Guide to “The Bachelor” in 2021: Season 25
If you missed season 25 of “The Bachelor,” which features real estate broker Matt James looking for love, here’s everything you need to know about the reality show in 2021. We’ll also have some news to share about the upcoming season.
What Happened Last Season?
In Season 25 of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” which premiered Jan. 4, 2021, Matt James dated 37 women over 12 episodes in hopes of finding his future wife. The show aired on Monday nights through its March 15, 2021, season finale.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about quarantining and other safety protocols, season 25 of “The Bachelor” was filmed at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Penn., which is just southeast of Pittsburgh. Previously, season 16 of “The Bachelorette” was filmed at this resort.
This was also the last season hosted by longtime Bachelor franchise personality, Chris Harrison.
Who Was the Bachelor?
For season 25, 28-year-old real estate broker and charity founder Matt James was selected as the Bachelor looking for love. Originally, he was slated to compete for the affection of Clare Crawley on season 16 of “The Bachelorette.” When the pandemic delayed filming for that series, though, the franchise selected him as the Bachelor.
James is the first Black male Bachelor in the history of the long-running series. Raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, James attended Wake Forest University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. From 2011 to 2014, he was also a wide receiver on the university’s football team. After graduation, he dreamed of playing in the NFL and attended tryouts for the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints in 2015 but wasn’t signed to either pro team.
James lives in New York City, where he works for the commercial real estate company, CBRE Group, Inc. He also founded a nonprofit organization, ABC Food Tours, which educates kids about nutrition and exercise in underserved communities in NYC.
Who Were the Contestants?
In October 2020, before season 25 ever aired, “The Bachelor” revealed 43 potential contestants for Matt James to date. This was whittled down to 32 women by the time the final cast was revealed in December of that year. In the third week of the show, five additional women joined the show. This brought the total number of contestants to 37 for the season.
A former contestant from season 23, Heather Martin, was asked to join the cast in week six, but James turned her down.
Here are the 37 women who dated James in season 25 of “The Bachelor”:
- Rachael Kirkconnell: This 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, Georgia, was the winner of season 25.
- Michelle Young: This 27-year-old teacher from Edina, Minnesota, was the season 25 runner-up. She was selected as the lead for season 18 of “The Bachelorette.”
- Briana “Bri” Springs: This 24-year-old communications manager from San Francisco, California, was eliminated during the ninth week’s rose ceremony.
- Serena Pitt: This 23-year-old flight attendant from San Francisco quit during the eighth week, after her hometown date with James, after deciding he wasn’t her “person.” She will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Pieper James: This 23-year-old graduate student from Happy Valley, Oregon, was eliminated during the seventh week’s rose ceremony.
- Jessenia Cruz: This 27-year-old social media marketer from San Antonio, Texas, was eliminated after a one-on-one date during the seventh week. James said he didn’t feel a romantic connection with her. She will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Kit Keenan: This 21-year-old fashion entrepreneur from New York City left the show voluntarily during week seven because she realized she wasn’t ready to be engaged. She is the daughter of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
- Abigail Heringer: This 25-year-old client financial manager from Beaverton, Oregon, was eliminated after a one-on-one date during the seventh week. James said he had stronger feelings for other women. She was the franchise’s first deaf contestant. Heringer will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Chelsea Vaughn: This 29-year-old runway model from Brooklyn, New York, was eliminated during the sixth week’s rose ceremony.
- Serena Chew: This 24-year-old flight attendant from San Francisco, California, was eliminated during the sixth week’s rose ceremony. She will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Katie Thurston: This 29-year-old bank marketing manager from Lynnwood, Washington, was eliminated during the sixth week’s rose ceremony. She was selected as the lead for season 17 of “The Bachelorette.”
- Brittany Galvin: This 23-year-old model from Hinsdale, Illinois, was eliminated during the fifth week’s rose ceremony.
- Mearg “Magi” Tareke: This 32-year-old pharmacist from Washington, D.C., was eliminated during the fifth week’s rose ceremony.
- Ryan Claytor: This 26-year-old dancer and choreographer from Brooklyn, New York, was eliminated during the fifth week’s rose ceremony.
- Meredith “MJ” Snyder: This 23-year-old hairstylist from Hudson, Ohio, was eliminated before the fifth week’s rose ceremony for bullying other women in the house.
- Catalina Morales: This 29-year-old former Miss Puerto Rico from New York City was eliminated during the fourth week’s rose ceremony.
- Lauren Maddox: This 29-year-old corporate attorney from Miami, Florida, was eliminated during the fourth week’s rose ceremony.
