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‘The Bachelor’ Matt James Tells ‘GMA’ Why Final Rose Reunion Hit Him “Like A Ton Of Bricks”

Matt James, the first Black leading man of ABC’s The Bachelor, said on Good Morning America today that reuniting with his reality show costar and season winner Rachael Kirkconnell for the first time following her racial controversy “hit me like a ton of bricks.”

In his first interview since last night’s season finale and the post-show After the Final Rose reunion special, James told GMA‘s Michael Strahan about his emotional meeting with Kirkconnell after learning of the plantation-party past of the woman he had rosed.

“I felt the weight of everything I was carrying throughout the season and with what we were dealing with as a country,” James told Strahan, “and having to explain that and why it was problematic to me and our relationship, which was extremely difficult.”

James sidestepped Strahan’s question about the seriousness of his very brief relationship with Kirkconnell, explaining broadly, “Anytime I’m in a relationship with someone marriage is the ultimate goal.”

Asked by Strahan whether he blew an opportunity to find a relationship with other contestants by choosing Kirkconnell, James said, “I would say that the conversations that have come from everything that’s taken place are more important than anything I could have left with.”

Watch the GMA interview above.

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