After 24 long seasons, The single person finally kicks off season 25 with its first Black Bachelor. And the franchise had a great call with Matt James, a big, shy broker who also works with underprivileged children. Tonight Matt took on the impossible task of meeting 32 women in one evening, the most Single history, then eliminate eight. He was extremely nervous pretty much the entire time, but somehow it made him one of the most endearing singles we’ve had in a while. Unlike Colton (“I’m a virgin!”) Or Peter (“I’m a pilot!”), Matt seems to sincerely believe that this Single the process might actually work (“I think so,” he tells his pretty mom), despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Part of its appeal can be attributed to the fact that Matt is a newbie to Bachelor Nation: never appeared on The bachelorette or Baccalaureate In Paradise before that, although he is a close friend with Bachelorette Tyler Cameron dreamboat and almost appeared in the Clare Crawley season. So, Matt’s confused charm appears to be genuine, as he tries to find words other than “Likewise” and “I like it” as he meets a plethora of complete strangers, in the hopes of finding a real love match. Of course, that seems impossible, especially when you consider the multitude of recent Single ruptures. But these crazy kids Tayshia and Zac just finished The bachelorette on a positive note, so who knows? Matt at least seems sincere about his intentions, which might make him a better bachelor than most.
He’s also a trailblazer for the franchise, a position he wisely discusses with host Chris Harrison – “the pressure I put on myself as the first Black Bachelor” – before meeting just one candidate, acknowledging that s’ he is dating a black woman or a white woman, someone out there is bound to be in arms. It’s a thoughtful move that helps bring the issue of race to the fore, at least for a few moments. Thankfully, some contestants in tonight’s diverse crop are also highlighting Matt’s unique status in the Single world, highlighting how important it is to see this kind of representation (again, finally) in a popular reality TV series.
Certainly it is the Single first, so that things don’t stay serious for long; To stand out from the fray, women show up in everything from goat’s feet to football gear. Kaili appears in lingerie and a few dresses to choose from; Katie just brings her own vibrator. The problem with bringing in a vibrator as an accessory, however, is that you are then stuck wearing it all night, and will likely now be known as a “vibrator”. Sometimes a gadget isn’t enough, however, a painful lesson learned by professional ballerina Alicia who keeps twirling on her toes (I screwed every Little pretty things during the holidays. Not proud.)
Even in the midst of the plethora of women, what would be really great this season is to see them build each other up instead of spending all of their time breaking down chasing the same man. I know, I must have wanted to watch a completely different show. But you would have hoped that the Single-powers-that-be would have learned lessons from last season, in which contestants barely old enough to drink legally like Mykenna and Hannah Ann plugged the works with endless drama and probably couldn’t count on them so you can still choose a life partner at that age. (Swinging in the opposite direction, the next Bachelorette the season didn’t really work out either, when 39-year-old Clare Crawley decided competitor Dale the nanosecond he got out of the limo.) And yet, here is Kit, 21, among the youngest Single competitors, already firing daggers at the self-proclaimed ‘queen’ Victoria – I mean, rightly so, Victoria fears – but declaring herself king, CEO, president. They’ll probably keep these two there for weeks just to verbally fight, adding to The single person’s non-feminist agenda. I know they have to show all of these moments for the “drama to come this season!” clips, but it would be nice to see some real genuine friendships evolve from The single person this time.
Especially since Matt himself seems so genuine, it casts a glimmer of hope over the entire season. Yeah, I know he’s already pushed himself Cameo, and he and Tyler have too many goods. I’m not even a religious person, but like candidate Rachael, I couldn’t help but choke a bit when Matt decided to start the first night with a group prayer, true to himself. and his faith. He knows he’s not the sweetest talker or a gamer like the singles of the past. Like any normal person would be, he is overwhelmed with the process of meeting so many beautiful women at once, and on television to boot. But his relationship with Abigail, the recipient of the first impression, was really sweet, as she spoke about her deafness and he greatly admired her openness and honesty. It happens to me every season; I’m willing to throw it all away as some unnecessary social exercise that gives me a few hours of brainless TV every week, then a moment like Matt handing Abigail the rose on the couch pops up and I’m sucked in for real. Shit, Single. You got me again.
- My pick for the last four: Abigail, Chelsea the jaw-dropping model, Sarah the presenter from San Diego who came home to babysit her dad with ALS, and lawyer Kristin, mostly because of it. tweet:
- Honesty, I feel like Matt’s hardest job must have been remembering the names of all the women he fair meet.
- Victoria looks so bright on screen that I feel like the makeup artists backstage must hate her too.
- The pre-game prayer got a “Whoo!” “
- Accessories for the joke on the “buzzkill” vibrator. Oh my God, she named him MJ.
- From previews: Never-kissed Heather (from Colton’s season) just appeared? Is that so? I’m so against this fairly recent trend of people just appearing on The single person and The bachelorette whenever they feel like it. Respect the sanctity of the rose ceremony, folks!
- This is just a passage for this important moment Single premiere, but watch this space for a possible recap or an occasional roundtable, depending on how this season unfolds!