The Bachelor featured Serena Pitt dumping Matt James after her hometown date because she didn't believe Matt is her "person" and The Bachelor star advancing to Fantasy Suites with Rachael Kirkconnell, Michelle Young and Bri Springs during the Season 25 episode Monday night on ABC.

After Serena P., a 22-year-old publicist from Markham, ON, unexpectedly quit the show, Matt handed out roses to his Final 3 bachelorettes at the post-hometowns Rose Ceremony: Rachael, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA; Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, MN; and Bri, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN.

The Bachelor Season 25 Episode 8

The Bachelor broadcast began with host Chris Harrison meeting with Matt's Final 4 women and informing them hometown dates were about to take place right at Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania due to the coronavirus pandemic and the group being unable to travel around the U.S.

Rachael said she couldn't wait for Matt to meet her family because she was so happy with him and serious about the idea of starting a life together.

Chris revealed to Serena that Matt would be meeting her mother, father and sister Talia. Rachael's mother, father and sister Trinity had traveled to Pennsylvania, and Michelle's mom and dad were prepared to meet Matt. Bri's mother, best friend Bri and baby sister also showed up for the hometown date.


Michelle's date with Matt was up first. While she couldn't tour Minnesota with him, she took him on a bike ride to signify evening bike rides she used to have with her family.

Michelle also put Matt in the hot seat by introducing him to a group of her students virtually on Zoom in an empty movie theater. The kids playfully grilled Matt on whether he was going to have babies and on how many girlfriends he had.

Michelle loved sharing this piece of home with Matt. One boy asked Matt, "Are you going to marry [Michelle]?" And a sweet girl called the elementary school teacher her "inspiration."

Matt said it was "incredible" to see the special relationship Michelle has with her students and he saw everything he was looking for in Michelle. Matt thought a future with Michelle could be real and truly work.

Michelle told Matt that she was falling for him and had only appeared on the show for him. Michelle, however, hoped to have her family's stamp of approval before moving forward with the relationship.

Michelle's father Ephraim thought Michelle looked really happy with Matt, and he was pleased to see that since Michelle had some painful relationships in the past that didn't work out.

Ephraim thought Matt seemed like a nice guy, but he was concerned about Matt falling in love with multiple women.
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When asked if she'd say "yes" to a marriage proposal, Michelle nodded her head emphatically.

Matt told Ephraim that he appreciated Michelle's strong convictions and how she carries herself and what she wants to accomplish in life.

"So are you in love with her or not?" Ephraim asked.

"I haven't told her that yet, and it's not something I would share with her until I meant it. And I am falling for your daughter," Matt shared.

Matt said he'd be open to moving to Minnesota if it meant being with his daughter because there's nothing he wouldn't do for a woman he's in love with and wants to build a future with.

Michelle then told her mother that she thought Matt could be The One, but she cried and seemingly felt a little overwhelmed. Michelle said she thought Matt would put her first if he chose her, and she gushed, "I've never felt like that before."


Matt and Michelle won over her parents' support, and so Michelle decided to really open up about how she was feeling that night.

When Matt and Michelle had a moment alone, Michelle shared with The Bachelor star, "I can say that I'm falling in love with you, and that makes me so excited but it's so scary. It's so genuine and so real."

Matt smiled back at Michelle and she gushed about how the moment felt so good.

"This is a new feeling to me and I don't think it's a feeling that's going away," Michelle said. "I know it's not going to be going away. When Matt and I walk away from this experience hand in hand, life will be so full."

For Rachael's date, the Georgia native blindfolded Matt and drove him to a small plane, where the couple would be going skydiving together. Rachael joked about how she was literally "falling" for Matt.

Matt said his feelings for Rachael told him that the process was working and he was stepping into it.

Matt, a thrill seeker and adrenaline junkie, had the experience of a lifetime with Rachael, but the poor bachelorette had a terrible crash landing! Once Rachael's feet were on the ground, Matt ran up to her in fear because it looked like she had really hurt herself.

Rachael complained her back was killing her after she slammed into the ground, and Matt said the idea of Rachael being injured put everything into perspective for him.

"My heart hurt watching you, because you weren't moving for a second," Matt told Rachael.

"You don't see how much you care until there's a chance you could be gone... It's a different feeling when you're falling in love and that person could be potentially hurt. The thought of losing you in that moment really set in... I didn't know how strongly I felt until something like that happens."

Rachael was happy that Matt was there for her, and she said she couldn't even think about going through life without him at that point.

Matt then met Rachael's loved ones, and Rachael told her mother that she was falling in love with Matt and their connection was serious. Rachael said Matt had shown her zero red flags and he had a wonderful way of comforting and taking care of her.

