Bachelor Matt Recap: Cinderella Story

Bachelor Matt Recap | Week 5 |

It’s time for the mean girls to hit the road. We no longer wear pink on Wednesdays. Nothing is fetch. Regina George has left the building.

This is what we call “cleaning house,” and Matt James has zero qualms about showing both Anna and Queen Victoria exactly where their ridiculous behavior will lead them. Spoiler: the answer is outside of the Neapolitan boarders, sans rose, and an unlikely social media sponsorship with FabFitFun. 

And I loved every second of it.


The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you follow on TicTok happens to know, sort of know personally, or is friends with the local Starbucks barista who’s obsessed with Bridgerton and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show — none of this is personal. I’m sure they are all lovely people.

The episode’s opening moments provide a helpful recap of the rift between the “new girls” and “the OGs.” There are several clips of MJ shouting this specific battle cry on various occasions. FYI, this will come to bite her in the butt later in the show. 

ABC also reminds us that Anna straight-up calls Brittany an escort, addresses her alleged life choices in front of all the other girls, and then proceeds to spread the rumors to everyone with a pulse. 

Finally, we see Katie telling Matt James that the house is toxic and that he needs to control his women before someone burns down the chateau. 

Matt James listens to Katie and addresses the gathering of women before the rose ceremony even starts. He stands in the same place where he led the ladies in a prayer mere weeks ago and calmly chastises the culture of bullying that has been introduced into the fold. He doesn’t like the old versus new language. The rumors are life-altering. If they have to belittle someone else to make themselves shine, then Matt James doesn’t think he wants you as a potential wife. 

Matt James stares down each lady before asking Brittany for a private audience. The tears begin falling before he wraps a long, lean arm around her waist, sweeping her away to a secluded alcove nearby. 

Anna senses instantly that she is done. She understands the gravity of her words. As she stands there shocked, MJ strides up beside her and demands that Anna seek Matt James out to make him feel better. MJ believes that Anna needs to rip the Band-Aid and take responsibility for her actions. It’s the smart thing to do.

It’s also called damage control. FROM MJ’s PERSPECTIVE. Remember, she’s the one who adopted the Varsity vs. JV language. Yet, it’s clear that she hopes Anna’s insistence on telling everyone about Brittany’s day job will eclipse her silly labels that were all in good fun. 

After Matt James consoles Brittany and promises her that he will never allow a toxic environment to infiltrate the Neapolitan walls, he pinpoints Anna’s location. The fact that she looks like a human disco ball makes his plight easier. 

On rose ceremony days, we wear silver rhinestones. 

Anna bypasses any hints of defensive language and immediately falls on her sword. She made a mistake. She’s sad and upset with herself for making that offhanded comment. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines offhand comment as, “A remark that is made without previous thought or preparation.”

Do you think Anna is referring to the offhand comment she made when she told Victoria that Brittany had transactional relationships with men? Or the time when she asks Brittany about “being an escort, or whatever,” in front of the entire group of women at the previous rose ceremony? Or the time she told Katie that Brittany entertained men in exchange for money? 

Matt James keeps a cool face. Because he’s the nicest guy on the planet, he doesn’t even ask Anna to explain further when she slyly lets it slip how she received several concerning social media messages about Brittany before she came on the show. He just lets her wallow, gently assuring her that she’s not a horrible person. We’ve all said things we wish we didn’t say. 

But she does need to take responsibility for her words and her actions. Therefore, he must do the same and walk her to the rejection SUV since she will no longer be a part of his journey to find love.  

Anna cries and cries and cries on the couch. Now, there wasn’t any evidence of actual tears or anything resembling moisture falling from her eyes, but it doesn’t matter. That damage is done.

I wonder who will take over the Burn Book? Or if Brittany knows the Kälteen Bars Anna gave her will make her gain weight?

When the other OGs spy Matt James steering Anna to the exit, a flurry of anxiety washes over them. Suddenly fifteen women frantically volley for time with the newbies, so they can properly apologize for any hurt feelings from the previous forty-eight hours. To quote Serena C, “I can’t even explain the kiss a$$ery.” 

