'The Bachelor' recap: Sarah Trott quits after major drama, Matt James ousts five women and develops connection with Serena Pitt
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/19/2021
The Bachelor featured Sarah Trott quitting the show and leaving Matt James amid major tension in the house, Matt eliminating five women at a Rose Ceremony, and the Bachelor developing a strong connection with Serena Pitt during the Season 25 broadcast Monday night on ABC.
Sarah, a 24-year-old broadcast journalist from San Diego, CA, decided to leave the show because she was facing insecurities, missed her family, and felt attacked by the other women.
Matt chose to eliminate Alana Milne, a 26-year-old photographer from San Antonio, TX; Illeana Pennetto, a 25-year-old health food developer from South Salem, NY; Kristin Hopkins, a 27-year-old attorney from Virginia Beach, VA; Marylynn Sienna, a 28-year-old event coordinator from Huntington Beach, CA; and Sydney Johnson, a 28-year-old marketing specialist from Franklin, TN, at the second Rose Ceremony of the season.
"I am floored. How can he give [Victoria] a rose? She is just the worst. But I do have to admit that she's a good actor," said Marylynn, whom Victoria had called toxic and manipulative.
"There is drama between other girls too, but nobody decided to bring it to Matt except for Victoria. Losing Matt over something like this just sucks."
The Bachelor broadcast began with Matt tending to Sarah after she nearly fainted in the middle of the second Rose Ceremony of the season.
The girls were frustrated Matt was checking on Sarah -- who said she was mentally, emotionally and physically drained -- because she already had a rose from a previous one-on-one date, and Anna Redman, a 24-year-old copywriter from Owatonna, MN, complained Sarah was getting "exactly what she wants" -- a pure and intimate moment with The Bachelor star.
Once Sarah got some air and felt better, she rejoined the Rose Ceremony, and Matt apologized to the women for there being only one of him and so many of them.
"This is The Bachelor, it's not The Sarah Show. But Sarah didn't get that memo," Victoria told the cameras.
At the end of last week's broadcast, Matt gave out roses to Pieper James, a 24-year-old graduate student from Happy Valley, OR; Kit Keenan, a 21-year-old fashion entrepreneur from New York, NY; Magi Tareke, a 32-year-old pharmacist from Adwa, Ethiopia; and Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA.
Matt also offered roses to Abigail Heringer, a 25-year-old client financial from Salem, OR; Chelsea Vaughn, a 29-year-old runway model from Marietta, GA; 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; Serena P., a 22-year-old publicist from Markham, ON; and Serena Chew, a 24-year-old flight attendant from San Bruno, CA.
In addition to Sarah, Bri Springs, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN, and Lauren Maddox, a 29-year-old corporate attorney from Miami, FL, also earned roses during their dates with Matt. (Matt went on one-on-one dates with Bri and Sarah, and Lauren received the group-date rose).
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On Monday night, Matt continued the Rose Ceremony and decided to give roses out to Khaylah Epps, a 28-year-old healthcare advocate from Bronx, NY; Mariela "Mari" Pepin, a 24-year-old marketing director from Luquillo, Puerto Rico; and MJ Snyder, a 23-year-old hairstylist from Hudson, OH.
In addition to Anna, the following women also walked away with a rose: Kaili Anderson, a 26-year-old hostess from San Diego, CA, and Victoria Larson, a 27-year-old self-described "queen" from New York, NY.
Marylynn seemed especially devastated about her elimination given she had never intended to get wrapped up in drama with Victoria.
The next day, The Bachelor host Chris Harrison dropped off the Date Card and it had the following women's names on it for a group date: Rachael, Bri, Lauren, Kit, Serena C., Victoria, Khaylah, Anna, Kaili, and Katie.
This was Anna's first date and she was really excited about it, and Rachael hoped for some personal time with Matt.
When Matt met his group of girls, he said Chris had planned the whole thing and he wasn't sure what was about to unfold.
