Matt James is a newbie to The Bachelor franchise. He’s the first lead in years who wasn’t previously a part of Bachelor Nation, and yet, has become an instant fan favorite. That might have something to do with the fact James is BFFs and roommates with previous Bachelorette contestant and fellow fan fave Tyler Cameron. However, as ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke explained in a statement, James was initially approached to be a contestant on Clare Crawley’s season.
Thankfully, “When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor,” she noted (via The Hollywood Reporter). The first Black Bachelor will make history no matter how his season turns out, but it’s worth noting that the reason James agreed to sign on has nothing to do with fame and everything to do with an important family connection.
Matt James was inspired by someone very close to him
During an appearance on Ryan Seacrest’s show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, James revealed that Cameron’s mother “actually nominated me.” The Bachelor star reminisced, “She passed away around this time last year. And I think she saw how much it meant to Tyler and how much he grew as a man, and how much she wanted that for me, and so it’s homage to Ms. Cameron.” Andrea Hermann Cameron passed away at the age of just 55 after suffering a brain aneurysm, in March 2020, as E! News reported at the time.
James admitted he never envisioned himself taking part in a dating show like The Bachelor. However, after watching his buddy going through the process, in a bid to win Hannah Brown’s heart, he realized how influential it was. “I saw how much Tyler changed as a man,” James explained, revealing, “That’s something that I wanted for myself, and I didn’t know I was capable of those things, seeing how relationships presented themselves with my mom and my dad and in my life.” The first Black Bachelor is therefore hoping to make history for himself as well as others.
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