Kit sweeps an “I’m sorry, and I’ll do better” to the group as a whole. Victoria makes sure everyone understands that she said nothing out of malicious intent. How no one laughs in her face is a miracle. Serena P. wants the newbies to know that she was never part of the bullying group and was proud to sit with the weirdos at the lunch table. 

Newbie Ryan doesn’t buy any of it. Where were these “I’m sorry” interjections days ago? None of it seems sincere.

Newsflash, Ryan. It’s not sincere. 

When Matt James pulls Ryan away, she melts into a puddle of tears. Our bachelor thinks it’s because of the pressure of being a newbie and is overwhelmed when Ryan confesses that Queen Victoria called her a ho just because she’s a dancer. And then she laughed in her face!

This is dumb because everyone knows Ryan would be so fetch as one of the “Jingle Bell Rock” performers since dancing is her profession. Now, what are they going to do?

Later, Victoria wisely determines that if Anna was kicked out of the house for calling someone an escort, her name is probably on the lips of the newbies, who are being picked off one-by-one for alone time with Matt James. She approaches Ryan, asking rather abruptly what they talked about. 

Ryan admits that she brought up Victoria’s name to Matt James and Victoria walks away from Ryan in the middle of her sentence so she can hyperventilate in the women’s restroom like a normal mean girl. Through the closed door, we hear Victoria wonder out loud to her handler how any of these other fake girls could ever be Matt James’ wife. SHE IS PERFECT FOR HIM.

Then she adjusts her boobs, so they don’t fall out of her unfortunate dress. How her undergarments manage to peek out from the back end of the dress and not the front part is a mystery. Is her Spanx bodysuit on backward?

Matt James finds Victoria, and he rambles on about how Katie describes the toxicity in the house and how he was curious to learn that Victoria’s name was attached to it. Then to hear Ryan exclaim, Victoria called her a ho? He doesn’t know what to do with that information.

Vic: “That was taken out of context.”
Matty: “In what context is it okay to call someone a ho?”

I might have stood up and applauded. 

Our Host Chris Harrison walks in and informs the women that the cocktail party is over and that heads are about to roll. Victoria spins out of control, carrying her stilettos in one hand while weeping down the hallways, trying to find someone who cares. She hates every fiber of Katie and Ryan’s being, and if Matt James doesn’t give her a rose, she will literally die.

Doubtful. I’m sure there’s a disclaimer in the contract that forbids contestants from literally dying. 


Michelle, Bri, and Pieper already have roses and have wisely kept their mouths shut for most of the night. In the act of “SUCK IT, ORIGINALS,” Matt James first gives roses to newbies Brittany and Ryan.

Message received, kind sir.

He then follows up with Rachael, Serena P., Magi, Kit, MJ, Jessenia, Katie, Abigail, Chelsea, and Serena C.

That means newbie Catalina, Mari, Lauren, and Victoria are out. The Queen stalks up to Matt James and viciously spews, “I honestly feel sorry for you.” Then she refuses to hug him good-bye while trying to convince the camera crew that all the girls in the house will be super sorry to see her go.

And that, dear reader, was the first twenty minutes. 

“Our Fairy Tale Begins Today”

Our Host Chris Harrison walks in looking as if someone woke him, and he had to quickly dress in whatever was haphazardly flung on a chair in his bedroom. Or maybe he never went to sleep? Perhaps he frequents the cigar bar at the club, reminiscing about the days when he used to get free trips to far off exotic places, having only to wear a tux one time and utter the words, “Ladies, this is the final rose.” 

Ah, the good old days.

Hare reminds the ladies that each moment with Matt James is a gift. They should use their time wisely. Then he drops a date card. 

It’s the Cinderella date, and if you’ve listened to the IHGB podcast for the last couple of years, you’ll remember that Some Guy in Austin’s theory is that the one who scores this particular date is traditionally the woman who is chosen in the end. It does seem Matt James is smitten with Rachael, especially learning what we learn during dinner.

But first, a Pretty Woman montage of Rachael trying on tons of clothes. Were some horrific? Sure. Did the pumpkin orange one make my brow furrow? Of course, it did. Did I like the red dress she ended up choosing, even though ruching fabric is an act of the devil? Indeed.

