Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Matt James is a stud,

And he’s totally lovable, too. 

After a brisk 12-day off-season, we’re back. The Bachelor is starting 2021 off with a massive bang — beginning with the arrival of the first Black lead in the show's 18-year history. Season 25 will be led by Matt James, who is Tyler Cameron’s best friend who somehow avoided being on any preceding season and skyrocketed right to the star role. 

The announcement came after 80,000 people signed an online petition that demanded The Bachelor to “reflect and honor the racial diversity of our country — both in front of and behind the camera.” After 40 seasons, the time has finally (and rightfully) come. 

If you don’t know who Matt James is, he’s basically a lifelong athlete with a heart of gold. The 29-year-old North Carolina native was a wide receiver at Wake Forest University, where he met Cameron. After moving to New York City, the duo started ABC Food Tours, a nonprofit organization with a mission of taking children in underserved communities on tours of restaurants around the city to educate and inspire them. 

In 2021, he’s looking for Mrs. James. The 32-contestant cast is chock-full of diversity and bold, confident women. Upon arrival, some contestants chose the throughout route with sweet gifts, while others chose an explicit strategy by showing up with vibrators and even wearing lingerie. 

All in all, it was a stunning opening night of what Chris Harrison has claimed to be the “most dramatic season yet.” Let’s recap: 

First Impression Rose: Abigail

This season is surely one of many firsts, including the first hearing-impaired contestant. When Abigail stepped out of the limo, she let Matt know that she’d been looking at his lips a lot — not because he’s adorable, but because she was born deaf and wears a cochlear implant. Right after, Matt promised to annunciate for her. 

The two sit down just before the rose ceremony for their one-on-one conversation of the night. “You’re gorgeous, and how honest and open you were—” he says before Abigail cuts him off mid-sentence because she’s so shocked he even remembered her. “Once I heard your name I went blank … I was just staring at your eyes. I’m glad you’re here.”

She not only gets the first makeout of the season, but the First Impression Rose of the night. He credits it to her being so vulnerable with him, the only thing he asked the women to do. 

Most likely to be a villain: Victoria

It’s just way too easy to spot. Seriously, I felt like Coach Boomer from Sky High assigning the heroes, villains and sidekicks as women came out of the limo. Although there will be several sidekicks and plenty of villains, our royal pain this season will definitely be Victoria.

As someone whose career occupation is “queen,” it’s only inevitable that Victoria will quickly be the season 25 super-villain. And no, she’s probably not leaving anytime soon. It’s only The Bachelor norm for the season villain to stay around way longer than needed — stirring up constant drama in the house and the lead being completely blind to it all. 

It’s a hard act to completely shatter your reputation night one, but Queen Victoria had no issue stepping on toes immediately. It all began when she interrupted Kit and Matt by saying, “Excuse me, princess, but the queen is here.” Kit (another soon-to-be villain) is obviously pissed and fires back by trashing her to the other women in the house. 

Victoria loses even more points thereafter by going back to Matt for a second time, which is a big night one no-no. With so many women and such little time, going back for seconds is basically saying “F--- you” to everyone else in the house. 

Much to no surprise, she gets the very last rose at the rose ceremony. It had producer-instigated written all over it. 

Most likely to get the final rose: Bri

First out of the limo and most likely to receive the final rose: Bri. Matt was clearly on edge, and Bri was the perfect person to instantly calm his nerves. She greeted him by sweetly saying, “I’ve heard so much about you, and everyone speaks so highly of you,” while also assuring that she’s here to get to know him. 

Later in the night, the two sit down and discuss diverse love stories and how it’s something they never saw growing up. Bri opens up about her parents, stating, “They were separated before I was born. My mom was single her whole life and devoted her whole life to raising me. I never saw an example of what love was like.” 

Not only did the conversation and chemistry just flow between the two, but their stories are incredibly similar. Matt was also raised by a single mother and is questionable about love, so it’s clear to see this couple will have a lot of common ground to relate upon. We love them together. 

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