Well, it looks like the most turbulent season in Bachelor history has experienced yet another twist – perhaps the biggest in Bachelor History.
Ironic, since Chris Harrison won’t be around to deliver it.
As we reported in previous Bachelor spoilers, Rachael Kirkconnell received Matt James’ final rose in the finale filmed back in November.
However, in the months that followed, the relationship encountered one obstacle after another – both entirely predictable and yet not.
Most of the difficulties centered around the racism and scandals that have overshadowed the latter half of James’ season.
The trouble began when a former high school classmate accused Kirkconnell of bullying her because she dated black men.
It was later revealed that Rachael attended a plantation-themed party in 2018, while she was still in college at Georgia State.
Regardless of whether it’s the stated intent of the guests and hosts, such parties are celebrations of, to put it mildly, a regrettable time.
A time when millions of Black Americans were enslaved and victimized by a barbaric system in which they were treated as property.
Just as citizens of Germany must acknowledge and mourn the atrocities committed during Hitler’s reign, so too must Americans grieve for the original sin of slavery that forever shaped the fate of this nation.
In other words, it’s not an era that should be celebrated.
Realizing this, Rachael eventually apologized for attending the party, but critics felt that her statement was insincere and came off as forced.
Then it got much worse.
Chris Harrison defended Kirkconnell during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, even calling out the "woke police" for trying to criticize her behavior.
He received major backlash for his insensitivity and failure to comprehend the gravity of the situation he was making light of on television.
Harrison later issued a long apology and announced that he would step away from the show, which he has hosted since 2002.
It remains unclear if he will eventually return to his hosting gig, but the dominoes are continuing to fall.
Yesterday, James issued a statement that seems to indicate that he has parted ways with Kirkconnell.
"The reality is that I’m learning about these situations in real time, and it has been devastating and heartbreaking to put it bluntly," James wrote on Instagram on Monday.
"Chris’s failure to receive and understand the emotional labor that my friend Rachel Lindsay was taking on by graciously and patiently explaining the racist history of the Antebellum South, a painful history that every American should understand intimately, was troubling and painful to watch."
"As Black people and allies immediately knew and understood, it was a clear reflection of a much larger issue that The Bachelor franchise has fallen short on addressing adequately for years."
Coming as it did moments before James’ "hometown" episode of the Bachelor, which saw him falling (no pun intended) for Kirkconnell, many took the statement as an indirect breakup announcement.
Now we know it was direct, indeed.
The Bachelor spoilers master Reality Steve has confirmed via Twitter and his blog that James and Kirkconnell have indeed parted ways.
"Not that Matt’s statement wasn’t pretty clear itself, but I can confirm that Matt and Rachael have broken up," Steve tweeted last night.
"Watching these last few episodes is just gonna be…weird. Nothing about any of these storylines are relevant anymore, knowing what we know now."
On his blog, Steve went into greater detail about the demise of the final rose-winning couple.
"I was able to confirm that Matt and Rachael broke up within the last week," he wrote.
"I don’t have an exact day, and I don’t have any details as to why, but judging by Matt’s IG post yesterday, I get the sense that the guy was put in a no-win situation."
"So basically no matter what he did, he was going to take some heat," he continued.
"If he sticks this out and shows up with Rachael on the ATFR as a couple, it’ll be “how is not affected by what she did.”
"Now they’ve broken it off, it’ll be ‘why couldn’t he stand by her?’"
Something tells us that the criticism Matt will receive for failing to "stand by" Kirkconnell will not be as severe as Steve seems to expect.
As the first Black lead on The Bachelor, he’s now learned that the woman he gave a promise ring to (he never proposed, we’re told, which is another interesting aspect to all this) engaged in racist activity.
One has to think he wasn’t a fan and broke up with her because he couldn’t see the relationship continuing. End of story.
Sure, some people will defend Rachael, and Chris, claiming they did nothing wrong, and whining about Cancel Culture.
But does anyone blame Matt himself? Time will tell.
In any event, it appears that we really might be in store for the most dramatic Bachelor season finale … EVER!
Chris Harrison has been predicting it for years, and again, ironically, he probably won’t be there to address it.
We’ll have further updates on the mess that is The Bachelor and this developing story as more information becomes available.
The way this is going, it shouldn’t be long.