A Bachelor Nation falling out? Tyler Cameron and Matt James were friends for years before the latter got the gig as the season 25 Bachelor, but some fans are convinced his romance with Rachael Kirkconnell has put a strain on his bromance with Cameron.
Prior to their time on reality TV, Cameron and James met while attending Wake Forest in North Carolina.
“He was the older cool kid who took me under his wing,” the Bachelorette season 15 runner-up said of James in September 2020 on the “Bachelor Party” podcast. “We’ve just been boys ever since. Super grateful for that friendship and what he’s shown me in the city.”
The two former football players even moved in together in New York City after Cameron’s stint on Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette.
“That’s my guy. I was gonna get a one-bedroom, but I think it’s important to surround yourself with people that are doing good things, and that’s my partner with ABC Food Tours,” he continued. “I’ve been living on his couch for a while now, and he hasn’t gotten sick of me.”
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, James was among Cameron’s friends who moved into his house in Jupiter, Florida, to quarantine. That June, ABC opted to make James the next Bachelor after he nearly appeared on season 16 of The Bachelorette. The First Impressions author later revealed that Cameron’s late mother was the one who encouraged him to join Bachelor Nation.
“I wouldn’t have gone on the show if it hadn’t been for Tyler’s mom,” James said on the “Almost Famous” podcast in February 2021. “She was so adamant about me having been a part of this experience because she saw what it did for Tyler and his relationship with Hannah … I felt like I owed it to her to see it through.”
When James left to film The Bachelor in fall 2020, Cameron visited and made a cameo on one of the one-on-one dates. During the finale, James picked Kirkconnell over Michelle Young but didn’t propose. As the season was airing, the twosome split after the Georgia native’s past racially insensitive actions resurfaced. They reconciled, however, in April 2021 and Cameron was (initially) happy to have her visit them at their NYC digs.
“She got him to pick up his s—t!” the Real Dirty Dancing alum told Us in June 2021. “You know, like, he’s cleaning up his clothes, he’s not leaving them all over the doors and stuff after he sweats in them, so I like it.”
The trio continued to hang out on double dates in the Hamptons, Cameron and Kirkconnell supported James on Dancing With the Stars in fall 2021 and she returned the favor when the men ran the New York City Marathon that November. By 2022, however, fans began to question whether Cameron and James were still friends after the former Bachelor referred to Cameron and Kirkconnell’s relationship as “love-hate” that May.
When addressing the speculation in July 2022, Cameron told Us: “I think people think [Matt and I aren’t friends] because we’re just not in each other’s everyday lives like we used to be. I think it’s part of growing up. It’s part of entering a relationship. … We all have those friends that they grow up, they start dating their person, they get married, they do their thing and you see him when you see him.”
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