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Bachelor’s Bri Springs Says Matt James’ Season Was Not ‘the Best Experience,’ Talks ‘Tangible Change’ Franchise Needs to Make (Exclusive)

Bri Springs is hopeful for the future of Bachelor Nation, but the season 25 contestant isn’t sure she wants to be a part of it.

Related: Contestants Who Were in Talks to Be the Bachelor or Bachelorette

“I think I need to see kind of some tangible change from the show in order for me to put myself back in that situation,” Bri, 25, said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “That doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on dating. But I mean, maybe I’ve given up on dating on a reality TV show.”

Bri Springs Says Matt James’ Season Was Not ‘the Best Experience,’ Talks ‘Tangible Change’ Franchise Needs to Make
Bri Springs and Matt James. Courtesy of Bri Springs/Instagram; ABC/Billy Kidd

The communications manager was one of Matt James’ finalists, telling Us that she was “blindsided” when the 29-year-old sent her home to keep Michelle Young and Rachael Kirkconnell. In the end, Matt picked Rachael, 24, over Michelle, 27, but pulled the plug on their relationship while the show was airing after the Georgia native made headlines for her past racially insensitive actions.

Related: Bachelor Nation Couples Who Are Still Going Strong

Chris Harrison subsequently came under fire for defending Rachael and temporarily stepped back from the franchise. (Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams have been tapped to host the upcoming 17th season of The Bachelorette.) Bri, for her part, has been vocal about how “mentally draining” being on and watching the series has been.

“I think it was important to me to continue to be honest with myself and not put up a front and not, you know, say this was the best experience,” Bri told Us. “Because I think a lot of us could agree, or at least me personally, that it was a missed opportunity for the show to tackle much larger conversations and issues. And I have been disappointed by that. And I’m saying it was mentally draining because I think about the pain that’s had to happen and the mistakes that have happened in order to get us to this point and it’s just a reminder of how much further we have to go.”

Bri concluded: “I’m hoping that we can all take lessons away from the season and move forward.”

Season 25 also made headlines for the “mean girl” mentality between the contestants, but Bri told Us that the women bonded on and off screen.

“It definitely had its fair share of negativity. But what I wish people could have seen was the relationships that we all formed with each other the bonds that we formed with each other,” she explained. “I mean, I think the women, we really all relied on each other as a source of strength and support on the show, as well as off.”

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

Related: Bachelor’s Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell: A Complete Timeline

Ultimately, however, Bri has no regrets, including being forced to quit her job during the season.

“No regrets there. I don’t regret allowing myself to open up to Matt and really falling for him,” she told Us. “And as for my career, you know, my career was important to me and continues to be very important to me. And I’m hoping that I can take away lessons from the show and move forward and bring them into my next relationship with me and with what I decide to do. I have really enjoyed this time, not working and I’ve been polishing that my resume. I’m open to taking on new opportunities that come my way. I feel hopeful and I feel excited about that.”

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