Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell left AFTR filming together ‘arm over arm’

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James film for ATFR
After The Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho implied that Matt James and Rachael left together and Matt had “so much affection” for her off-camera. Pic credit: ABC

The Bachelor star Matt James reportedly left the set of the tumultuous After The Final Rose special with Rachael Kirkconnell even though they didn’t see eye-to-eye on camera.

Emmanuel Acho opened up about filming the monumental finale special as host in place of Chris Harrison.

Emmanuel shared some behind-the-scenes tea that may change the way Bachelor Nation views the drama between Matt and Rachael.

He appeared on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast Off the Vine to share how Matt’s behavior on camera was very different from off-camera.

While he condemned Rachael “in front of the cameras,” he reportedly consoled her after filming wrapped.

“I’m speaking as a Black man. It would have been impossible for him to leave the stage with her without getting crucified, but what people did not see is after the cameras cut [is] they left arm over arm. They walked off the stage,” Emmanuel revealed.

“As soon as they left, it was his arm over hers. There was still so much affection,” Emmanuel added.

Emmanuel Acho says he tried to give Matt James a chance to speak his truth

Emmanuel also revealed that he had asked Matt a pivotal question during After The Final Rose that wasn’t aired on TV.

He reportedly tried to give Matt the chance to admit if he was distancing himself from Rachael due to outside pressure rather than his own feelings.

“Matt’s hands were tied. His hands were tied. I tried to un-tie them,” Emmanuel shared. “I don’t think they ended up running it, but I asked, ‘Would you be in this relationship if not for pressure from the Black community?’ … I tried to let the world know, ‘Hey Matt, blink twice.’”

However, it seemed that Matt didn’t budge.

Matt and Rachael’s complicated relationship history

Matt and Rachael met on his season of The Bachelor, during which Matt gave Rachael his final rose.

However, since filming wrapped, racially insensitive pictures surfaced of Rachael Kirkconnell posing for an Antebellum plantation photoshoot.

The pair reportedly broke up behind closed doors and Bachelor Nation had to wait until After The Final Rose to see the aftermath.

As Emmanuel discussed, Matt had held Rachael accountable for her actions and get past the issue at the time.

So the two reportedly left ATFR with little chance of reconciliation.

One month later, Matt and Rachael were supposed to meet up in NYC to give their relationship another chance. However, that went south when Matt was caught messaging an ex about hooking up.

The pair gave their relationship another shot the following month and have been going strong since.

They’re even looking to potentially move to Miami together.

However, Emmanuel’s tea may have completely changed the timeline of Matt and Rachael’s relationship as Bachelor Nation knows it.

The Bachelor is currently on hiatus.

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