The Bachelor featured Matt James "falling in love" with Rachael Kirkconnell and putting an end to the drama by eliminating both Victoria Larson and Anna Redman and forcing MJ Snyder and Jessenia Cruz to confront one another in an explosive meeting during the Season 25 episode that aired Monday night on ABC.

Matt eliminated Anna Redman, a 24-year-old copywriter from Owatonna, MN, before the season's fourth Rose Ceremony, which ended with Matt also ousting four more girls.


Matt denied roses to Victoria, a 27-year-old self-described "queen" from New York, NY, as well as Catalina Morales Gomez, a 29-year-old former Miss Puerto Rico Universe from Caguas, Puerto Rico; Lauren Maddox, a 29-year-old corporate attorney from Miami, FL; and Mariela "Mari" Pepin, a 24-year-old marketing director from Luquillo, Puerto Rico.

At the Rose Ceremony, Matt handed out roses in the following order: Brittany Galvin, a 23-year-old model from Chicago, IL; Ryan Claytor, a 26-year-old dancer and choreographer from Brooklyn, NY; Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA; Serena Pitt, a 22-year-old publicist from Markham, ON; Magi Tareke, a 32-year-old pharmacist from Adwa, Ethiopia; and Kit Keenan, a 21-year-old fashion entrepreneur from New York, NY.

Matt also gave roses to MJ Snyder, a 23-year-old hairstylist from Hudson, OH; Jessenia Cruz, a 27-year-old social media marketer from San Antonio, TX; Katie Thurston, a 29-year-old bank marketing manager from Lynnwood, WA; Abigail Heringer, a 25-year-old client financial from Salem, OR; Chelsea Vaughn, a 29-year-old runway model from Marietta, GA; and Serena Chew, a 24-year-old flight attendant from San Bruno, CA.

(Bri Springs, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN; Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, MN; and Pieper James, a 24-year-old graduate student from Happy Valley, OR; already had roses from dates earlier in the week.)

The Bachelor Season 25 Episode 5

BUT FIRST, The Bachelor broadcast began with major tension and drama after Katie had asked Matt to confront the girls about some serious rumors and gossip.

Victoria and Kit were shown going for a walk at The Bachelor resort, and Victoria vented about how the house was "so great" with the OGs -- the original girls -- until the new arrivals showed up.

"I don't think anything of them. The new girls were like, 'Yeah, it's been really hard,' and I'm like, 'What? We haven't even started the hazing process,'" Victoria said.

When two of the new girls, Brittany and Ryan, walked by Victoria and Kit, Victoria called them "annoying" and one of the girls "disgusting," presumably Brittany, who had been accused of being "an escort" by Anna.

"Do not let them hear you say that," Kit said.

Ryan lamented about how the environment was "horrible" because the OGs had banded together against the newcomers.
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And Brittany was also feeling very "hurt."


"I've never dealt with any harassment, bullying or any of this. It's just such a horrible thing to say to someone. I wouldn't wish this on anybody," Brittany said of the "escort" allegation.

Katie had informed Matt about the house being "toxic," telling the cameras, "If you are going to be a mean girl, I'm going to call you out."

MJ said in a confessional the "new girls" would probably try to get to the front of the line to see Matt at the cocktail party.

"Let the Varsity Squad go first," MJ joked with the cameras.

There were 20 original girls going into the Rose Ceremony along with four new ladies.

"It's still OGs vs. newbies, like, we want more newbies to go home so that we get more time with Matt. It's sad for them because obviously I'm staying. I just know Matt and I have a strong connection," Victoria shared with the cameras.

Matt then arrived at the cocktail party and said he wanted to bring up something that had been brought to his attention, how there was "a mob mentality" with the old women vs. new women and rumors floating around "that could potentially ruin someone's life."

"If you're having to belittle someone else so that you can shine, those aren't the qualities I'm looking for in my wife. It sucks because I don't get a lot of time with you all, and now I'm dealing with this," Matt told the group.

