The Bachelor: Finale


This week, the historic, tumultuous 25th season of the Bachelor came to a close. In last week’s episode, Bachelor Matt James gave out his final two roses to Michelle Young and Racheal Kirkconnell, sending contestant Bri Springs home. This elimination meant Young and Kirkconnell were the final two girls competing for his heart and would be meeting James’ family.  

The episode begins with Young meeting James’ mother and brother, John. The four of them chatted for a while and then Young met with James’ mother and brother individually. Both these conversations went very well and Young told them both that she has fallen in love with James. After Young departs the meeting, James’ mothers gives him her approval. 

Next to go was Kirkconnell. Similarly to Young, the four of them chatted for a while then Kirkconnell had her chance to speak to James’ brother and mother individually. Both these chats went well, especially with James’ mother as Racheal told her she believes God put her in this situation and she loves James, making the mother cry. After Kirkconnell left the meeting, James’ mother was bluntly honest with Matt. She said that although she likes both the girls she wants to make sure he is ready for a proposal because “love is not the end-all, be-all.” This conversation left James very flustered and confused; so, of course, he called in Bachelor host at the time, Chris Harrison, for advice. James told Harrison that he does not think he is ready for an engagement. He also said a lot of his commitment fears stem from his upbringing with divorced parents and an absent father, and he would not want to wish that on anyone else. Harrison seems confused by this acknowledgement, and James told him that he will continue to pursue both the women. 

After having time to reflect, James went on his date with Young. The couple propelled off the hotel building in harnesses. Both of them safely made it to the ground. They then relaxed in some outdoor seating. James confessed to the camera that he does not know where he is at with Young. Later, Young, a former basketball player, gave James a matching jersey saying Mr. and Mrs. James on it. This gift freaks James out, and he tells Young he needs to be honest with her and that he doesn’t think he can get there with her. Both Young and James are left in tears. 

After sending Young home, James was very distraught and decided to cancel his date with Kirkconell, leaving her very upset. Although James was having doubts about proposing, in true Bachelor tradition, Neil Lane, the traditional jewelry designer showed up and, to viewers’ surprise, James did pick out a ring for Kirkconnell.  A few days later, Kirkconnell received a note from James telling her to meet him by the lake. Kirkconnell then arrived at the engagement platform to meet James. They both reconciled about the last few days and told each other that they are in love with one another. However, James says he is not ready for a proposal, but he would love to continue their relationship outside the show. She then accepted the final rose! 

Immediately after the finale, ABC aired the “After the Final Rose Episode.” The show was hosted by Emmabuel Acho, due to Harrison having to step down after defending Kirkconnel amidst a racial controversy. The show opened with Acho inviting runner-up Young to chat. Acho asked her questions about how she is doing now and what her experience was like. Young admitted that she has moved on from James but is hurt that he refused to have a conversation after the break up. Acho then invited James to the stand. The two of them chatted about their relationship and Young jokingly roasted James telling him to find new vocabulary other than “thanks for sharing” and to kiss with his eyes closed. 

Young then exited, leaving James and Acho alone on stage. The first question Acho asked James was about what it was like being the first African American Bachelor. James responded saying he felt like it was an extra pressure and he felt like he had to set a good example. Acho also asked James how he felt about the controversy surrounding his winner, Kirkconell, who was seen at an Antebellum party in college in 2018. James said at first he had dismissed these claims and assumed they were just rumors, yet as evidence and more claims emerged, James felt very disappointed and betrayed by Kirkconnell. He also admitted that they were no longer together, as he believes she needs time to grow. 

After this very emotional talk it was time for Kirkconnell to chat. Kirkconnell admited she was in the wrong and said there is really no excuse for her actions in college and that she was being very ignorant. She also claimed she is learning and will do better. After her chance at an apology, James came back on stage. This encounter was very awkward for the both of them. 

Neither of them had any answers for most of the questions Acho asked, causing an intense and awkward silence. Thankfully, the show went to a much-needed commercial break. After the break it was announced that fan favorites from this season, Michelle Young and Katie Thurston, will each have their own season of the Bachelorette! This season, definitely one for the books, is a wrap!