It hand billowy wings, people. 

The producers are quick to gather all the girls in the main area, just in time for Rachael to come waddling into the room carrying fifty-seven packages from her shopping spree at the Neapolitan boutique. Her wings billow behind her as she settles into the couch. The women are extremely jealous. Not only because Rachael lands such an amazing date, but because she is clearly in love. Her face proves it. 

Then she casually lifts her dainty foot to reveal a nude pair of Louboutins, and the girls go nuts. Faces turn the exact shade of crimson that famously line the bottom of those costly heels. The mood is further darkened when a butler of sorts arrives with a huge box holding the gorgeous royal blue gown Cinderella will wear to the ball. 

DAGGERS! So many feelings. Pieper thinks she’s falling behind. Abigail doesn’t know why she was given the first impression rose and then never got a one-on-one. Katie is upset that Rachael is dating “her Matt.” 

And everyone wants the Loubs. 

That night at dinner, Matt James, wearing a velvet jacket the same blue hue as Rachael’s gown, asks Rachael why she’s never been in love before. Her answer? Because she’s never felt deserving. In fact, she’s sure Matt James is out of her league.

This simple, sweet answer endears her to him. So much so that even though her chest is breaking out in major red hives, Rachel lets Matt James know that she is falling in love with him. The butterflies have not gone away since night one. 

Matt James admits that she’s “pulling him in” and then tells Rachael that he is falling in love with her, too. The feelings are mutual. 

Remember the days when this sentiment was forbidden from uttering in any bachelor franchise environment? My how times have changed. 

I blame COVID. 

“Love Can Be Messy”

I get it. I completely understand why Chelsea turns her nose up to a date that consists of raking manure from a horse stall, collecting eggs from aggressive chickens, and milking goats that are not in the mood for milking. 

MJ thinks that you have to be bold in group settings, so she has no trouble volunteering to do all the things. Most of the girls think she’s pretending to fear barnyard fowl, since she has no problem giggling with Matt James who saves her from belligerent poultry. 

When Matt James tosses MJ an egg, it breaks in her hands. She makes a move to wipe the yolk onto his jacket, but he sprints away like lighting, which is hella attractive to all the ladies watching. MJ skitters off to find him and is mortified when she discovers that he ran straight into Pieper’s standup video session. Like the chickens, he aggressively goes after Pieper — tongue first. They make out big time.

It is awkward on all accounts. Pieper doesn’t know what to do with herself, yet she’s so happy. Matt James feels weird, yet he still goes for it. MJ feels like a goat kicked her in the trachea. And all the ladies turn a weird shade of grey when she explains that Matt James is currently making out with Pieper and the entire camera crew behind the barn. 

All the girls cry at the cocktail party, excluding Chelsea, who looks like Cruella de Ville in a huge white fur coat. Hide the Dalmatian puppies, Farmer Todd! Matt James takes her outside for some alone time, reminding Chelsea that he’s glad she’s here. That’s when I notice they have the same hair cut. 

Abigail gets a bit teary when she shares a story about her father leaving once her sister received her cochlear implants. Matt James understands what it’s like to be raised by a single mother. And he’s sensitive to the other information Abigail shares — that there is a good chance her children may be deaf, too. 

Michelle cries because it’s hard seeing Matt James interact with other women. It will take practice getting used to it. Matt James promises that she did not misjudge their connection.

And then there’s MJ. She’s feeling fabulous and gushing confidence. Then Matt James says her name came up as an antagonist in the house against the outsiders. 

MJ’s hair almost goes straight with anger. She pulls it together enough to let Matt James know that this is false information, and she leads by example with peace and harmony. Matt James smiles and then moves on to allow another crying woman to lean on his broad shoulders.

MJ heads back to the group of women gathered together and insists that whoever told Matt James that she was an antagonist needs to speak up immediately. Her character has been called into question, and she is not having it. Be a woman and speak directly to her, so this doesn’t fester out of control. 

That’s when Jessenia answers that Matt James asked her about the culture in the house, and she honestly answered that MJ was an instigator of the Varsity / JV movement.

Are we still talking about this?!

