Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell Discuss Their Breakup

Courtesy: Instagram

Last week, Matt sent Bri home — which Bachelor Nation fans did NOT take lightly. The viewers were distraught by Bri’s spontaneous exit, and many have already petitioned for Bri to be the next ‘Bachelorette’. Little did they know, the newest ‘Bachelorette’ was already lined up.

This left Rachael and Michelle as the last two still standing. Since this was the final episode before making his final decision, this episode of “The Bachelor” began with a heartfelt conversation between Mrs. James and Matt’s brother, John. 

Then, before introducing Michelle and Rachael to his mother and brother, Matt had an emotional conversation with his estranged father. He wanted reassurance that he wouldn’t be a replica of the way that his father treated Mrs. James. 

Towards the beginning of the conversation, Matt’s father tried to deflect and deny his wrongdoings. However, as Matt began to open up, so did his father. He admitted that he wasn’t the best father to Matt, growing up, and he apologized for the way that he left him feeling. The two reconciled, and according to Matt, this was the gateway to a fresh start between him and his father. 

Afterwards, it was Michelle and Rachael’s turn to meet Mrs. James and John. Both were individually interrogated by John, and well received by Patty James. Once both women had a chance to properly meet the James family, Matt’s mother pulled him aside to express concern. She advised him to think long and hard about the decision to propose — as “love can fade”. 

Naturally, Matt was deeply impacted by this conversation, and it stirred up sentiments of doubt and worry about moving forward. 

Nonetheless, he proceeded onto his final date with Michelle. The day started off with quite the adventure. They scaled the side of Nemacolin — with nothing but a harness to keep them from falling. According to Matt, it was a test to see if they would be comfortable enough to take that leap of faith. 

Later that night, Matt arrived at Michelle’s door, where he broke the news of how he was feeling. After she had graciously given him a heartfelt, custom jersey, he admitted that he was having incredulous doubts about their relationship. Michelle was unfortunately eliminated. 

HOWEVER, this isn’t the end of Michelle’s journey. During the “After The Final Rose” special, it was announced that Michelle and Katie will both be the next “Bachelorettes”. Heck yeah! Those women deserve nothing but the utmost love and compassion. I’ll be rooting for you ladies!

As for Matt, if you thought that he’d be choosing Rachael in the end, well.. you’re half right. Rachael was the contestant that Matt chose to be with in the end, but there was no proposal. He didn’t feel as though he was ready to commit to marriage, if his heart wasn’t 100% invested. Luckily, Rachael was understanding of his wishes, and the two ended their journey in a continued relationship. 

That is, until a few months later, when photos resurfaced of Rachael attending an antebellum plantation party in 2018. Eventually, Rachael issued a public apology — but that had Bachelor Nation wondering what Matt thought about all of this. 

During the “After The Final Rose”, a lot was explained. Firstly, Emmanuel Acho filled in for Chris Harrison — after Harrison spewed some racially insensitive words, during an interview with Rachel Lindsay. 

Next up, Emmanuel brought Michelle onto the stage. She admitted that after getting her heart broken, Michelle asked Matt for a more in-depth conversation — to get the closure that she needed to move on. However, Matt declined a conversation. 

Michelle also spoke on the Rachael controversy, and revealed that while she believes Rachael has a good heart, she (and Chris Harrison) still have a lot of educating to do. 

Emmanuel then brought Matt out to speak with Michelle, and the conversation turned serious, quickly. Michelle poured her heart out to Matt about how she felt on the night that he sent her home. Their conversation was so composed and mature, and I give them both a lot of credit for how they handled this situation. 

Lastly, Rachael Kirkconnell spoke about her controversy, and how that affected her relationship with Matt. Before she came onto the stage, Matt confirmed that the two had broken up — following the resurfaced photos. Rachael then apologized and took full accountability for her actions. She stated that she didn’t want to excuse her actions of victimize herself — when she could have easily educated herself, prior to attending the party. 

After apologizing, Matt had no words. He admitted that what she did hurt him, and that it was disappointing. He then took a few minutes to compose himself, before pouring his heart out. 

“The most disappointing thing to me was having to explain to you why what you did was problematic. So, when I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not understanding my blackness.. and it broke my heart.”

Matt ended his statement by saying that Rachael has a lot of educating/growing to do, and that he “can’t be emotionally responsible for those tears”.

Rachael closed out their discussion by wishing nothing but happiness for Matt, and apologizing once again.

To close out the finale, Emmanuel revealed that Katie’s season will premiere in the Summer, and Michelle’s season will premiere in the Fall. That’s all for now, Bachelor Nation! Until then, we wish Michelle and Katie nothing but luck and success on their journey. 

Published by Monica Ring

Screenwriter/Journalist with a passion for storytelling

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