Matt James has a very handsome face.
But he put it aside from a few and put on his game face Monday night on The Bachelor, responding to complaints about a toxic, bully-laden environment on Season 25.
The former wide receiver did so by gathering his suitors together and giving them a lecture before taking anyone on any dates.
“If you’re having to belittle someone else for you to shine, then those aren’t the qualities I’m looking for in my wife,” Matt told his remaining women.
“It sucks because I don’t get enough time with you all and now I’ve got to deal with this. There’s a lot of answers to questions that I need tonight.”
A week ago, Brittany Galvin was being accused of working as an escort.
Prior to that allegation, Victoria Larson trashed pretty much every other contestant on set.
The cruelty had become far too much for most viewers around the county.
James then pulled Brittany aside to discuss the rumor Anna started about the model working as an escort.
“I didn’t sign up to be bullied and harassed,” Galvin told Matt. “I signed up to find love.”
“For this to work, we have to create a comfortable environment for everybody,” Matt responded. “That’s why I wanted to address it, because it is a rumor. It’s a lie.
“And those things can ruin people’s lives. And I want you to know how serious I take that. And I just want to reiterate if you ever feel anything, like, please bring it up to me because I can see a future with you.
“That’s why you’re still here. I’m looking for a wife.”
Matt proceeded to ask Anna why the heck she started the escort rumor — and then lost patience with her explanation.
“I have a responsibility to the women that are here, to Brittany, to myself, to follow my heart,” he told Anna. “And unfortunately, I can’t see you being part of that journey anymore.”
From there, Matt heard from Ryan about how Victoria learned she was a dancer and then instantly slammed her as a “ho.”
After talking to Matt, Ryan told Victoria that her name had come up in their conversation — and Victoria freaked out.
“Literally, everything was going amazing,” the self-proclaimed queen said in an on-camera interview.
“I am the perfect person to be his wife but then these f—ing losers create these problems when everything is fine.”
After Larson claimed to The Bachelor that the “ho” remark was taken out of contest, Matt snapped back:
What context would calling somebody a ‘ho’ be acceptable to be taken in?
Victoria then pleaded innocent and ignorant to the camera when it came to contributing to the toxic environment on set, storming away after the cocktail party ended.
She cried in the bathroom before going outside to tell a producer she was considering leaving on her own, and also called Ryan the “shadiest bitch.”
“I’m literally the best option for him,” Victoria continued, in full earshot of the other ladies.
“I’m the only one with a working f—ing brain in this room. And I’m not even being rude, I’m being serious.”
However, when it came time for Matt to give out the roses, Victoria did NOT receive one.
The flowers went to: Brittany, Ryan, Rachael, Serena P., Magi, Kit, MJ, Jessenia, Katie, Abigail, Chelsea and Serena C.
On her way out, Larson took one final jab at James: “I honestly feel so sorry for you, that you would listen to hearsay and not all of the facts behind a situation, so goodbye.”
And Twitter took many jabs at The Queen:
After all that, Matt took Rachael on a date that included fashion tips from famous stylist Ty Hunter, along with the gift of red-bottom heels.
That evening, Matt asked Rachael why she hadn’t been in love yet, prompting this reply:
“I do need to gain that confidence and stop all that self-doubt. I just worry that these little things might push someone away.”
“Although I’ve gotten more comfortable with you, the nerves have not gone away at all.
“The butterflies, if anything, they’ve grown. I really am like, already completely falling in love with you and I want to walk out of here with you and I want to start my life with you and I hope that will happen.”
If you read through The Bachelor spoilers, this was a rather significant date.
Toward the end of it, Matt expressed similar feelings for his possible winner — and they kissed.
“Rachael, I’m falling in love with you, too. And it is scary to say but when I’m with you, it just feels right,” he said before giving her a rose.
The pair closed out the night by making out in the back of a horse drawn carriage.
On the group date, Serena P., Bri, Katie, Pieper, Serena C,. Ryan, Michelle, Brittany, Magi, Abigail, Chelsea, Jessenia and MJ went out on the farm with Matt.
There was goat-milking and egg-collecting and later on, at the party, James confronted MJ about being an “antagonist.”
MJ defended herself, prior to asking the suitors why James was even given this impression.
“My character was put in question tonight,” MJ said in front of the group.
“I was called an antagonist in the house which is a really strong accusation.
If we want to get this out of the way — because this does not need to fester, especially when my character’s put in question, because I think that I lead by example — the floor’s open for conversation.”
In the end, Abigail earned the group date rose for opening up to Matt about her concerrns that a potential husband would leave her if they had a deaf child.
Because her own father walked out on her and her sister for that reason.
Ouch. What an A-Hole.
Finally, Kit scored a one-on-one date with James and the two spent their time baking cookies in his suite.
The two kissed in the kitchen and Matt said their connection felt “natural.”
Kit then opened up to Matt about growing up in the spotlight because her mom is fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
“Growing up, my mom being such a success story, I think I was protecting myself and like, getting in touch with my emotions is something I’ve never practiced before,” she said.
“Being here and letting those walls down is the first down I’ve ever really had to be vulnerable, so I think that’s the hardest part.”
Matt gave Kit a rose, but before he could give out more at the next rose ceremony, he asked to see MJ and Jessenia privately.
“I have never been more hurt in my life,” MJ told Jessenia before Matt arrived.
Jessenia insisted that MJ lied to James and said she only mentioned the hairstylist because “you started the term ‘JV versus varsity.'”
“I’ve only preached harmony,” MJ claimed, while Jessenia felt MJ was “the leader of the divide in the house.”
So, who didi Matt send packing?
We won’t know until next week.