Matt James/Rachael Kirkconnell/YouTube

Wait, What?! Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell Left ‘After The Final Rose’ Together?!

Bachelor, Bachelor Nation, News, Reality TV

Were Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell ever really broken up? In a new interview, Emmanual Acho reveals surprising details about the After the Final Rose special. Matt James seemed to take a hard line with Rachael when the cameras were rolling, but what happened when the cameras were off? Keep reading to find out. 

Matt and Rachael’s Bumpy Road After The Bachelor

Rachael Kirkconnell caught Matt James’s eye since night one of The Bachelor. His bond with the graphic designer only grew as the season progressed. It was clear to fans that Rachael was one of the front runners. But off-screen, she found herself in the middle of a social media storm. 

Photos surfaced of her attending an ‘Old South’ party in 2018. What followed was a firestorm of public outcry that even encompassed Bachelor Nation host Chris Harrison. He went on national TV to defend Rachael, but only found himself in hot water for his comments. Chris ultimately left his job with the franchise over the controversy. 

Due to her racial insensitivity, Matt James ended his relationship with Rachael after the photos came out… Or did he? 

Matt James/Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram
Matt James/Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram

No Longer Hiding Their Relationship 

Less than a month after their public break-up on After the Final Rose, the two were linked again. They slowly tested the waters of rekindling their romance. Matt and Rachael made their red carpet debut in early July at the ESPY Awards. 

But have they been together this whole time? 

Wait, Was it All a Ruse? Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell Left After the Final Rose Together?!

Amid the Chris Harrison drama, NBC tapped Emmanuel Acho to host ATFR. The former football player hosts a podcast and a show on Fox Sports. He’s well-versed in presiding over uncomfortable conversations about race. 

Acho was a recent guest on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Off the Vine podcast. He unintentionally spilled some hot behind-the-scenes tea about Matt and Rachael. While on the podcast, Emmanuel Acho was trying to explain why Matt James appeared so cold to Rachael during ATFR. 

In his opinion, Matt’s “hands were tied” by the public. Matt couldn’t openly reconcile with Rachael at the time or face backlash from all sides. But Matt James still found a way to support his final rose winner… after the cameras stopped rolling. 

Emmanuel Acho shared what was happening when the cameras weren’t on. In a quote provided by Us Weekly, Acho said on the podcast, 

“It would have been impossible for him to leave the stage with her without getting crucified, but what people did not see is after the cameras cut [is] they left arm over arm. They walked off the stage.” 

That’s right – despite the tensions viewers saw, Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell left After the Final Rose together. 

Does it surprise you that Matt was supportive of Rachael when the cameras couldn’t see? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Katie Thurston is getting close to handing out her final rose. Tune in to The Bachelorette, airing Mondays on ABC. 

Jennifer Havener
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