8 Facts About Matt James, The First Black Bachelor & Tyler Cameron's BFF
ABC's newest Bachelor is looking for love, and after learning some more facts about Matt James, you'll just might be too (from him, obvi). Though fans will first watch as Clare Crawley (hopefully) finds her happily-ever-after, James will be up next with his season is tentatively scheduled to air in January 2021. After being announced as the first Black male lead in the franchise, the 28-year-old is ready for his reality TV closeup. Luckily, it sounds like he already knows exactly what he wants.
"I'm looking for qualities that my mom embodies, and that's selfless, honest, caring, compassionate," he told GMA. "Those are qualities found in women all shapes, sizes, and races — it's not a Black or white thing. So, I'm hoping that when that limo pulls up, there's a lot of diversity and I see every type of woman coming out of that limo."
While he's new to The Bachelor universe, the eligible hottie is familiar with the ins and outs of the show. He was first introduced to Bachelor Nation as Tyler Cameron's best friend. The two go way back; they have been pals set they went to Wake Forest University together.
Here's some more tea on your new TV crush.
1. He Lives In New York City
No stranger to Southern charm, James is a North Carolina native. But even though he was born in Raleigh, he now lives in New York City, where he's roomies with Tyler C.
2. He’s A Football Player
Not only did James and Cameron meet in college, but they were also on the Wake Forest University football team together. The former wide receiver gave himself a year to make it in the NFL post-grad. After getting cut from the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, James decided to end his football career and move to the Big Apple.
3. He's Charitable
After hanging up his football helmet, James took a position as a research analyst at a commercial real estate company before founding his organization, ABC Food Tours. According to his Bachelor profile: "The organization is designed to find creative ways to engage kids from underserved communities in New York City, encouraging physical and mental wellness, while also giving them opportunities for new experiences throughout the city."
4. He's Super Sporty
5. He's Never Been On A 'Bachelor' Show
While most of the franchise's leads are plucked from previous seasons, James has never appeared on any Bachelor show. According to Entertainment Tonight, he's the first Bachelor in 12 years to be cast without having previously appeared on The Bachelorette.
6. He's Part Of The "Quarantine Crew"
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Cameron and James were roommates in New York City. During the start of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the two quarantined in the former's hometown of Jupiter, Florida, with a group of friends (including Hannah Brown). The squad called themselves the "Quarantine Crew" and gathered lots of attention for their TikToks and envy-inducing antics.
7. He's Religious
In addition to keeping fit and giving back, it's apparent faith is important to the former football player. Not only does his Instagram bio say he's a "believer," but he told Wake Forest Magazine "other than becoming a Christian," attending the private, historically Baptist university was the best decision he ever made.
8. He Was Cast On Clare Crawley's Season
Prior to being cast as The Bachelor's lead, James was actually set to appear on Crawley's season of The Bachelorette. It was Cameron's late mother, Andrea, who initially nominated James to be a part of the franchise. Considering Crawley and James already have beef over pre-filming press, it might be for the best that he's not competing on her season. Fingers crossed they both find what they're looking for when Bachelor Nation production continues.