Matt James was unwilling to hug Rachael Kirkconnell this past Monday on ABC’s After the Final Rose special.
The very recent Bachelor lead has now hinted that he’s not totally against the idea of doing a lot more than just hug Kirkconnell at some point down the line.
If you know what we mean!
Appearing late last week on The Bill Simmons Podcast, James opened up about his unique Season 25 experience as the anchor of this beloved franchise.
Among the revelations?
James chose Kirkconnell with his final rose in November, was able to grow close to her via a number of secret weekends away and then learned about her questionable history of racist behavior in January.
The former athllete told Simmons he found out about Kirkconnell’s resurfaced photos “just like everybody else did” — through social media — and that it was “heartbreaking” to discover they were real.
Does he think Rachael is a bad person? Of course not.
But her actions — such as attending an antebellum-themed party in 2018 — made Matt realize that there’s just a huge disconnect between the two.
“The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me,” he explained.
“You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed and that I don’t want her to do better.”
James has faced a lot of backlash since dumping Rachael, but even Kirkconnell has told the haters to leave James alone.
She has also referred to James as the “love of her life,” saying she can only hope to learn and evolve from her mistakes.
Does Matt feel a similar way toward his ex?
He didn’t use such glowing language when talking about Kirkconnell on this podcast.
However, Matt was asked at one point if he would consider being in a relationship again with Kirkconnell, replying in vague, albeit intriguing fashion.
“I don’t think that anyone’s irredeemable,” he responded.
“And, I think that for Rachael, there’s a lot that we didn’t discuss that we probably should’ve talked about. I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions.
“And I’m giving her that space to do that.”
James also said you won’t be reading about him with anyone else on any celebrity gossip site, once again leaving the door open to a reconciliation.
“I’m working on myself. I’m not going to be dating,” James told Simmon.
“I’m just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I’ve been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television.”
During the podcast, James also confessed that he hasn’t had time to fully process everything that’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling.
There’s just been so much going on.
“I’m so exhausted,” he said.
“I need to take a step back and take in everything and process what’s been going on.”