The historic nature of Matt James’s casting as The Bachelor’s first Black lead is also trickling down to his diverse pool of women. Abigail Heringer, a 25-year-old client financial manager from Oregon who does not seem to be interested in influencer bullshit or dumb monarchical nicknames, has become the first hearing-impaired contestant to appear on the franchise. Heringer, who wears cochlear implants, was also the recipient of James’s first-impression rose, an accolade that generally has a strong track record for securing a place among the final few contestants. During her conversation with James, Heringer revealed that her family supported her decision to go on the show, as “they want what’s going to make me happy at the end of the day.” James, in a particularly cute moment, promised to always enunciate clearly for her. “I felt like you were everything that I’ve been asking of these women tonight,” he said while giving her the rose, “and knowing you’re a fighter, I felt it was appropriate.” If we don’t get a finale proposal in American Sign Language, love is dead.

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