- Mariela “Mari” Pepin: This 24-year-old marketing director from Severn, Maryland, was eliminated during the fourth week’s rose ceremony. She was also Miss Maryland USA 2019 and a top 10 finalist in the 2019 Miss USA competition. Pepin will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Victoria Larson: This 27-year-old self-proclaimed “queen” from Los Angeles, California, was eliminated during the fourth week’s rose ceremony for being mean to other girls in the house. She will appear in season seven of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
- Anna Redman: This 24-year-old copywriter from Owatonna, Minnesota, was eliminated the fourth week before the rose ceremony after being confronted by James for accusing another contestant of being an escort.
- Kaili Anderson: This 26-year-old hostess from Chicago, Illinois, was eliminated during the third week’s rose ceremony.
- Khaylah Epps: This 28-year-old health care advocate from Durham, North Carolina, was eliminated during the third week’s rose ceremony.
- Kimberly “Kim” Li: This 28-year-old ICU nurse from Cypress, California, was eliminated during the third week’s rose ceremony.
- Sarah Trott: This 24-year-old broadcast journalist from San Diego, California, quit the show during the third week after hostile exchanges with other women in the house.
- Alana Milne: This 26-year-old photographer from San Antonio, Texas, was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Illeana Pennetto: This 25-year-old health food developer from South Salem, New York, was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Kristin Hopkins: This 27-year-old attorney from Virginia Beach was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Marylynn Sienna: This 28-year-old event coordinator from Huntington Beach, California, was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Sydney Johnson: This 28-year-old marketing specialist from Franklin, Tennessee, was eliminated during the second rose ceremony. She is the daughter of former New York Giants running back coach Craig Johnson, who is currently an analyst for the University of Maryland.
- Alicia Holloway: This 24-year-old professional ballerina from Morgantown, West Virginia, was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Amber Andrews: This 30-year-old nursing student from Rialto, California, was eliminated during the second week’s rose ceremony.
- Carolyn Vallejo: This 30-year-old journalist from Newburyport, Massachusetts, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
- Casandra Suarez: This 25-year-old social worker from Lodi, California, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
- Corrinne Jones: This 22-year-old marketing manager from Pomfret, Connecticut, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
- Emani Curl: This 25-year-old realtor from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
- Kimberly Courneya: This 28-year-old airline recruiter from Lake Tapps, Washington, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
- Saneh Ste. Claire: This 25-year-old IT consultant from St. Augustine, Florida, was eliminated during the first week’s rose ceremony.
What Were Some of the Most Memorable Moments?
As always on “The Bachelor,” season 25 was filled with dramatic moments. After starting the show with 32 contestants, James — and the other women — were surprised when five new women joined the competition in the third week.
There was plenty of fighting among the women, as well. James tried to shut it down when he could, including by eliminating two of the worst offenders — the self-proclaimed “queen” Victoria Larson and Anna Redman — in the fourth week. Redman was even eliminated before the rose ceremony ever started for accusing another woman in the house of being an escort.
Later in the season, the show’s youngest contestant, Kit Keenan, dropped out during the seventh week because she realized she wasn’t ready for marriage. During that same week, James surprised two women when he sent them home after one-on-one dates. He told Abigail Heringer, who received his first impression rose the night he met all the women, that he felt stronger connections with others in the house. He also told Jessenia Cruz that he didn’t feel a romantic connection with her.
James got a surprise of his own in the eighth week when Serena Pitt decided to end her time on the show after their hometown date and his meeting her family. She decided he wasn’t right for her and self-eliminated.
In the season’s finale, James chose between Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young. Ultimately, he chose Kirkconnell, telling Young he couldn’t give her the love she deserves.
Who Was Chosen By the Bachelor in the Latest Season?
James selected Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, Georgia.
The big controversy came after the season ended, when photos surfaced of Kirkconnell attending a 2018 “Old South” ball hosted by Kappa Alpha Order at Georgia College & State University. The event celebrates the Antebellum South, with members of the fraternity wearing Confederate uniforms and the women dressing as Southern belles.
The photos led to the couple briefly splitting up, although they’ve since gotten back together.
Host Chris Harrison also defended Kirkconnell initially, which led to his leaving “The Bachelor” franchise after nearly 20 years.
What to Know About the Upcoming Season of “The Bachelor” in 2021
There hasn’t been much information released about season 26 of “The Bachelor.” The show usually airs in the fall, but that changed up a bit during the pandemic.
Season 25 didn’t air until January and into the spring of 2021. There are also two back-to-back seasons of “The Bachelorette,” with season 18 airing in the fall. This means that there likely won’t be a new season of “The Bachelor” until early 2022.
Who Will the Bachelor Be?
The lead of season 26 hasn’t been announced yet.
Can You Still Audition to Be on “The Bachelor” for Next Season?
According to the Bachelor Nation casting page, women can still audition to date the next Bachelor. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply here.
Where to Watch “The Bachelor”
Several past seasons of “The Bachelor” can be found on Hulu. To watch live episodes of “The Bachelor,” check out the ABC website or download the ABC Go App. You can also live stream the show on fuboTV.
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