The Bachelor: After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho revealed that series lead Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell have an “incredible connection” in an appearance on the March 10 episode of The Late Show with Steven Colbert.
Rachael came under fire after photographs emerged of the young woman dressed in antebellum clothing for a college fraternity party in 2018. She was also accused by a former classmate of being racist.
She has since apologized on Instagram for taking part in the party, saying that she did not recognize how offensive and racist her actions were. She said her age or when it happened did not excuse anything and both the photos and her actions were neither okay nor acceptable.
Rachael admitted, “I was ignorant but my ignorance was racist.”
Emmanuel explained his position on the couple and what has transpired between them to Stephen.
“Rachael is dealing with all of this racially tense controversy, so that would kind of obviously skew my decision as a Black man if I already knew about said controversy,” he said.
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Who does Matt fall for first, Rachael or Michelle?
“But what I think is so interesting is watching both of the love connections play out. I think Matt and Rachael have an incredible connection, just affection. Matt admitted that he’s falling for Rachael first,” Emmanuel continued.
“And Michelle and Matt, they really vibe, and we saw it and continue to see it over the course of the season,” he continued. “I can’t speak for Matt. But I’m excited to watch it play out,” he concluded in a statement to the talk show host.
He admitted that he never believed he would host a Bachelor special.
He said that has been one of the “craziest of stories” that his book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, which is about racial reconciliation, would lead him to host what he calls “the most uncomfortable episode of one of the most-watched shows in our recent history.”
Emmanuel on whether Chris Harrison should return to The Bachelor franchise
“Should he return to that role? You have to decide, what’s in the best interest of Chris Harrison? What’s in the best interest of the show and the executive producers? But also, what’s in the best interest of the cast?” he told Stephen.
“They are trying to commit to diversity — you have your first Black Bachelor. What’s in the best interest of all three of those primary parties at play? And make the decision that serves the most good,” he concluded.
Emmanuel said that this job is huge for him in his continued work against racism.
“This is huge for me in the work for racial reconciliation,” he told People Magazine. “Because it shows that in the midst of turmoil, racial turmoil, across one of America’s most-watched shows over the last two decades, I’m seen as a thought generator.”
The Bachelor airs Monday at 8/7c on ABC.