The journey has begun for Matt James.
Or, to be more specific, the historic journey has begun for Matt James.
On Thursday, the first-ever The Bachelor lead announced via Twitter that followers won’t be hearing from him again for about 60 days.
Because he’s off to film Season 25!
“See y’all in 2 months,” the 27-year-old wrote very simply on social media.
Prior to his departure, James gave a shoutout on his Instagram Story to his very close friend and roommate Tyler Cameron, who was also the runner-up of season 15 of The Bachelorette last year and who then dated star Hannah Brown for a bit.
“What a crazy 6 months, I love you brother, wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you an your mama… (Oh & I’ll be back, with a plus one),” he wrote alongside a picture of the pals.
In June, James was announced as The Bachelor, making him franchise’s first Black male lead.
He was originally cast to compete for Clare Crawley’s heart on her season of The Bachelorette.
He also rose to a level of viral fame this spring when he quarantined for a few weeks with Cameron, Brown and others in Florida.
Photos of this group dancing, partying and just hanging out often went online in the early days of COVID-19 in America.
Ahead of Hannah’s 26th birthday this week, James closed out his Bachelor-related farewell with the following image and message:
“Last but CERTAINLY not least…happy (early) Birthday Breezy @hannahbrown.”
Appearing opposite Chris Harrison in July on The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons—Ever!, James said of his selection by ABC:
“I’ve heard from a lot of my Black friends that aren’t Bachelor Nation faithful that are excited about me and honored by the position I’m in.
That same month, James opened up about being the first Black star and how he responded to the news.
“My first reaction was, does this mean I don’t get to meet Clare? Because I was looking forward to meeting her,” he explained on Good Morning America.
“I had set aside all this time, we had gone out to California and then called back with quarantine. So, I’m super excited for her and her season, but I’m looking forward to meeting her eventually.”
Crawley, of course, debuts as The Bachelorette on October 13.
No premiere date has yet been set for The Bachelor Season 25, although it usually premieres in January and it appears here as if the network is planning to kick off James’ run some time in early 2021.
We’ve been scouring the Internet for The Bachelor spoilers in the wake of this pandemic, trying to learn how shooting will differ compared to past seasons due to the coronavirus.
But there isn’t a ton of information out there yet.
Upon confirming James as The Bachelor this summer, Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said the following:
“Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season.
“When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor.”
She concluded at the time:
We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience.
This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.
We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.