Matt James just made his historic debut on the Bachelor franchise as the first Black bachelor—and he is in for quite the “journey.” And based on the teaser, this season will have no shortages of drama. From new women entering midway through the competition to a Bachelor Nation alum showing up, there are seemingly lots of plot twists ahead,
The night one women really pulled out all the stops to win his attention— including some NSFW props, a tiara, and Bachelor survival pack. But there were a few girls that really caught Matt’s—and our—eye for some more genuine reasons. One of which is Abigail Heringer who received Matt’s first impression rose after a deep and honest conversation about her hearing impairment. She was also the only contestant to receive a smooch from the bachelor by the end of the night. But just because he wasn’t going around and handing out kisses doesn’t mean other contestants didn’t win him over.
So we’ve rounded up—in no particular order (except for America's #1 sweetheart, our girl Abigial!)—the eight contenders for Matt’s heart that we think could go really far. Prepare yourself to get “vulnerable”—that seems to be the theme this season.
This 25-year-old client financial manager from Oregon really impressed Matt—and all of America. She’s making history as the first deaf Bachelor contestant. She opened up to Matt about her hearing impairment, and the two quickly bonded. He remembered everything about her—like how she has an older sister who also has hearing loss—though he said he blacked out after meeting her because he was so nervous. And they had the cutest moment when the conversation ended—Matt was waiting to plant a smooch, and you could practically feel the anticipation through the screen!! Ah, so sweet. She gets our rose for night one, too!
The 24-year-old graphic designer from Georgia was quite taken with Matt after his opening prayer (as were we!!). She teared up as she explained that everything he said aligned with her beliefs. They then had a sweet conversation where they seemed to really hit off. She will definitely be one to watch!
The 24-year-old from San Fran is a communications manager at a high-profile tech company—so prestigious in fact that they can’t name which one. Hmm. While she obviously has a successful career, she seems sweet enough. She and Matt really seemed to genuinely connect. We look forward to seeing where the rest of this “journey” takes her.
This gorgeous 29-year-old runway model from Brooklyn, NY made quite the impression in a very sexy dress. Matt even made a comment that she was really wearing that dress. And yes she was. She and Matt had a cute moment later in the night where she demonstrated a catwalk strut for him.
The 24-year-old Puerto Rican native and former beauty queen shared a deep, yet brief, moment with Matt about her family and their struggles with the natural disasters in their country. While she didn’t get a ton of time with Matt—thanks to the, er, previously mentioned NSFW prop—we think we’ll be seeing some more moments like this between the two.
The 24-year-old from San Diego is a former broadcast journalist who moved home to become a full time caregiver for her dad who was recently diagnosed with ALS. She and Matt have a sweet moment when she shares this information with him. And based on the season trailer, it seems that she falls fast and hard for Matt. It looks like Sarah will be shedding a tear—or two.
The 21-year-old “fashion entrepreneur” and NYU student is the youngest contestant on the show, but will still seemingly provide lots of drama. The New York City native is actually quite the socialite and fashion brand heiress (think Blair Waldorf). Her mom is famous designer Cynthia Rowley, and based on her Instagram account, she has the wardrobe to prove it. In the season teaser, she and Matt share a smooch in a hot tub, so it seems that she’ll catch his attention, too.
The 22-year-old publicist from Ontario, Canada seems to make quite the splash with Matt. The two are shown sharing a steamy kiss during what appears to be a 1-on-1 date in the teaser. Plus, she tells him that she could see herself “falling in love” with him.