Bachelor fans will see a familiar face on the Monday, January 25, episode of Matt James’ season … but only Us Weekly has the exclusive scoop of what was left on the cutting room floor during the season 25 lead’s chat with Ben Higgins.
“I really just wanted to reinforce to him that he is fully capable of this moment. He has a huge — and he spoke about — he’s a huge weight that he’s going to carry on this show. He’s the first black Bachelor, and he’s going to do an incredible job, post-show with everything he does, but it is a weight that he’s carrying,” the season 20 Bachelor told Us on Monday while chatting about his upcoming book, Alone in Plain Sight. “I just want to reinforce it in him that he is incredible, that he was chosen because of who he is and the person that he is. He’s a great dude. … I wish somebody would have done this to me during my process is, like, lift me up and say, like, ‘You are fully able to be in this moment, and be who you are in this moment and rise above any criticism and also own any compliments and just stay who you are.’”
While Ben, 31, admitted that it’s hard for him to give advice because every Bachelor handles the show “differently,” he did try to give him tips to navigate the drama.
“One of my [pieces of advice] to Matt was just, like, make sure you think through your reaction,” he explained. “I would say the best way to do that would be to not dive into it. He knows who’s rising above the drama, he knows what he wants in a partner. Does he want a partner that brings a little drama to the table? Does he want a partner that kind of sparks the flame a little bit? Maybe he does. But if he doesn’t, then he’s gonna choose somebody that doesn’t enjoy that either and stay committed to those people, like, invest in those people.”
Matt, 29, is the first Bachelor in recent years to not compete on The Bachelorette before he landed the lead role. According to Ben, he was one of the many members of Bachelor Nation that the former football player connected with prior to leaving to film in September 2020.
“I know he’s a really good dude who cared deeply about the process, knowing that women were going to come in and give up their time, and sometimes their jobs for this. I get to speak to most Bachelors before they go on. And with Matt, it really stood out to me just how incredible he was as a human,” Ben told Us. “I think my concern is that he’s never been on the show. And it’s intimidating. I mean, if you’ve even been on the show before and you walk into it it’s intimidating, like, the lights, the people, the attention, the pulling around the long days, long hours, the multiple conversations, like, we watch it, and we enjoy it, [but] it’s really hard to do it. And so, I was just worried he was gonna get robotic because that happens. It happens when you get tired, you just start saying the right thing at the right time, because it’s the best thing to do. … The conversation [on Monday’s episode] lasted a lot longer than they’ll show, that just happens.”
During Monday’s episode, after an hour and a half exchange with Matt, Ben is also on hand to host a group date.
“It wasn’t a very interactive date for me. I didn’t get to know them [the women very well],” he said. “The thing that was most frustrating for me as I’m trying to, like, manage this obstacle course they’ve asked me to host [is] when people don’t listen to the rules or they cheat. It got really frustrating for me because I’m trying to, like, chase them down, say ‘No, you got to go back and do this right.’ And I think that stood out to me — which of the women were more interested in helping manage this whole chaotic scenario and not just cheat to get to the end.”
For more from Ben, watch the video above! The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.