Matt asked to speak with Brittany first, and Brittany had apparently been dying to get some feelings off her chest.

When Matt and Brittany walked to a different room, Anna immediately realized she had started the nasty rumor and everybody knew it. She called it "rude" and a stupid "mistake," insisting that talking trash about a woman like that was totally out of her character.

Katie was uncomfortable in the room, knowing she had brought the drama to Matt's attention earlier on.

Brittany then shared with Matt how Anna had apologized to her for telling the house she's an escort. Brittany said she was totally caught off guard considering the allegation wasn't true.

"This is on national TV, like my mom watches this show, and this could ruin my entire life," Brittany explained on the verge of tears. "I signed up to find love... and it really hurts."


Matt said he could see a future with Brittany and wanted her to share her burdens with him so they could have an open dialogue and move past struggles together. Matt didn't want Brittany to have such a weight on her shoulders and deal with it alone.

Matt then pulled Anna aside to talk about her "escort" comment.

"Now I feel like the guy I've given up my life for has a bad opinion of me, and it's so not accurate," Anna complained.

Anna told Matt that she felt so sad and upset with herself. Anna explained she had received messages from people in Chicago about another girl when she joined the show and such concern led her to say the "worst" thing possible about another woman.

"Immediately I felt horrible about it and I completely apologized. I was like, 'This is on me. This is me being a shallow person in the worst moment ever,'" Anna explained.

Matt admitted he was "shocked" by what he had learned because Brittany started the journey as a bold and confident bachelorette and then essentially broke down.

Anna insisted she felt so horrible and sad about her mistake, but Matt assured Anna that she's "not a horrible person" because he's also said things in life that he wishes he could take back and is not proud of.

Matt, however, noted he had to take responsibility for those actions and also felt a responsibility to the other women on the show, as well as to Brittany and himself, to follow his heart. Matt added, "Unfortunately, I can't see you being a part of that journey anymore."

Anna immediately started crying and said, "I'm sorry. F-ck!"

Matt walked Anna out and told the cameras, "Anna had said something that is out of character, but the damage has been done. I've seen how words can affect people, and I owe it to these women to create a safe space for them, and that's what I'm going to do."

Anna couldn't believe her time on the show had ended this way, and she admitted she felt "really disappointed" in herself.

"Matt's a great guy. He doesn't need to be with someone who that could come out of their mouth. One dumb decision, it's going to take you down. I just want to go cry in the shower," Anna lamented in her final words.

Back at the resort, Chelsea pointed out how she didn't feel the environment was "toxic," and Victoria agreed. But Michelle insisted people had said some disrespectful things and it wasn't okay.

Catalina added, "Even though I've put on a brave face, it hurts."

Serena P. said she was "oblivious" to how the new girls' feelings had been hurt, and Kit apologized for not being more open to getting to know them.


Serena C. joked about the OGs ass-kissing the new girls now that Matt was upset about the bullying allegations, and even Victoria apologized to Catalina for snatching her crown. Victoria also told Brittany that she had not been treated fairly.

"Suddenly, people are apologizing from left to right. It's hard to know if everyone is sincere," Ryan told the cameras.

"At the end of the day, you know what's wrong is wrong. You could've said this two days ago or last night... and now you're saying this out of convenience for yourself."

When Ryan sat down with Matt, she revealed how Victoria had cheered glasses with the other women and toasted to the original girls after her arrival. Ryan also told Matt, "Because I'm a dancer, [Victoria] flat out stated that I was a ho, and she laughed about it after."

Ryan cried about how being called "a ho" really hurt and she wasn't buying anyone's apologies since they came so late in the game and not until Matt stood up and expressed his disapproval.

Matt told Ryan that he wouldn't stand for that type of behavior, and he elaborated in a confessional, "I thought Victoria had a big heart, but there is no excuse for that behavior -- not here or not anywhere."

When Ryan rejoined the group, she admitted how she had thrown Victoria under the bus. Victoria insisted she was just being "playful" and never meant to be "malicious," and she also called Ryan "fake" in that moment.

