BACHELOR fans are outraged Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell as the winner of this season over finalist Michelle Young.
Following months of Rachael, 24, battling accusations of being “racist,” the frontrunner became Matt’s final pick during tonight’s explosive finale.
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Despite emphasizing he is "ready to find" his wife all season, Matt, 29, did NOT get down on one knee as is typical Bachelor tradition.
The business owner had an emotional chat with his mom, Patty, and brother, John, where they talked about his feelings with the last two contenders.
While his family admitted both women are "so sweet" and they could see Matt being with "either one of them," there was hesitation he was "ready for marriage."
"Just because you love someone doesn't mean you're ready to get married," his mother warned.
The reality star then discussed how his strained relationship with his dad – who left when he was a child – impacted his decision to not propose.
He told Chris Harrison he was not in the headspace to commit for the rest of his life.
In response, the shocked host said he was sitting in front of a "different man" than the ready-to-marry man on the show days prior.
Shortly after his heart-to-heart, the 6'5" star had an emotional conversation with Michelle – where he sent her home in tears.
“The easy thing to do would be to give you everything you want. But I can’t do that," he told her.
"I don't see how you changed your mind at the flip of a switch," she sobbed in response – to which he assured her it wasn't an easy decision.
He later told Chris that while he "loved" the schoolteacher, he was not "in love" with the brunette beauty.
The following day, Matt went to look at rings with the show's famed jeweler, Neil Lane, and picked out a gorgeous pear-shaped sparkler.
However, he said he was "going to hang on" to the ring and was still unsure if he was going to drop to one knee for Rachael.
The brunette Southerner arrived at a romantic fall-inspired setup in the woods in a stunning embellished emerald dress as Matt nervously waited in a sleek tux.
"I want to be everything to you. I want to be everything for you that my dad wasn't to my mom," he said to the last girl standing.
He continued: "As I'm wrestling with what I'm gonna do today, the easy thing for me to do would be to brush those feelings and emotions off and make you happy, and that's to propose to you today.
"But I couldn't live with myself if I put you through what my mom's been through.
"I've seen what rushing into a proposal, a marriage, can do in my family, and it's ugly, and it's not something that I want for you or for us. That's why I can't propose to you today."
However, he said that he cannot "imagine his life without" her and even said he knew Rachael was his "future wife and mother of his children."
The TV hunk then gave his final rose to Rachael as they shared a passionate kiss and rode off into the sunset on a horse-drawn carriage.
Fans were furious with Matt's final decision and quickly expressed outrage on Twitter following the finale.
"MATT DECIDING TO NOT GET ENGAGED YET STILL PICKING BLAND RACIST RACHAEL OVER MICHELLE IS THE. DUMBEST. THING," one person said.
Another tweeted their disappointment: "Cannot believe I watched the whole entire season of the Bachelor just for Matt to pick Rachael."
"I better not see Matt James on the streets cause he WILL catch these hands. Michelle is INCREDIBLE and deserves the WORLD," a Michelle admirer wrote.
Matt has expressed infatuation with Rachael since the first episode where she became an early frontrunner.
The Georgia native and New Yorker hit it off during solo time on group dates before she scored the ultimate one-on-one.
Rachael was treated to a free luxury shopping spree where she modeled different dresses for her man – who looked on in awe.
However, despite a season full of romance, off-camera drama seeped into the relationship.
The popular franchise has had a dark cloud over it all season since Rachael Kirkconnell was discovered to have attended an Antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018.
Tension escalated as host Chris Harrison, 49, was accused of "perpetuating racism" during an interview with former Rachel Lindsay – the first Black Bachelorette in history.
The TV personality asked fans to show “compassion” for Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, after resurfaced photos showed her attending an “Antebellum” plantation party with deep ties to the Confederacy in 2018.
During the 16-minute chat, Chris also continued to speak over the ex Bachelorette and claimed the racism problems were “okay” in 2018 but “not in 2021” – while adding he’s “not the woke police.”
Rachael, 24, has since apologized for the photos and admitted she was “doing the work” to “do better” as she admitted attending the bash was “ignorant and wrong.”
Chris has also repeatedly apologized – though many members of Bachelor Nation claimed his words were “insincere.”
After extended fury, it was announced the longtime host will NOT return to next season of The Bachelorette.
Former leads Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will replace Chris for the on-camera role – which airs later this year.
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