Matt James made his debut Monday as the new Bachelor and was praised by viewers on social media for opening up to host Chris Harrison about the pressure he has put on himself as the first Black Bachelor in the history of the show.
I appreciate Matt’s openness about the pressure of being the first Black Bachelor and his fear of disappointing others by following whatever his heart feels #TheBachelor
— Mel 🍪 (@melgotserved) January 5, 2021
Before meeting the women, James pulled Harrison aside for some advice before beginning his journey.
“Another thing I wanted to talk to you about was pressure that I've put on myself just being the first Black Bachelor,” admitted James. “People want you to end up with a certain type of person, and I get that.”
James went on to explain that his mother is white and his father is Black, so he "experienced what it was like to be a product of an interracial marriage."
“It's tough,” said James. “You've got people who have certain views, old-school views, on what a relationship and what love looks like, and you've got people who are cheering for you to find love. And then you've got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race. That's something that kept me up at night. It's like, I don't want to piss off Black people, I don't want to piss off white people, but I'm both of those, you know what I mean? It's like, how do I please everybody?”
Not only did viewers respect James for acknowledging the history he was making as the first Black Bachelor, but they had even more praise for him after he led the room in prayer before starting his one-on-ones with the 36 women.
The first black Bachelor in the franchise history led the ladies in an opening prayer. 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 Omg!! Love!!😭😭😭
So unprecedented. #TheBachelor
— Blessing (@TheBlessedMesss) January 5, 2021
The first black bachelor and he opened it up with a prayer!!!! I love him already #TheBachelor
— Your Favorite Esti (@xocnyxo) January 5, 2021
To top it off, James gave his first impression rose to Abigail Heringer, who is also making history this season as the show's first hearing-impaired contestant.
Bachelor Nation fell in love with Abigail almost immediately, even stating that she must be protected at all cost.
— Giannina Roggiero. (@Gi2587) January 5, 2021
— H2O (@SixPackofWater) January 5, 2021
— liz (@paytongirl44) January 5, 2021
Overall, Bachelor Nation was extremely happy with James's decision and the season premiere in general. One person tweeted:
A deaf woman just got the first impression rose from the first Black bachelor. This is already going to be one of the best seasons. #TheBachelor
— Spencer Collins (@spencercollins_) January 5, 2021
Watch Alex Trebek’s touching posthumous request to ‘Jeopardy!’ viewers:
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