We think it’s safe to say that Matt James’ season of The Bachelor did not go according to plan.
James gave his final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell, but long before the finale aired, the events of the season were overshadowed by an increasingly ugly race scandal.
In case you missed it, Kirkconnell attended a plantation-themed party in 2018, while she was still in college.
Obviously, that’s a bad look under any circumstances, but it’s especially egregious considering Rachael was in the running to win the heart of the first Black Bachelor.
Fans weren’t surprised to learn that Matt and Rachael had broken up well before the finale and the After the Final Rose special aired.
Though the breakup did not come as a surprise, Matt’s decision was clearly a devastating blow to Kirkconnell.
Matt seemed firm in his decision when he and Rachael were on the ATFR stage together, but in the weeks that followed, some surprising developments took place.
Rumors that Matt and Rachael were back together began to circulate on social media, and when Kirkconnell made a trip to New York City last week, it was rumored that she did so in order to reconcile with James.
But it seems Matt was hedging his bets, as he was also communicating regularly with an ex-girlfriend named Grace Amerling.
Amerling made an appearance on Reality Steve’s Instagram Live last week to reveal that she broke up with Matt after learning that he was entertaining the possibility of getting back together with Rachael.
Now, insiders are telling Us Weekly that Rachael also kicked Matt to the curb after learning that he was attempting to juggle two relationships at the same time.
A source close to James tells the outlet that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding.
The insider insists that Matt was “not looking for a romantic relationship with Rachael after he ended it with her” and that any communication between the two of them was purely platonic.
However, it seems that Rachael came away with a very different impression of their conversations.
The trip to New York wasn’t a total waste, as Rachael was able to spend time with some of the other contestants from her season.
But according to a source close to the situation, Kirkconnell is still very unhappy about the way things turned out.
“Rachael is very emotional right now because she was very hopeful that things were going to work out. She’s still trying to process this,” an insider told Us Weekly, adding it “doesn’t seem like they will be getting back together.”
Meanwhile, Matt has attempted to distance himself from The Bachelor faster than just about any star in the history of the franchise.
Sources close to James say he wants nothing to do with the show and will only participate in promotional events if he’s contractually obligated to do so.
According to these insiders, Matt will be focusing on his charity, ABC Food Tours, and his career in real estate.
We guess it’s a safe bet that he won’t be appearing in Katie Thurston or Michelle Young’s seasons!