Bachelor spoilers: Who does Matt James pick as his 'The Bachelor' winner and Final 2? Did Matt end up with Rachael Kirkconnell? Are Matt and his winner still together now? (SPOILERS)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/28/2021
Bachelor spoilers for Matt James' season of The Bachelor continue to emerge and change -- including spoilers revealing who Matt picked as his winner and ended up with at the final Rose Ceremony, his Final 2 runner-up, and if Matt and his finale pick are still together now!
[Bachelor Spoilers Warning: This report contains spoilers revealing Matt James' Final 2 bachelorettes, who finished as Matt's runner-up, who The Bachelor star picked as his winner and ended up with, and if the couple is still together now.]
Matt's Final 3 bachelorettes heading into overnight Fantasy Suite dates are Bri Springs, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN; Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, MN; and Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA.
Matt appeared to receive the surprise of his season when apparent frontrunner, Serena Pitt, a 22-year-old publicist from Markham, ON, suddenly chose to leave the competition after her hometown date.
Serena's family helped Serena realize that she just wasn't smitten with The Bachelor star and couldn't picture accepting a marriage proposal from him at the Final Rose Ceremony.
Serena simply had too many doubts and fears after her hometown date.
While Serena couldn't figure out exactly what was missing from her relationship with Matt, she told Matt that he wasn't her "person." Matt, in turn, was crushed because he had envisioned Serena being his girl and living out their dreams and aspirations together.
Serena explained to Matt, "I'm just not there and I don't know why. Trust me when I say I've thought about it so much and I've just been emotionally torn-up over it."
Serena's decision to quit left Matt shocked and afraid to get his heart broken at the end of his journey to find love.
However, Matt's Final 3 bachelorettes all appear to be head over heels for him.
"If he were to propose to me tomorrow, I would be confident in saying, 'Yes, I know we can make this work.' At least I think so," Rachael said in the latest episode, later adding, "I will be completely crushed if I don't end up with Matt."
And Michelle confessed to The Bachelor star that she was "falling in love" with him after her hometown date.
"That makes me so excited but it's so scary. It's so genuine and so real," Michelle gushed.
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She added, "When Matt and I walk away from this experience hand in hand, life will be so full."
And Bri shared with her mother how Matt seemed to see every single part of her when he looked at her.
"I do feel like I'm falling in love with him. I'm so, so scared," Bri lamented to her mom, before telling Matt what was in her heart.
So which two bachelorettes received roses after Fantasy Suites, and which woman ultimately won Matt's heart? And is Matt engaged and still together with his winner? Keep reading for new The Bachelor Season 25 spoilers!
The Bachelor's ninth episode, The Women Tell All special, is set to air Monday, March 1 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
Although fans are waiting to watch Matt's overnight Fantasy Suite dates with his Final 3 bachelorettes -- Rachael, Michelle and Bri -- The Bachelor: The Women Tell All hosted by Chris Harrison (as long as ABC doesn't edit him out due to his racism controversy) comes first.
Fifteen women return "to relive the romance and rehash the rivalries from their journeys to find love," according to ABC.
While some bachelorettes seek forgiveness, others attempt to take a stand.
Matt also appears on the special, and he faces Serena P. for the first time after her heartbreaking departure.
"This pre-taped special takes all the emotion and sprinkles in hilarious bloopers as well as an exclusive sneak peek at the remainder of the season," ABC teases of the upcoming episode in a press release.
In a preview for The Women Tell All that aired at the end of Monday night's The Bachelor episode, Ryan Claytor says, "It's just hard to hear yourself being called a ho, an idiot or a shady b-tch."
Katie Thurston asks women to own their bad behavior in the house, and Brittany Galvin cries that she didn't sign up for the show to get her name slandered. Anna Redman admits to Chris Harrison she was "angry," seemingly as her reason for starting the rumor that Brittany is a paid escort in Atlanta.
Matt's BFF Tyler visitedThe Bachelor star on-location while the season was filming and revealed in an early December video log that Matt seemed "extremely happy."
"He loves his girls... He spoke so highly of them," Tyler shared. "He's really pushing himself to be vulnerable and put himself out there, and I think you're got to get a great season and a great Matt."
Tyler predicted, "I'm excited to see how all of this ends here, because Matt seems genuinely happy. I think we're going to get the ending we all want and have been missing for a while."
