ABC is ushering in a new season of “The Bachelorette” with Matt James set to make history with “The Bachelor” coming to an end on Dec. 22.
In an extraordinary way, James was revealed as the lead – several months before it was even filmed – and he kept the secret under wraps, not even telling his own mother until the live show was announced.
The announcement itself is certainly one of the least amazing ways for James to change the franchise for the first time.
He is a black man.
The guy ‘looking for love’ is a black man for the first time in The Bachelor franchise (25 seasons).
Lately, the show has faced a lot of criticism for lacking diversity in front of and behind the camera.
And in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, ABC agreed to reveal in June – via a Good Morning America interview – that James would take over the spot in the Bachelorette season in place of Clare Crawley.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction.”I think it’s a step in the right direction,”This is hopefully the first of many black men to be in the position I’m in now.”This is hopefully the first of many black men to be in the position I’m in now.
Matt James on becoming the first black lead for @BachelorABC: “I think it’s a step in the right direction.” https://t.co/NNfmVuXLKI #TheBachelor #BachelorNation pic.twitter.com/dvP5Qr3gfH- Good Morning America (@GMA) June 12, 2020 He hasn’t been a show contestant yet.
Typically, since she is a top contestant and audience favorite from a previous season as a contestant on “The Bachelor” the leading lady of “The Bachelorette.” is selected.
And while the announcements of some of the latest leads have been surprising – mostly because they have not been a contestant for a few years – viewers have never seen James before on an edition of the show. He was expected to be a contestant in Crawley’s season before James was revealed as “The Bachelor,” but his plans clearly changed after the news broke.
This is intriguing from a viewer’s viewpoint. Since James has never been on the show before, everyone will be totally new to his storyline as a main character. He will not have a built-in plot linked to a previous lead role, and along with the women on the show, viewers will have to get to know him.
While James has not appeared on any shows in the Bachelor franchise, as he is the best friend of former contestant Tyler Cameron and former Bachelorette Hannah Brown, he is recognizable to some viewers. Via his social media presence, people have gotten to know James a little, but that’s nothing compared to the intimate look that television appears to curate from its talents.
The entire season will take place at a Pennsylvania resort.
James’ season avoided both domestic and international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was entirely filmed at the Nemacolin Woodlands resort in Pennsylvania. Just like the season of Crawley – which then turned into Tayshia Adams’ – the romantic dates of the show will all take place within the boundaries of the resort grounds owing to safety concerns. James’ contestants had to shoot in the stunning fall weather of Pennsylvania, surrounded by snow, instead of enduring the dry heat of La Quinta, California – where the final season of “The Bachelorette” took place -.
If the attempt at “The Bachelorette” by Crawley and Adams has taught us something, it is that despite the lack of travel, the producers and crew of this franchise can create a dramatic and sizzling season without the romantic backdrop of worldwide cities.
And anyway, the excitement of James becoming the first black male character, as well as someone entirely new to the show, should be more than sufficient to get January on the must-watch lists of viewers this season.
The Bachelor premiers at 8 p.m. on Jan. 4.
On ABC, EST.
‘The Bachelor’: Chris Harrison reveals that a ‘familiar face’ will include the cast of Matt James.