How do you solve a problem like Victoria? Matt James may be the star of season 25 of The Bachelor, but Victoria Larson is stealing the show as a self-proclaimed queen — and Mike Johnson is breaking down the series’ new “villain” on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.
“Sometimes I think purely being on TV makes you act wild for no damn reason,” the season 15 Bachelorette alum dished. “I think that you see a camera 10 feet in front of you. You’re like, ‘I gotta do this.’”
Victoria, 28, has caused a stir on social media since she arrived during the January 4 premiere in a tiara. During the Monday, January 11, episode, she made it clear to the other women that she wasn’t there to make friends — and she ended up sleeping on the couch after a feud with roommate Marylynn Sienna.
“When I think of the name Victoria I think of royalty. And I do think of a queen, right? It’s a regal name. But if royalty is the name that you’re going for, well, we got to do some work,” Mike said on the podcast, calling Victoria’s behavior “intense.”
While Victoria is struggling with the other women, she has developed a connection with Matt, 29. During Monday’s episode, the health coach opened up to the Wake Forest alum about her struggle with body image — a moment that some viewers think she ruined by bragging about her one-on-one time with Matt to the other contestants afterward.
“[Bachelor] viewers that are watching back home, like, whatever physical and/or disability and/or characteristics you have we resonate with, right? So, Victoria has so many fans already because they resonate with her for one reason or another. And then she says something crazy,” Mike said of the moment. “It’s, like, I hate to say this is kind of like Kanye West — sometimes he’s amazing. Then he says something and it’s like, ‘Bro, why did you just mess it all up?’ … We want to love them so hard. And then they keep doing something that’s kind of crazy.”
Matt, for his part, praised Victoria during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after the premiere.
“To be honest with you, I appreciated everything about Victoria’s entrance and who she was, because whatever you need to do to stand out, she did it. And I remembered her name and it was lighthearted and it made me, it broke the ice, you know,” he told Jimmy Kimmel. “It’s such a tense situation and I was nervous and then when she comes out with everything that she is, it just, you know, it put a smile on my face, and it brought less tension to the night.”
“I think that the question is … why is she that way?” he said on “Viall Files” on Tuesday, January 12. “There’s always a story for how somebody became that way. … I don’t know that you’ll learn more now on The Bachelor, but I’m very curious about it, so maybe it’s something we’ll have Chris [Harrison] ask about or on Paradise. … I don’t think people are just born this way. … She has a way of dealing with women that is interesting.”
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
For a complete recap of Matt’s second episode with Mike, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast and watch the video above!