The Bachelor's 25th season premiered with Matt James rewarding Abigail Heringer his First Impression Rose and then eliminating eight out of 32 bachelorettes after an exciting night of introductions and first impressions during Monday night's episode on ABC.

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After Matt offered his coveted First Impression Rose to Abigail, a 25-year-old client financial manager from Salem, OR, he handed out roses to 23 other women at the first Rose Ceremony of the season.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' SEASON 25 BACHELORETTES ANNOUNCED! MEET ALL OF MATT JAMES' LADIES! (PHOTOS)

Matt gave out roses in the following order: Bri Springs, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN; Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA; Chelsea Vaughn, a 29-year-old runway model from Marietta, GA; Sarah Trott, a 24-year-old broadcast journalist from San Diego, CA; MJ Snyder, a 23-year-old hairstylist from Hudson, OH; and Serena Pitt, a 22-year-old publicist from Markham, ON.

Khaylah Epps, a 28-year-old healthcare advocate from Bronx, NY, then received a rose, and she was followed by Kristin Hopkins, a 27-year-old attorney from Virginia Beach, VA; Kit Keenan, a 21-year-old fashion entrepreneur from New York, NY; Magi Tareke, a 32-year-old pharmacist from Adwa, Ethiopia; Pieper James, a 24-year-old graduate student from Happy Valley, OR; Mariela "Mari" Pepin, a 24-year-old marketing director from Luquillo, Puerto Rico; and Illeana Pennetto, a 25-year-old health food developer from South Salem, NY.

After Illeana earned herself a rose, Matt gave roses to Jessenia Cruz, a 27-year-old social media marketer from San Antonio, TX; Kaili Anderson, a 26-year-old hostess from San Diego, CA; Marylynn Sienna, a 28-year-old event coordinator from Huntington Beach, CA; Serena Chew, a 24-year-old flight attendant from San Bruno, CA; Lauren Maddox, a 29-year-old corporate attorney from Miami, FL; and Sydney Johnson, a 28-year-old marketing specialist from Franklin, TN.

Matt's last several roses went to Alana Milne, a 26-year-old photographer from San Antonio, TX; Katie Thurston, a 29-year-old bank marketing manager from Lynnwood, WA; Anna Redman, a 24-year-old copywriter from Owatonna, MN; and Victoria Larson, a 27-year-old self-described "queen" from New York, NY.

Matt therefore eliminated eight women from the running for his heart.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' SPOILERS: WHO DID MATT JAMES PICK AND END UP WITH? WHAT HAPPENS ON THE 2021 SEASON OF 'THE BACHELOR' (SPOILERS)

The women whom Matt sent home on Night 1 included Alicia Holloway, a 24-year-old professional ballerina from Morgantown, WV; Amber Andrews, a 30-year-old nursing student from Rialto, CA; Carolyn Vallejo, a 30-year-old journalist from Newburyport, MA; and Casandra Suarez, a 25-year-old social worker from Lodi, CA.

Matt also sent Corrinne Jones, a 22-year-old marketing manager from Pomfret, CT, packing, as well as Emani Curl, a 25-year-old realtor from Albuquerque, NM; Kimberly Courneya, a 28-year-old airline recruiter from Lake Tapps, WA; and Saneh Ste Clare, a 25-year-old IT consultant from St. Augustine, FL.


The Bachelor Season 25 Episode 1

The Bachelor broadcast began at Nemacolin resort in Pennsylvania with footage of Matt meeting Katie, who brought a large vibrator with her and said her toy helped to pass the time during coronavirus when everyone was asked to self-isolate and quarantine at home.

Matt cracked up with laughter and then the broadcast switched over to The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who explained a record-number of women had applied who were interested in dating the 28-year-old Bachelor from North Carolina.
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Matt now works as a real estate broker in New York and helps inspire and educate inner-city children, many of whom are homeless. Matt said he loves working with kids and teaching them how to exercise and eat right, and he couldn't wait for his journey to find love to begin.

"Nothing happens by chance and everything is a blessing," Matt said. "I'm nervous and I'm anxious because it feels real."

Matt revealed his father is Black and his mother is white and his parents split when he was young. Matt, who has one brother, was raised in a Christian household, and Matt gushed about the sacrifices his mother had made for him.

