Chris Harrison Said Matt James Was a ‘Different Man’ After ‘The Bachelor;’ ‘He… Never Fully Understood What’ Love Was Before

It’s not even January yet and Matt James is stirring up some discourse around his most recent The Bachelor promo. But, Chris Harrison did what he does best and shared his insight on the matter, and assured fans that James’ season will be worth the ride. James did a lot of growth, apparently, and does know how to fall in love on TV

The newest promo for ‘The Bachelor’ had a soundbite that some fans were worried about

Matt James for ABC's 'THE BACHELOR'
Matt James for ABC’s ‘THE BACHELOR’ | ABC/Billy Kidd

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Even though Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette isn’t over just yet, fans already are looking toward The Bachelor. The season starts on Jan. 4, so there isn’t a big break between the two. But Bachelor Nation probably isn’t too mad about that. 

The promo shows James in a luxury car, in showers, and making out with gorgeous women. He has a pretty lavish estate resort, still with strict COVID-19 pandemic quarantine rules. So there won’t be any traveling like in previous seasons. But just like Adams’ seasons has made it work so far, James’ season seems like he’ll have all the drama he needs right at home. 

With that being said, one soundbite had him saying that he had “never been in love.” Harrison wasn’t taken aback, and just said it was his job to change that. But fans, of course, found that a bit “jarring.” Even former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay was a little skeptical that someone could fall in love on television for the first time if they’d never done so in private before.

Chris Harrison assured everyone that Matt James just had never experienced love like he had on the show before

Just like he did in that sitdown with Lindsay, Harrison continued to defend James’ ability to find love. In an interview with Us Weekly on Nov. 24, Harrison said that the promo only showed some of the truth, of course. Since it’s just a slice of what’s to come. It’s not that James has never been in love, but rather never to this depth. 

“It’s not that he hasn’t said ‘I love you’ before. I think the problem with him is he realized being the Bachelor, he had never fully understood what it means,” Harrison said. “He didn’t understand the weight of it.”

Harrison then went on to say that any lead on the two shows can say that being the Bachelor or Bachelorette can change a person. 

“He is a different man than when he came to us in and he got really a crash course because he didn’t get the few steps of being on the show,” Harrison continued. “He really just ripped the Band-Aid off and sometimes that hurts a little bit. So, I think he had a bit of a rude awakening of the man he is, the way he loves [and] what love means to him.”

The Bachelor host said fans are going to get to see an “amazing journey” with James and not just as a lead but as a guy falling deeply in love. With one woman, or maybe more. Who knows?

James faced new obstacles other Bachelors never have

Of course, as Harrison mentioned a bit above, and as many fans already know, James isn’t the typical The Bachelor lead. He has never been a contestant on the show before. Usually, the leads for both of the main shows competed on a previous season of the opposite series. So the Bachelor would have appeared on a previous The Bachelorette season, and vice versa. 

With James, he was just a good friend of The Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron. James was also a planned contestant on Clare Crawley’s season, but with delays due to COVID-19, and the need to announce a new Bachelor, ABC chose James instead of a former contestant. This, of course, comes with its own set of hurdles. 

“There are some wonderful things to the naïveté and innocence to just coming in,” Harrison said. “But then there are little things that we had to really stop, and you know, [it’s] night one and he doesn’t know what to do.” 

So while James was navigating through finding love, he also had to figure out what a rose ceremony was and how to lead it. How it worked, what the logistics were, and everything that went into filming one. 

“We really had to walk him through and teach him; it was Bachelor 101,” he said. “And it was trial by fire.”

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