Victoria was really pissed off because she believed she'd be the perfect wife for Matt. Victoria thought women were creating problems when problems didn't even exist.

Victoria therefore asked to speak with Matt and hoped The Bachelor star could "decipher the truth." Victoria assumed her "good" would outshine any of the bad stuff happening in the house.

Victoria told Matt there were things she could work on, but Matt said he was upset about all the toxicity in the house. Matt said Victoria had made Ryan cry and it left him speechless.

Matt explained he'd be doing a disservice to the other women by not creating a safe space for them, adding that words are very powerful and it wasn't okay for Victoria to call Ryan "a ho."

"That was taken completely out of context," Victoria said.

"I'm just curious -- what context would calling somebody a ho be acceptable?" Matt asked. "I just have a lot to think about."


Victoria said the idea she was the one making the house "toxic" was "completely crazy." Victoria insisted there was "no truth to that" and had trouble composing herself and keeping it together.

Victoria felt "pissed off" about being called a bully, and she was especially angry at Katie for telling Matt about the drama.

Matt then canceled the cocktail party and Chris Harrison told the ladies that they'd be going straight into the Rose Ceremony.

"Katie is definitely not here for [Matt], f-cking loser," Victoria said, before going into a bathroom and crying. "It's not even funny anymore because I'm getting feelings invested... and I feel like Matt didn't believe me. It's frustrating."

Serena P. said on a scale from 1-10, emotions at the resort were running an 11.

Victoria then walked outside in tears and called Ryan "the shadiest b-tch."

Victoria apparently told a producer, "Literally, there is no one he can marry in here besides me, I'm literally the best option for him. I am the only one with a working brain in here. If he's going to believe some idiot over me, he's not my person."

But at the same time, Victoria said if Matt eliminated her over this situation, she would "literally die."

Prior to the Rose Ceremony, Victoria fell on her knees and cried in a corner. MJ said Victoria was totally panicking and it seemed like it was going to be Victoria's time to go home.

Victoria said she has a good heart and never had ill intent, but Katie said Victoria had been "a mean girl" from Day 1.

"Does he want a wife who starts drama or does he want a wife like me?" Victoria asked in a confessional, later adding that Katie is and had been "disgusting" and the girls had been telling Matt "complete bullsh-t."

Victoria told the cameras she's actually a kind-hearted, genuine, honest, hardworking and loyal woman who's not fake despite what the other girls had been saying about her.

But Matt denied Victoria a rose at the season's fourth Rose Ceremony, along with three other women.

"I'm upset because I know I didn't do anything wrong. I was invested and I cared about him. So I think he made a huge mistake," Victoria said in her final words.


Before leaving, Victoria walked up to Matt with her arms crossed and said, "I honestly feel so sorry for you that you would listen to hearsay and not all of the facts behind the situation."

Matt just stood there in silence and then Victoria vented to the cameras, "You think I'm going to hug him goodbye?! No! And he just stared at me, like, how dare you? He is not my king and I am still a queen."

"Matt is a jester," she added. "The fact he chose Katie over me, ugh. Yeah, Matt, I feel sorry for you with your choices... Whatever Matt is not the guy for me. I am not dating another Matt as long as I live -- ever. I hate that name now!"

Victoria believed the whole house was going to be disappointed by her ouster because she "brought so many people joy." Victoria thought the show would essentially crumble without her.

The next day, the girls were trying to recover from a difficult evening, and Chris suddenly showed up with a Date Card.

The Date Card revealed Rachael would be going on a one-on-one date with Matt.

A driver then picked up Rachael in a beautiful car and brought her to Matt, who decided to spoil Rachael with a day of shopping and trying on dresses with the help of celebrity stylist Ty Hunter.

"Week after week, she continues to impress me. She's never been the first one to run to me and she's not the loudest woman in the room, but she's very confident and assure of herself, and that shines louder than anything else," Matt said in a confessional.