The girls walked in on The Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti reading a sexy scene, and Ashley informed the bachelorettes they'd be writing their own steamy and risque love scenes with Matt to be performed in front of a studio audience comprised of the other bachelorettes.
Rachael and Serena C. admitted they weren't comfortable expressing their sexual desires, but Victoria and Katie felt totally at ease and in their element.
Katie was in the zone when talking about her sexual desires and what she'd like to do with Matt -- step by step -- and she concluded with sounds of an orgasm. Serena P. joked Katie was a little too good at the task and probably reads erotica.
Victoria then took her content to an "X level," according to Ashley I, and her scene included moaning, hair pulling and some aggressive ideas. Matt and the girls all cracked up with laughter over what she had to say.
Viewers weren't even privy to things Katie and Victoria had said since seemingly every other word was censored by ABC.
"Those women reading those words just felt like a knife through my heart. I knew he'd be dating these other women and there would be the potential for me to see him be romantic and intimate with other women. I'm not stupid, I knew this was going to happen -- I just didn't know it would be this hard," Sarah lamented after listening to the women's stories.
While half the girls were enjoying the afterparty that night with Matt, Sarah explained to the girls left out of the date hanging back at the resort that she was feeling jealous and almost dirty.
Rachael said she had given the date her "all" and put herself out there for Matt, so she just hoped he noticed that. Although the couple hadn't received much time together, Matt noted, "I like how our relationship is progressing."
"I haven't felt this way in a long time, but also, it's scary because I haven't felt this way this quickly ever. But I'm taking that as a sign and I'm happy where I'm at," Rachael shared before Matt kissed her.
Matt praised Bri for leaving a little mystery in her PG-rated story on the group date so there would be moments left to the imagination, but he also commended Katie on being so bold and confident in telling an explicit tale.
Katie had a lot of fun on the date and wanted to shout her feelings from the rooftop, but when she finally got a chance to sit down with Matt and be alone with him, Sarah suddenly showed up on the group date.
"I'm feeling emotionally exhausted. I should've known though that this would trigger me just because, like, my past of dealing with unfaithfulness and commitment issues and jealousy. And all of those feelings and emotions are coming back so quickly," Sarah said in a confessional.
"In my heart, I know all of these special moments that we had, and it kills me to think he's having these special moments with other women too. I just worry if I can't pass this, it's really going to be a roadblock in my relationship with Matt."
Sarah interrupted Katie's alone time with Matt, which naturally upset Katie, and Victoria said her appearance was "disrespectful." The girls were incredibly annoyed Sarah was taking away from their time with Matt.
Sarah explained to Matt how she was having difficulty processing things, and Matt reiterated to Sarah how the process isn't normal and he wanted her to focus on their conversation at dinner that was real and genuine.
Matt only wanted Sarah to focus on their relationship and the connection they shared.
As Katie desperately tried to get her time back, Matt walked Sarah out and kissed her goodbye.
Sarah apologized to the women on the group date for interrupting their time, saying something had been weighing on her heart and she wanted to be the bigger person by making her presence known.
But the girls were angry Sarah spoke to them "after the fact" instead of approaching them and asking for their blessing to talk to Matt beforehand.
"This is my worst fear. I just feel like I have a target on my back now. I feel assured now after talking to Matt, but I think it's hard for the other women to understand what my relationship is like with him because it has progressed significantly further than relationships with the other women," Sarah told the cameras.
Victoria sought Sarah out after she left the date and Victoria said no one viewed her as a malicious person and so the group assumed her conversation with Matt was serious. Victoria explained the group was angry she had to speak to Matt on their time, and Katie agreed.
Katie told Sarah that she could have waited to speak to Matt at a different time, and the girls were upset Sarah's chat with the Bachelor had changed the vibe.
Matt ended up giving the group-date rose to Rachael, and Anna confessed she was "so upset" because she didn't get to talk to Matt at all. Khaylah was also "so angry" and called Sarah's interruption "inappropriate."
