ABC Exec Teases Heather's Arrival: She Was Convinced Matt Was Her Husband

Plot twist! After the Monday, January 4, premiere of The Bachelor, a trailer revealed that more women would be joining Matt James‘ season at a later date — including Heather Martin, a contestant who first appeared on Colton Underwood‘s season of The Bachelor, which aired in 2019.

In the promo, Martin, 25, gets out of the limo with a huge smile on her face — but is later shown breaking down in tears.

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Although he couldn’t say much, ABC Entertainment Executive Rob Mills did tease her appearance during a new interview.

“She felt for sure this was her husband and basically did anything she could to get there and track him down,” he told cohost Julia Cunningham during the Tuesday, January 5, episode of “The Bachelor Recap” podcast.

“Heather, what are you doing here?” host Chris Harrison asks the California native in the sneak peek. “You could honestly destroy this whole thing for Matt.”

Harrison, 49, isn’t the only one shocked by the contestant’s return — James, 29, looks stunned when she walks in the room wearing a gorgeous sequined gown. “Heather?” the bachelor says when he sees her. He later tells her, “I feel like I’m in a dream right now.”

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While it’s not clear if the pair have a past relationship, they do share a mutual friend in Hannah Brown, as they both competed on Underwood’s season.

Ahead of the premiere, the North Carolina native opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about his journey on the show — and how his initial plans fell through.

“It was difficult leading up to the show because I’m like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to talk about this. I’m going to leave this out,’” he revealed on Monday. “And then when I got there, I put everything on the table. I put it all out there because I need them to know who I am, where I’m coming from and what I’ve been through for them to make an assessment on me. I’m courting them, but they’re [also] courting me.”

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The ABC Food Tours founder complimented the women competing on this season, noting he felt “undeserving” of how incredible they were.

“It’s just such a great group of women, like, women that you would never think would be single. That’s why I was so skeptical coming in, because it’s, like, you don’t think the type of women exists that I was interacting with and that were part of this experience,” James shared. “So it made my life and decision-making that much more difficult because you’re having to send home an incredible amount at times because there’s so many of them.”

The Bachelor season 25 airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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