Matt thought he and Rachael carried themselves in a similar manner, and he said being around Rachael was just "easy."

Rachael tried on dress after dress for Matt, and she felt like she was being treated like a princess. Rachael was able to take bags of dresses home, and Matt also gifted her Christian Louboutin heels.

When Rachael returned to the other girls with her bags of goodies, Serena P. yelled out, "You lucky b-tch!"

The driver then returned with another huge box that had a beautiful cobalt-blue, strapless gown inside. Rachael felt totally out of her element but super excited, and the other women appeared jealous and deflated.

Pieper felt she was "falling behind" the pack and she couldn't hold back her tears.


The next Date Card then arrived and had the following women's names on it: Serena P., Bri, Katie, Pieper, Serena C., Ryan, Michelle, Brittany, Magi, Abigail, Chelsea, Jessenia, and MJ.

That left Kit with a one-on-one date, and Katie admitted she was so jealous because it was hard to take her relationship with Matt "to the next step" in a group setting. Abigail was also really disappointed and started to cry given the girls were already halfway through the process.

"Does he not want to explore our relationship? Reality is just slapping me in the face right now," Abigail lamented.

That evening, Matt and Rachael had a fancy dinner together, and he was ready and willing to open up to the bachelorette.

Rachael admitted to Matt that she felt he was out of her league and she wasn't deserving of him, which Matt couldn't believe. Rachael said she didn't have much confidence in herself but needed to stop doubting herself in order to have a healthy relationship.

Matt said Rachael didn't need to do anything to grab his attention.

"The butterflies have not stopped since Night 1... The nerves have not gone away at all," Rachael shared. "I am already completely falling in love with you, and I want to walk out of here with you. I want to start my life with you, and I hope that will happen."

Matt then shared with Rachael, "You're not crazy because I feel the same way."

The couple kissed at the table and the date ended with Matt giving Rachael a rose and then leaving with her in a horse-drawn carriage.

"Rachael, I'm falling in love with you too, and it is scary to say, but when I'm with you, it just feels right," Matt said with no fear or hesitation.

Matt told the cameras he could envision himself getting down on one knee and proposing marriage to Rachael at the end of the season.

"When I look at Matt, I see the man I've been searching for and praying for and waiting for. I can easily see me spending the rest of my life with Matt. I've been waiting my whole life for this guy, and he's here!" Rachael gushed.

The next day, Matt embarked on the group date and showed his country roots given he's from Raleigh, North Carolina. The girls were put to work on a farm, and MJ confessed she wasn't thrilled about shoveling animal poop.

MJ attempted to throw herself into the date headfirst, but she was terrified of the chickens and didn't exactly succeed in milking a goat.


During the date, Matt kissed Pieper in a barn and MJ walked in on them, which was pretty awkward. The women were beginning to have a tough time watching Matt show other girls affection.

Michelle cried in a confessional, saying her feelings for Matt were incredibly strong and she seemed to be setting herself up to get hurt.

At the afterparty, Matt grabbed Chelsea first and gave her the reassurance that he was glad she was still on the show, and Abigail totally opened up her heart to Matt about how she was feeling defeated.

Abigail explained to Matt that she really liked him and was afraid to disappoint him. Abigail explained that if she and Matt started a family, there's a good chance their children could be born deaf.

Abigail's father apparently left her mother after she and her sister had cochlear implants, and Abigail expressed how she feared a man she loves might do the same thing to her.

Matt said he couldn't imagine what Abigail had been through but he could relate to being raised by a single mother and not having his father around. Matt told Abigail that he admired her and the qualities she had only made the idea of their future together more encouraging.

"It was extremely courageous of Abigail to share that with me. She was extremely vulnerable with me and opened up about the things that keep her up at night, the things she worries about and ultimately things she would want to share with her husband," Matt explained.

"I'm looking for someone who is going to push me and challenge me and make me a better person, and I think Abigail does that."

Michelle then confessed seeing Matt with other women was a lot for her heart to take. Matt promised Michelle that she had not misjudged their connection and everything was still great between them.

