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The Bachelor Season Finale

Reality TV becoming more reflective of our reality.

The 25th season of “The Bachelor” was actually the most dramatic season to air, and the finale was also missing the face of the franchise, Chris Harrison, hosting the episode. While tough conversations and controversies are never more than a commercial break away, this finale hosted by Emmanuel Acho covered some serious dialogue about the reality of racism in America. (Craig Sjodin / ABC)

After former Bachelorette Hannah Brown’s racial slur scandal during the height of quarantine and the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement, Bachelor Nation experienced a flood of commotion. Fans of Brown defended her actions, while other fans, former castmates and participants of other seasons spoke out against her ignorance. The franchise faced pressure to address the scandal. After the dust settled, ABC announced their next Bachelor, Matthew James. Fans knew him as best friend to Tyler Cameron (a frontrunner from Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette”), but this season let us really get to know James, as the first Black Bachelor in Bachelor Nation History.

This was a long overdue step towards diversity and inclusion in Bachelor Nation.

Aside from the eye-opening make out scenes (sorry, I had to), Matt James was everything we could have hoped for in a Bachelor: hilarious, smart, and positively gorgeous. We also got to witness James grapple with his parents’ rocky marriage in the build up to his potential proposal. James’ parents split because of his father’s infidelity, which made James’ journey to love and a long-lasting commitment that much more difficult.

In the peak of James’s season, many people, including myself, were rooting for frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell. Their chemistry is undeniable, and their dates were by far the most entertaining.

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

However, another scandal erupted after racially insensitive photos surfaced from a 2018 Antebellum-themed college party of Kirkconnell and friends, and Bachelor Nation endured another storm of controversy.