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Matt told his mother during a sitdown conversation before Night 1 that he feared getting his heart broken but intended to embrace all the ups and downs of The Bachelor process. Matt said there is no perfect love story and he didn't expect otherwise, but his story was going to be real, true and his own.

Matt disclosed he was looking for a resilient and strong woman who desires a true partnership, adding that nothing was going to stop him from finding that.

Viewers were then introduced to a handful of Matt's bachelorettes in introduction videos -- including Alicia, a professional ballerina and ballet teacher who gushed about Matt's chiseled body as well as Abigail, who is hearing impaired and said she appreciated how Matt is so grounded.

Kristin revealed she's a professional who enjoys a good rooftop bar and drink, and Magi from Ethiopia insisted she's super ready to be in love and meet her future husband.

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Anna admitted she's basically addicted to caffeine and works in advertising, and Sarah said she's a broadcast journalist who moved back home to be a caregiver to her father who has ALS. Sarah was 19 when her father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, but she said he's still alive and in good spirits.

On Night 1, Matt said his heart was bursting out of his chest and he was feeling all the emotions he had been suppressing for quite some time.

Matt told Chris Harrison outside of Nemacolin's accommodations he could relate to the women because they were all going through it for the first time. But before meeting the ladies, Matt asked Chris to chat with him about a few things.

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Matt, never having been on The Bachelorette before, seemed nervous, apprehensive, and intimidated by the whole set. Matt asked Chris what he should expect, and Chris said there was a phenomenal chance he'd meet the woman of his dreams and potentially get engaged.

Chris also noted there would be times when Matt would want to choke him out and be mad, but he told Matt it's normal to get emotional on the show and lose his composure at times.

Matt confessed he felt a lot of pressure about being the first Black Bachelor because many viewers probably expect him to pick a certain person of a specific race in the end. Matt said he didn't want to piss off white people or Black people -- and he didn't know how to make everyone happy.

Matt then shared with Chris how he's never truly been in love before.

"I thought I had been in love, and the older I've gotten, my thoughts and views on love have changed," Matt shared, adding that he hesitated to express love in the past because being vulnerable led to heartbreak and pain for his parents.

But Matt insisted he was ready to stop running, and Chris said his goal was to help Matt really fall in love for the first time.

Matt was then introduced to 32 beautiful bachelorettes — including Bri, whom Matt called "incredible;" Rachael, who promised Matt they'd have a lot of fun together; Mari, who left Matt speechless; Magi, who came all the way from Ethiopia to meet Matt; and Anna, who brought Matt a Bachelor survival kit.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' SEASON 25 BACHELORETTES ANNOUNCED! MEET ALL OF MATT JAMES' LADIES! (PHOTOS)

Matt said the women were super confident and really brought it and that he was just trying to keep up.

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Khaylah drove up to the resort in a pickup truck, and their shared North Carolina roots put Matt at ease.

Serena C. tripped up the stairs but recovered with a big smile, and Serena P. brought a step stool with her so she could "be on Matt's level." Alicia pranced her way up to Matt on point ballet shoes, and Saneh wore goat-hooves slippers to show Matt that's she's the GOAT -- the greatest of all time.

Alana and Matt kissed after sharing one piece of spaghetti, and Kaili showed up in black lingerie and asked Matt to help her pick out a dress to wear. (Matt chose a strapless one).

"Wow! Damn! You've got to love a woman with confidence. [She] owned that," Matt gushed of Kaili's extremely bold entrance. "I love that she did that."

Abigail shared with Matt how she's deaf and would probably need to read his lips throughout the evening, and Matt seemed captivated with her smile and eyes.

"She is gorgeous. I am blown away. Meeting these women is just reassurance of why I cane out here," Matt said in a confessional.

Matt noted that he felt humbled so many women took time out of their lives to date him.

MJ drove up in a pizza delivery car and gave Matt a pizza since she believes the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and Amber rode up on a bicycle fit for two.

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Kimberly from Seattle showed up to the resort with a big fish that she tossed at Matt to catch, and Casandra arrived with Mrs. James written on the back of her sports jersey. Illeana then bravely asked Matt put her balls in his mouth, and those balls ended up being meatballs.

Kit pulled up in a Bentley, but then she was topped by Victoria, "the queen," who was escorted in by multiple men on a thrown. Victoria, wearing a tiara, boasted about being confident and fun.

