On Monday night (Jan. 4), Matt James made history as the first-ever Black male lead during his season premiere of The Bachelor. And while James has never been on the Bachelor franchise before, that doesn’t mean his season has any shortage of the usual drama. In a juicy season preview, we see lots of tears, kisses, and plot twists.
So you may be wondering, “Who is Matt James?” Well, for starters, you probably know his bff Tyler Cameron, member of Bachelor Nation and runner-up on Hannah Brown’s season. Maybe you’ve even seen James on Cameron’s Instagram. But do you really know everything about him? Here are 6 things you need to know about Matt James. Welcome to Bachelor Nation, Matt!
He Lives with Tyler Cameron in New York City
James lives in the Big Apple in a shared apartment with Cameron. Cameron was staying at James’ apartment on his couch until the former Bachelorette contestant officially moved to NYC and the two rented an apartment together. The luxury skyrise building is located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and features gorgeous views of the city. Talk about a bachelor pad.
He Played Football at Wake Forest College
The North Carolina native was a wide receiver at the Wake Forest College football program, according to ABCNews. This is also where he met bff Cameron, who played backup quarterback for the collegiate team.
He’s a Commercial Real Estate Broker For CBRE
After school, he tried to break into the NFL for a year before multiple leads fell through. He went on to work for PNC Bank before landing a commercial real estate gig with real estate giant CBRE. According to his bio, he provides brokerage and transaction management to many companies in NYC and all over the country.
He Was Supposed to be On Clare’s Season
Back before the Covid-19 pandemic, James was selected as one of Clare Crawley’s suitors. When filming was halted because of the coronavirus, James dropped out of Clare’s season and was then named the next Bachelor. But not before Crawley threw shade at him via Twitter for doing interviews with Cameos. James’ bff Cameron said he was glad he wasn’t on Crawley’s season given the week four proposal saying he “dodged a bullet,” according to E! News.
He Co-Founded a Non-Profit called ABC Food Tours
James and Cameron co-founded and run a nonprofit in NYC called ABC Food Tours. According to People, the two take underprivileged children on food tours all around NYC and stop at a variety of local restaurants that the children wouldn’t have been able to dine at before. There’s also an active component of the tour where the children are taught about healthy living and eating. The organization has expanded to helping more than 50,000 kids in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“We love eating at these places and we know how difficult it is to stay afloat, so we never ask for anything,” James told People last year. “For the most part we pay for everything, and a lot of it is funded by the donations that people give on our website and then independently by Tyler and myself. So we’ll put together events, like Tyler had an event at Soul Cycle where people sponsored tours and they got to ride with us at one of the studios.”
He Was a Member of the Quarantine Crew—Which Also Included Former "Bachelorette" Hannah Brown
Back in March during the first shutdown of the pandemic, “The Quarantine Crew” went viral on social media. The “Crew” consisted of Cameron, Brown, James, and a few other relatives and friends that all quarantined together in Cameron’s family home in Florida. All of Bachelor nation was on the edge of their seats to know what was going on between Cameron and Brown (which they later revealed was nothing). Although, it did seem that Brown and James built a strong friendship. She even posted on Instagram in support of him when he was named the new Bachelor.