Two Chicago Bachelorettes vie for Matt James’ rose

(Kaili, Anna are looking for love on The Bachelor)

Thirty-two incredible women went in for love with Matt James when the exciting, landmark 25th edition of The Bachelor premiered on MONDAY, JAN. 4 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC.  By the end of night one, 24 lucky bachelorettes remained to toast the Bachelor and join him on the romantic adventure of a lifetime!

Two of them were from Chicago! Congrats to Anna Redman, 24, who is a copywriter and Kaili Anderson, 26, a hostess.

Both are among the surviving group who trying to woo James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABC’s hit romance reality series The Bachelor. He will be the first African American Bachelor to hand out the roses for its momentous 25th season.

Matt is described as “the total package” with strong family values and a great career, who has used his growing platform for good. His emerging legion of fans can’t wait to follow the 29-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder on his journey to find love during this historic season.

ABC/Craig Sjodin) MATT JAMES

The North Carolina native went to Wake Forest University, where he majored in economics and played wide receiver for the football team. He went on to play professional football before moving to New York City, where he now resides.

His love of food and passion for giving back led to his creation of an organization that is designed to find creative ways to engage kids from underserved communities in New York City, encouraging physical and mental wellness while also giving them opportunities for new experiences throughout the city.

Said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment: “Matt has been on our radar since February, when producers first approached him to join Bachelor Nation, as part of Clare’s season. When filming couldn’t move forward as planned, we were given the benefit of time to get to know Matt and all agreed he would make a perfect Bachelor. We know we have a responsibility to make sure the love stories we’re seeing onscreen are representative of the world we live in, and we are proudly in service to our audience. This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take action with regard to diversity issues on this franchise. We feel so privileged to have Matt as our first Black Bachelor and we cannot wait to embark on this journey with him.”

So who are these two?


THE BACHELOR – “2502” – MONDAY, JAN. 11 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) MATT JAMES, ANNA

Anna is a small-town girl, living the big city life. She was born and raised in a tiny town in Minnesota, and at an early age, her parents nicknamed her “Hollywood,” thanks to her affinity for chic scarves and oversized sunglasses.

As much as she loved her childhood filled with Friday nights at the local bowling alley and family dinners at Applebee’s, this high school cheerleading captain knew she was meant for something bigger. Now, she lives in Chicago and says she is living the life she always envisioned for herself.

She is looking for a man who will take her as the open book that she is—the good, the bad and the ugly. She wants a man who wants to have a family just as much as she does, and who will have no problem being open and honest in communication.

Due to her Gemini vibes, she needs someone who is a match for her intellect but will also always want to keep life fun. Oh … and her dream guy must enjoy doing puzzles with her!

Although Matt hasn’t been in love before, he feels he is ready now to welcome it into his life—no matter what challenges he will face—as he starts his search for his happily ever after on The Bachelor in January.

ALSO READ: WTTW explores intergenerational poverty in Chicago


THE BACHELOR – “2501” MONDAY, JAN. 4 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) KAILI, MATT JAMES

Kaili says she doesn’t like to take herself too seriously, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t serious about finding love! Kaili is witty, charismatic, not afraid to laugh at herself, and is hoping to find those same qualities in her future husband.

She loves to show affection through spending quality time with her partner, performing acts of service and making sure that her man knows their voice is being heard.

When she is in love, she says that there is no one you would rather have in your corner because her loyalty is unwavering. The man of her dreams is introspective, empathetic and can join her on her daily sunset runs on the beach followed by a romantic picnic.

She says she’s never dated anyone that her family has truly been excited about and she’s hoping to change that when Matt comes into the picture!

Premiere Ratings Win Night for ABC

According to Deadline, the 25th season as expected, topped the ratings heap in broadcast primetime. The ABC reality competition delivered a 1.2 in the adults 18-49 demographic while 5 million viewers tuned in to watch a group of women make a memorable — and sometimes desperate — first impression on James.

The Bachelor lead into the debut of the Craig Ferguson-hosted trivia game show The Hustler (0.5, 1.99M). The duo gave ABC the overall win in the demo in Nielsen Live+Same Day fast nationals.

Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu.

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Hosted by Chris Harrison, The Bachelor is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Louis Caric and Peter Geist are the executive producers.