This instigates a mighty she said /she said war between the two women. MJ shouts that she leads by example! Jessenia calmly states that her claim doesn’t make sense when her behavior doesn’t match what she says. 

MJ demands an apology. Jessenia doesn’t see why she should apologize. Especially when MJ didn’t own up to the fact that she does possess the Burn Book with all the newbies’ faces scratched out with OPI candy apple red nail polish. She should own up to her faults. 

MJ quickly asks the ABC Intern for a picture of Jessenia, and a glue stick as Matt James gives his date rose to Abigail. 

“Dinner At My Place?”

Bless Matt James’ heart, he is Swiffering in anticipation for his cooking date with Kit. How precious is that I ask you?

I admit wholeheartedly that I didn’t pay much attention to this date. I was heavily distracted by their height difference and wondered aloud if Kit needed a small stool to boost the homemade pan of chocolate chip cookies into the very high oven. It gave me a sense of glee because I have a small purple stool next to the very high microwave that I utilize for stirring the contents of my bowl of melting Rotel cheese dip.

Although I’m not 21-years-old, I don’t have a famous mother, and I don’t use an eyeliner pen to give myself cat eyes, Kit and I are the same in that regard. 

Matt James says that being with Kit is natural. He can easily see himself with her. She, on the other hand, is all-in and is already falling in love. Matt James gives her the rose, and they make out.


Who knew that a knock on the door could produce such turmoil and drama? The girls have done the math. There are no more date cards. This can only be bad news. 

Bri fetches the card. She looks grave. She takes a deep breath before reading out loud, “MJ and Jessenia. I need to know the truth. Meet me at the cocktail party before the women arrive.”


MJ wastes no time changing into her black 80s power suit, complete with bold brass buttons and massive shoulder pads. She throws every ounce of shade toward Jessenia, who isn’t fazed by this news at all. They ride in an SUV together over to the rose ceremony staging area, and the producers put them in a room facing each other. 

After approximately sixty seconds of silence, MJ launches into Jessenia with an over-the-top, “THIS IS EMBARRASSING.” She lashes out at the woman across from her, chastising her for saying her name and questioning her character. In case you forgot, MJ preaches peace and harmony. And now, her relationship is in jeopardy. 

Jessenia calmly reminds her that Matt James knows the truth. MJ started the JV/Varsity terminology, and he will definitely know the truth by the end of the night. Additionally, Jessenia recalls that MJ lied to Matt James even if it was a failure to admit the truth. 

MJ: “I guess he will find out the truth tonight.”
Jess: “He’ll find out the truth when this airs.”

I love this show. So much. 

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February 2, 2021 1:29 pm

Ughhh he needs to get rid of MJ next. I liked her up until last week and now I cannot stand her! I’m so glad Anna and Victoria are gone, though. Anna didn’t fool me with her “offhand comment” bit. She said it on no less than four separate occasions to different people. Glad to see she was a little contrite but MAN.

Wendy Di
Wendy Di
February 2, 2021 1:39 pm

Thank God the her assholiness is gone!! I would have stopped watching for good if Vic had stayed. Much respect to Matt. I keep trying to find reasons to dislike Rachael but I can’t- she’s in the lead. But I hold out hope for Abigail and Brie. What a season this has been!! I don’t really see Matt with anyone but one of those three. That being said, Pieper could be a dark horse!

February 2, 2021 2:06 pm
Reply to  Wendy Di

I would add Michelle to that list as well!

February 3, 2021 12:38 pm
Reply to  Wendy Di

If you’d like a reason to dislike Rachael, you can use the fact that apparently she was leader of a mean girl squad in high school and also racist as she made fun of other white girls for dating black men. There are also photos of her wearing Native American ceremonial garb (she is definitely not Native American). Even if this stuff happened years ago, odds are pretty good she still sucks.

February 3, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  Libby

Life is hard enough without saddling people for all eternity with whatever the culture of the moment declares is an unforgivable transgression, whether or not they meant it for ill at the time. I don’t know Rachel. Maybe she’s the worst, maybe she’s not, or maybe she was and has since changed. I’m not invested in it either way, but I’m willing to bet that all of us would hate to be judged the rest of our lives for past behavior.