According to Carbone, Matt also receives a surprise visit from his seemingly-estranged father, whom Matt has told multiple women about in conversations this season.
Matt revealed his father wasn't around much when he was growing up and his mother raised his brother and himself. Matt also gravitated towards friends with big families to fill that void and said his parents didn't set a good example of what a marriage should be.
"Just like last season where I reported [producers] were trying to get [Kelsey Weier]'s dad to show up for her hometown date, I guess they succeeded with Matt's," Carbone wrote in a January 26 blog post.
"I don't know the outcome. If it was contentious, if Matt got closure, if it's a touching moment, etc. Not sure."
In a preview The Bachelor has aired multiple times, Matt is shown sitting down outside on a curb as host Chris Harrison asks if he's okay. Matt replies, "No, I'm not."
Carbone now believes this scene had to do with the appearance of Matt's father.
"Either he'd just met him or was just told his dad is there to speak with him," Carbone reasoned.
"I know immediately people will think this is a low blow by the show because clearly they didn't consult Matt beforehand. Which is why I think that this meeting between Matt and his dad probably ends cordially at least."
Carbone doesn't think Matt's conversation with his father ended badly or else the show would look bad for not asking for Matt's consent first.
Regardless of the outcome, Matt's chat with his dad was likely a tough one and probably very emotional.
"But when it's over, Matt probably feels better," Carbone predicted. "I can't imagine for the life of me that Matt calls it a disaster/walks off set/f-bombs production for bringing him on, etc."
Carbone, however, clarified how he does not know the end result of Matt and his father's conversation.
(Peter got engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss at the Final Rose Ceremony after Madison quit the show in second place. After Peter and Hannah Ann split, Peter briefly reunited with Madison but the pair never really got their relationship off the ground and broke up within a few days).
"I never ran with it because I was never convinced it was that easy. And it ended up being wrong anyway," Carbone explained.
"Maybe Rachael did win. All I'm saying is that if she did, she, her family, and her friends are doing an awful job of keeping it secret."
Carbone therefore questioned if Rachael's alleged victory was another situation in which someone started a false rumor about her winning and it then spread like wildfire.
"I'm not 100 percent sold on it yet, but, I'm just telling you that's the one I've heard most," Carbone wrote.
The spoiler blogger said he expected to hear more details as Matt's season unfolded on TV, "but that's what I got for you right now."
However, in his January 21 blog Carbone announced he had now gotten full confirmation that Rachael had in fact received Matt's final rose.
"Tuesday night into yesterday, I got the confirmation I needed about this seasons spoiler: Matt chose Rachael and is still with her," he wrote.
"I know it's been out there, but I don't base my spoilers on what anyone else reports. Never have, and never will. Been hearing it was her for a while but never felt fully secure saying with certainty he chose her."
In January, Matt was caught listening to and "liking" one of Rachael's Spotify playlists, leading viewers to believe he must have picked her as his winner at the season's final Rose Ceremony.
Matt's actions were visible in his public Spotify history, which he seems to have not realized was publicly available.
Rachael's playlist, titled "Night Drive," had a whopping 77 songs on it.
Some of the artists or groups represented on Rachael's playlist included The Mary Onettes, The Chainsmokers, The Districts, Flume featuring Beck, The Weeknd, Daft Punk and Joji.
Matt was subsequently asked about his Spotify activity in an interview with Entertainment Tonight reporter Lauren Zima, who is the girlfriend of The Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
However, Matt tried to brush off the matter and suggested that -- in what would be a dramatic departure from the usual behavior of prior The Bachelor leads -- he has remained in contact with several of his bachelorettes since his season finished filming in November.
"There's a lot of music that I've taken from a bunch of women on the show. I've listened to [Kit Keenan]'s playlist, I've listened to [Michelle Young]'s playlist," Matt responded.
"I think that people are very eager to find any tea," Matt acknowledged, "and you know, lucky for me, I had a very good group of women and I've taken a lot of what I've learned from them and applied it to my life."
Matt even pointed out the shirt he was wearing for his video interview was inspired by Kit's fashion given she's the daughter of fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
"A lot of the things I'm doing going forward were taken from my time with these women," Matt concluded.
While Carbone stated Matt and Rachael are still together as a couple in his January 21 blog post, he clarified he wasn't sure they got engaged at The Bachelor season's final Rose Ceremony or if the couple may have gotten engaged since.
