‘The Bachelor’: Matt James Reveals Why He Gave Abigail the First Impression Rose

The battle royal, also known as The Bachelor, has begun. Though we have only seen night one of Matt James’ season, it’s clear that some of the women are already ready to do whatever it takes to win his heart. As always, one woman came out on top on night one and was awarded the first impression rose. Here’s why James gave the rose to Abigail Heringer.

Matt James and Abigail
Matt James and Abigail Heringer | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

Who is Abigail Heringer?

Because there are so many women competing for James’ heart, not all of them are given introduction packages, but Heringer was. In her package, viewers learned that she was born with congenital hearing loss and has a cochlear implant.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her sister and was furloughed from her job as a financial manager before coming on The Bachelor. She was nervous about sharing her hearing loss with James, but went ahead and told him about it as soon as she stepped out of the limo. James promised to enunciate his words so she could read his lips better.

Matt James and Abigail Heringer’s interactions on night 1 of ‘The Bachelor’

Once inside the new Bachelor digs, Heringer and James spoke again.

“I wasn’t expecting to be that nervous, to be honest,” she told James. “I feel like for the last few months all I’ve been hearing is, ‘Matt, Matt Matt!’ I was like….he’s a God or something!”

The two spoke about how Heringer’s older sister was also born with the same issue and sort of paved the way for Heringer to be more open about her hearing problems.

“To be honest with you, once I heard your name….I, like, went blank,” James told her, admitting that he didn’t hear much else she said. “I tried, but you were gorgeous and it was hard to focus on anything else!”

Heringer was the first girl to kiss James which put her at ease.

“I was stressing out about my time with Matt, but he’s just so easy to talk to and he took it to a whole other level,” she told the cameras. “I love it. I’m so giddy about it.”

Why did Matt give Abigail the rose?

There are lots of reasons that a person could give out a first impression rose. Past leads have given them to the person who made them the most comfortable or the person who they were most excited to get to know. In James’ case, it was a little of both.

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“She was so authentic and real,” James told HollywoodLife. “Everything that I’m asking of the women in this experience, she did unprompted. She was open about being deaf, about her family members that were deaf, about her experience, about what to expect from her. It just was flowing out of her and we just vibed. It just felt real. It felt comfortable, and in a situation that was uncomfortable, to have that type of feeling with somebody just made sense. I wanted her to know that that’s how I felt about her and the best way to do that was to give her the rose.”

The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.