February 4, 2021 5:23 pm
Reply to  Jen

I agree with you on this one, she is from a very racist small town in Georgia. Yes, that is a real thing, my sister was stationed in just such a town and couldn’t find a place to live because her roommate was black. I have no doubt that Rachel’s high school keggers were as full of confederate flags as mine were with NWA posters (even though we were a very white/suburban school). I am hoping she comes forward and states that she’s learned a lot in college or whatever and no longer condones racist symbols etc… cancel culture needs… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Reccalyn
February 12, 2021 1:38 pm
Reply to  Reccalyn

Sure hope she learns and grows after the events of this week and that the apology she (FINALLY) issued was sincere. I never said she should be cancelled, but she shouldn’t be excused. Kind of hard to give the benefit of the doubt to someone playing slave-owner dress-up just a little over two years ago, at a time when she and her sorority KNEW such events were banned and you bet they knew why, yet actively chose not to care. We’re so quick to give the benefit of the doubt to pretty white girls but never to black and brown… Read more »

February 2, 2021 2:47 pm

Props to Matt for taking care of business sending Anna and Victoria home! Is Victoria for real?? I have never in my life!! I loved how humble Rachel was on her date and yes, I cried during his conversation with Abigail!! I really like Michelle and Brie also. Matt swiffering before his date with Kit cracked me up. I think he likes her but not top 4 or anything. She may be guilty of some nasty looks or comments early on too. I think Matt said they are like 5 weeks in – I feel like there are way too… Read more »

February 2, 2021 2:47 pm
Reply to  Rosa

And also agree MJ needs to go! She has serious RBF – resting bit&% face

February 2, 2021 3:16 pm

I think I am a huge dork and thought that one-on-one pretty woman date was previews for next week and stopped watching after the rose ceremony. Bad news, I have to stop reading the blog temporarily right now! Good news is that I get an extra bonus day of the Bachelor!

Sal in UT
February 2, 2021 3:35 pm

Refreshing to see a male lead who cuts the bullies so early on -we have seen so many times when they weasel their way into staying. Anna-good riddance and Victoria-lots of Matts were breathing a sigh of relief that you won’t ever date anybody named Matt again.

February 2, 2021 4:10 pm

Can we talk about how good Rachel looked in all the colors?

Bumblebee yellow? Looked awesome
Halloween Orange? Amazing
Ruched red? Stunning

They definitely picked the right girl for that date. And she was such a sweetheart.

Hooray for sending the mean girls home!

February 2, 2021 5:45 pm
Reply to  Nashville

I agree. Rachel is stunning. She also has a a very friendly look about her. I loved the way she joked with Matt. She said they gave her the car and she was going to grocery store all dressed up. When he said it was her date and she said it was their date, I thought game over.
When she talked about being insecure she seemed sincere but I thought what could she possibly be insecure about. I will be shocked if Matt doesn’t choose her.

Sherilyn Vandervalk
February 2, 2021 4:38 pm

“Doubtful. I’m sure there’s a disclaimer in the contract that forbids contestants from literally dying.” I love it. This might have been the MOST DRAMATIC EPISODE!

Also, I think if Matt did some skulking behind doors to listen to what the girls are saying, he’d be shocked. We need more skulking.

February 2, 2021 5:47 pm

Yes, literally and like,like,like,like,like Matt and I’s future.

A Johnson
A Johnson
February 2, 2021 4:40 pm

Yes a fun dramatic episode and great recap Lincee! Up until last night I was thinking Victoria was a smart cookie, there for all the wrong reasons: working the notorious train to sell either herself (hello influencer) or a product (I read she’s in business?). So much of what she said seemed so intentionally over the top and ludicrous! The Bachelor franchise may not be great for finding lasting love but it sure has helped some folks step out of the workaday world or otherwise gain exposure and name recognition: Demi, he-who-must-not-be-named, the list goes on and on. But last… Read more »

February 2, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  A Johnson

I agree, Jessenia handled the situation with MJ flawlessly. I can’t believe how some are attempting to back peddle now that they are caught. Did they forget they are being filmed? It’s only a real apology if they are sorry and not just sorry they got caught.

