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Matt James’ season of The Bachelor was one for the record books — but what happened to his relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell between the finale and the season’s After the Final Rose reunion will go down in franchise history. Scandal! Disgrace! Even host Chris Harrison got caught up in the drama. But just in case you are not a faithful viewer of the steamy series, it should be noted that Matt did not get down on one knee and propose marriage to Rachael, ultimately signaling his hesitance to commit in the end.
After the show wrapped, old photos of Rachael attending an Antebellum-themed party surfaced. She also reportedly liked photos of her friends posing with a Confederate flag. Although Rachael’s previous actions did not seemingly impact her time on the show or her relationships with the other women vying for Matt’s love as they filmed, said allegations of cultural appropriation and bullying tainted Rachael’s reputation and image as the season aired.
Harrison tried to defend Rachael from the public outrage and got caught in the crossfire, causing him to temporarily step away from his role as host of The Bachelorette next season. Beyond that, no decision has been made about Harrison’s continuing role with the franchise as a whole.
Matt broke up with Rachael in the aftermath of this controversy. But, as fans of the franchise know, Bachelor Nation alums are often a tight-knit group. So, after all the drama, is Rachael Kirkconnell still friends with her fellow Bachelor contestants?
Is Rachael Kirkconnell still hanging out with other Bachelor Nation alums?
Since when has a little controversy kept Bachelor Nation alums from hanging out? Collectively, they are in the business of self-promotion and what could get them more attention than spending time together? We totally get that!
Rachael Kirkconnell was spotted hanging out in New York City with other season 25 contestants, including Khaylah Epps, Abigail Heringer, Pieper James, Kit Keenan, and Chelsea Vaughn on Thursday, April 8, 2021, People reported. The gals made an effort to document their time together, with Abigail uploading an adorable photo of the group to her Instagram Story and captioning it, “My heart.” Each of the women reposted the same photo on their Instagram Stories afterward.
The women also took part in the “pass the phone” trend made popular on TikTok and uploaded it to Chelsea’s Instagram. Chelsea started it off by saying, “I’m gonna pass the phone to someone whose face is tomato red right now,” and gave the phone to Kit. “Okay I’m gonna pass the phone to somebody who really doesn’t care,” Kit said, and handed it to Pieper, who said, “I’m gonna pass the phone to somebody that did everyone’s eyeliner,” and handed the phone off to Rachael (and so on until the phone eventually made it back to Chelsea).
Rachael issued an apology for her racist posts from the past via her Instagram page, in which she said she is “learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist” — and from the looks of things, Rachael’s fellow contestants harbor no grudges against the (sort of) winner of their season.
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