Matt James never pictured himself on a show like The Bachelor.
On Jan. 5, he admitted on air with Ryan Seacrest that it was never an experience he wanted. "Heck no! I never thought I'd be doing something like this," the star spilled. "Like, I had work, I was doing things with the kids, I was in a great spot, I thought."
So why did he decide to search for the love of his life on national television? The emotional reason is even more heartbreaking than we imagined, as Matt revealed how his best friend Tyler Cameron was involved in getting the ball rolling.
"His mom, Ms. Cameron, actually nominated me," Matt explained. "She passed away around this time last year. And I think she saw how much it meant for Tyler and how much he grew as a man, and how much she wanted that for me, and so it's homage to Ms. Cameron."
Ryan weighed in on the lasting legacy of Tyler's mom, Andrea Hermann Cameron, who died from a brain aneurysm in March 2020 at age 55. The host reflected, "That's such a sad loss, but a beautiful story."
Matt went on to say that his feelings about the ABC dating show changed after he watched how it all went down for Tyler, whom he's known since they were kids and played football together at Wake Forest University.
The 29-year-old athlete said, "I saw how much Tyler changed as a man, going through that experience."
He added, "That's something that I wanted for myself, and I didn't know I was capable of those things, seeing how relationships presented themselves with my mom and my dad and in my life."
Matt, who has been in a handful of relationships before, explained why he tries to avoid repeating his dad's mistakes when it comes to love. He confessed he has a "fear of ending up like my dad," who was largely absent.
The charmer told Ryan, "I saw what it looked like in my family when he rushed into something he wasn't ready for. And we're still dealing with the blowout and the fallout from his selfish decisions."
Matt started filming his Bachelor journey in September in Pennsylvania, and it premiered on Monday, Jan. 4. It certainly made for an entertaining debut, thanks to a sparkly vibrator (yes, really) and a first impression rose for one "incredible" and "vulnerable" young lady.
Read more about how Matt said he would handle some classic scenarios on the show.