Serena C. also cried with frustration because barriers were preventing her from getting to know Matt on a deeper level.
When Matt picked Serena P. up for their date, the girls acknowledged Sarah was nowhere to be found, and so Matt chased her down in her bedroom to talk. The girls complained Sarah was being manipulative and "begging" for affirmation, reassurance and attention from Matt.
Sarah, once again, complained she was feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time in the process. Sarah told Matt that she had packed her bags that morning and considered leaving, but Matt promised Sarah that she was on his mind all the time and he sincerely cared for her.
Sarah decided to stay because Matt made it known their connection was real, and Serena P. was bothered Sarah's breakdown took away from her one-on-one date with Matt.
Matt explained to the group of ladies that he would've reacted the same way had any of the girls been in Sarah's position, but the girls felt "wronged" and wanted Sarah to "face the mess she [had] made."
For Matt and Serena P.'s one-on-one date, the pair went horseback riding through the woods and then enjoyed a picnic.
"She's someone who caught my eye from the jump. What she lacks in size, she brings to the table personality-wise, and I love that," Matt gushed.
Serena P. confessed to Matt that her father wasn't supportive of her decision to compete on The Bachelor but she trusted herself and her own decisions and never felt the need to live by others' expectations and standards.
Matt opened up about how he was worried about his mother growing old without a partner, and the couple kissed when they were surrounded by donkeys. The couple laughed and had fun together and even joked around about their childhood pets.
"The best way to put it is I am falling in 'like' right now rather than falling in love," Serena P. shared in a confessional. "But I think I'm just surprised by how much I liked him, I guess! I don't know, it's just weird."
Over a romantic dinner that night, Serena P. told Matt that she's not a casual dater and had been in only one serious relationship. Serena P. thought that man was going to be The One but she said she was wrong.
Serena P. called that breakup "one of the lowest points of my life" because it was sad and painful -- although the correct decision for her at the time.
Matt shared with Serena P. how the last relationship he was in happened one year prior and they dated for four months.
"I was only looking to date someone if I was going to marry them. I wasn't looking to casually date someone," Matt said. "I took a look back at my parents' relationship and then honestly took a step back."
Matt also confessed to Serena P. that he had never been in love before, and Serena P. said she was "deeply in love with [her] ex."
Serena P. laughed about how she was "falling into like" with Matt but then admitted she could see herself potentially falling in "love" with him moving forward, and Matt was all smiles and seemed smitten with the bachelorette.
Matt almost seemed giddy that Serena P. could envision marrying him one day, and Matt assured the bachelorette that her feelings were "mutual." And with that being said, the couple shared a kiss, and Matt noted the night was everything he could have hoped it would be.
"Even though I've never been in love before, I am very open to the thought of feeling that for Serena," Matt gushed to the cameras.
The pair concluded the night with a steamy makeout session in a hot tub, and Serena P. pointed out that she and Matt were really good together.
Later on, the women at the resort received the next Date Card, and Sarah suddenly popped out of her bedroom after allegedly hiding all day. MJ said she didn't want to put up with Sarah's antics at all and Sarah should have just packed her bags and gone home.
Sarah addressed the anger in the room and apologized to all of the women on the group date, especially Katie, saying she meant no disrespect. She also apologized for not clearing the air earlier.
Sarah told the girls that she considered going home and needed to talk to Matt about that, but then no one held back on how they were really feeling.
Sarah said she had made great connections with the ladies, and then Victoria snapped, "Who is she talking about here?!"
Victoria accused Sarah of "monopolizing" and added, "This is not The Sarah Show."
Abigail questioned why Sarah was choosing to stay when she would potentially take a rose from a woman who really wanted to continue dating Matt and actually trusted the process.
Anna insisted Sarah didn't have it difficult at all considering she had spent so much time with Matt, and Khaylah said Sarah's behavior was "annoying."
"You didn't care. You didn't take anyone else's feelings into account except for your own," Serena C. said. "I don't even think you took Matt's feelings into account... You were trying to make him feel bad for you or something."
