Matt James prays to find love on night 1 of 'The Bachelor'

ByJennifer Matarese KABC logo
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Matt James hands out his first impression rose on 'The Bachelor'
Abigail gets Matt's first impression rose on "The Bachelor."

NEW YORK -- Your season 25 of "The Bachelor" started with Katie introducing herself in a shocking way. You could say it gave Matt James some vibrations. He's in for a wild ride as someone who has never been on "The Bachelorette" or any of the franchise's other shows.

This season of the show is filming at a beautiful resort called Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania. His digs were also nice and at an estate nearby. He grew up in North Carolina with his mom and older brother John. His father is Black and his mom is white. He said that he grew up in a single-parent household and his mom couldn't have been more proud of all of his success. He was a college athlete and now works in real estate in New York City. He also has a charity that he runs with "Bachelorette" alum Tyler Cameron.

His beautiful mother told him that she hopes he lets his walls down and can meet his "one and only." She's spectacular. She told him that she's glad he's worried about getting his heartbroken because that means that he thinks that there could be a woman during this experience capable of breaking his heart. That leads her to believe he's taking this process very seriously and he's ready for it.

The women profiled before the limos were:

- Alicia, 24, is a professional ballerina in NYC. She's a bit of a perfectionist and loves to be around kids because she also teaches ballet.

- Abigail, 25, is from Portland Oregon she has a cochlear implant and she's really excited to meet Matt.

- Kristin, 27, is a lawyer from New Jersey. She loves rooftop bars, drinking, and Cardi B.

- Magi, 32, is a pharmacist from Ethiopia. She came to the states just 9 years ago

- Anna, 24, is an advertising copywriter from Chicago. She's also super excited to meet Matt.

- Sarah, 24, is from San Diego and quit her job as a reporter in Palm Springs. It wasn't to be on the show, but rather to move home to help be a caregiver for her father who has ALS. He was diagnosed when she was 19 and he is still alive, but unable to speak. He uses a computer to do so now.

Chat with Chris Harrison

Matt was a little nervous and didn't know a lot about "The Bachelor" journey. He told Chris Harrison that he thought about how he would carry himself and how he would behave, he just got overwhelmed when he saw the red carpet he was standing on. Chris Harrison said that if he gives it a real shot, he may actually meet his future wife and woman of his dreams. "If you aren't emotional about this, you probably aren't doing it right," he told Matt.

Matt also admitted that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure being the first Black "Bachelor." He said he knows that some people want him to pick a Black woman or a white woman and he has both backgrounds. He just wants to find honest love. He worries about disappointing people a lot. Matt also worries about saying, "I love you" to someone because of what he saw between his parents, but he says he feels ready.

The Limos Arrive

1) Bri 24, communications manager from California. She told Matt that she's heard a lot about him and everyone speaks highly of him and she's just there for the opportunity to get to know him. "Wow she was incredible, off to a great start," Matt said.

2) Rachael, 24, graphic designer from California. "You are the reason I'm here, and I'm glad we get to do this whole thing for the first time together," she said.

3) Sarah, 24, reporter from San Diego. We met her earlier. She told him that although he might be feeling homesick, she hopes that someday he feels like his home is with her.

4) Jessenia, 27, social media manager from San Antonio, TX. She's looking for someone to be her rock.

5) Chelsea, 28, runway model from Brooklyn. She talked about how he's making history and she hoped they could do that together. "I'm really happy you're here," Matt said to her.

6) Mari, 24, marketing director, from Odenton, MD. She said even though they can't travel the world she was looking forward to seeing where in the world they end up together. Matt said he just didn't know what to say and said, "Wow!"

7) Magi, 32, pharmacist from Ethiopia said she came all the way there to meet him.

8) Carolyn, 30, journalist from LA. Her mom gave her lavender from her garden to give him to help relax him.

9) Sydney, 28, is a marketing specialist from Nashville. She told him that he's the hottest human being she's ever met.

10) Kristin, 27, lawyer from Jersey City. She said that he's been "found guilty of being incredibly fine."

11) Anna, 24, advertising copywriter from Chicago. She brought him a survival kit that contained red flags that he could stick on women that needed one.

12) Khaylah, 28, healthcare advocate from Durham, NC. She pulled up in a pickup truck because she wanted to remind him of home. Their common ground put him at ease.

13) Serena C., 24, flight attendant from San Francisco. She tripped as walked up the stairs and they shared a laugh.

14) Serena P., 22, publicist from Toronto. She talked about how tall he is and then stood on a step stool.

15) Alicia, 24, professional ballerina from NYC. She came in twirling and en pointe.

16) Saneh, 25, IT consultant from Denver. She told Matt that she hopes he thinks she's the "GOAT" while wearing goat slippers.

17) Alana, 26, photographer from Toronto. She did a "Lady and the Tramp" moment with some spaghetti with Matt. He gave her a real kiss! He's not shying away ladies!

18) Kaili, 26, hostess from Chicago. She showed up in her underwear and a clothing rack with dresses on it. She asked him which dress she should wear and he picked the red strapless. "Wow, damn," Matt said.

19) Abigail, 25, Client Financial Manager from Beaverton, Oregon. She told Matt that she is deaf and that she will be reading his lips and he has very beautiful lips. "She is gorgeous," Matt said.

20) Corrinne, 22, Marketing Manager from Connecticut. She told him she was blessed to be there.

21) Marylynn, 28, event coordinator from Studio City, CA. She said that everything in her life brought her there to meet him.

