The Bachelor: Matt James gives group date rose to Rachael Kirkconnell setting up hometown visit

Matt James narrowed his list of potential brides down to four on Monday's episode of The Bachelor.

With hometown visits looming, the 29-year-old real estate broker decided to stick with Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, Michelle Young, 27, Serena Pitt, 23, and Bri Springs, 25.

Rachael has been the frontrunner for weeks and recently apologized outside of the show after she was accused of liking racist social media posts and attending an Antebellum South plantation themed fraternity formal in 2018.

Show host Chris Harrison, 49, recently defended Rachael, received harsh criticism and apologized before announcing Saturday that he was temporarily stepping aside from the franchise.

Matt, who is the first Black male lead in show's 18-year history, bid goodbye to several women, some of whom decided they wanted to leave.

Among the surprises was Kit Keenan, 21, the New York City fashion entrepreneur and daughter of designer Cynthia Rowley, 62, who adored Matt, but withdrew for lack of 'clarity.'

Abigail Heringer, 25, the Beaverton, Oregon financial manager who earned Matt's first-impression rose this season, also left once she realized he wasn't into her.

Feeling more 'blindsided' were Pieper James, 23, a graduate student from Happy Valley, Oregon, and Jessenia Cruz, 27, a social-media marketer from San Antonio, Texas.

Jessenia failed to receive a rose after a solo date with Matt, who claimed they weren't compatible despite her clear love for him.

Pieper, who'd been completely devoted to Matt, climbed into a limo and left without saying a word after being let go at a rose ceremony.

The moment her vehicle pulled away, Pieper began to sob.

'I put my weakness and my happiness on the table, and for literally nothing,' she cried. 'For a big waste of time.'

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