The 29-year-old real estate broker, who is making a historic mark as the franchise's first Black leading man, joined Ryan Seacrest on-air on Monday, January 5, and shared he would have never submitted himself for the show.
In case you need a refresher, James was originally included in Clare Crawley's Bachelorette cast but was then announced as the next Bachelor in June despite having never appeared on the franchise. Matt’s season began filming in September at a resort in Pennsylvania and wrapped just before Thanksgiving.
“My roommate Tyler Cameron was on The Bachelorette and his mom, Ms. Cameron, actually nominated me,” James shared with Seacrest. “She passed away around this time last year and I think she saw how much it meant for Tyler and how much he grew as a man and how much she wanted that for me so it’s homage to Ms. Cameron.”
Tyler’s mom, Andrea, died of a brain aneurysm last spring at age 55.
“I never thought I’d be doing something like this,” James added. “I had work; I was doing things with the kids; I was in a great spot — I thought. … And then I saw how much Tyler changed as a man going through that experience … and Tyler was someone I knew through playing football and growing up together and I saw him in a different light after what he went through and that’s something I wanted for myself and I didn’t know I was capable of those things seeing how relationships presented themselves with my mom and my dad and my life.”
Until now, fear was what was holding James back.
“Dead-ass, I was nervous,” he admitted of night one. “Like, ‘let me pray.’”
So, does James find love? As we all know we’ll have to wait and see but all signs point to yes?! Listen back to the full interview in the audio above for more.
Catch the season 25 premiere of The Bachelor tonight at 8/7c on ABC.