22) Emani, 25, realtor from Albuquerque, NM. She said she never dreamed she'd be there.

23) Lauren, 29, corporate attorney from Miami. She said she doesn't settle for anything in her life.

24) Pieper, 23, grad student from Happy Valley, Oregon. She said her dad always wanted her and her sisters to keep their last names, which is James!

25) MJ, 23, hairstylist from Ohio. She pulled up in a pizza car, locked herself out, but walked back around and then brought him a real pizza.

26) Katie, 29, bank marketing manager from Renton, WA. She's your vibrator girl.

27) Amber, 30, nursing student from California. She rode a double bicycle in.

28) Kimberly, 28, airline recruiter from Seattle. She threw a huge fish at him just like they do at the Pike Place Market.

29) Cassandra, 25, social worker from California. She wore a football jersey that said Mrs. James on the back.

30) Illeana, 25, health food developer from NYC. Her opening line? "Can I put my balls in your mouth?" He got a good laugh in and then served him a giant meatball.

31) Kit, 21, fashion entrepreneur from NYC. She pulled up in a very expensive car because the limo had a ride share vibe.

32) Victoria, 27, is apparently a Queen from LA. She got carried in on a throne by four men. She told him she's looking for a king with a good heart. She put a crown on his head, then fell down the stairs. "I'm good!" she said as she walked in.

32 women! That may be the most ever...we'd have to go to the rosemaster for the official word on that. Once the women were all inside, Katie welcomed them with her vibrator and did a toast to Matt.

Matt Welcomes the Women

He was a bit overwhelmed again as he walked in. He said his heart was pounding as he walked in the room full of women. He asked everyone to bow their head so he could give a prayer for all of them. Wow. That's a "Bachelor" first! One lady yelled out, "OK Reverend Matt!" He said that praying puts him at ease.

He was nervous but then gave a speech about his life and what his hopes were for the experienced, but then spotted the vibrator and started laughing again. He seems like a lot of fun! He said that he has tried to be a perfect person in the past, but he's going to be himself and said, "Cheers to falling in love!"

Cocktail Party

He spoke with Sarah first and they had a very nice and easy conversation. He talked about letting his guard down, how he doesn't have it all together and she said, "Nobody can relate to perfect!"

He told Kristin about the weight of being the first Black "Bachelor."

Rachael said that she appreciated that he hasn't been in the "Bachelor" franchise before and she thought it would be more special going through it for the first time together. She also told him how much she appreciated his prayer. Matt really liked her and said that she's blowing him away.

He played a big game of Chess outside with one woman. Matt admitted to her that he was on the Chess club back in school. They laughed over forgetting the rules.

Mari gave Matt a boarding pass. She said it's a place holder until they can actually go somewhere. She also wrote on there some facts about herself. She's originally from Puerto Rico. She said the hurricane was very difficult for her family and the worry they had about her grandparents. They were sharing a heartfelt moment and Katie tapped her shoulder with the vibrator. They seemed to have a fun conversation. However, Mari was not happy about the way she was interrupted. I'm sorry, I can't, but really, Katie's so funny.

Matt shared a sweat tea with his North Carolina pickup truck girl Khaylah. They seemed to really have a great connection.

Kit was having a good time talking with Matt until "The Queen" showed up. He had to explain the expression "Drinking through a fire hose" to her.

Then, Chris Harrison dropped off the first impression rose. The tension rose in the room. "My heart literally just went to my butt," one woman said.

Victoria, the queen, decided she would go and take some more of Matt's time. She gave him a bracelet she made him. She also seems very drunk, but maybe that's just how she is. It's hard to tell. She's now the most hated person amongst the women. They think she's rude to go talk to him again when others haven't had a chance yet.

Matt and Bri had a great conversation with him about how she comes from a mixed-race background and that's similar to him. She shared that seeing diverse love stories are very important to her. He really seemed to like her too!

First Impression Rose

His conversation with Abigail went really well. She and her sister are both deaf. Abigail said that her older sister was great at paving the way for her. They laughed about their initial meeting earlier in the night and then, he went in for the kiss! What?! Wow, that's amazing. Matt walked back into the main room where all of the women were waiting and staring at the first impression rose. As he walked away, hearts broke. It was no surprise he gave it to Abigail! He said that he respected that she's a fighter and that he loved their conversation. He gave her another kiss!

Rose Ceremony

1) Abigail (first impression rose)

2) Bri

3) Rachael

4) Chelsea

5) Sarah

6) MJ

7) Serena P.

8) Khaylah

9) Kristin

10) Kit

11) Magi

12) Pieper

13) Mari

14) Illeana

15) Jessenia

16) Kaili

17) Marilynn

18) Serena C.

19) Lauren

20) Sydney

21) Alana

22) Katie

23) Anna

24) Victoria (the Queen lives! You knew she had to! She accepted by saying, "Thank you my king." Ew.)

Matt felt awful as he said goodbye to the women he didn't pick. Many of those he let go he didn't get to have a conversation with during the cocktail party. He had to go off his very first impression with those women.

Preview of This Season

This season Matt does a lot of kissing! They go ziplining, skydiving, ATV riding, and hot air balloon flying! But, before you get comfortable...some new women show up. There's speculation that one woman works as a professional escort. Heather, never been kissed Heather, shows up for a shot with Matt. There's a lot of drama and a lot of crying, even from Matt. Will he find love and propose? I can't wait to find out!

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