Things got very personal for Matt James on The Bachelor.
And not just because he pondered whether or not to be intimate with his trio of remaining suitors.
Prior to even offering Bri, Michelle and/r Rachael an invitation to the Season 25 Fantasy Suite, James said he wanted to talk to his dadd, Manny.
“I still have a lot of fear about what commitment looks like based on him and my mom’s relationship,” Matt explained in an interview during this latest installment of The Bachelor.
“That’s not something I want to carry with me. Harboring that negativity in my life hasn’t progressed any of my relationships. It’s hindered my growth.
“For me to move forward, I have to address those demons in my life.”
Cut to Manny being flown to Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania and having a heart-to-heart with his son.
“I need to know where your head was at so I don’t make those same mistakes going forward,” Matt told his father, who walked out on former athlete, his brother and mother.
“I’m going to take some of that blame of me not showing up as a father figure, much as it’s supposed to be, but do you know what I went through? Do you want me to tell you the real deal?” Manny replied before revealing:
“I came home one day, your mom was gone.”
Whoa there. What now?!?
Matt, however, said he didn’t blame his mom for leaving due to his dad’s infidelity.
“No one is perfect, son,” Manny shot back.
“Look around you at this world — who is perfect? I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect yourself. We make mistakes in our life. We’re going to fall. It’s how you get up.”
But NOT cheating on one’s wife should be a low bar to clear; plenty of imperct spouses are still able to remain loyal.
“I’m sorry I hurt you, son,” Manny finally said.
“I had to get to this point … Whatever I can do to make it better, I’ll work on it. I want you to be happy for the rest of your life and I want you to have a relationship that’s healthy and not like what I went through.
“Plus, I know I don’t like this. And I don’t like it that you’re far away from me.”
James forgave his father and made it sound like he got the closure he needed from the discussion.
“I’m not him and I don’t have to make the mistakes that he made,” James said. “We’re different humans.”
From there, it was time to take Michelle on a spa date.
This entailed the duo dipping their feet in oatmeal… giving one another massages with melted butter … and bathing in a liquid Michelle and Matt believed to be milk.
“I really feel like Matt is my person,” Michelle said to the cameras.
“We can be sitting in a milk bath covered in butter and it feels comfortable. It feels like home.”
While Michelel made it clear she wanted a proposal, Matt opened up as follows:
“When I thought about my mom and dad’s relationship, I think about distrust, unfaithfulness, lack of communication. And it’s something I wanted to talk to him about and I had that opportunity.
“just asked him about his actions — you know, he hurt my mom.
“My point was to let him know that in spite of all those things, here I am. I’m ready to make a decision and I’m not going to be you. I want to be the man he wasn’t.”
As for whether these two boned?
Yes, they ended up in the Fantasy Suite, popping champagne, as Michelle told Matt, “I love you.”
The two kissed and proceeded to spend the night with one another. HOT!
In the morning, Matt hugged Michelle from behind and they gazed out the window.
“I could get used to mornings like this,” Michelle said to Matt, who later said in a confessional that Michelle “could be my wife.”
Was there therefore any hope for Bri?
Yes, of course. This is The Bachelor.
“If Matt got down on one knee tonight, I would 1,000 percent say ‘yes,'” she told the cameras, prior to the pair planning a camp-out in the woods.
At dinner that evening, Matt again broached the topic of his parents.
“There’s things in my life that have held me back from not commitment, but just worrying about what that would look like,” he told Bri.
“Like what does marriage, what does engagement, what does that long-term commitment look like?
“And one of those things that I just needed to address to get over the hump was the relationship with my dad.”
Having been raised by a single mom, Bri said she could relate.
“I still feel 100 percent ready for an engagement after this,” she also said.
“And what I’m feeling is that I really am so in love with you, because it means the world to me that you can understand me. And it really just goes to show why I love you and the things that I love about you.”
Yes, of course, the pair went on to spend the evening together… which only confirmed Bri’s feelings for Matt.
“Last night just reaffirms that I’m in love with you,” she told him, prompting this admission from Matt in a confessional:
“We connect on the deepest of levels. It’s what I’ve been looking for and what I came here for. I can see a life with Bri after this.”
But… what about Rachael Kirkconnell?!?
“This week was unbearable for me,” the front-runner told James.
“You know I picture you as my future husband — I know you know that — and when I picture you as that person for me, and then knowing that you’re spending time, really intimate time, with other people, I really didn’t think I would get through this week, honestly.
“It was the lowest that I felt.”
Was pretty nice to hear a contestant outwardly admit that it’s awkward and sort of absurd for her potential husband, days away from maybe proposing, to be having sex with two other women.
Matt reassured Kirkconnell pretty easily, though, simply saying:
“There’s no easy way to go about these next two weeks, but it’s necessary so that at the end of this you can have 100 percent assurance in where I’m at with you and us,” he said.
With this, Rachael said she was in love with James.
“If you had a ring in your pocket right now and pulled it out, I’d say ‘yes,'” she told the Bachelor.
You won’t believe this, but James later said that choosing between these women at the Rose Ceremony would be “the hardest decision” of his life.
“I didn’t think that it was possible to have these strong feelings for multiple people, but here were are, my final rose ceremony,” he said to the three remaining women, basically reading from every Bachelor script of all-time.
“And I’ve just got to continue to follow my heart.”
With that… Matt gave one rose to Michelle and the next to Rachael and walked Bri out.
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“It is hard to think about not being able to see you again, but that’s just how this goes,” she told Matt through tears.
“You are going to be moving onto someone else and I think that’s what makes it harder.”
Bri then reflected more on the breakup in the car ride away.
“It’s hard because what I thought we had was special,” she said. “It couldn’t have been all for nothing.”
The Bachelor season finale airs next Monday at 8/7con ABC, followed by the live After the Final Rose special, hosted by Emmanuel Acho, at 10/9c.
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