It then became time for the cocktail party, and the ladies discussed amongst themselves how Matt was the perfect Bachelor ever.

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Matt was beyond nervous when he walked into the room with all of his bachelorettes staring at him, and he addressed the group by asking them to bow their heads and pray altogether.

Matt's introduction brought Rachael to tears, and the girls seemed taken by Matt's sincerity and sweet approach.

Matt told the ladies he wasn't going to try to be the perfect person but rather himself. Matt was immediately vulnerable with the girls but also a little flustered and seemingly overwhelmed.

Rachael said Matt's prayer "rocked me" and she could relate to everything he had said.

"I had a feeling that I was going to be infatuated with [Matt], but the fact that he opened [the cocktail party] up with a prayer, like, struck a nerve for me. I didn't expect to feel like this so soon," Rachael gushed.

"He's pretty much everything I expected him to be and more."

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' COUPLES NOW: WHO DID 'THE BACHELOR' STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

Matt spoke to Sarah first but struggled to relax and loosen up. Matt expressed how he planned to live his truths and be the best version of himself.

Rachael said she thought it was special Matt had never appeared on The Bachelorette before, and she said she felt like they were on the same page about everything in life.

Rachael admitted to Matt its tough for her to be vulnerable, and Matt called her "beautiful, articulate, sexy, open and vulnerable." He said Rachael had "blown [him] away."

Serena P. played a giant game of chess outside with Matt, and Khaylah and Matt enjoyed sweet tea in the back of her pickup truck.

Kit gifted Matt with a snow globe to remind him of where she's from, and "Queen" Victoria interrupted Kit's conversation and called Kit a princess, which rubbed Kit the wrong way.

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Girls accused Victoria of monopolizing Matt's time, especially since multiple girls had yet to secure one-on-one time with the Bachelor and Victoria kept going back for seconds or thirds. When the First Impression Rose came out, many women started feeling anxiety.

Bri revealed her mother is Persian and white-passing and her father is Black. Her parents apparently separated before she was born and so her mother was single and raised her by herself.

Bri told Matt that she wants a love story unlike what she saw in her childhood, and after speaking with the Bachelor, she said she could picture getting engaged to him and marrying him down the road.

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Abigail revealed to Matt that she admires her older sister, who was also born deaf and had cochlear implants. Abigail came across kind and family-oriented, and Matt said she was gorgeous at first sight and he couldn't stop staring at her eyes.

Matt then kissed Abigail, and so she received the first kiss of the season (other than the spaghetti kiss earlier that evening).

Abigail was giddy about her interaction with Matt, who later gave Abigail his First Impression Rose for being so open and vulnerable with him.

"I felt like you were everything that I am asking of these women tonight, and knowing that you're a fighter, I thought that it was only appropriate that I asked you something. Abigail, will you accept this rose?" Matt asked.

"Oh my God, I will!" Abigail gushed. "Thank you!

Abigail told the cameras afterward she felt like she was on Cloud 9.

"The fact that he sees potential in me is just, I don't know, it just makes me really excited," Abigail said. "I'm just super excited to hopefully keep it going and learn more about each other. Oh my God!"

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' SEASON 25 BACHELORETTES ANNOUNCED! MEET ALL OF MATT JAMES' LADIES! (PHOTOS)

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The first Rose Ceremony of The Bachelor's 25th season then commenced.

In addition to Abigail, Matt handed out roses to Bri, Rachael, Chelsea, Sarah, MJ, Serena P., Khaylah, Kristin, Kit, Magi, Pieper, Mari, Illeana, Jessenia, Kaili, Marylynn, Serena C., Lauren, Sydney, Alana, Katie, Anna, and Victoria.

"The hardest thing is knowing that Matt didn't get to know me," Alicia lamented following her ouster.

"That's a great guy. Even though I didn't get to talk to him, I can just tell he's a great guy. But Matt didn't see the love that I have to give, but I know somebody will -- somebody will."

Matt then toasted champagne with his remaining bachelorettes and said he just had one of the most incredible nights of his entire life.

"I'm going to ride this high. It's a great feeling... We've got to find out who Mrs. James is, and it's not going to be easy. But I know I can find my person here," Matt shared at the end of the evening.

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