anna though, whose huge smile gave major Hannah B vibes.

One by one Matt called the last of the women’s names and the frowns continued to grow. Victoria‌ ‌the‌ proclaimed ‌queen‌ ‌ended‌ ‌up‌ ‌getting‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌rose.‌ ‌“Thank‌ ‌you‌, my‌ king,” she said before‌ ‌a‌ hair flip.‌ ‌ ‌The rest of the women walked out of the mansion and it was daylight outside, meaning they were awake... Filming all night. Time will tell what happens next week but it’s possible this might actually be “the most dramatic season in history” of The Bachelor.

The Bachelor airs Monday on ABC 5PM ET/8PM PT.

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