"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.


But Rachael's father Darrell asked Matt to give the relationship more time before getting engaged.

He wanted to see Matt and Rachael getting to know each other better before making such a serious commitment, but Matt said his end goal was getting married and he and Rachael had been nothing but honest, upfront and communicative with each other.

"I've never connected with someone on the level that we've connected on," Matt told Darrell.

Darrell thought it would be difficult to care about somebody while simultaneously dating other people, but Matt assured her that he was taking the process very seriously and Rachael was the only woman whom he was thinking about when they're together.

Darrell was worried Rachael was fully invested and would get her heart broken. Rachael told Darrell that Matt has qualities she had been searching for in a man and had been unable to find.

Darrell told Rachael that Matt might've been saying the same things about love to every girl, but Rachael didn't believe that and said she'd walk away if her feelings for The Bachelor star weren't really strong.

Later that evening, Matt told Rachael that he had a great conversation with the skeptical Darrell but never asked for his blessing to propose marriage.

Matt said he didn't want to have that conversation with four families and if Rachael ended up being The One for him, he'd call Darrell on the phone and ask for his permission and blessing.

A part of Rachael had been hoping that Matt would ask her father for his blessing, and she said saying goodbye to him again was "unbelievably hard."

"I will be completely crushed if I don't end up with Matt," Rachael said in a confessional.

For her hometown date, Bri took Matt off-roading in a jeep, and Matt said they had a similar upbringing and other experiences that bonded them. Matt sat in the passenger seat and was surprised by Bri's guts and ability to drive the vehicle through the woods and the mud.

After a sweet picnic, Matt met Bri's mother Lauren, who always had to play Bri's mother and father. Bri expected Lauren would be a little tough on Matt, and she admitted she was a little upset about not being able to give Matt a conventional family with a mom and a dad.


Matt, however, didn't have a conventional family either given he had also been raised by a single mom, and so he assured Bri that everything would be fine and he just wanted to make sure that he made a good impression on them.

Bri was hoping to feel ready to tell Matt that she was falling in love with him that night.

Bri cried when she got to see her baby sister, who cried in Bri's arms and made Matt's heart melt. Matt could see how Bri showed up for her family and how she'd show up for his family as well.

Lauren then sat down with Matt and asked some hard questions, such as, "Are you in love with her?"

"I'm falling for her," Matt replied. "It's not the assurance you're probably looking for but it's my honesty and it's how I've gone about approaching this."

Matt said he and Bri were both realistic and forward-thinking, and Lauren agreed that Bri was a realist. Matt noted that he and Bri were on the same page, but Lauren pointed out that Bri was afraid of getting shut down.

Lauren could tell that Matt and Bri had a special connection. When speaking to her daughter alone, Lauren asked Bri if she felt like she was "in love" with Matt.

"I feel like this is the first time where someone is looking at me and seeing every single part of me. It just feels so soon," Bri explained to her mom, adding, "I do feel like I'm falling in love with him. I'm so, so scared."

Lauren suggested that Bri needed to be honest and vulnerable, but Bri feared about being asked to leave after expressing her true feelings to Matt.

At the end of the evening, Bri finally let her walls down and told Matt, "I feel like I'm falling in love with you, and I just want more time with you."

"Thank you for sharing that with me tonight," Matt replied.

Bri told the cameras that she was "crazy" about Matt and her days with the Bachelor continued to be more and more amazing. She was glad Matt wouldn't have any doubts about where she stood with him heading into the next Rose Ceremony.

Bri felt her head and her heart were finally aligned for Matt.


Matt's final hometown date was with Serena, who showed Matt pieces of Toronto by setting up a Canadian-themed date.

Serena, a proud Canadian, shared her culture with Matt by introducing him to poutine, peameal bacon and iconic desserts as well as teaching him some trivia and vernacular.

Serena said she and Matt had a blast together and were able to deepen their connection, and the first part of their date ended with a little ice hockey game that Serena apparently won.

Before meeting Serena's family, Matt said he was "beyond nervous" because he could see himself spending the rest of his life with the bachelorette. Matt really wanted to make a great impression on them.

Serena's mother Rasna asked to have a chat with Matt, who gushed about how Serena is beautiful, smart and really challenged him. Rasna could tell Matt and Serena had a connection, but she was convinced they were ready to get engaged.

And Serena's sister Talia shared similar sentiments.

"I think he's a really cool guy. Matt is everything I would want for you. To me, it seems like something is just missing... I would say you don't seem smitten, and I think it's because you are in your head, personally," Talia shared.

"I think you're logically [thinking], 'Yeah, Matt checks off all my boxes but where is that it factor?'"

