Not to be outdone by the shameful rounds of gossip and toxicity that have already plagued this season of The Bachelor, Monday night’s episode went old school with some stunt-casting for a mid-season twist: Heather Martin, who previously competed on Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season in 2019, showed up to demand time with Matt James. Why? Just because. Have you ever watched this show? Anything is possible if ABC is paying. Martin, though, isn’t exactly the “random-ass girl” the current contestants made her out to be. As she reminisced to a befuddled Chris Harrison at the resort’s gates, she’s best friends with former Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who she says encouraged her to crash James’s season. “Hannah came to my house. She just spent some time with Matt in quarantine,” Martin explained. (Just when we though we forgot about the #QuarantineCrew, it comes back to haunt us.) “The first thing she said when she landed was, This guy is the perfect match for you. Hannah is one of my very best girlfriends. She knows Matt and loves Matt so much. Her telling me that — it meant something. I couldn’t let him get engaged and not meet him, or not try my best.” She added, as a personal plea to Harrison, “I know you guys are almost halfway through, but I don’t think that’s going to stop me. I just want to meet Matt.”
After several days of quarantining and testing, Martin was cleared to enter James’s Bachelor bubble the night of the rose ceremony, much to the disdain of the other contestants. (In the teaser for next week’s episode, Martin is reduced to tears because the other women are being “mean” to her.) “I’m literally shaking. My heart is pounding. I feel like I’m in a dream,” she tells James when they finally meet. “You’re probably wondering why I’m here.” For what it’s worth, James seems spooked but intrigued by her arrival before the episode ends on the cliffhanger. There’s also a lot of hysterical laughter.
So, what should we remember about Martin and her layered blonde locks? As a contestant on Underwood’s season, her arc was dominated by her sexuality: Like Underwood, she was a virgin, but she also, at the age of 23, had never kissed a man. After receiving her first kiss from Underwood during their one-on-one date, Martin went on to self-eliminate in the seventh week, as she didn’t feel comfortable enough to bring him home to her family. Good call, as Underwood is now in alleged stalker territory.