The Latest Season of ‘The Bachelor’ Shatters All Expectations

Lily Heddinghaus, Staff Writer

Season 25 of ABC’s reality dating show “The Bachelor” aired on Jan. 4 and shocked viewers with its diverse cast.

Viewers have criticized the “Bachelor” franchise for its predominantly-white casting in prior seasons. The show’s first non-white bachelor appeared in season 18, Venezuelan Juan Pablo Galavis, and the second in season 24, Cuban Peter Weber.

This season’s bachelor is Matt James—the first black bachelor in the show’s history. He expressed his concern with this role during the premiere.

“It’s like people want you to end up with a certain type of person, and I get that,” James said. “My mom is white, and my dad is black. I experienced what it is like to be the product of an interracial marriage.”

James then explained his biggest fear going into the season.

“It’s tough, because you have people with certain views, old-school views, on what a relationship and love looks like,” James said. “You have people cheering for you to find love, and you have people cheering for you to end up with a specific person…a person of a specific race. That is something that kept me up at night. I don’t want to piss off black people. I don’t want to piss off white people. But I am both of those. And how do I please everybody?”

The producers chose James to be the bachelor because his best friend, Tyler Cameron, was a fan-favorite from season 15 of  “The Bachelorette.” Cameron and James quarantined together in March and documented their experience on social media.

Women across the country raved over James’ personality and strong physique, and a record number of women applied to be on his season.

The 32 women chosen to meet James are diverse in race, nationality, disability and background.

Around half of the cast are people of color, and some traveled from their homes in Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Canada and Colombia to find love.

The most memorable moment of the premiere was the first-impression rose when the bachelor gives a rose to the woman he feels the strongest connection to. James gave his first-impression rose to Abigail Heringer, the first deaf and hearing-impaired contestant in the show’s history.

Season 25’s inclusivity of minorities is a positive change to a show all about finding love.