‘The Bachelor’ spoilers find that fans did not expect a one hour romantic round-up of their lead and final pick’s journey as usual when they tuned in to the After The Final Rose last night. They wanted TEA…and they got it!
The After The Final Rose special had a very different look this year. Firstly, it was prerecorded with no studio audience oohing and ahhing over the sparkly rock on ‘winner’ Rachael Kirconnell’s finger.
This would have been impossible, even without the absence of a studio audience, seeing as Matt never proposed to his finale rose choice, rather asking her to keep dating.
‘The Bachelor’ Spoilers: After The Final Rose – New Host; New Conversations But No Couple!
The biggest change on After The Final Rose for long term fans, however, was the new host, Emmanuel Acho. After Chris Harrison’s self-inflicted career not-quite ending remarks in an interview with Bachelor alum Rachel Lindsay, he “decided to step aside” from the franchise that rocketed him to fame.
After a few weeks it was announced that Emmanuel would replace Chris to anchor the After the Final Rose special. Emmanuel, an ex NFL linebacker, FOX sports analyst and author of and podcast host of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man didn’t disappoint, bringing these “uncomfortable conversations” to book end Season 25- which finally lived up to the claim of most dramatic season ever!
Even if Chris Harrison hadn’t put his foot in his mouth when defending Rachael Kirconnell’s racist social media activity and photographs, he would simply not have been equipped to host the After the Final Rose special in the same way Emmanuel did, meeting the race issues that had encased the entire season head on.
As Emmanuel sat down with Matt he dove right in, asking how the couple are coping now with the uncovered information on Rachael’s racially insensitive past. Matt revealed they are not coping. The couple is no longer together.
Matt James explained that he wanted to believe he knew his girlfriend better ‘than that’, but when racist rumors–starting with an ex high school chum claiming Rachael teased her for “dating black guys”–proved true, exposed in hard evidence of social media photographs and likes, Matt had to take stock of their relationship.
“Before Rachael addressed anything or Chris Harrison spoke on anything, I’m trying to be there for her,” he told Emmanuel. “I dismissed them as rumors because that’s what they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they’re not true. And then when you find out that they are, it just makes you question everything.”
Emmanuel then sat down with solo and contrite Rachael. “When he first called me to end things, my initial reaction was I was very confused,” she revealed to the new host in response to their split. “I was very blindsided, but once that initial reaction went away, I thought about how strong I thought our relationship was. So for him to end things, like, he must have been very, very hurt by everything. It was hard because I lost the love of my life, but in the process of that, I hurt him while doing so.”
The exes then came face-to-face for the first time since the long distance break up and the ‘uncomfortable conversation with a black man’ became even more strained.
Matt fired off accusations of Rachael not understanding why her past behavior was problematic and “not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America and what it would mean for our kids.”
Fans found this a little hard to swallow. It is hardly Rachael’s fault that she is a white woman. For her part, Rachael has come out with public apologies and the promise she is now educating herself.
Emmanuel asked if Matt would be able to help her on that path to race sensitivity and understanding, to which Matt said no, Rachael needed to work on herself and her journey to understanding alone. Ouch.
Again fans, who have never been team Rachael, began to wonder if Matt, who openly shared his wavering ability to commit on the show, was looking for a convenient out.
Matt had mentioned several times throughout his Bachelor season that his parents’ divorce had instilled in him both Skywalker sized daddy-issues and a commitment phobia for the ages.
Rachael confessed to Emmanuel that she was still deeply in love and hoped the two would eventually reunite.
The After The Final Rose special also addressed Matt’s hard to watch break up Michelle Young. This season audiences didn’t get the typical two limos showing up, trying to guess which lady would turn up first, pour her heart out to the lead only to be sent home. Matt actually broke up with Michelle after their date rather than on the final day of filming.
Sitting down with the man who dumped her prematurely, Michelle called Matt out for not giving her a two minute conversation off-screen to help her gain closure, then subtly jeered at him for his often fan ridiculed and robotic responses to his top ladies expressing their feelings for him.
Emmanuel’s chat with Michelle seemed to be setting her up to be announced as the next Bachelorette which…kind of did and kind of didn’t.
Emmanuel promised a curveball, and it was delivered with Katie Thurston being announced as the next Bachelorette and Michelle Young the next, next Bachelorette.
The franchise will do back to back Bachelorette seasons in 2021/22, without a Bachelor season in between as customary. Both lead choices were well received. It was not mentioned on After the Finale Rose but has been widely reported that Bachelorette alums Kailtyn Bristow and Tayshia Adams will co-host Katie’s season. No word yet on if Chris Harrison will return for Michelle’s.
All in all, this After the Final Rose seemed to be the right way to end the most talked about season in Bachelor history but left us here at Daily Soap Dish with several important questions:
How did you feel Emmanuel did as host? Would you want to see him stick around or bring Chris Harrison back sooner rather than later?
Do you think did Matt use the racism controversies as an easy ‘out’ because he’s not ready for a serious relationship, or was this break up something they both needed?
And of course the most important question; how will Bachelor-In-Paradise look after two back-to-back Bachelorette seasons. Are we going to be watching one giant sausage party in summer 2022?
Let us know your thoughts below on the Most. Dramatic. Season. Ever!
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