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Bachelor’s Jaclyn Swartz Says Matt James’ Season Is ‘Super Staged,’ ‘Hard to Watch’ (Exclusive)

Snooze fest! Bachelor alum Jaclyn Swartz revealed why Matt James’ season has been so hard to get into, despite having a captive audience amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Peter! Hannah! Bachelor Nation Reacts to Matt James as 1st Black Bachelor

“I felt like everything was super staged,” Swartz, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, February 22. “I think the producers did a good job of, you know, figuring out the date scenarios where they bring a concert to this hotel or bring an amusement park to this hotel.”

With season 25 being filmed solely at the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania, Swartz said the crew “obviously had their challenges,” but it was the contestant dynamics that were the biggest turn off for her as a viewer.

Bachelor's Jaclyn Swartz Says Matt James' Season Is 'Super Staged,' 'Hard to Watch'
Jaclyn Swartz and Matt James Craig Sjodin/ABC; ABC/Billy Kidd

“It felt like they were creating way too much drama among the ladies, as opposed to really focusing on, like, Matt being the Bachelor,” she explained. “Now we’re, you know, approaching hometowns and I feel like I don’t know the girls at all.”

The Bachelor in Paradise alum admitted that this season was “so hard to watch” because so much of the focus was on the cattiness at the resort.

“It honestly was a bit exhausting,” she said. “It was not a relaxing season to watch by any means.”

Related: Everything Matt James Has Said About His ‘Bachelor’ Journey

Swartz revealed that she “reengaged” herself amid the coronavirus pandemic and opted to watch James’ journey for love, but it was a bit of a disappointment.

Nearly 10 years after she competed on season 16 of the ABC dating series with Ben Flajnik in 2012, Swartz said, “it’s just the same outline,” including having a contestant come in late and get a rise out of the women — which happened when Heather Martin showed up on the February 8 episode.

“It’s just kinda hard to watch this — the same song and dance over and over again every season,” the Bachelor Pad alum told Us.

Swartz did, however, note that it was nice to see more diversity in the cast this season, saying there was “zero diversity” when she was on the show.

“Through tireless efforts of former contestants and former heads, and then also the viewers really speaking out, you know, the show really had managed to take small steps,” she said.

After Chris Harrison made headlines earlier this month for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell against allegations of racism, however, Swartz said, it “really set the show back.”

Us editors discuss Colton Underwood’s coming out in this Here for the Right Reasons podcast highlight!

Related: Biggest Bachelor Nation Scandals of All Time

Harrison, 49, announced on February 13 that he is temporarily stepping down from his hosting duties after he received backlash for comments made to Rachel Lindsay in regard to Kirkconnell, 24, who was photographed at a plantation-themed college event in 2018 and “liked” photos with a Confederate flag in the background.

Both Harrison and Kirkconnell have publicly apologized for their actions.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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