If Reality Steve’s reporting is accurate, Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell’s relationship is over before the this season of The Bachelor has finished airing. While the details of the breakup are not yet known, it is almost certain the controversy that has played out over the past few weeks involving Kirkconnell’s racist past and Chris Harrison’s insensitive comments likely played a role.
Prior to Harrison’s disastrous interview on Extra with Rachel Lindsay, James had been supportive of Kirkconnell. He urged upset fans to wait and let Kirkconnell tell her side of the story. As pressure has mounted, however, James knew he could no longer stay silent. After issuing an initial statement standing up for the contestants who had spoken out in support of Lindsay, James wrote a more detailed statement on Instagram on Monday evening. In that post, he offered his first public rebuke of Kirkconnell’s actions, calling them “disappointing.”
It was not long after that Reality Steve, the resident spoiler of all things Bachelor, tweeted that Matt and Rachael had indeed broken up. This hardly comes as a surprise, given everything that has transpired over the last couple of weeks. Reality Steve had previously reported that Matt chose Rachael at the end of the season, but the two didn’t get engaged.
(SPOILER): Not that Matt’s statement wasn’t pretty clear itself, but I can confirm that Matt and Rachael have broken up. https://t.co/tarvmmDQAb
— RealitySteve (@RealitySteve) February 23, 2021
If the breakup rumors are true, this would be one of the shortest-lasting relationships in show history. There have only been a few cases in which the lead is single by the time After the Final Rose airs. At this point, it seems like the After the Final Rose segment could be scrapped. Harrison won’t be hosting, and there will be no love story to celebrate.
It’s unknown how strong James and Kirkconnell’s relationship was before the public controversy ignited. But they must have realized their only choice was to end things. They would have been asked to go on a press tour following the conclusion of the show and answer a bunch of questions they would rather dodge. They wouldn’t be able to avoid the conversations about Rachael’s past racism and their romance would always be linked to Chris Harrison’s comments.
This season has been the ugliest in the show’s history. The show cast a Black male lead but kept everything else the same. James couldn’t fix the systemic issues by himself, and now he’s still single because of it. Honestly, though, it could be worse. It didn’t really seem like James was looking for a serious relationship anyway.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8pm EST on ABC.
Source: Reality Steve