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Matt James Lets His Nerves Get the Best of Him During the ‘Bachelor’ Premiere

Twenty-fifth time’s the charm? Matt James made his debut on the season 25 premiere of The Bachelor on Monday, January 4, and proved just how relatable he is.

Related: Everything We Know About ‘The Bachelor’ Season 25

Since Matt has never appeared on another show in the franchise, the episode spent some time introducing him to fans who are not familiar with Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron’s best friend. The North Carolina native is a commercial real estate broker in New York City and was raised by a single mom. He struggled with relationships after his parents’ divorce but vowed to be vulnerable with the contestants.

Matt James The Bachelor recap
Matt James ABC/Craig Sjodin

Matt and the women arrived at The Chateau at Nemacolin in Pennsylvania, where the season was filmed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Harrison greeted Matt on night one, but as the host prepared to welcome the first limo, Matt stopped him, asking instead to chat one-on-one with him before meeting the ladies.

Matt admitted to Harrison that he put a lot of pressure on himself as the first Black Bachelor. He realized there were expectations surrounding whom he chose in terms of race and wondered, “How do I please everybody?” He also opened up about never having been in love before, but Harrison assured him the process could work if he allowed it.

Related: Meet the Women Vying for Bachelor Matt James' Heart

After getting all of his questions out of the way, Matt met the women, although he was still nervous. Two people tripped (Victoria and Serena C.), while others made even more memorable impressions. Katie brought a vibrator, Kaili arrived in lingerie and allowed Matt to select her dress and Saneh wore goat slippers.

Matt James The Bachelor recap
Matt James and Abigail ABC/Craig Sjodin

Once inside, Matt kicked off the evening with a prayer, which made some of the women cry. He connected with Sarah, Rachael and Bri before the usual night one interruptions began. Katie stole him away from Mari by tapping her on the shoulder with the vibrator. Victoria, who labeled herself as a “queen,” talked to him more than once, calling Kit “princess” as she swooped in on their conversation to make her move.

Related: What We Know About Matt James' Family

Matt wanted to talk to everyone before handing out the first impression rose, but he was particularly taken by Abigail, who is deaf and wears cochlear implants. He appreciated that she was vulnerable yet a fighter, so he gave her the rose and they kissed.

During the first rose ceremony, Matt sent home Alicia, Amber, Carolyn, Casandra, Corrinne, Emani, Kimberly and Saneh.

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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