While many people judge the leads on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette on social media, only a select few who have been there before truly understand just what it takes to find lasting love with one person out of a group of several dozen.
JoJo Fletcher led Season 12 of The Bachelorette after she was left heartbroken by The Bachelor's Ben Higgins. But, the heartache turned out to be a blessing, as she fell for her fiancé of nearly six years, Jordan Rodgers.
In addition to becoming an all-time fan favorite, JoJo also has the distinction of being one of the few former Bachelorettes to stay engaged to her final rose recipient.
The house flipper is set to walk down the aisle with the football analyst (when the pandemic allows for larger gatherings). The two spoke exclusively with Distractify about Matt James' run as the lead for Season 25, and how their experience on the show might have differed if they filmed at one resort.
JoJo Fletcher says that Matt James is a "good catch" and a top 'Bachelor' lead (EXCLUSIVE).
In recent years, most Bachelor or Bachelorette leads know what to expect from the process because they've been contestants on past seasons. However, for Season 25 star Matt James, he's learning the ropes alongside the ladies.
Though he was announced as a suitor for Clare Crawley's turn as The Bachelorette, Matt was later named The Bachelor amid ongoing criticism that the reality series had never had a Black male lead.
The commercial real estate broker has impressed fans, and he's also earned praise from JoJo (who knows a thing or two about winning over the viewers).
"After getting to watch Matt, I think he could be one of the best Bachelors we've had. To come into the situation without having gone through it before, it's overwhelming and difficult," she said. "He handles himself exceptionally well. He's smart and he's a good catch."
The engaged couple said more "genuine" connections could form on the show because of the resorts.
Unlike JoJo and Jordan's journey to find love, which entailed traveling around the world, Matt is instead dating his contestants at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While viewers may miss seeing exotic locations and dream dates through the show, Jordan and JoJo believe that there are many benefits to staying in one spot for the duration of the journey.
"I think that it actually may force more genuine conversations," Jordan said about how the recent seasons have filmed in isolation. "It's very easy to get caught up in the moment when you're in a yacht in Uruguay or you're on a beach in Thailand. It's hard not to be attracted to someone and have fun when you’re traveling the world."
Jordan said that, without the distractions of traveling and having lavish dates, the current contestants might be able to open up about important issues.
"Oftentimes, with seeing couples not make it out of the show, a big part of it is maybe not getting into the important conversations, or not knowing enough about the other person. Without the luxury of the traveling, it may not be as fun,' but you might learn more. Some of these relationships on the other side might end up being more genuine," he continued. "Or it can put you in situations where you realize that you can't travel with a person."
But, his fiancée added, traveling on the show so soon into relationships can also help narrow things down.
"There are definitely pros and cons. I totally agree with Jordan, but I also feel like, when we started traveling on my season and experiencing those things and traveling with someone you're dating is a great way to bond you. It can help you create memories together," JoJo shared. "I see both sides."
Even though the pair (and viewers) can debate the benefits and drawbacks of each experience, there's one thing that's undeniable: JoJo and Jordan found true love on their season of The Bachelorette.
It only makes sense then that they'd put their relationship to the test with a Couples Challenge.
The duo teamed up with Autotrader for a quiz that matches people with a vehicle from the Best New Cars for 2021 list based on their Zodiac sign. In addition, they answered questions about their own compatibility.
You can find out which vehicle you're most compatible with on Autotrader here.
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.