'The Bachelor' Season 25 with Matt James: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about ABC's dating reality show
The new season of 'The Bachelor' created history even before it aired after announcing Matt James as the lead on June 12 after #BachelorSoWhite began to trend amid fans petitioning for a Black Bachelor
'The Bachelor' completed 18 years on the air in 2020 after premiering on ABC in March 2002. The show's success led to it turning bigger in no time and the network has since then turned it into a franchise and introduced a number of spin-offs of this hit series, including 'The Bachelorette' that is currently on the air. Season 16 of Bachelorette was about to air earlier this year in June, however, the shoot couldn't be completed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that was at a peak during the filming around March, resulting in all shoots being halted. That's when another spin-off titled 'The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever!' was introduced. This show was a summer replacement for 'The Bachelor' and focused on the past hit seasons of this mega-successful franchise. The first episode featured Sean Lowe, frontman of Season 17. Sean is one of the most unproblematic Bachelor leads the show has ever witnessed, however, #BachelorSoWhite began to trend and fans began to highlight how problematic the show has been.
This opposition was hot on the heels of an interview that Rachel Lindsay had given where she, the show's first and only Black lead spoke out about the franchise's lack of diversity, calling it "embarrassing". She also mentioned that the possibility of a Black person becoming President of the United States is higher than being cast as a lead on the franchise. She also mentioned, "That’s very frustrating for me, and if we’re going around talking about ‘black lives matter,’ and what’s important… well then let’s talk about systemic change when it comes to The Bachelor franchise.”
In the wake of this movement that continued to rage on social media, ABC announced on June 12 that Matt James, an erstwhile NFL player will be the new Bachelor becoming the first Black male lead of the show. Here's all you need to know about his season.
'The Bachelor' Season 25 will premiere on January 4, 2021. This will also mark the return of the show to its regular Monday night programming.
For the past eighteen years, the premise of the show has been the same. 'The Bachelor' meets around 30 romantic interests, among whom he looks for a potential wife/partner. The frontman then goes on group dates and one-on-one dates with the suitresses and in the end, two contestants make it to the final rose ceremony from which the lead chooses one to propose marriage.
The 28-year-old lead was initially going to be a cast member on Clare Crawley's season which is now Tayshia Adams's season of 'The Bachelorette'. Karey Burke, President of ABC Entertainment confirmed the same saying, "When filming [Crawley’s season] couldn’t move forward as planned [because of the coronavirus pandemic], we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor."
James played football at Wake Forest University before a brief stint as a wide receiver in the NFL; he missed his shot with the Carolina Panthers and then was cut (twice) by the New Orleans Saints. He then moved to New York City. "I didn’t think I was going to make a career out of football, but I thought my stint in the NFL would be longer than a few months," he said in an interview. He is also the co-founder of ABC Food Tours along with Bachelor alum and Gigi Hadid's ex Tyler Cameron. The best friends run this program which is designed to teach underprivileged New York City youth about how to lead healthy, active lifestyles while giving them a chance to try new restaurants in their local communities. Cameron and James both lead the tours and run the organization behind the scenes, according to a PEOPLE report.
The network seems to have taken a number of measures to ensure that there are no complaints about the show sidelining BIPOC and has cast a very diverse group of women for James' season.
The trailer for the upcoming season was subject to a lot of criticism. In one of the scenes, James was heard saying that he'd never been in love before which a lot of fans consider as a red flag while the rest went ahead to say that "he seems off and weird." You can check the trailer below.
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