It’s nearing the start of winter and it’s getting very cold in many places around the country.
So, why is it so gosh darn hot in here?
Because of Matt James!
ABC has unveiled the first official poster for The Bachelor Season 25 — which, of course, will feature James as the show’s first-ever African-American lead.
A licensed real estate broker, James is featured in this sizzling piece of key art with his tie loosened and a very serious — some might say, seductive — look on his face.
Read the strained pun of a tagline:
A Matt Made in Heaven.
James, as Bachelor Nation members surely recall, was originally included in Clare Crawley’s cast of suitors for The Bachelorette.
But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the start date for the new season of that franchise, which gave executives some time to think it over.
Under a lot of pressure to select a minority as the anchor for Season 25, ABC Entertainment’s Rob Mills confirmed James as The Bachelor in June.
The decision has mostly been met with positive reviews.
Typically, of course, a new Bachelor is selected from a finalist from the previous season of The Bachelor.
However, as said Mills explained to Variety in October…
"Matt is not on [this] season of The Bachelorette, and the reason why we take leads from a previous season is because you know them so well and we can predict which person he might like or not."
In Matt’s case, "we just didn’t know at all, so it was really fun to watch him interact with everyone."
James is very good friends with Tyler Cameron, who came in second on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelor.
He even quaratined in Florida with Cameron and Brown earlier this spring, when the coronavirus first started spreading around the country.
Tyler has since hyped up his good pal, teasing a joyful adventure ahead for Matt, his potential wives and ABC viewers as well.
Matt and his contestants started filming at a resort in Pennsylvania.
The network has said on many occasions that James and company are following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, with ABC apparently confident enough in its safety to announce a premeire date of January 4.
"It was nice to have a change of scenery, but beyond that, the protocols and everything are the same — we have a good system in place for as long as we’re in pandemic mode,” Mills also told Variety.
“The look of it will be completely different."
“There was a ton of learning from the season of Bachelorette that we were able to take and make this season of Bachelor even better.”
In a promo for The Bachelor (below), James takes Chris Harrison aback by saying he’s never been in love.
The series itself, of course, has never had a Black lead.
Back when producers confirmed James had landed the role, ABC said in a statement it is "privileged to have Matt" as the first Black Bachelor.
There’s more to the man than his skin color, naturally, but this distinction will remain noteworthy for quite awhile.
"We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience," this same statement read.
Without divulging any The Bachelor spoilers, it concluded:
"This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise.
"We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him."