‘The Bachelor’: Chris Harrison Defends Matt James After That ‘Jarring Statement’ in the Trailer

Get ready, everyone. The Bachelor Season 25 with Matt James is officially on its way, and ABC was kind enough to drop an early trailer. As expected, the promo highlighted all the romance — and drama — that’s to come. But then James admitted he’s never been in love before. So is the new bachelor ready for the journey ahead? Recently, host Chris Harrison explained why he’s confident in James’ love story.

‘The Bachelor’ Season 25 trailer highlights the start of Matt James’ story

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In November 2020, ABC dropped its first promo trailer for James’ season of The Bachelor. The teaser highlighted a handful of stunning limo entrances at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the preview gave viewers a glimpse of James’ Bachelor Nation debut as Salt-N-Pepa’s “Whatta Man” played in the background. 

“Matt is a delicious man,” one of James’ cast members said in a confessional as clips of the new lead flashed by. 

Then, just as things started heating up in The Bachelor trailer, James told Harrison he’s never been in love. But the host wasn’t phased. “My job is to change that,” he said.

As the teaser continued, it appeared Harrison kept his word. James was spotted kissing multiple women. But the romance quickly faded into drama, as a number of contestants started crying on seemingly separate occasions.

“Do you feel ready for this?” Harrison asked James, who let out a deep sigh. 

Chris Harrison explains Matt James’ comment in ‘The Bachelor’ trailer

'The Bachelor' Season 25 star Matt James in a promo photo for 2021
Matt James from ‘The Bachelor’ | Billy Kidd via Getty Images

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The Bachelor trailer left a few fans questioning whether James is truly ready to fall in love. But when speaking with The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay on Extra, Harrison hinted the promo missed a few key points from his conversation with James.

“Clearly, this was a quick promo that ABC wanted to use,” Harrison said. “It’s a jarring statement for someone who is clearly here to find love, because how do you find something when you don’t know what it looks like? But to his defense, to go a little further in the conversation, it’s one of those things where you think you’ve been in love.”

He continued, “I think he realized once he got here, [he’s] never really, really been in love. So it’s not like he hasn’t had serious relationships, it’s not like he hasn’t explored that. But yeah, he got to the point where he realized, ‘I’ve never been in love.’ And that will be a hurdle to cross.”

Then when Lindsay asked how James will be able to experience true love for the first time on reality TV, Harrison welcomed the skepticism. 

“That is the million-dollar question that we’re going to have to answer coming up in January. You’re not wrong about being leery about that,” he said, noting his initial shock when James claimed he’s never been in love before. “Obviously, I’ve been doing this a long time. And there are those statements that you hear and you’re like, whoa, OK. So I need to see how seriously he takes this. Is he really sincere about trying to figure out if he can find love or fall in love?”

But whatever the case, Harrison still believes James has what it takes to find love on The Bachelor

“He is an unbelievably sweet, sincere, kind, giving man. He has a huge, huge heart,” Harrison said. “If he was a playboy, just over-the-top-charisma fratboy, we would be worried. But the fact that he is so grounded, has such a big heart, and is so philanthropic in every aspect of his life, I definitely tend to think he’s got what it takes to be that guy that can find love.”

When will ‘The Bachelor’ be released in 2021?

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Of course, Bachelor Nation viewers are itching to see what happens to James on his quest for love. But for now, all fans can do is wait. In an interview with Variety from October 2020, ABC executive Rob Mills revealed that filming is expected to end around the Thanksgiving holiday, and new episodes will start airing in the new year. 

“No matter what state the world is in January, this will be a very welcome respite from whatever is going on in the world,” Mills said at the time. “Everyone is going to be so excited about this season.”

Then in November, the network confirmed The Bachelor Season 25 will be released on Monday, Jan. 4, 2020. So get ready. 

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