Well, it looks like the most turbulent season in Bachelor history has experienced yet another twist.
As we reported in previous spoilers, Rachael Kirkconnell received Matt James’ final rose in the finale that was filmed back in November.
However, in the months that followed, the relationship encountered one obstacle after another.
Most of the difficulties centered around the race scandals that have overshadowed the latter half of James’ season.
The trouble began when a former high school classmate accused Kirkconnell of bullying her because she dated black men.
It was later revealed that Rachael attended a plantation-themed party in 2018, while she was still in college.
Regardless of whether it’s the stated intent of the guests and hosts, such parties are celebrations of a time when millions of Black Americans were enslaved and victimized by a barbaric system in which they were treated as property.
Just as citizens of Germany must acknowledge and mourn the atrocities committed during Hitler’s reign, so too must Americans grieve for the original sin of slavery that forever shaped the fate of this nation.
In other words, it’s not an era that should be celebrated.
Rachael eventually apologized for attending the party, but critics felt that her statement was insincere and came off as forced.
When Chris Harrison defended Kirkconnell during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, he received major backlash for his insensitivity and failure to comprehend the gravity of the situation.
Harrison later announced that he would step away from the show, which he has hosted since 2002.
It remains unclear if he will eventually return to his hosting gig.
Now, James has issued a statement that seems to indicate that he has parted ways with Kirkconnell.
“The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly,” James wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch,” he continued.
“As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years.”
Coming as it did moments before James’ “hometown” episode of the Bachelor, which saw him falling (no pun intended) for Kirkconnell, many took the statement as an indirect breakup announcement.
Now, spoiler master Reality Steve has confirmed that James and Kirkconnell have indeed parted ways.
“Not that Matt’s statement wasn’t pretty clear itself, but I can confirm that Matt and Rachael have broken up,” Steve tweeted last night.
“Watching these last few episodes is just gonna be…weird. Nothing about any of these storylines are relevant anymore, knowing what we know now.”
On his blog, Steve went into greater detail:
“I was able to confirm that Matt and Rachael broke up within the last week,” he wrote.
“I don’t have an exact day, and I don’t have any details as to why, but judging by Matt’s IG post yesterday, I get the sense that the guy was put in a no-win situation, so basically no matter what he did, he was going to take some heat,” he continued.
“If he sticks this out and shows up with Rachael on the ATFR as a couple, it’ll be “how is not affected by what she did.” Now they’ve broken it off, it’ll be ‘why couldn’t he stand by her?'”
Something tells us that the criticism Matt will receive for failing to “stand by” Kirkconnell will not be as severe as Steve seems to expect.
But in any event, it appears that we might really be in store for the most dramatic season finale … EVER!
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.