"I do not know if they're engaged or not," he wrote.
However on February 2, Carbone reported he had now confirmed Matt and Rachael did not get engaged at The Bachelor season's final Rose Ceremony.
"Matt did not propose to Rachael. They are still together today though," he wrote in a blog post.
"Everyone will basically say this relationship has zero chance because it doesn't have that 'label' of engagement, even though that's never mattered in the past since so many don't make it any way," he added.
"But I can already tell you him not proposing will immediately have people giving the hot take that these two won't make it. I mean, I don't think they will either, but not because he didn't propose."
"I don't think they'll make it because I don't think for a second Matt is ready for a serious relationship, and never was."
In mid-February, Rachael finally broke her silence and released a lengthy apology for prior offensive and racist behavior that came to light and surfaced online after The Bachelor premiered on ABC in January.
Given the widespread media coverage Rachael's racism scandal has attracted, some viewers had wondered if Matt and Rachael's status may have changed after Carbone's February 2 blog post in which he stated Matt and Rachael were still together.
However the couple's relationship status had not changed a couple of weeks after the blog post, according to Carbone.
"They are still together," he reiterated in another February 17 blog posting.
"Matt and Rachael are still together and will be come [After the Final Rose]. I don't see that changing. After that? Anybody's guess.," he added later in the blog post.
"Just think of how hard it is to make it as a couple in this franchise when everything is great and America loves you. Matt and Rachael don't have much support publicly, they're living through the biggest scandal this show has ever seen, and they can't address it publicly for another month. Gonna be real tough for these two to make it in the long run.
But according to new spoilers Matt and Rachael broke up recently!
"Breaking news last night... We all know Matt picks Rachael in the end, but after last night, well, they are no more," Carbone wrote in a February 23 blog post.
After the Huffington Post reported Matt and Rachael's breakup on February 22, Carbone said he was able to confirm the news.
"Matt and Rachael broke up within the last week. I don't have an exact day, and I don't have any details as to why, but judging by Matt's [Instagram] post yesterday, I get the sense that the guy was put in a no-win situation," Carbone explained.
"So basically no matter what he did, he was going to take some heat. If he sticks this out and shows up with Rachael on the ATFR as a couple, it'll be 'how is [he] not affected by what she did?' Now they've broken it off, it'll be 'why couldn't he stand by her?'"
Carbone also reported The Bachelor: After the Final Rose will not air as a live event this March and the special will instead be filmed this weekend in Los Angeles, CA.
The special's scheduling marks a departure from The Bachelor's other recent seasons -- although given The Bachelorette's recent fall season didn't feature anyAfter the Final Rose special, it's unclear how big a role Rachael's racism scandal may have played in the decision versus other factors like the ongoing pandemic.
Chris Harrison will also not be hosting the special as he recently decided to "step aside" from the franchise for "a period of time" after he sparked an outrage by defending the allegations against Rachael prior to her public apology.
"Before you ask, as of now, I don't know who will be hosting. Nor do I know what they plan on doing, what the format will be, etc," Carbone said.
Carbone speculates anything could happen on After the Final Rose and he is unable to provide specific details at this time.
"Because the breakup is so new, when these two see each other again, does some reconciliation happen? Is there any way they make it through this?" Carbone questioned.
"Does Matt possibly have the balls to ask Bri or Michelle for a second chance? Does he leave solo?... Will there even be an audience? I'm not sure. But this sure is gonna be messy. I can't remember the last couple that couldn't even make it to their ATFR taping."
Carbone still stands by the fact, however, Matt and Rachael never got engaged. Carbone insisted in his February 23 blog that Matt gave Rachael a promise ring at the final Rose Ceremony.
"A promise to stay together 3 months? Whatever the case, that's what we're getting at the end of this season," Carbone claimed.
"A lot obviously came about post filming, all stuff Matt had no clue about while he was falling for Rachael and ultimately choosing her. It's really going to be interesting seeing what Matt says is the reason for the breakup with Rachael."
The spoiler blogger guessed that Matt probably broke it off with Rachael due to all the negative press surrounding the bachelorette.
"There just doesn't seem to be any other reason why a week before taping the ATFR. They've been together this whole time," Carbone reasoned
"Accusations have been out there since the night of the premiere 2 months ago. Like, WTF? Why now?... There's a lot of questions out there that definitely need to be answered."