The Bachelor's Abigail Heringer Calls Matt James' Reaction to Her Hearing Loss a 'Special Moment'
"It is a huge part of who I am," said the financial manager, who is the first Deaf contestant in Bachelor history
During Monday night's season premiere, the 25-year-old client financial manager seemed to catch James' eye from the moment she stepped out of the limo, and later in the night opened up to him about being Deaf. She went on to earn the coveted First Impression rose over the 31 other women — as well the season's first kiss — from the new Bachelor.
During an appearance on Tuesday's episode of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Heringer told hosts and former Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin that she had no hesitations about informing James, 29, of her hearing impairment on the show.
"I knew going into that night that I wanted to talk about it," she said. "Just because, going back on what my dating has been like, it's normally something I don't really say on a first date. It is a huge part of who I am."
Heringer explained to Lindsay and Kufrin that being Deaf is "kind of a scary thing" to bring up when meeting someone, and recalled a time when she went to Top Golf and could not hear most of what her date was saying.
"It's something I've been insecure about in the past, and when you're trying to be attracted to a guy, airing out your insecurities is not always the first thing you want to do," she admitted. "But going into this whole process, I was like, 'I'm just going to go all out and lay it out there and see how he takes it.' Is it something he wants to learn more about, is it something he wants to see what relationship with a Deaf person would look like? That's why I did it the first night."
Heringer said her interaction with James, 29, was the reason she "was riding on such a high" during the premiere episode. "It was something I had been so insecure about and so to open up about it and to not only have him acknowledge it, but to actually see it as a really attractive quality, it was just a really special moment," she added. "It kind of came full circle."
Heringer — who is now among James' 24 remaining suitors — told Lindsay and Kufrin that she "was freaking out" after she received his first rose.
"I think part of it was I just never expected to be that person at the end of the night," she said. "It wasn't something I was trying to go after in a sense, I was just wanting to make the most of the night and just see if I could hit it off with the Bachelor."
"I definitely thought it would take a different turn," she added. "But I'm really glad it didn't."
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.