Afterward, Matt sought out MJ to hopefully put the drama to rest. Matt said MJ had been described as an "antagonist" who was making some of the women feel like outsiders. MJ said that was very hurtful because she leads by example and is all about promoting peace and harmony.

MJ said that Matt could trust her, and she left the conversation angry and frustrated. MJ felt someone owed her an apology for talking about her to Matt.

MJ addressed the group and complained about how her character had been put in question, and Jessenia revealed how she had mentioned MJ's name in terms of references that had been made about "Varsity" vs. "Junior Varsity" women.

MJ insisted she's honest and leads by example, but Jessenia said she had made the environment "uncomfortable" for the new girls and her actions weren't measuring up to her words.

"This is some childish sh-t going on," MJ complained in a confessional, later adding that "some petty girl sh-t" was happening.

At the end of the date, Matt gave a rose to Abigail for being extremely vulnerable with him.

The following evening, Matt invited Kit over to his hotel suite so they could cook together. Matt gushed about the "instant connection" he felt with Kit, and he "dressed to impress" the "little fashionista."

Kit was blown away by the date Matt had planned for them considering she had revealed her "happy place" is cooking with her mother -- fashion designer Cynthia Rowley -- in the kitchen.

Kit brought up how much the date meant to her because it meant Matt had been listening to her.

Kit said she grew up in the spotlight and often attended fashion events and rolling up to red carpets in Bentleys. Kit always had to maintain a certain image in the public eye and therefore admitted to building up walls throughout the years.

Kit and Matt baked cookies together and had a blast, but Kit acknowledged falling in love isn't easy for her.

"I am completely lost in the moment. I'm having such a good time with Kit that I almost forgot this isn't my house and this isn't my kitchen. I'm just like, 'Dang, is this what it's supposed to feel like?' It just feels natural. I'm not reaching for anything. It's just easy with Kit," Matt gushed.

The pair shared kisses as they baked, and Kit said she was still practicing getting in touch with her emotions. Kit told Matt that it was hard for her to be vulnerable, but Matt said he loved everything that she brought to the table.

"I just want the simple pleasures, and I feel like that's what tonight was all about," Kit shared.

"I am starting to fall in love with you," Kit added in her conversation with Matt. "Can we just fast-forward this and go home?!"

Matt then gave Kit's the date rose and noted how he was looking forward to more moments with her. Kit told the cameras that she was ready to "dive into the deep end" with Matt after the wonderful date they had.

The episode concluded with Matt asking MJ and Jessenia to meet him before the next cocktail party for a quickie two-on-one date. Matt wanted to get to the bottom of the drama and find out which girl was telling the truth.

"Big hair, big moves, big energy tonight. She threw my character into question to make herself look better, and that is toxic. I've had it! Y'all want to see me fight? Get your popcorn!" MJ said at the start of the date.

When the two girls arrived for their meeting with Matt, MJ told Jessenia that she was furious because Jessenia had put her relationship with Matt in jeopardy. MJ said Jessenia should've been embarrassed because they were in this situation because of her.

Jessenia accused MJ of starting the term "JV vs. Varsity" and lying to Matt's face about it. Jessenia believed MJ had been at the forefront of all of the drama with Victoria.

MJ said Jessenia just wanted to tear other people down, but Jessenia kept insisting MJ was a liar.

"You don't know me," MJ shouted.

"I don't know you because I see three sides of you, actually -- who you are in the house, who you are with Matt, and who you are when the cameras are on," Jessenia snapped.

"You can't preach harmony, MJ, because you were the leader of the divided [house]."

MJ said Matt was about to learn the truth, but Jessenia felt the same way. Jessenia wished MJ would take responsibility for her actions, but MJ said, "That's cute," and called Jessenia childish.

"I didn't put your character into question, your actions did," Jessenia said.

MJ asked Jessenia to stop talking, and then Matt walked into the room and the broadcast ended on a cliffhanger.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.