February 2, 2021 8:44 pm

Matt seems to fall madly for whomever is his date. With Michelle I thought “game over.” And then he tells Rachel he is falling in love with her, and he seemed really into Kit. And then there was the person who went home to her father. Instead of being in love with the final two, he will be in love with the final ten!

RA Funderburk
RA Funderburk
February 2, 2021 9:03 pm
Reply to  Rperry

I think he’s such a sweetheart of a gentleman and does go to great efforts to find common ground with each of the ladies. He makes great eye contact and is an empathetic listener. THIS is what’s going to make the ending so interesting bc he’s got us all (or me, at least) wondering where his heart really is. I’m team Rachel, but there are certainly other great women to choose from too. I’m loving Matt James’ season!

Bonnie L Krueger
Bonnie L Krueger
February 2, 2021 9:03 pm

How do you spell delusional? V-I-C-T-O-R-I-A Truly. So comical that she thinks she’s all that. Honestly, she reminds me of a more feminine Tonya Harding. Queen Vic has such a rough aura and makes a b**tchy comment against everyone she can behind their backs. Ugh. Matt is so level headed. He approached things like a grown-up. How refreshing!

February 2, 2021 11:02 pm

He approached things like a grown a$$ man.

February 2, 2021 11:04 pm

Favorite line: MJ’s hair almost goes straight with anger.

Kay DB
Kay DB
February 3, 2021 9:42 am
Reply to  Tina

Oh my word – YES! I giggled aloud over that line. The image it creates is priceless!

February 3, 2021 2:33 am

Kit’s mom is Cynthia Rowley

February 3, 2021 9:41 am

I may need explanation again. What was in all those shopping bags from the Cinderella date? Did she take home all those dresses we saw that she will never wear again or did she get some actual clothes?

the women tell all should be good with MJ and the fallen Queen

February 6, 2021 4:33 pm
Reply to  mimi

Becca was talking about this on a podcast this week because she had a similar date with Ari. She said that she got a ton of clothes and not just the dresses and shoes they showed. There were swimsuits and workout clothes etc. she ended up sharing some with her roommates there were so many.

February 3, 2021 12:42 pm

The back pedaling hypocrisy reminded me of the Republicans the night of January 6th, frantically trying to un-say all the things we’d heard them say for the past two months. Sigh…

One final (and sorry to get political) note. But do you think that these women are extra mean, and unconcerned about appearing that way, because they’ve spent four of their formative years with a bully for a president? Just had that thought last night.

February 3, 2021 1:11 pm
Reply to  Amanda

Your “sorry to get political” sounds like “sorry, not sorry, since you got More political with your “thought”. Bless your heart…

February 3, 2021 1:59 pm
Reply to  Ann

I agree. You’re not sorry to get political LIBERAL Amanda. Let’s keep your nasty comments off this wonderful, fun and entertaining site please. I love to read Lincee’s funny summaries and not get into what you’re spewing. Please and thank you.

February 4, 2021 5:30 pm
Reply to  Bella

What was “nasty”, has it been edited because I don’t see anything nasty? Calling politicians “hypocritical”? ummm isn’t that the definition of a politician? Just because her political analogy(comparing bachelor with politics) doesn’t fly for you doesn’t mean she is “spewing or nasty”. but your comment to her is most definitely spewing and nasty. Bless your heart. Wait, that is the southern version of f you right? so I take that back, I don’t want to be hypocritical or nasty. you have a right to how you feel. I’m truthfully just writing this so Amanda doesn’t think everyone agrees with… Read more »

February 6, 2021 6:05 am
Reply to  Ann

“Bless your heart” is condescending and southern mean girl speak!

February 6, 2021 8:04 am
Reply to  DonnaMarie

It is? Oops. I was copying Lincee, as she uses it. I’m from Minnesota, so thought it was nice.

February 12, 2021 1:42 pm
Reply to  Amanda

Genuinely laughed at your comment, Amanda. You are not alone in your thoughts.

February 3, 2021 5:28 pm

If MJ said she leads by example one more time, I was going to LITERALLY DIE.

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