Talia said she worried about Serena getting engaged and then regretting the decision. Talia could tell that Serena was "holding back," and she just didn't want Serena to "talk herself into" the relationship.

Serena told her father that she initially felt confident in her relationship with Matt but she was no longer "1,000 percent sure." Suddenly, Serena had a lot of doubts about having a future with Matt, and she felt really confused.

Serena acknowledged to her mother that she and Matt had great conversation and he made her feel really good about herself.

"I don't know what it is, but I just can't put my finger on it. I can't verbalize it or write it down, but there's just something that is causing this deep doubt," Serena lamented.

Rasna pointed out that Serena's last relationship really messed with her head and maybe that's where the doubts were coming from. Serena broke down into tears, saying her biggest fear had come true in that past relationship that ended with her totally brokenhearted.


Serena said she was struggling to trust her feelings and she didn't want to make the wrong decision.

Serena admitted she felt "so sure" in her last relationship but ended up being so wrong and heartbroken. Serena wondered if she feared letting herself falling in love with Matt on the chance she could get hurt again.

Serena later confessed to Matt that she had a lot of thinking to do and felt doubts within herself. Serena said she was facing "an internal battle," and so Matt asked her to trust him.

"I'll try," Serena said, which didn't allow Matt to leave the date feeling secure and confident.

Serena said she felt emotionally exhausted although she was falling for Matt and thought they had an incredible relationship.

"But the idea of getting engaged to him in a few weeks does scare me because I'm not there yet, and I wanted my hometown to get me there. I wanted to be like, 'Oh my gosh, yes, he's my husband and I see it,' but tonight, I have doubt and fear. I'm so confused," Serena lamented.

The next day, Matt admitted to Chris Harrison that he adored Serena because "there's just something about her" but her hometown date left him with questions about whether she reciprocated his strong feelings.

Matt felt Serena was closed off the previous night and "something was off" with her. Matt said he needed Serena to at least meet him halfway given the other women were certain they could see a future with him.

"I see my life with Serena -- raising a family with her and living out both of our dreams and aspirations together. I've seen it since the first night I met her, but I don't know if she sees it. And I need to know," Matt told the cameras.

Matt therefore tracked Serena down for a pre-Rose Ceremony conversation.

Matt said his decision to spend so much time with Serena -- who received two one-on-one dates this season -- had been "intentional" because he could see them sharing a life together.

Serena acknowledged she and Matt had obvious chemistry and a great connection but when she tried to articulate her feelings for Matt in a conversation with her mother, she "really struggled."

"I thought that it was fear initially, that I was just scared. But I think if I'm being honest with myself, it's more than that and I think that it just comes down to the fact that I don't think that you're my person," Serena confessed.


Matt appeared stunned and didn't say a word in reply. After gathering his thoughts and composure, Matt said it sucked to hear that but he felt it after he left her hometown date.

"It just stinks," Matt muttered. "I don't know. It sucks to hear that because I just want what's best for you, and if that's not going to me and I can't make you happy and be all those things for you, that stinks."

Serena reiterated, "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."

Matt said Serena didn't have to say or do anymore, and then she actually walked Matt out.

It suddenly hit Serena that this was going to be the last time she'd see Matt, and the pair had an emotional goodbye. Matt admitted he felt disappointed because he never saw their journey ending in this way.

"That was tough," Matt said, adding that he was scared his remaining women's feelings for him would also change. "The last thing I want to do is leave here with a broken heart."

The Final 3 Rose Ceremony then commenced, and the girls were shocked to see that Serena was nowhere to be found.

Matt told Chris that he wished he and Serena could have addressed their issues sooner -- like weeks ago -- and he hoped his Final 3 women would continue to be open and honest with him so they wouldn't run into the same problem down the road.

"I was in shock. Serena was someone that I thought I was potentially going to be with. My feelings for these women are real, and I really thought I knew how they felt about me and this process, but now I'm having doubts," Matt shared.

"My biggest fear is being at the end of this down on one knee and being heartbroken."

At the Rose Ceremony, Matt announced that Serena couldn't see herself as his wife and the breakup wasn't easy.

Matt asked his Final 3 women to accept a rose only if they could picture themselves getting engaged to him, and with that being said, Michelle, Rachael, and Bri all accepted a rose from Matt in that order.

Bri said she was a little concerned about receiving the third rose, and she hoped it wasn't indicative that Matt's feelings for her were a little further behind his feelings for the other bachelorettes.

Meanwhile, Michelle gushed about looking forward to intimate time with her future "hubby" and Rachael said she felt giddy about moving forward in Matt's journey to find a wife.


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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.