AceShowbiz - Matt James reveals his initial reactions when it was revealed that he was chosen as the leading man on "The Bachelor" in 2021. In a new interview, he also shares that he wasn't aware that he was about to make a reality TV history when he accepted the gig.
"I guess I didn't think that was something that hadn't been done," he said on Us Weekly's "Here for the Right Reasons" podcast Tuesday, May 3. "I didn't think that was something that we hadn't crossed yet. I've seen a bunch of black people come through the franchise. I assumed. I didn't know."
Matt also recalled getting the phone call from the show in which he was told that he was selected to lead season 25 of "The Bachelor". "Initially, I thought it was a prank call," Matt said. "It was the middle of COVID. I was living in a quarantine house with all my friends."
"It really dawned on me as I approached the show. People telling me what I had to do and what I should do," Matt continued. "I was like 'I haven't even gotten there yet, what are y'all talking about?' "
In the interview, Matt also claimed that he "didn't accept the role to be the savior." He shared, "My sole focus was finding someone that I could spend the rest of my life with and fall in love with. I was looking for that in my life because I was missing it. It wasn't until after I accepted it that I really felt the weight of everyone's expectations on my journey."
He later called out "The Bachelor" for not being able to show an authentic version of his story. "I was preparing to see it and when I didn't see it, I'm, like, 'Dang, I guess it was too raw,' " he said. "I guess it was too raw for what they were looking for, which is unfortunate because when you're vulnerable and you're open about those things, hella people resonated with that. They're like, 'Yo, I felt that.' I'm like, 'It's not that hard of a formula-how about y'all double down on the realness?' "