“I’m tuned in!” the real estate broker, 28, wrote in an Instagram comment on Wednesday, July 15, adding emojis of popcorn and a shooting star. “She is gonna be great.”
ABC announced in March that James, who is best friends with The Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron, was among the men who were set to compete for Crawley’s heart on season 16. However, filming was postponed later that month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The network unveiled a largely new cast on Wednesday morning; James was not among the updated group of suitors as he was named the franchise’s first Black male lead in June. His season is expected to air in early 2021 after Crawley’s fall premiere.
“When filming [Crawley’s season] couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said in a statement in June.
Fans were unsure of where James and Crawley, 39, stood after a dramatic social media interaction between them in April. The hairstylist tweeted at the time that any of the men who were “doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts” before competing on her season were “in it for the wrong reasons.” Her post raised eyebrows among Bachelor Nation as the Wake Forest University graduate had launched a Cameo page to raise money for charity around the same time.
After James reminded his Twitter followers that he had “pledged all of [my] Cameo earnings to the Robin Hood Foundation,” the Bachelor alum backed down, tweeting that she was talking “about MULTIPLE men.”
Crawley began filming her season this week after she, her suitors and the show’s crew quarantined for one week to ensure that none of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Her entire journey will be filmed in one location, La Quinta Resort & Club in California.