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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

‘The Bachelor’ star Matt James: My black friends are “honored” I’ll represent them and my mom is ready for grandkids!

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The Bachelor star Matt James has revealed his black friends say they’re “honored” to have him represent them as the first black Bachelor on the franchise, adding that he looks forward to giving his mother grandchildren if he’s able to find his future wife.

During Monday night’s episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!, Matt touched base with franchise host Chris Harrison over videochat and discussed how life has been ever since he was announced as The Bachelor‘s upcoming Season 25 star earlier this month on Good Morning America.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

“I think the grandkid counter for my mom started when that announcement was made,” Matt joked with Harrison.

Matt’s best friend and The Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron joined him for the interview and asked, “How many does she want?”

“Ugh, she wants a basketball team,” Matt replied. “I’ll have a minivan. That’s the max — as many as we can fit [in one car].”

Harrison asked Matt what the response has been to his casting, and Matt revealed his phone has been ringing “off the hook.”

“The most interesting text I got was probably from my third grade teacher. I hadn’t heard from her since I missed my book report. So there’s people coming from all over the place to share their excitement,” Matt said.

Matt said it’s especially “been nice” to hear from people of color in regards to his new The Bachelor gig.

“It’s been nice, because to be honest with you, I’ve heard from a lot of my black friends that aren’t Bachelor-Nation faithful who are excited about me and honored I’m in the position I’m in and have this opportunity to just represent what it’s going to look like to have diverse relationships and tell those love stories,” Matt gushed.

“And I couldn’t be more excited about that.”

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO DID ‘THE BACHELOR’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

The 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder came into the limelight last year as Tyler’s best friend.

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Matt was initially selected to compete for Clare Crawley‘s heart on The Bachelorette’s upcoming sixteenth season, but ABC chose to promote him and announce his The Bachelor casting prematurely.

Clare will therefore miss out on getting to know Matt romantically, but he’ll have his own set of around 30 women to date.

“Matt’s built for this. He’s a great person,” Tyler, who finished as the runner-up on Hannah Brown‘s season of The Bachelorette last year, told Harrison.

“His heart will really show and shine, and it will be interesting to see where his heart leads him now.”

Tyler from Florida and Matt, originally from North Carolina, recently got an apartment together in New York City and started a small charity, ABC Food Tours.

The guys first met their freshman year at Wake Forest University, where they played on the football team, and Tyler said Matt kindly took him “under his wing” and showed him “the ropes.”

Matt and Tyler were teammates before Tyler transferred to Florida Atlantic University to continue his college education.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ COUPLES NOW: WHOM DID ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELOR PICKS ULTIMATELY END UP WITH?! (PHOTOS)

Harrison later asked Tyler what kind of woman he believes Matt will be looking for on The Bachelor.

“I think what [Matt] is going to look for is someone that kind of resembles his mother,” Tyler began, as Matt nodded his head in agreeance.

“His mother is one of the sweetest ladies — very loving, caring and compassionate — someone willing to serve others and help out the community, and someone that’s ready to get on the ground with Matt and change the world.”

Tyler added, “Because that’s what Matt is going to do; he’s going to change the world. [So he needs] someone to take on that challenge with him.”

Harrison pointed out the response to Matt being the next Bachelor has been “phenomenal.”

ABC reality chief Robert Mills told Ryan Seacrest during an appearance last week on On Air with Ryan Seacrest that The Bachelor had already seen a “record-setting pace” of 6,500 applicants for Matt’s season by that point, which he called “fantastic.”

Mills explained Matt’s The Bachelor season will probably begin filming even before Clare Crawley‘s edition of The Bachelorette airs. (A premiere date for Clare’s season has yet to be announced, but the show will air this fall on Tuesday nights at 8PM ET/PT on ABC).

“It made more sense to announce him [early] and get people applying and ready,” Mills said, adding, “Matt’s season, we’re hoping to start on time, which would be end of September.”

While The Bachelorette has yet to begin production, Variety reported earlier this week cameras will start rolling “very soon” after Clare and her cast of men are tested for COVID-19 and go through a quarantine period.

Mills said there’s a chance Matt’s season could tape at The Bachelor mansion and feature some travel but times remain uncertain as coronavirus continues to spread globally.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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