Did Atlanta’s Rachael Kirkconnell make it to the final two on “The Bachelor” with Matt James?

Matt James has a date with Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Matt James has a date with Rachael Kirkconnell, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Credit: ABC

Credit: ABC

Could she get a ring next week?

From the moment Rachael Kirkconnell stepped out of the limo day one and locked eyes with “The Bachelor” Matt James, there was a genuine connection.

That connection deepened over time, and the 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming was still there in the final three Monday night.

“I’m so sure of this, and so sure of him,” Rachael said at the start of the episode, before each woman spent time with Matt in an overnight “fantasy suite.” That includes some off-camera time, which could be used for serious conversations or serious physical action ― or both.

“I feel in every ounce of my being that he is who I’m supposed to be with,” Rachael said with classic “Bachelor” earnestness. “It’s scary I still have a chance of losing him. But I want him more than anything I ever wanted.”

Rachael was the third date out of three. He had solid dates with the first two women, so she had to sit around and wait and wait and wait.

As a result, Rachael was super nervous going into her date. Seeing the other ladies have a good time with Matt was weighing on her.

The couple first tried making pottery, and Rachael was clearly tense. She decided to take a break and set him aside so she could express her thoughts.

“This week was like unbearable for me,” she told Matt. She was worried if Matt’s feelings had weakened toward her.

Matt said he wanted to be open in the process as possible. “When I’m with you, that’s all I’m thinking about,” he promised. He said when they jumped out of a plane and she had a rough landing, he felt this immediate need to protect her.

“Where I’m at with you is I’ve fallen in love with you,” Matt said.

“I’m head over heels for you,” Rachael said. “I’m completely in love with you.”

Moments later, they were doing the “Ghost”-style pottery scene with Matt behind Rachael and his hands wrapped around hers as they tried to make some sort of pot. ABC, though, didn’t spend the money to clear the rights to the song “Unchained Melody.” They just kept the unrelentingly cheesy instrumental music simmering in the background.

By the evening meal, Rachael felt better. “I’m mad at myself for being so worried this week,” she said. “I struggled with putting my guard down.”

They talked about Matt’s issues with his dad not being there when he was growing up, and he told her about how he was able to clear the air with his father in person before the fantasy suite dates. He said his childhood made it hard for him to make commitments over the years, but he is ready now.

She was entirely supportive of whatever came out of his mouth because, well, she’s in love.

And Matt didn’t mind throwing compliments her way to the cameras: “She continues to blow me away. She’s smart, beautiful, articulate and sexy.”

This is what would be called “the honeymoon period” when your significant other is perfect in every way. Flaws? What flaws? They’re drinking wine and relaxing at a beautiful resort. What’s not to love?

Ultimately, Matt and Rachael got some alone time sans cameras all night long and based on how they looked the next day, it appears all went well.

In the end, all three women expressed they were falling in love with Matt. The only woman he expressed love to was Rachael. But he alas spent nights with each one and then had to reject one of them. This the construct of this show.

During the final rose ceremony, the woman he had to reject was Bri Springs, a 24-year-old San Antonio communications manager. She spent a day with Matt camping followed by a lovely dinner by a fireplace before entering the “fantasy suite” for the night. Matt said he felt she was open and honest, and they had a supposed deep connection.

Bri kept her cool when she realized she was going home. She hugged Matt and in an alcove, he told her, “I’m sorry. Not that I was looking for some justification for this, but there was something that came up this week... It’s just a feeling when you have when are with someone... It has everything to do where my heart is leading me.”

She tearfully said she was disappointed and hurt, but she took it relatively well. Later, in the limo, as sad orchestral music welled up, she said, “What I thought we had was special... I wish I was standing up there still.”

Rachael’s remaining competition is Michelle Young, a 27-year-old teacher and Minnesotan, who arrived week three. Matt and Michelle had a spa date, and it went smoothly. She seemed more mature and self-assured than Rachael. “I do see you as my person,” she proclaimed. They had a presumably successful overnight together and woke up kissing.

Next week during the season finale, Matt has to make a decision: propose to one of the women or, in a less likely scenario, neither of the women.

Michelle Young has a date with Matt James during the March 9 episode of "The Bachelor." (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Michelle Young has a date with Matt James during the March 9 episode of "The Bachelor." (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Credit: ABC

Credit: ABC


“The Bachelor” season 25 finale at 8 p.m. Monday, March 15

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