The Bachelor Red Wine Recap: Matt James aces his Bachelor test!

The Bachelor Matt James laughing with contestant on premiere episode
Our new Bachelor, Matt James, kept it classy on the Premiere episode of Season 25 of The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC

Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelor Premiere, Season 25, Episode 1, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …

Perfectly imperfect. These are the words that might sum up our new Bachelor, Matt James. Although, while Matt is trying his hardest to remind us that he’s NOT perfect … by all accounts, Sir James. I beg to differ.

He works with children. He says prayers instead of toasts. He drives nice cars, loves his mamma, and wants to do right by The Bachelor franchise, the women, God, and the United States of America! And, in the words of Chris Harrison, “Damn, he’s tall!”

Yes, my Rose-Lovers, I’d say our new Bachelor–though a foreigner to our great franchise–did not disappoint. In fact, by golly, he might even be perfect!

Let’s recap.

Meet Matt James and his huge Chateau

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison standing in front of large chateau
Yes, my friends. This is where the entire budget went. Pic credit: ABC

I’m sorry, friends … and Clare … and Tayshia … but is that like a legit castle posing as our standard “Bachelor Mansion”? And, I’m sorry … but did we really just go from the freaking La Quinta Inn to the Chateau at Nemacolin!?

Of course, I don’t know where the Chateau at Nemacolin is, but it sounds fancy, looks fancy, and must be where only the bougiest of the bougie quarantine.

Oh, and while we’re at it … did you guys get a look at Matt’s millionaire Bachelor Pad?!?

Bachelor Matt James talking to his mom
The Bachelor Matt James discusses vulnerability with his mom in his millionaire suite. Pic credit: ABC

I see where Clare’s non-existent budget went.

I mean, for Matt James! Only the best, right?!

I’ll admit, it took a little bit for Matt to loosen up and show us who he really is. I also raised my skeptic eyebrow when Matt told Chris he’s never been in love (“Well then how are you ready for marriage, blah blah blah? You expect me to believe that you’re ready to take this journey proper?!” I said to my TV like I know everything.)

Even through the limo exits, Matt maintained a perfect demeanor.

Some Cringy “Confident” Limo Exits

The Bachelor Matt James meeting a woman in lingerie on premiere night
“I need help picking out a dress, Matt!” Pic credit: ABC

Here we had Kaili walking up in lingerie, Katie flailing her vibrator around, and another girl whose name I presume starts with the letter “K” shoving cold meatballs down his throat. Yet, through it all, Matt exuded surface politeness that didn’t quite tap into the depths of his personality.

But then, Matt gave his toast.

“I’m going to do this different,” Matt began. “I’m going to lead us with a prayer.”

Aaaaaaand that was what we needed. One prayer later that included the line “my parents have an interracial marriage and it’s beautiful … wait, I saw the vibrator and I lost my train of thought,” Matt had all 32 women at his mercy (plus one little snarky recapper named Liz). Okay, Matt. You got me with that one.

Now go lead that charge on being vulnerable, while most of the women scramble to study up on their Bibles to find some Jesus for you.

Drunk Queens Don’t Get First Impression Roses

Drunk girl in a crown on The Bachelor
“You need to just literally like go up and talk to him. Literally.” Pic credit: ABC

As for the night’s superlatives …

“Queen Victoria” took the crown for drunk/sloppy girl of the night. Katie took the cake for worst interruption of the night (did she seriously interrupt Mari, who was talking about hurricane devastation, by poking her with a vibrator?!). And Kit (fluffy dress girl) took the award for one most likely to meet her match on BIP when she finds Bennett.

Last but not least, Abigail took home the award for overall winner in life.

Matt James Gives Abigail his First Kiss and Rose

The Bachelor Matt James talking to a girl who is deaf named Abigail
“You remembered what I told you, Matt! I see why everyone thinks you’re a God!” Pic credit: ABC

Okay, so she really just received the First Impression Rose, but I felt like she was the little star that shined the brightest.

Abigail is deaf and she let Matt know this right up front. She is stunning and just seems like a genuinely good girl. And I applaud Matt for recognizing this … so much so, he couldn’t help himself from leaning in for that first kiss.

North Carolina native, Khaylah, with her pickup truck, humor, and sweet tea gave it a good try, but in the end, Abigail won the night.

The Bachelor women praying
When Matt says pray. We pray. Pic credit: ABC

Of course, there were many other girls who stood out, but we had 32 bedazzled women on our hands, it’s amazing I have these names so far. There was, however, memorable MJ (the pizza girl who exudes laid back surfer vibes), Chelsea the runway model in a backless dress, Emani the corporate attorney in a gorgeous gold dress, and Saneh, the girl in GOAT feet who sadly went home.

Alas, Queen Victoria stayed, getting Matt’s final rose of the night, and I could wax and wane how annoying this tired stunt is (I mean, even Matt looked deflated when he had to carry this plot out), but we’re used to it by now. Victoria staying over ballet dancer who teaches kids might have been the most ridiculous, though.

So what say you, Bachelor Nation? Are you in for this season? Who are your early favorites? Will Victoria seriously last another episode? And how are we feeling about this fresh meat in the form of one Matt James?

I say he’s perfectly imperfect. And I’m in for another journey.

Til next week, my Rose-Lovers!

The Bachelor airs Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

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