Matt James has felt quite a bit of pressure during his run this year on The Bachelor — and for good reason.
In addition to all the usual pressures that come with being the leading man on a hit national reality TV show, James also made history by becoming the first Black man to take the lead on ABC‘s Monday night primetime hit.
The former college football player opened up about having all eyes on him during his appearance on Watch What Happens Live Thursday night. He virtually sat down with host Andy Cohen for an interview, and to the Bravo exec’s credit, he didn’t shy away from the tough topics.
Citing the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, Cohen jumped right in, asking James how much pressure he felt to choose a Black contestant winner in light of his historic and unique presence leading the show. (As Bachelor Nation fans will recall, of course, Lindsay ended up not picking a Black contestant at her finale — instead choosing Bryan Abasolo to become her fiancé, and later, her husband.)
Ever the class act, James took on the question directly and honestly, saying:
“That was definitely a lot of pressure I put on myself initially. When I got there, being the first Black Bachelor, people are going to be looking to you for a lot of different things and whenever I felt that pressure, I just fell back on how I was raised and what I was looking for and a lot of those qualities have nothing to do with race and they’re where your heart’s at. Are you caring? Are you compassionate? Thank goodness that cast was so diverse and that made up a lot of what I was looking for and it made my decision so much easier with that quality of woman there.”
James, forever knowing just how to walk the line and appease producers, played the game with praise for the show’s entire cast of women, too, adding (below):
“They did a great job. Across the board what I was looking for, I saw. As the season continues it’s very evident that they did their job and did their part to make sure it was everything represented.”
See?! True or not, it’s spoken like a man who wants to remain in ABC’s good graces and see himself on Dancing with the Stars next year! Shrewd!
Kidding, kidding… well, maybe not?!
Anyways, ch-ch-check out Matt address the tough topic of race relations on The Bachelor down here:
And check out other clips from the show HERE:
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?!
It’s certainly been a contentious season off air as James’ Bachelor has slogged on. But what do U think of the show itself? And the girls remaining now??
Sound OFF about it all with your take down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Watch What Happens Live/YouTube]