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All about Michelle Young, a new ‘Bachelorette’ from Matt James’ season
Although “Bachelor” Matt James didn’t get down on one knee during Monday night’s episode, he still selected a special sparkler.
Before his breakup with controversial frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell, 29-year-old James looked at engagement rings with Neil Lane, sharing “heavy” thoughts with the jeweler while perusing the diamonds.
“In all the years I’ve been doing this on the show, I’ve never met someone who was dealing with the depth of what Matt was obviously going through,” Lane told People.
“Usually there’s nervous excitement about the woman they’ve fallen in love with and excitement about picking out a ring, but it was a different feeling from Matt from the get-go and he let me know right away.”
As James grappled with commitment and unpacked his relationship with his father, the bling was far from the focus of the shopping segment.
Lane offered to talk things through, adding, “It all started coming out — Matt’s fears, his childhood, his dad leaving his mom and the shattering effect that broken relationship had on her and on him … it seemed like a wound that hadn’t healed.”
“Matt was emotionally drained and whatever it was in his heart and mind, he would pull himself back,” the franchise’s longtime jeweler continued, calling their talk a “really human meeting.”
While the pair took “breaks” from looking at rings, James ended up selecting a 3-carat pear-shaped sparkler featuring a diamond halo and a platinum band set with more than 175 diamonds, per People.
“He liked the almond shape of the diamond — it’s classic and very feminine … I left him with the ring — it was more of a promise ring — but I had no idea what was going to happen,” Lane revealed.
The ring never made its way onto anyone’s hand, as James decided to forgo the proposal but leave the show with Kirkconnell.
During the “After the Final Rose” segment, James revealed that the pair are no longer together after photos surfaced online of the 24-year-old graphic designer attending a plantation-themed party in 2018.
The emotional night was hosted by author and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho, with embattled mainstay Chris Harrison stepping away from his duties after admitting to speaking “in a manner that perpetuates racism.”
Michelle Young and Katie Thurston – two fan favorites from James’ season — are both set to star in separate upcoming seasons of “The Bachelorette.”
In a time of shake-ups for the series, their seasons will be hosted by Bachelor Nation stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
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