Anna just wanted to hear Sarah say that she wanted Matt to convince her to stick around.
"Just say you needed his validation and you thought you were more important than anyone else's time," Victoria said.
Anna and Serena C. said Sarah's actions felt "manipulative," "calculated" and "toxic."
"I concur. You are all three of those things, Sarah," Victoria chimed in.
Sarah was on the verge of tears and said she wanted to make amends with everyone, but then Victoria clapped back and said, "Why do you think we want to make amends with you?"
Victoria called Sarah "a calculative little b-tch" in a confessional and told Sarah that she would not accept her apology.
"I hope your connection with Matt is very strong right now, because the rest of your living situation is going to be horrible," Kit noted.
"Yeah," Victoria agreed with a sinister laugh.
MJ refused to talk to Sarah and Kit vented to the other girls that she never wanted to hear from Sarah or see her face again. Feeling so ostracized apparently made the journey even more difficult for Sarah.
Later on, Katie approached Sarah and admitted she didn't like what happened the other night at all. Katie apparently felt bad for Sarah, who was crying and told Katie that she had decided to leave.
Katie asked Sarah to explore her connection with Matt completely so she'd never feel like Matt's backup plan. Sarah said she believed in the feelings she had for Matt but she was not "cut out" for this process and all of her insecurities were coming out.
"I need to put my well-being first, and I'm not in a good headspace here," Sarah cried.
"And I haven't really opened up to you about the situation with my dad, but he has a terminal illness, and it's not years or months -- it's maybe, like, weeks. And that's really weighing on my heart too, time away from him. I thought I was ready for this, but I have to be true to myself."
Since Katie's father passed away in 2012, Katie encouraged Sarah to spend every minute possible with her father, who is battling ALS.
But Sarah later told the cameras it wasn't just her father's condition that convinced her to go home; it was also the tension and drama in the house.
"Matt deserves the best and I just don't feel my best. I want him to have everything and more of what he came here for, but I don't think it can be with me," Sarah said.
Katie then addressed Matt's cast of bachelorettes and said Sarah had a big family thing she was dealing with. Katie reminded everyone "to stay classy" because they didn't really know each other's full stories.
"What I don't want is for her to think she was bullied out of her. She does have a connection with Matt, but at the end of the day, she's doing what's best for her," Katie explained.
The episode concluded with Sarah showing up to Matt's hotel suite to essentially dump him.
Sarah could barely compose her emotions and told Matt that she was doubting everything and whether she could truly go through with the whole process. She explained how hard it was to be away from her family and how she got "completely attacked" by so many of the women.
"I feel alone.... I just feel like I'm not welcome," Sarah told Matt, without giving him any names.
Matt told Sarah that he really wanted her to stay and his feelings for her were real. He said he had shared things with her that he never shared with another girl.
Sarah acknowledged her predicament was "really hard" but she had prayed about things and felt "really called to go home."
"I just don't think I'm ready for this. I wish you could just see my heart," Sarah cried in Matt's arms.
"I feel it," Matt replied.
Sarah apologized for leaving him this way, and he told her not to apologize.
"It doesn't mean I'm going to stop thinking about you and praying for your dad and thinking about your family. When you're ready, some guy is going to be extremely lucky, and I'm bummed it's not me," Matt told Sarah. "But I've learned so much from you already and what it means to sacrifice... I'm going to miss you."
"I'm going to miss you too," Sarah noted.
Sarah completely broke down in the car when she finally left the resort, and Matt appeared deflated and hurt. Sarah hated the fact she was "leaving such an amazing man" whom she had developed feelings for.
"But I can't do this. He sees my heart and knows how important family is to me. I think that's why he let me go, because he sees my heart. This isn't the best of Sarah, and Matt deserves the best. I gave it my all. I just can't do this," Sarah lamented.
"A part of me thinks I am making a mistake because he is so incredible."