The Bachelor really is going through it these days.
We’re talking not just about the franchise, either, amid an ongoing racism scandal that has engulfed the Season 25 favorite and also the only host the show has ever known.
We’re also talking about The Bachelor himsellf, Matt James.
Shortly after James addressed the Rachael Kirkconnell-Chris Harrison saga on Instagram, he went on a quartet of hometown dates with his final four.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series brought Bri, Michelle, Rachael and Serena P.’s loved ones to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania.
We opened with Michelle taking Matt on a bike ride and then on a virtual trip to the classroom in which she teaches.
“How many girlfriends do you have?” one student asked, to which Matt replied deftly: “I’ve got one right here, Ms. Young.”
Another student, Kelsey, wondered if the couple planned on having babies.
“That’s a great question. And yeah, I do want kids. A lot of them,” James responded, while later telliing another student that he and Michelle are discussing the whole marriage thing.
After these cute interactions, the pair kissed and Michelle told the cameras that the day had gone “even better” than she could’ve imagined.
“I’m falling in love with Matt,” she confessed, adding:
“And I think my family, they’re going to have no problem falling in love with him, too. But tonight, if they for some reason said, ‘No, we don’t like Matt,’ it would be really hard for me to move forward with our relationship.”
No pressure, though!
On her own, Michelle told her dad that she would accept a proposal from Matt.
When this same father proceeded to ask Matt if he loves her daughter, James diidn’t give a straight answer:
“I haven’t told her that yet and it’s not something I will share with her until I meant it. And I am all in for your daughter.”
Michelle, Matt and her parents ended the night playing basketball together.
“I connect with you in a way that I’ve never connected with anyone before, and so I do want you to know that after you meeting my family, I knew that I was going to take my emotions to a whole different level and I was ready for that,” Michelle said to Matt.
“And I can say that I am falling in love with you. And that makes me so excited and it’s so scary but it’s so genuine and it’s so real.”
They they smooched.
From there, it was Rachael’s time.
She picked James up in a sports car, blindfolded him and took him to another location — which ended up being the spot for skydiving!
Matt said it was the “perfect idea,” while Rachael admitted to being pretty anxious.
“It’s a different feeling when you’re falling in love and that person’s potentially, like, really hurt,” Matt told Rachael after both survived the adventure, but the latter took a hard fall.
“And the thought of losing you set in in that moment. I was like, damn we’re just getting started. I didn’t realize how strongly I felt until something like that happened to you.”
Later, when her parents arrived, Rachael held nothing back.
“I’ve definitely been falling in love with him so easily,” she told her mom, adding:
“If he were to propose to me tomorrow, I would be confident in saying ‘yes.’ Like, I know we can make this work. At least I think so.”
Kirkconnell’s mom was supportive, but her dad continually told Matt that it appeared as if the romance was moving too quickly.
Rachael ended up disappointed when Matt eventually told her he failed to ask for her father’s blessing, prompting this quote from her: “I will be completely crushed if I don’t end up with Matt.”
Up next, Bri took Matt off-roading; this time, with her behind the wheel.
When Bri’s mother asked what Matt liked about her child, Matt mentioned the commonality they shared of being raised by a single parent.
“The level we connect on is different than the conversations and connections I have with other women here, and I realized that early on when I shared with her what it’s like to grow up with a single parent,” Matt said.
“It’s made me who I am and everything that you’ve done for Bri has made her into this woman who she is today. And I see it working with Bri.”
Matt refused to drop the L-Bomb either to Bri or about Bri, but she went all in after James met her mom and her BFF.
“After taking to my mom and [my friend] Bri, I feel like I’m falling in love with you and I just… I want more time with you,” she told Matt, who gave her a kiss in response.
Would he give her a rose later on, however?
Finally, Serena brought Matt to a private bar decked out with Canadian flags, maple syrup and beaver stuffed animals.
She wanted to give him the full Canada experience.
Serena’s mom, Rasna, pulled Matt aside to talk almost as soon as she got there, asking him what he liked about her daughter.
“She’s smart, beautiful, has her head on her shoulders and she challenges me,” he responded.
“She doesn’t take crap from anybody and every time I’ve left a conversation with her, I’m thinking about her and wanting to know everything I can about her.”
In a separate conversation, after hearing that Matt was “everything” she would want for Serena, the suitor’s sibling, Talia, told her sister:
“You don’t seem smitten.
“And I think it’s because you’re in your head, personally. I think you’re logically thinking, ‘Yeah, Matt checks all the boxes, but where’s that it-factor?'”
While speaking with her dad, Serena confessed that the certainty she felt in her relationship with Matt had started to wane.
“On one end I was confident, but now I’m not 1000 percent sure,” Serena said.
Sensing that something remained “off” after the quasi hometown date, Matt paid Serena a visit at her suite and she shared the decision she came to following their meeting with her loved ones.
“When it came to being able to actually talk about my feelings for you and how I felt about you, I really struggled,” she explained.
“And I thought that it was fear initially, that I was just scared.
But I think if I’m being honest with myself, it’s more than that. And I think that it just comes down to the fact that I don’t think that you’re my person.”
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Matt took a long pause, clearly not too upset about the decision, and said:
“It sucks to hear that, ’cause I just want what’s best for you. And if that’s not going to be me, I can’t make you happy and be all those things for you then like, that stinks.”
With Serena headed home, Matt had a message for his final three prior to Fantasy Suite week:
“I just want to reiterate what it means when I offer you a rose and what comes with accepting that rose is accepting what comes with being here for me that’s an engagement,” Matt told his remaining suitors before starting the rose ceremony.
“I want you all to think long and hard about that commitment before you accept the rose tonight.”
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Michelle accepted “without hesitation,” as did Rachael and then Bri.
However, Bri felt some type of way about being the last one offered a rose.
“There’s just something a little bit disheartening knowing that I got the last rose,” she told the cameras. “I can’t help but just wonder where Matt’s head is at.”
We’ve read The Bachelor spoilers, Bri. We know the answer.
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